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Ralsina.Me — Roberto Alsina's website

Why I use Arch Linux

I have been an Arch Lin­ux for a while now, and I am still lik­ing it.

Here's the good side of it:

  • It's small (one CD)

  • It's sim­­ple (it comes with very lit­tle)

  • It has a de­­cent pack­­age se­lec­­tion (if you con­sid­er AUR, more about that lat­er)

  • It us­es pret­­ty much un­­patched up­­stream soft­­ware

  • It's a bi­­na­ry dis­­tro (ex­­cept for AUR. Again, more about it lat­er)

  • It's pret­­ty sta­ble (no crash­es I can re­mem­ber)

  • It has rolling re­leas­es (un­­like, say, Fe­­do­ra or De­bian)

  • It's easy to keep up­­­dat­ed (like all of them nowa­­days)

  • It's not ide­o­log­i­­cal­­ly dog­­mat­ic, but prag­­mat­ic (yes, there are NVidia driver­s, and test-­­drive games, and what­ev­er)

  • It does­n't seem to be a one-guy joint

And the bad side:

  • Up­­­dates some­­times break things (about twice a year)

  • Ad­min tools are be­tween un­ex­is­­tant and dis­­join­t­ed

And of course, there is the very very good side: AUR

AUR is a co­mu­ni­ty repos­i­to­ry. And there is a rather large com­mu­ni­ty. And pack­ag­ing things for Arch is so easy, and putting things in AUR is so sim­ple, even I find time to con­trib­ute (my pack­ages).

And it's a calm com­mu­ni­ty, and pret­ty much, in­stead of com­pil­ing my ran­dom un­known pack­ages for my­self, I save the steps to build them and stick them in a PKG­BUILD and up­load them. Takes two min­utes for most things.

It's a throw­back to the old days of Lin­ux: qui­et, com­pe­tent (or learn­ing) peo­ple do­ing things, shar­ing, you use them, you give back­... I had not felt that way with a dis­tro for years.

pizorn / 2007-05-21 08:52:

i was using arch linux for two years i think. but it broke so frequently that eventually i had enough of it. two months ago i decided to give it a chance again. again, immediately after install it was already broken (initrd issue).
however, PKGBUILD builds are very convenient and easy to write (in contrast to, say, .ebuild).
and it very seriously lacks the scientific packages. (i had to contribute atlas-lapack myself).
so i certainly wouldn't recommend archlinux to anyone except those who are really having much fun fixing broken things.

Schalken / 2007-05-21 10:10:

Debian Testing I believe is rolling-release, and is probably just as stable.

Christoffer / 2007-05-21 10:28:

Debian testing does indeed have rolling releases, and I'm quite sure it's more stable than Arch.

Fred / 2007-05-21 10:47:

I've been using arch for two years now on most of my computers. It has crashed a couple of times in the early releases, but it's much more consistent now. I'm still having trouble booting from the generic kernel, but i prefer custom kernels so it doesn't matter.
Compared to debian, the packaging system is much more coherent, but less powerfull. It doesn't cut things in pieces, so one package = one app.
Great distro, easy to use, but not really for the beginners.

Roberto Alsina / 2007-05-21 12:13:

Yes, Debian would fit most of my requirements except:

* Being small (yes, you can install from a 50MB CD, if you want to to download everything)

* Being pragmatic instead of ideological (come on ;-)

* It has nothing like AUR (but it has much more already packaged)