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Reasons to install and not to install Arch Linux


Preface

I am Arch Linux fan. Recently, I discovered a distro, Fuduntu, which stated that it is optimised for laptop and netbook use. This increases my interest due to battery draining problem for my old netbook. Though my old netbook was installed with Arch Linux using LXDE, the battery can only last for only 1 hour. That is why, I think I am going to switch to Fuduntu. However, after installation of Fuduntu, then I found some problems like missing the packages FreeFileSync and VisualBoyAdvance, and also failed to install Wine because of dependencies error. This made me regret to uninstall Arch Linux from my netbook, because installing Arch Linux is really exhaustive.

When I wanted to re-install Arch Linux to my netbook, to made it easy, I tried to install ArchBang. However, at the unsquashfs stage, there was something like kernel panic. Finally, I give up ArchBang and install in the proper way with Arch Linux.

I found that Fuduntu contains a package Jupiter Applet. So, I tried to install it in my netbook hopefully make the battery last longer.

I always think which distro is better. Now, I have some conclusions why I am Arch Linux supporter. The following are the reasons to install and not to install Arch Linux.

Reasons not to install Arch Linux

  • Your computer does not work.
  • You don’t like command-line, or you don’t have good typing skill, or you hate typing.
  • You have the problem with network connection. You don’t have wired network connection, and the wireless device is incompatible to the Arch Linux installation LiveCD, make you impossible to install Arch Linux.
  • You don’t know any or only know little about commands such as: cd, mount, pwd, ls, less, cat, nano, vi, …
  • You don’t want to spend any time to customize your OS.
  • You don’t want to waste your time to install.
  • You don’t want to waste your time learn to install.
  • You only want GUI installation.
  • You want something pleasant to see after installation, such as beautiful wallpaper, cute icons, awesome cursors, interesting boot splash, user friendly themes, attractive animation effects, etc.

Reasons to install Arch Linux

  • You don’t have any problems with the reasons above.
  • You want to use the latest packages as soon as they are released.
  • You want to try out a lot of packages, such as Ubuntu One, FreeFileSync, XnViewMP, …
  • You want to try out different DE (desktop environment) or WM (windows manager) with only one OS: Xfce4, GNOME3, KDE, LXDE, OpenBox, and may be other experimental DEs.
  • *You want to create your own packages easily from any source.
  • You want your computer OS has a lot of possibilities to do anything.
  • You want to learn more about Linux or computer.

Yes, create own packages (refers to *). I tried to create debian packages before. Comparing to makepkg and PKGBUILD, it is too troublesome. The beauty of Arch Linux is simplifying a lot of works. Not in the way that simplifies the works for the end users by complicating the works of the developers. It makes the developers’ work much more easy, to deploy the packages, no need spending too much time on the GUI, because most of the things are bash scripts. For the end users, what they need is to read the documents and follow some commands. Yet the commands are also simplified just like installing the packages with makepkg, installing the OS with pacstrap.

About Allen Choong

A cognitive science student, a programmer, a philosopher, a Catholic.

3 responses »

  1. Thanks for sharing! My reason for installing ArchLinux on my netbook is to learn more about Linux. Deeper down the road. :]

    I’ve been thinking which Linux distro is the best for my netbook as I base them in the usage of RAM. In the other word, performance(because that’s my problem with my netbook). Either LinuxMint or ArchLinux is perfect, if I can say, for my netbook.

    LinuxMint(16 Petra) looks good for desktops and for beginners, and uses about 384MB of RAM(Really requires 1 GB for comfortable use). Whilst LinuxMint seems good already, I’ve tried to find some until I found ArchLinux, which only requires a minimum of 64MB. :]

    Reply
    • Welcome. In my opinion, Arch Linux is the best because it is flexible. You can install almost anything you want. Besides that, you can create your own package easily by writing the PKGBUILD. Unlike dpkg, there are quite a lot things need to prepare.

      But sometimes I am struggled with the urge of trying Debian. Because Debian is so famous about its stability. But Debian’s IceCat and other policies make me feel that Ubuntu is better. However, the Unity of the Ubuntu makes me feel that Linux Mint or Xubuntu may be much better. But when I think about the dpkg, I really prefer pacman again.

      I really hope that I can try on Debian one day. But if I am trying Debian, how about other distros, such as Fedora and OpenSUSE? This is just like an unending loop, but always stop at Arch Linux.

      Reply

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