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Arch 0.7.2 Gimmick
Reviews Views Date of last review
5 47570 12-08-2006
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 8.6

Description: Arch Linux is a general purpose linux distribution that can be molded to do just about anything. It is fast, lightweight, flexible, and most of the parts under the hood are quite simple to understand and tweak, which can make it a good distro to "learn the ropes" on. Arch Linux does not provide any configuration helper utilities (ie, you won't find linuxconf in here) so you will quickly become very proficient at configuring your system from the shell commandline.

Arch Linux uses i686-optimized packages which gives it improved performance over some of our i386-optimized cousins. This means that Arch Linux will only run on a Pentium II processor or higher. It tries to stay fairly bleeding edge, and typically has the latest stable versions of software.
Keywords: arch linux i686 fast pacman abs

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Old 07-04-2006, 06:41 PM   #1
Registered: Aug 2005
Distribution: debian unstable/SID
Posts: 39

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 6

Pros: faster than gentoo but binary, pacman is almost as good as apt, repositories growing amazingly fast (more in all aur repositories than debian), great tweaking
Cons: very immature in some areas, bad configuring of some packages

arch linux has a terrific future and definently has the best potential of any distribution i know of. my favorite distro is debian and the only other distro i like the idea of is arch. this distribution is a magnificent product. this distribution does everything (startup,shutdown,installing apps,loading apps) very fast without having to compile things from source and kicks gentoos but. i think pacman has many more packages than debian if you enable the community repositorys(which are quite stable) and configures packages much faster than debian. another great thing about arch is that basic configuration like loading daemons during booting up... can be changed in a single file (/etc/rc.conf) which is great-instead of having to use a gui(like YAST or mandrivia control center). default is very minimal(daemons at startup are udev and like 2 other things - not ssh,acpi...). the dependencies are also only necessary(pacman -S gnome dosen't install gnome-terminal,gedit,gnome-games...). arch linux is great in almost all areas exept having expirience. i run debian etch on my thinkpad laptop and debian sid on my custom-built desktop. etch is very stable and lets you have relatively up-to-date software. sid sometimes blanks out but the avid debian package maintainers take only a day or two. there was a single problem that libcrypto was not being found by many programs although the package was installed and in one of the directories defined in /etc/profile in the PATH section. it caused everything on my system cdrecord,elinks,gdm.. to be completely unusable. this problem was not fixed for more than 1 1/2 weeks causing me to go back to debian. also some packages arent configured correctly by pacman. ssh couldn't generate keys causing me to have to download the source code and compile it. arch linux has a great potential but needs some maturity and expirience. for now, ill stay with good-old debian.
Old 08-03-2006, 02:01 PM   #2
Registered: Dec 2005
Posts: 4

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9

Pros: Simple, Fast, Awesome package management
Cons: New packages can be a little flaky

A few weeks ago I decided to try out some other Linux distros, after sitting for the last few years happily with my Slackware installation. After browsing around, I decided to try out Arch Linux. The latest "rolling release" (as archers call it) CD is 0.7.2 (Gimmick) and comes in a light 1 CD ISO.

Arch detected all of my hardware perfectly, and the installation (coming from a slackware background) was like saying hello to a friend all over again. The most daunting thing for newcomers to the *BSD style of doing things is how Arch manages to fit the vital system configuration inside /etc/rc.conf. But its so much better than having to deal with a GUI, when editing a file has been stable since the beginning of time ;-).

Once the system was setup, installing X11, my favorite Window Manager, and my favorite desktop and development apps were a breeze. A simple pacman -Sy updates your package database, and pacman -S xorg xfce4 has my basic Xfce desktop up and running. Plus there is the Arch PKGBUILDs, which make building packages from source (a messy task on other distros) a breeze on Arch. Being that its i686 optimized, it feels just as fast as Gentoo does, without all the compiling you have to do on Gentoo.

The only drawback is that sometimes new packages in the current and extra repositories can be a little problamatic, therefore its always a good idea to check the forums before you do any upgrading to "Play it safe (TM)".

Arguably, the biggest pro is that you can tweak your system so far as to make it boot in under 10 secs flat :-)
Old 10-25-2006, 01:16 PM   #3
Registered: Feb 2006
Distribution: Ubuntu Hardy Heron
Posts: 130

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9

Pros: fast, modular, /etc/rc.conf - one stop shop
Cons: pacman sometimes flaky

Quite fast. love the one stop configuration file /etc/rc.conf file.
Many things are left as is from the source software so you get kinda the pure stuff.
Old 11-03-2006, 08:49 AM   #4
Registered: Dec 2005
Distribution: learning ubuntu
Posts: 46

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10

Pros: lets you set your system the way you want it
Cons: none for me

i spent a lot of time doing the distro hop, from mandrake to suse, red hat to fedora, debian to slackware and everything in between. while all of those have their good aspects, none of the them allowed me to do what i have always wanted to do...learn linux (down you slackware hounds, i will get to you in a minute)

my first exposure to linux was while i worked, oddly enough at microsoft (as a contractor doing phone support, i had just got out of the navy and was desperate for work!) back in 1998. linux was still relatively young then and you really needed to know your stuff to get it up and running

fast forward a few years to 2004 when i first heard about Arch Linux (0.6 Widget). i thought it was a good distro and worthy of my time, but i didn't have the time to give it.

as i went back and forth from one distro to another and as Arch continued to grow and get a little more mature i would install it now and then to see what has changed. now, it is all i use. i have stopped distro hopping for good

arch lets you setup the system exactly how you want it. want an ftp server-no problem, need a desktop pc to surf the web-you got it, want to develop software-go for it. the base iso gives you a working linux box and an excellent foundation to take your system anywhere you want. setup pacman to you liking (adding the testing, community or unstable repositories if you like) and install what you want, not what some developer in another part of the world thinks you need.

its extremely fast even on my P3 1gig box with 512m ram, the forums are top notch, the wiki is informative, everyone is willing to help you and the developers and maintainers are accessible and responsive AND are accountable!

i don't think there is anything i can say bad about arch, i simply love it.
Old 12-08-2006, 06:49 PM   #5
Registered: Nov 2003
Distribution: Slackware 14
Posts: 55

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9

Pros: Fast, light, easy to configure
Cons: Upgrade issue

I had Arch 0.7.1 installed on my Thinkpad T30 and decided to upgrade to 0.7.2 (pacman -Syu). The upgrade went fine, download and install was painless but I did run into a snag. In my /boot there were 4 img files (initrd.img, initrd-full.img, kernel26.img, and kernel26-fallback.img). I did not pay attention and grub was still trying to use initrd.img. Upon reboot there was a kernel panic. I set grub to use kernel26.img and everything has been perfect. All hardware works without any problem (video, sound, ethernet, wireless).


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