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#1 2006-11-10 14:12:34

swooshonln
Member
Registered: 2006-11-10
Posts: 27

is Arch Linux for me?

Ok heres my story. I am looking for a new distro. I am not a "newbie" sort of speak, but I am new to other Linux distributions. I am coming from Gentoo Linux (2006.1), and I loved it. How does Arch compare to Gentoo? Is arch a source distro as well? I saw that It has a package tree that I am assuming is "somewhat" like Gentoo's portage.  My main question is this, coming from Gentoo, how will Arch hold up? Will I be able to work from scratch and build my own source? Or am I stuck to packages and Installing "rpm" like files? What about kernel compiling? Can I build my own kernels? I am open to everything. If you do/don't think its right for me, please let me know. And feel free to suggest any other distros that I might find interesting (not to take support from your distribution, but just as a friendly gesture). Thank you in advance, I look forward to your answer.

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#2 2006-11-10 14:19:16

dolby
Member
From: 1992
Registered: 2006-08-08
Posts: 1,581

Re: is Arch Linux for me?

arch is like a chameleon. it is what u want it to be. it can be binary or source. with PKGBUILD's u can easily build anything u wish the way u want it. coming from gentoo means that most likely u wont have any problems when u get to know how things work.
arch !=ark


There shouldn't be any reason to learn more editor types than emacs or vi -- mg (1)
[You learn that sarcasm does not often work well in international forums.  That is why we avoid it. -- ewaller (arch linux forum moderator)

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#3 2006-11-10 14:24:59

torindan2
Member
Registered: 2004-07-15
Posts: 74

Re: is Arch Linux for me?

It's ArchLinux, ArkLinux is another distribution.

Most of us use precompiled packages, which are handeled by pacman (PACkage MANager), one of the best available (IMHO)

You can compile if you want to, but 95% of time you don't have to.
So you can compile you kernel, recompile applications and so on.

Try it... there quite few ex-gentoo users around

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#4 2006-11-10 14:48:22

swooshonln
Member
Registered: 2006-11-10
Posts: 27

Re: is Arch Linux for me?

OK, so Arch and Ark are different distros? Are they related (like, Ark for Regular Users, Arch for Advanced), or is it maintained by a complete different group?

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#5 2006-11-10 14:49:04

Snarkout
Member
Registered: 2005-11-13
Posts: 542

Re: is Arch Linux for me?

You can do pretty much anything you want to with arch, from never compile anything to compile almost everything.  I'd search the wiki for ABS and PKGBUILD.  I'm not sure ABS offers anywhere near the granularity that you'll find in gentoo, but I've also never seen people complain that PKGBUILDs are too restrictive, either.


Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.
-Albert Einstein

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#6 2006-11-10 14:52:12

Snarkout
Member
Registered: 2005-11-13
Posts: 542

Re: is Arch Linux for me?

swooshonln wrote:

OK, so Arch and Ark are different distros? Are they related (like, Ark for Regular Users, Arch for Advanced), or is it maintained by a complete different group?

Not related, and not pronounced the same - think "Golden Arches" when you say Arch, and think "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (or Noah if that suits you) when you say Ark.  The similarity is that they are linux distros with names starting with the letter A - beyond that (as far as I know) there's no association at all.


Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.
-Albert Einstein

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#7 2006-11-10 14:55:37

swooshonln
Member
Registered: 2006-11-10
Posts: 27

Re: is Arch Linux for me?

What kind of support does the community have for video drivers and such? Am I going to have a hard time getting my fglrx module loaded, or is there support in the pkgbuild utility?

I am 98% going to install Arch (not Ark :-p) Linux on my desktop when I get home form work. What kind of installation time am I looking at? Do I need to make a cup of coffee (or 12), or is it going to be somewhat quick (since I'm assuming its NOT built from source on install)

*edit* Ark Linux looks like its for kids :-/, sorry for relating the two, haha

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#8 2006-11-10 14:59:23

mucknert
Member
From: Berlin // Germany
Registered: 2006-06-27
Posts: 510

Re: is Arch Linux for me?

All mainstream video-drivers can be found in the package-repositories. And an Arch-Installation, to get a basic running system, is done within 15 Minutes if you know how to read and how to operate a keyboard.


Todays mistakes are tomorrows catastrophes.

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#9 2006-11-10 15:01:54

swooshonln
Member
Registered: 2006-11-10
Posts: 27

Re: is Arch Linux for me?

Thats a relief, I know that to get a gentoo system up and running takes about 4 hours, and thats without a GUI (add ~5 hours).

Thank you very much for your help guys. I'm pretty sure you will be seeing me in a few hours on the forum with a new Arch system. I will be sure to let you guys know how its goes and how I like it. Hopefully I can help out the community as soon as I get on my feet. Thanks again.

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#10 2006-11-10 15:03:52

mucknert
Member
From: Berlin // Germany
Registered: 2006-06-27
Posts: 510

Re: is Arch Linux for me?

Be sure to have a look at the Wiki and the manual. It covers most if not all questions for a starter. Have a good time! smile


Todays mistakes are tomorrows catastrophes.

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#11 2006-11-10 15:17:35

Snarkout
Member
Registered: 2005-11-13
Posts: 542

Re: is Arch Linux for me?

mucknert wrote:

Have a good time! smile

Yes.  This is the most important step.


Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.
-Albert Einstein

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#12 2006-11-11 00:55:14

T-Dawg
Forum Fellow
From: Wilmington, NC
Registered: 2005-01-29
Posts: 2,734

Re: is Arch Linux for me?

It sounds like you should stay with gentoo if your concerned with compiling your own packages. Arch has abs to build your own packages but its really not setup to be used exclusively versus binary downloads. You'll often have trouble compiling packages if you go that route because once again not many people using arch go that route and therefore not many report the build errors. I will say however, modifying a PKGBUILD to your needs is much easier than an ebuild. There is namcap for testing your built package for missing dependencies via links, some what similar to the way revdep-rebuild works. The arch package management system and its directory structures are also much more concise and logical. Uninstalling in arch is much better too. A simple pacman -Rs <pkg> to remove the package and its deps provided they are not needed elswere in the system versus --unmerge && --depclean && revdep-rebuild. There is no revdep-rebuild in arch as its binary and developer controlled nature dismisses the need for it. Another key point is kernel control. Arch has several various kernel BINARY PACKAGES for its users. As you can probably guess most kernel features required to make most i686 systems run are enabled by default. Initcpio is also used to give users extended options not normally available without it (encrypted rootfs, LVM, etc). So, while you can still do manual kernels in arch, it wont be as easy as gentoo. Packages: arch seems to have more bleeding edge pacakges than gentoo but they can also break a little more as a result. Ironicly, even though arch has less the number of available packages of that of gentoo, arch seems to have more of what you want. Take for example xarchive, xarchiver, iceweasel, swiftfox. Half of these are courtesy of AUR - a user contributed repository available to anyone (search the wiki for AUR). A last thing to consider is support. Gentoo has an enormous advantage over arch in this department to the extend that its almost sad. When I say support I mean user base + developer base. This translates into richer wiki's, quicker bug fixes, better inguinity...you get the point. The only thing that arch has gentoo beat on in this regard are the user forums. We're a hell of alot more friendlier here.
Basically, if you don't mind using an %85 i686 optimized binary system (AUR packages must be compiled), you respect a simpler system, and you are linux compitent, arch is an excellent choice.

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