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Old 11-18-2005, 01:27 AM   #1
Registered: Nov 2005
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Arch vs. Gentoo?

I've been hearing a lot about the two distros and still can't really see what the major difference between the two is, besides the time it takes to compile and install packages, or is that all?
Is Arch faster then Gentoo on the same system setup?

The reviews are saying that Arch is generally better then Gentoo, but there is a couple reviews in there that say Arch is nothing but problems and Gentoo is fairly bug-less compared to it. I guess that depends on your system's setup, though.
Old 11-18-2005, 01:40 AM   #2
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Distribution: Ubuntu 7.10, Opensuse 10.2
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first of all let me just say that they are both great distros, now my opinion will be that, if you re pretty new to linux i suggest you go with arch since gentoo is aimed to the more advanced and experienced user,

with gentoo you will have more of an open installlation, so it will take some knowledge and patience to work with, but once installed, you will love it, arch is much easier to install so you will have this distro up and running in no time,

my first install with gentoo took me a long long time to have it setup and running, specially since i was installing it in an older machine, so i hope this clears up things a bit for you, good luck
Old 11-18-2005, 01:51 AM   #3
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My "pet" system is Gentoo - and will remain so.

I have started using Arch where I need a "quick-build" i686 system. On laptops is it a quick binary distro that has all I need - is displacing Slack as my laptop system of choice. On my testbox where I do kernel testing, it runs fine, and is expendible at short notice.

I have no environment where I have both installed, but wouldn't expect Arch to run as well as Gentoo. But if you just need a system compiled for something later than i386 without too much work, Arch would probably be the (current) pick.

Edit: Removed reference to Yoper - wasn't aware it now uses RPM for package management which I abhor.

Last edited by syg00; 11-18-2005 at 02:41 AM.
Old 11-18-2005, 06:05 AM   #4
Registered: Aug 2005
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I've tried both also. They both ran well, even though I kept a pretty standard Gentoo install. Since I was going through distros and Gentoo was another on the list, I didn't read the important information. I read just enough to get it installed so I can't give you any information about speed. I used genkernel and ignored USE flags. If you don't take full advantage of Gentoo's string attributes then I don't think it's worth the trouble. All that aside, even though I didn't customize and tweak it, it ran exceptionally well and everything worked great, it'd have to be in my top 3. Setting up does take a while and that's ultimately why I don't use it, I play around and break system too much, going through a re-install is just a pain in the ass.

Arch Linux I've been using now for a month or two. Installing a package is easy "pacman -S package_name". Their database isn't that big but its had pretty much everything I needed up to this day. It solves dependencies which is great. Installing was a little weird with their "dev/disc/discs0/part1" system as apposed to "/dev/hda2". If you install Arch put this in the kernel parameters "devfs=nomount" then you can use the "/dev/hda2" system. (Sorry for my explanations, I don't know the technical terms. devfs and udev??) After trying lots of distros I can safely say Arch gave me the least troubles, I even enabled direct rendering on my ati 9600XT.

I vote for Arch.
Keep in mind I'm a still newbie so I just give opinions from my point of view.
Old 11-19-2005, 10:50 AM   #5
Registered: Apr 2004
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I don't have any experience with Gentoo except that it was the first linux I tried to install and I really got nowhere in the installation. After that I tried slackware and got that installed in no time.

For arch I have more experience. I have it running on a box here and it works wonderful. Great speed, boots fast, pacman is easy and fast,... There aren't as many packages but the good packages are there . I like the config files in arch a lot, and the only thing I didn't like (udev or devfs dunno, the looong one) has changed to normal in the latest version (/dev/hda1, ...) which is great.
I have nothing but praise about arch, except that I miss some features debian has like the automatic made debian menu and debian making a mailcap file automaticly which i for example use with elinks. But that's nothing big

Old 12-19-2005, 04:55 AM   #6
Registered: Jul 2004
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by juvestar15
Setting up does take a while and that's ultimately why I don't use it, I play around and break system too much, going through a re-install is just a pain in the ass.
That is one of the main points to Gentoo, any problems can be fixed without a rebuild as the system is build by you and so you know where everything is. (Along with some help sometimes as the case may be ) A prebuild Distro such as Red-Had, Fedora etc does NEED a rebuild is something fairly major comes along as trying to fix things is an arse!!

I have never used Arch but Gentoo is AMAZING, i set it up my first time with some hassle but the problems where easily sorted and having setup many Gentoo Systems now I can get them totally perfect with no problems and experiment with other features (such as NIC bonding) <- proving to be a problem.

But yeh, if you are willing to put in the time even a noob can setup a Gentoo system. They arent that hard just at first needs practice, effort and in some cases quite alot of determination but I can definitely say that you will be impressed with the results and you feel proud for building the entire OS yourself.

(Also makes problem solving alot easyier )
Old 12-19-2005, 08:06 AM   #7
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Gentoo is not difficult at all to install, it's time consuming but anybody who can copy-paste can install it. Gentoo is all "build it yourself" and "back to basics" but I reckon Arch is more base linux than Gentoo. Gentoo isn't bad to learn stuff but when you try other distros you see it holds your hand a bit with rc-update etc. Arch uses BSD-style initscripts so it's different from most distros you'll probably try but it's pretty simple to use.

Anyway go try each for yourself and make the call, other peoples opinions don't mean jack.
Old 12-20-2005, 05:52 PM   #8
Registered: May 2004
Location: USA
Distribution: Arch Linux
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Originally Posted by cs-cam
Anyway go try each for yourself and make the call, other peoples opinions don't mean jack.
Disclaimer: I still play around with Gentoo from time to time, but Arch is my default distro.

That said, I pretty much agree with everything cs-cam posted, but especially this part. Both distros are free for the downloading, so the only thing you have to lose is the time required to install and experiment with each one, and a couple of CD disks.

You really need to use each one for at least a few weeks to give them a fair chance, then decide which one to stick with.

The most important part is to have fun with them!


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