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Old 08-23-2005, 01:29 AM   #1
DefRay
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Registered: Aug 2005
Location: Germany
Distribution: Debian sid
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Arch, Gentoo, Slack ... other ?


Hi,

I'm currently looking for a new Linux distro to install to my new PC (Athlon64 X2, SATA, Geforce6800). While I was on Debian for a few years now, I thought , why not give another distibution, perhaps one a little more complicated, a shot.
I narrowed i down Slack, Gentoo (see my post "gentoo and hardware") and just recently discovered Arch Linux.

Now, could you give me some feedback (especially on Arch) ?
Important points:
- compatible to new hardware
- lightweight and fast
- great community
- big repository (well, of course not like Debian, but ...)

I don't care if I'd have to compile a lot (like Gentoo obviously), but it shouldn't be too complicated, though I'm used to kernel-compiling or certain modules, I'm not deep enough into linux to deal with something like LFS.
But my new distro should require some work to set it up and if possible not through eays-to-use installers (I'd like to learn a lot more about how Linux works).

Would Arch be suitable for me, or should I prefer Gentoo or Slack (I love the Debian and Gentoo package-management, but could also live without it)
As I said, I don't care if I'd have to do a lot of compiling, but I also don't like having to take care of every small application or service I'd just want to quickly install.

well, hope I didn't confuse you too much, just post you opinions about those distros I named here, and if possible your experiences with all three of them plus others perhaps ?

thx

P.S.: NOT intended as a what-do-you-think-is-the-best-distro-thread, so hold your fire ...

Last edited by DefRay; 08-23-2005 at 01:33 AM.
 
Old 08-23-2005, 03:51 AM   #2
samael26
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Registered: Oct 2004
Location: France, Provence
Distribution: Debian
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Hi,
You should give a look at http://www.vectorlinux.com/. Based off Slackware.
Very lightweight and fast. It is the fastest I have ever used, to be honest.
 
Old 08-23-2005, 02:50 PM   #3
absinthe1
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Registered: Aug 2005
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Arch is one of my favorite Distro's.

In a nutshell, you will set up everything yourself for the installation. Partitioning/Package Selection etc.

When it's done installing it drops you to a command prompt. No X, no nothing.

Of course you have Pacman (the greatest package manager ever) with tons of packages.

But if you'd like to learn a lot about installing/setting up Linux - Arch is great!


Now Slackware is different. (My other favorite)

Slack has a similair install method, but it uses an older "more stable" kernel.

Slackware doesn't have a package management system like Apt/Portage/Pacman does. It assumes
that you will be compiling/installing your own packages.

Slackware is great if you want absolute control of your system.

Gentoo is ok. Everything is compiled from source, I mean everything. It can take days to install, depending on where you start
and what you're installing. I'm not a fan of it, but there are many out there who are.

Hope this helps!

Edit: After re-reading your post, I'd reccomend Arch to you. Since you've used Debian you are no doubt used to a package manager and also, Arch is blazing fast.
You'll probably learn more about Linux with it as well.

Last edited by absinthe1; 08-23-2005 at 02:56 PM.
 
Old 08-23-2005, 04:45 PM   #4
DefRay
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Location: Germany
Distribution: Debian sid
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thanks for posting ...

In fact I'm really more in the Arch direction right now.
But as a young distro, how big is it's community, or how many packages are there available through pacman ?
Ok, I'm a bit spoiled by Debian of course, there I found EVERYTHING.
Also the Communities for Slack and Gentoo seem bigger and more active, but I think the ratio of real hardcore users in the community could be bigger with Arch (Gentoo probably too) due to the fact that it's community is quite small and not many newcomers would start their Linux experience with Arch I suppose.

If you like, you could post your impressions of different linux communities and while you're at it explain the benefits/differences of pacman compared to portage or apt, because I'd obviously use it a lot. (I know I'm kinda lazy, I could look it up, but you said you like it best, so... why ?)

Oh, and I like being dropped to a command prompt, wouldn't want to install a distro which "chooses" a WM for me and throws me in =)
But I like X in general, though only with leightweight WMs ... really don't like KDE or Gnome for being so bloated and slow ... I'm normally using Waimea (still my favourite with mouse navigation, though outdated by Kahakai of course) on the desktop PC and Ion2 (didn't really like Ratpoison and other keyboard-onlys) on my Laptop.

Last but not least: Will I really .. well ... "feel" the benefits of Arch being specially designed for i686 (e.g. Speed)? -> will have a Athlon X2 soon ...

thx
 
Old 08-24-2005, 03:19 AM   #5
cs-cam
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Kahakai has been out of development for a while now... pity as it was a decent WM. Arch doens't have the largest selection of packages but it does have AUR which is a community-driven repository. That's where you can "find EVERYTHING"
 
Old 08-24-2005, 07:14 AM   #6
DefRay
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Location: Germany
Distribution: Debian sid
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thanks for your advice guys.... think I'll try Arch soon ...

one more thing: I didn't know Kahakai is also dead, but then agian, I'm still using waimea, because it's the most minimalistic mouse-controlled WM I found. Are there similar WMs with active developers ?

I also like other WMs like fluxbox or icewm, but I'm not really a friend of task/iconbars and what I like most about waimea is, that you can configure everything in an easy manner, without having to learn a script/programming language. (that's why I didn't switch to kahakai)

is there another tiny and fast WM which just drops you to a void desktop and let's you completely customize menus, window behavior and stylefiles ?

and concerning Arch: there's a 210mb download of the base-installation and another ISO with more than 500mb, I suppose that's just packages I could also install from the net, right (though I could fit them both on a 90min CD)?

Last edited by DefRay; 08-24-2005 at 07:17 AM.
 
Old 08-25-2005, 03:39 AM   #7
cs-cam
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Yeah, just get the smaller one if you have enough bandwidth to pull down the updated packages without too long a wait. And in regards to your WM question, not really sure, I lot of the minimal WMs are mainly keyboard oriented, keep your hands in the one place being the theory.
 
Old 08-25-2005, 11:50 AM   #8
tuxdev
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Enlightenment is the ultimate customizable WM. WindowMaker is pretty good to.
 
Old 08-26-2005, 03:28 AM   #9
slackie1000
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Registered: Dec 2003
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hi there,
just as an example to show how arch is flexible, i use it on my notebook and also in a web server running apache.
you can get what you want.
regards,
slackie1000
 
Old 08-26-2005, 04:55 AM   #10
Skyline
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Registered: Jun 2003
Distribution: Debian/other
Posts: 2,104

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Quote:
Originally posted by DefRay
Oh, and I like being dropped to a command prompt, wouldn't want to install a distro which "chooses" a WM for me and throws me in =)
But I like X in general, though only with leightweight WMs ... really don't like KDE or Gnome for being so bloated and slow ... I'm normally using Waimea (still my favourite with mouse navigation, though outdated by Kahakai of course) on the desktop PC and Ion2 (didn't really like Ratpoison and other keyboard-onlys) on my Laptop.
With Arch, utilise the "FTP install" option and only install the base packages to start with - on reboot you can start adding to this with:

# pacman -Sy <package>

for example:

# pacman -Sy pekwm

or another example: unhashing unstable in your /etc/pacman.conf and then:

# pacman -Sy fluxbox-devel

It'll pull in X and any other dependancies automatically

You might want to try Pekwm as an "alternative" lightweight wm.

Last edited by Skyline; 08-26-2005 at 05:04 AM.
 
Old 08-26-2005, 05:32 AM   #11
DefRay
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Registered: Aug 2005
Location: Germany
Distribution: Debian sid
Posts: 15

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yeah, I'm really looking forward to pacman ...
hm... does pacman also have a function for searching the sources like apt has (apt-cache search) ?
Because from the look of the commands and the config, they seem quite similar.

and linux distros in general are quite flexible I think... I have Debian installed on My Laptop, the Desktop PC and a little server ...
 
  


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