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#626 2018-09-07 11:04:31

KucharczykL
Member
Registered: 2017-09-29
Posts: 2

Re: why you choose ArchLinux?

I liked the the installation was described in great detail and all the relevant topics like partioning and boot managers were just a click away. Even though my prior experience was only with GUI-driven distros like Ubuntu and Linux Mint, I managed to install the system and that got me completely hooked. I have a nerdy hardon for the command line. And I've learned a great deal about Linux since then thanks to the Arch wiki (which has something written on almost all the topics that you need to know about) and also thanks to feeling more confident with diving deep into the Linux ecosystem. I just dearly wish I could finally dump Windows but alas gaming is not as plug-and-play as Windows still is. I barely boot my Windows 10 install anymore but whenever I want to play something, I still have to.

Last edited by KucharczykL (2018-09-07 11:06:25)

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#627 2018-09-13 08:06:23

D1ceWard
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From: 127.0.0.1
Registered: 2018-09-13
Posts: 1
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Re: why you choose ArchLinux?

- Rolling release
- Awesome community (AUR packages)
- Learning more about how Linux work
- Choice of all (desktop environment/dm/partitioning...)

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#628 2018-09-21 20:52:00

lorin
Member
Registered: 2011-12-06
Posts: 28

Re: why you choose ArchLinux?

Coming back from a year with Ubuntu / Debian. Was beta testing some audio software and it was just convenient to be running the exact software used and recommended by its developer. Now that's stable (and works like a charm on Arch) I'm happy to be back and have more up-to-date versions of.... everything else I use on this machine. Darktable and GIMP are the two biggest examples that come to mind. So many little things about package management—the ability to cleanly combine official packages and user contributions (and disentangle them when necessary) while even being able to make quick modifications to source from the kernel on down to terminal emulators etc. Debian et al can be super low maintenance but then if you want something specific like ... the latest CUDA drivers ... phew. Was up and running with those in two minutes here. Fits like a glove!

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#629 2018-09-22 07:39:49

m47h4r
Member
Registered: 2018-08-23
Posts: 28

Re: why you choose ArchLinux?

The question is, why don't others use Arch hmm
I mean look at this list:

- Minimal install
- Bleeding edge updates (while being stable if you don't mess it up yourself)
- Total freedom of choice
- Has THE best wiki
- Open minded community
- AUR (The ultimate user repo)
- Puts you in an ecosystem that forces you to learn more and evolve
- Has the second best logo! ;) (debian really kills in this area)

There is no dark side of the moon really, matter of fact, it's all dark.

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#630 2018-09-22 10:38:16

ayekat
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Registered: 2011-01-17
Posts: 1,268
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Re: why you choose ArchLinux?

m47h4r wrote:

The question is, why don't others use Arch hmm

I'm an advocate of "Use what works best for you", so I guess they all have their reasons (and if not, I believe it's not our job to pity them).
Also, I keep seeing many of those statements repeatedly over the web (and even in this thread), so let me reply, because I'm feeling a bit ranty right now, and it's just so conveniently presented as a list:

- Minimal install

Arch packages are generally built with --all-the-features and --even-the-optional-ones and --yes-the-kitchen-sink-too, so packages tend to be rather big. I believe the idea is to simplify the packager's work, so they don't have to package multiple variants of the same software (the one package they build should cover the needs of most people). Users are free to rebuild the packages themselves, of course, but I guess at a certain point a distribution like Gentoo would be a more suitable choice there.
The various components of upstream software are also generally not split up into multiple packages (I guess this is the "close to upstream" part, and also again simplicity for the package maintainer), so generally Arch packages tend to be larger than on distributions that do that, like e.g. Debian.

So… Arch Linux is pretty much the opposite of "minimal".

- Bleeding edge updates (while being stable if you don't mess it up yourself)

I guess the "bleeding edge" is mostly a consequence of the simplicity behind the packaging process, so a package doesn't get stuck in an unstable/experimental/testing queue forever. One can get a fairly bleeding-edge system with other distributions as well, though.

- Total freedom of choice

Well, which distribution doesn't give you that? tongue

And about "total freedom"… depending on who you ask, I am not running Arch Linux, simply because I've chosen not to install all of the base group (yup, that also covers the "minimal install" section above). There are various such small, innocent-looking choices that will catapult you into "not supported in Arch Linux"-land pretty quickly. Not to mention the big no-nos, like choosing a different init system (I'm pretty happy with systemd, thank you very much, but I do also see that some packagers hardwire their stuff to systemd more than necessary).

Again, I guess this is mainly for keeping it simple for the package maintainers: their narrow definition of what they consider to be "supported Arch Linux" makes their life easier (and I guess this is true not only on Arch Linux, but other distributions as well). And if you feel confident enough to identify and fix/report technical issues yourself without much help from the community, there is no issue with turning Arch into something that suits your needs; the tooling is simple and yet powerful enough to help you on your journey.

So yes, you have total freedom of choice with Arch. For certain choices, it just won't be "Arch" anymore.

- Open minded community

As you may have noticed, I'm pretty stubborn. And I've found that I'm not nearly as stubborn as many others here.

- AUR (The ultimate user repo)

The AUR is indeed great. For me, it's mostly because it's a centralised place to search for PKGBUILDs (rather than having to skim through random websites and git repositories all over the Internet), and it allows TUs to keep an eye on the stuff that people suggest (although there are no guarantees at all).

But it seems that many people are considering it to be more than it really is (and many also mix up the meaning of "repository" in Arch User Repository and package repository), and the proliferation of AUR helpers that encourage bad practices w.r.t. to AUR "packages" doesn't really help fight that issue either. The AUR is basically just a centralised pastebin for people's build scripts ideas. As a user, treating it any more than that is rather naive and even a bit dangerous.

- Has THE best wiki
- Puts you in an ecosystem that forces you to learn more and evolve
- Has the second best logo! ;) (debian really kills in this area)

I can't really disagree with those smile

Last edited by ayekat (2018-09-22 11:00:48)

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#631 2018-09-22 13:02:01

m47h4r
Member
Registered: 2018-08-23
Posts: 28

Re: why you choose ArchLinux?

What you said is true based on your opinion but that does not make my words being anywhere near false! For instance `minimal install` is to have a working system ASAP without any unnecessary stuff that you will never use, that covers my philosophical concept of minimalism that you won't worry about and then build your favorite tools upon. I would not care for some extra feature that i still may happen to need in any fraction of my life. But i have come to understanding that you are indeed right about the community! Not everyone is open minded, but no one expects that, majority is what counts. And i don't think majority of users will need to switch from systemd since that's not an important issue for most people, i exaggerated about the `Total` word but most of the people have the near-to-maximum freedom they want. There's no question if you have nothing else to do with your time, you can install gentoo, but i think life is too short to compile that much!

ayekat wrote:

I believe it's not our job to pity them

That part wasn't a serious sentence, of course i don't decide for others, it's no pity.

Last edited by m47h4r (2018-09-22 13:03:39)


There is no dark side of the moon really, matter of fact, it's all dark.

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#632 2018-09-22 13:09:50

ugjka
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From: Latvia
Registered: 2014-04-01
Posts: 1,169

Re: why you choose ArchLinux?

arch is not minimal but kiss. But even than obsd freaks will yell NO


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#633 2018-09-23 02:21:56

eschwartz
Trusted User/Bug Wrangler
Registered: 2014-08-08
Posts: 2,523

Re: why you choose ArchLinux?

Arch is definitely not minimal when it comes to the disk space it uses by --with-kitchen-sink and adding all resulting soname dependencies to depends (though if the features in question can be made runtime-optional we will definitely put the dependencies in optdepends instead, so yay for software that handles this the right way, via plugins or dlopen).

It could, however, be validly argued that Arch is minimal in terms of enabling software to run via services automatically, or in terms of having layers of system administration obfuscation torn away/removed/never implemented.
But in that case we're back to KISS, which would be a better description than "minimal".

I prefer KISS over minimal anyway. I guess we all agree with this or we wouldn't be here...

ayekat wrote:

And about "total freedom"… depending on who you ask, I am not running Arch Linux, simply because I've chosen not to install all of the base group (yup, that also covers the "minimal install" section above). There are various such small, innocent-looking choices that will catapult you into "not supported in Arch Linux"-land pretty quickly. Not to mention the big no-nos, like choosing a different init system (I'm pretty happy with systemd, thank you very much, but I do also see that some packagers hardwire their stuff to systemd more than necessary).

Again, I guess this is mainly for keeping it simple for the package maintainers: their narrow definition of what they consider to be "supported Arch Linux" makes their life easier (and I guess this is true not only on Arch Linux, but other distributions as well). And if you feel confident enough to identify and fix/report technical issues yourself without much help from the community, there is no issue with turning Arch into something that suits your needs; the tooling is simple and yet powerful enough to help you on your journey.

So yes, you have total freedom of choice with Arch. For certain choices, it just won't be "Arch" anymore.

I consider this to be Arch Linux, and given I'm a Trusted User who packages for Arch Linux one would hope I run Arch Linux as well... despite which I don't install the full base group either.

I would like to eradicate the base group and replace it with a metapackage that pulls in a much more minimal package set that is sufficient to boot a systemd-nspawn/docker container or VM, and the install guide would then be updated to tell people to `pacstrap /mnt base-system linux`.

I'll take the unpopular route and argue that if you replace systemd with another init system using the AUR, by hand, then you're "probably" still using Arch. My opinion on this is mainly influenced by the fact that basically no one at all does this -- and the only one of whom I am aware, is Lone_Wolf, an actually knowledgeable user who is traditionally on the "answering" side of any forum threads, and has therefore never opened terrible forum threads or bug reports asking for questionable openrc support without explaining WTF they did.

Also: replacing your /sbin/init should be perfectly safe, assuming your replacement properly implements the various things systemd-as-sbin-init does. You can, IIRC, do so together with or separate from, replacing system as the general-purpose service manager. And any of this is, from a technical perspective, fine, since actual programs which link against libsystemd.so are expected to depends+=(libsystemd)


Managing AUR repos The Right Way -- aurpublish (now a standalone tool)

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#634 2018-09-23 04:55:35

Trilby
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Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 20,424
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Re: why you choose ArchLinux?

Eschwartz wrote:

I prefer KISS over minimal anyway. I guess we all agree with this or we wouldn't be here...

Because were here doesn't mean we think it's perfect here - only the least of many evils.  I'd prefer minimal.

(and on the base group - my current system lacks 16 members of base)

Last edited by Trilby (2018-09-23 05:03:50)


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#635 2018-11-13 13:23:07

sjmulder
Member
Registered: 2018-11-13
Posts: 11

Re: why you choose ArchLinux?

I wanted to try Arch because of the good things I've heard about AUR, and the wiki is pretty great too.

Impressions after a day or two:

  • Pacman is fast!

  • Assembly required. I didn't have any huge issues but definitely had to fiddle around, e.g. with grub.

  • AUR is pretty similar to the BSD port systems. Submitting packages to AUR is easier but installing packages is harder.

  • Some odd choices in the base system. The built in vi is ancient and has broken cursor movement with `set number`.

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#636 2018-11-13 13:49:03

eschwartz
Trusted User/Bug Wrangler
Registered: 2014-08-08
Posts: 2,523

Re: why you choose ArchLinux?

Wait, people actually use vi in a world where vim exists???


Managing AUR repos The Right Way -- aurpublish (now a standalone tool)

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#637 2018-11-13 13:56:36

sjmulder
Member
Registered: 2018-11-13
Posts: 11

Re: why you choose ArchLinux?

eschwartz wrote:

Wait, people actually use vi in a world where vim exists???

Haha, yes. After John Carmack wrote about his experiences developing on just the OpenBSD base system I tried the same. Initially it felt very primitive but as I learned to use these tools better (ksh, nvi, bmake, etc) it grew on me and now I don't usually bother installing vim.

About vi in the base system though – either ship something that works, or don't. Arch would be better of shipping nvi or elvis.

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#638 2018-11-14 21:32:03

eschwartz
Trusted User/Bug Wrangler
Registered: 2014-08-08
Posts: 2,523

Re: why you choose ArchLinux?

I must confess I don't see the actual purpose or benefit from using primitive tools with no upsides. If I really wanted vi, I could just use vim with "set compatible", but that would be a pretty miserable, unrewarding experience and I'm not a masochist.

I mean, in theory I could also insist on being more "basic" by using "ed" instead of "vi", or using the real classic shells which didn't encourage cheap hacks and shortcuts like, um, tabbed filename completion? Actually no, I can't keep a straight face anymore. tongue

...

Obviously, moving away from *Visual Studio on Windows* is a good thing, but you don't need to go all the way back to "vi" for that...


Managing AUR repos The Right Way -- aurpublish (now a standalone tool)

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#639 2018-11-14 22:35:55

Trilby
Inspector Parrot
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 20,424
Website

Re: why you choose ArchLinux?

Eschwartz, the operative words of sjmulder's post to me were "as I learned to use these tools better ..."

Feature-filled tools can be useful, but often users get so enthralled by the features that they fail to even learn the basics.  In many cases a grasp of the basics will make one more productive when using the more feature-filled tools.

Many would argue that switching from nano to vim is a sign of masochism.  Indeed at first it is quite painful and it is far from obvious to the new user why vim could be useful.  But once one forces themselves to use it well, many find it *far* more useful than nano.  If there were a vim mode that made it behave exactly like nano, that might seem easier to the new user, but then they'd fail to learn.

I often try to solve problems with simpler tools (I like to use sed for things others would use complex pipelines for).  In doing so, I learn more about the simple tools which is knowledge that makes future tasks much easier.

I can see good reason to learn one's way around vi before vim (or ed before either of those).  Not because they are "better" for being more primitive, but because the knowledge gained in the more primitive tools almost always translates to the fancier versions but rarely is the opposite true.

For very similar reasons, I think most programmers should learn some assembly language(s).  Writing any real program today in assembly rather than a higher level language could be seen as counter-productive masochism.  In a vast majority of cases, modern C compilers will generate better assembly than we could by hand.  But doing it by hand for a bit provides valuable insight and can make one's higher-level language code better.

Last edited by Trilby (2018-11-14 22:38:03)


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#640 2018-12-01 23:01:16

ganthore
Member
Registered: 2017-12-28
Posts: 2

Re: why you choose ArchLinux?

I started using Arch after using Gentoo between 2001 - 2015. I really enjoyed the ports system in FreeBSD so Gentoo was an obvious choice at the time... Over the years, I grew tired of custom compiling all of my packages just to get the latest software. Arch gave me the option to have the latest software and custom compilation as needed without much fuss. Instead of spending countless hours compiling a new system, I can now install pre-built software, have the latest software and install foreign stuff through AUR or by my own design as needed. I am very happy with arch and I believe it is the best solution for users who want to use current software, yet maintain a stable system without wasting hours of their life re-compiling software.

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#641 2018-12-02 01:49:11

wickedlester
Member
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 136

Re: why you choose ArchLinux?

In 2004 an arch user named contrasutra convinced me to move from gentoo to arch. Been using it ever since. Out of all the os's I have installed right now, arch is my favorite and always will be. It is like my favorite pair of shoes.

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