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#1 2008-07-22 20:33:34

Inxsible
Forum Fellow
From: Chicago
Registered: 2008-06-09
Posts: 9,071

Should I give Arch to my parents?

I put my parents on Ubuntu since Feisty and they are pretty comfortable with it now.

Trouble started when Vista blew up and they had to give the laptop for service to the HP ppl. Of course the HP ppl "had" to format the hard drive which meant my parents are without Linux as of now.

Arch has now become my primary OS and I was wondering if I should give my parents the same since it will be easier for me to "maintain" given that I am using the same. I would of course give them Gnome because that's what they were using in Ubuntu.

I have lately seen I have had problems remembering where exactly is some particular app located in the menu in ubuntu while helping other ppl. So that was the primary reason for me to think I should give my parents exactly what I have so it would be easier for me.

As for my parents Arch, Debian, Ubuntu is all the same for them since they just use it to surf the web and use some IMs and some basic office work and some music and movies. As far as maintainance goes, I do it for them either by visiting them or by helping them over the phone if they need something immediately. So I guess pacman vs aptitude issues won't arise since everything's the same for them.

I just wanted to get your perspective as to whether they will face difficulties in using it. As for me, I haven't found anything that I couldn't do with Arch, so that's why my opinion might be biased that way. Do any of you foresee some issues that novices might face with Arch?


Thanks in advance.


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#2 2008-07-22 20:47:26

drag0nl0rd
Trusted User (TU)
From: Czech Republic
Registered: 2007-10-24
Posts: 126
Website

Re: Should I give Arch to my parents?

I got the same problem at home, as former Ubuntu user. Now my parents have Arch at home, and they are more happy. They don't understand computers much, but they can feel that Arch is faster and like it smile
So +1 from my side.

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#3 2008-07-22 20:48:33

Cryptix_00
Member
Registered: 2008-07-16
Posts: 91

Re: Should I give Arch to my parents?

as long as you correctly set up gnome and everything for them i can't see how it would make a difference to them...

gnome 2.2 is gnome 2.2 on any distro you install

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#4 2008-07-22 21:13:05

AllFather
Member
Registered: 2006-10-03
Posts: 40

Re: Should I give Arch to my parents?

Setup what you want, and install office via crossoveroffice.
I used linux and bsd since the mid 90s, but i still run several of my computers on MS based operatingsystems.
Personaly i hate openoffice, i think it has a crap gui, its slow and awfull.

And they are (prolly) used to ms office, so why change that.
Other than that, good luck smile


2007.08 - The last proper ARCH install cd.
RIP installer :'-(

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#5 2008-07-22 21:21:42

quetzyg
Member
From: /home/quetzyg
Registered: 2006-08-03
Posts: 129

Re: Should I give Arch to my parents?

Hi there Inxsible!

My mother's computer only has Arch installed. Like your parents, she does the usual stuff (web browsing, email, skype, and some office work). So yes, I think your parents should be okay with an Arch system.

Go for it smile


ZzZz...

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#6 2008-07-23 03:57:08

Inxsible
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From: Chicago
Registered: 2008-06-09
Posts: 9,071

Re: Should I give Arch to my parents?

The only issue that I could think of was that they won't have any graphical installation program like Synaptic or the Add/Remove (gnome-app-install).

And if they wanted to install something, they'd always have to go to the CLI.


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#7 2008-07-23 04:26:51

miesnerd
Member
From: Texan by birth, TN by paycheck
Registered: 2008-02-17
Posts: 94

Re: Should I give Arch to my parents?

Im kinda in the same predicament, as I started with Ubuntu and converted many family member to ubnutn as well. Now, I primarily run arch (still like ubuntu, though for completely opposite reasons).

Do I convert my brother in law to arch?
For me, its no. He has had a hard enough time getting over the linux learning curve that I dont want to suddenly switch it up on him and expect him to "gedit /etc/rc.conf" because that's totally new to him. Why not just let him keep using ubuntu, and when I come around, show him arch and let him see that its a "different" linux, and thus, have greater respect for linux as a whole.

At least that's my philosophy. That, plus, now he's able to be where if he messes something up beyond his repair, he doesn fret-- he's confident that he can put a live cd in, and either fix his system or rei-install. I couldnt have aske for anything better-- and quite frankly, I dont want to tamper with that.
Sounds like your parents are pretty tech saavy though, so maybe its okay for them. If they're not, I hope my scenario with my brother in law serves as a good example.

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#8 2008-07-23 04:37:36

Inxsible
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From: Chicago
Registered: 2008-06-09
Posts: 9,071

Re: Should I give Arch to my parents?

miesnerd wrote:

Im kinda in the same predicament, as I started with Ubuntu and converted many family member to ubnutn as well. Now, I primarily run arch (still like ubuntu, though for completely opposite reasons).

Do I convert my brother in law to arch?
For me, its no. He has had a hard enough time getting over the linux learning curve that I dont want to suddenly switch it up on him and expect him to "gedit /etc/rc.conf" because that's totally new to him. Why not just let him keep using ubuntu, and when I come around, show him arch and let him see that its a "different" linux, and thus, have greater respect for linux as a whole.

At least that's my philosophy. That, plus, now he's able to be where if he messes something up beyond his repair, he doesn fret-- he's confident that he can put a live cd in, and either fix his system or rei-install. I couldnt have aske for anything better-- and quite frankly, I dont want to tamper with that.
Sounds like your parents are pretty tech saavy though, so maybe its okay for them. If they're not, I hope my scenario with my brother in law serves as a good example.

My parents are tech savvy to the point where they are very comfortable with all the GUI apps. When it comes to the commands, if I tell them what commands to use, they wont have any problems executing them. But they wouldn't know about any command without me telling them explicitly...

Also my parents, after having used Ubuntu, are pretty confident that if something goes wrong, I can always ssh into their machine and fix something - if its beyond their level of understanding. Of course that means that the machine is online and the ssh daemons that I put in when I installed are still in working order.

They also try and not mess with anything unless they ask me about it - so that is not a huge problem. More often than not, they just stick to the IMs and the web browser and such. So its not like they go out of their way to change some config files on their own.


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#9 2008-07-23 04:42:17

Acecero
Member
Registered: 2008-06-21
Posts: 1,373

Re: Should I give Arch to my parents?

Inxsible wrote:

The only issue that I could think of was that they won't have any graphical installation program like Synaptic or the Add/Remove (gnome-app-install).

And if they wanted to install something, they'd always have to go to the CLI.

Well that's the thing, if your parents are not willing to use or learn the CLI, then they are going to have to rely on "you" for all their system maintenance, that is if you mind spending all the time helping them solve their problems and getting through hard work like you said in the first post.

There are third-party GUI frontends made for pacman if you want to try them out for your parents and see which works best.

http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Pac … _Frontends

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#10 2008-07-23 04:49:12

crouse
Arch Linux f@h Team Member
From: Iowa - USA
Registered: 2006-08-19
Posts: 903
Website

Re: Should I give Arch to my parents?

My parents = No tech savy.......zippo/nada/nothin........

I installed Arch over a year ago (they live 2 hours away).  Only ever had 1 issue..... printer..... fixed it via ssh. I update it weekly after updating my own system. Works ---------- BEAUTIFULLY.

Edit: Oh yeah...... and I have about 4 accounts on there........ if they screw one up BAD, then I can give them a new account to log into...... since they don't have the root password, they can only screw up their own wink

Last edited by crouse (2008-07-23 04:50:44)

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#11 2008-07-23 04:51:00

Inxsible
Forum Fellow
From: Chicago
Registered: 2008-06-09
Posts: 9,071

Re: Should I give Arch to my parents?

Acecero wrote:
Inxsible wrote:

The only issue that I could think of was that they won't have any graphical installation program like Synaptic or the Add/Remove (gnome-app-install).

And if they wanted to install something, they'd always have to go to the CLI.

Well that's the thing, if your parents are not willing to use or learn the CLI, then they are going to have to rely on "you" for all their system maintenance, that is if you mind spending all the time helping them solve their problems and getting through hard work like you said in the first post.

There are third-party GUI frontends made for pacman if you want to try them out for your parents and see which works best.

http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Pac … _Frontends

Thanks for the link. alunn sounds like a good thing that I could give my parents. I will use it on my machine and see how it works. My parents should be comfortable in clicking a few checkboxes when updates are available. They did that in Ubuntu as well...so I think it should work out.

Maybe I will try a couple of them to see the differences.


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#12 2008-07-23 04:55:12

Inxsible
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From: Chicago
Registered: 2008-06-09
Posts: 9,071

Re: Should I give Arch to my parents?

crouse wrote:

My parents = No tech savy.......zippo/nada/nothin........

I installed Arch over a year ago (they live 2 hours away).  Only ever had 1 issue..... printer..... fixed it via ssh. I update it weekly after updating my own system. Works ---------- BEAUTIFULLY.

Edit: Oh yeah...... and I have about 4 accounts on there........ if they screw one up BAD, then I can give them a new account to log into...... since they don't have the root password, they can only screw up their own wink

That's exactly what I did when they were on Ubuntu. Maybe it will work with Arch as well smile

HAving more than 1 accounts on the machine seems a good idea...atleast they wont be locked out if in case they screw up. But if they don't have the root password...have you given them sudo access to be able to install stuff?

I don't mind sshing into the machine and updating, but I would hate to go in everytime they wanted to install something.

Also they are on the other side of the world....so the timing won't match either ;-)


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#13 2008-07-23 05:09:33

crouse
Arch Linux f@h Team Member
From: Iowa - USA
Registered: 2006-08-19
Posts: 903
Website

Re: Should I give Arch to my parents?

No, they can't install anything at all wink  It's just easier if I do it, lol.  Much quicker for them to call me and I can ssh in while they are on the phone, do the install, and tell them to look in their menu, "It's there now"  big_smile   Mine are in the same time zone, so that doesn't present a problem to me.  However, I would say if they aren't tech savy, best if they don't install anything, even if it sets them back a few hours until you get time to install it for them. Better than a few days downtime if they screw something up.

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#14 2008-07-23 07:21:37

Nicky726
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From: Czech Republic
Registered: 2008-02-15
Posts: 128
Website

Re: Should I give Arch to my parents?

If there is an admin available (you) it's OK. Just set up everything correctly, and they won't find any difference.

The only thing, why my mother bugs me about Linux is that "I change things so much." That is switching from Gnome to E17 = different menu style and so... or just different login screen... If you make it look the same, there will be no problem.


"Although the masters make the rules
For the wise men and the fools
I got nothing, Ma, to live up to."

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#15 2008-07-23 08:43:07

quetzyg
Member
From: /home/quetzyg
Registered: 2006-08-03
Posts: 129

Re: Should I give Arch to my parents?

crouse wrote:

My parents = No tech savy.......zippo/nada/nothin........

I installed Arch over a year ago (they live 2 hours away).  Only ever had 1 issue..... printer..... fixed it via ssh. I update it weekly after updating my own system. Works ---------- BEAUTIFULLY.

Edit: Oh yeah...... and I have about 4 accounts on there........ if they screw one up BAD, then I can give them a new account to log into...... since they don't have the root password, they can only screw up their own wink

My mother also isn't a tech savvy (she only started using computers a year ago), so root access is out of the question. In her computer, there are 3 user accounts. Hers, mine and root. Like crouse said, if she screws something up, it's just in her home dir. Since I still live with my parents, any problems that arise, are promptly fixed by the end of the day. All the tools she needs are already installed, so in my case, there is no need to teach her on how to install/remove packages. She just doesn't need it. smile


ZzZz...

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#16 2008-07-23 09:32:12

KimTjik
Member
From: Sweden
Registered: 2007-08-22
Posts: 715

Re: Should I give Arch to my parents?

If you're ready to assist them then I can't see any real trouble in choosing Arch. I installed Arch with KDEmod to my mother-in-law and she lives a sea apart from us. She's not good at all in understanding computing, but I made a "S.O.S" icon - that's a code easy enough to understand - which open up a x11vnc session, because she sometimes need assistance in using GUI applications as well. It's been working well for several months, and I update from time to time.

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#17 2008-07-23 10:21:57

Purch
Member
From: Finland
Registered: 2006-02-23
Posts: 229

Re: Should I give Arch to my parents?

I searched for a while a most windows_like distribution to release my father from windows. I ended up with opensuse 11.1. He is very happy now. I thought it to be easier to start learning linux, like home folder structure and dot-files. Maybe after kdemod 4.1 is stable and his linux skills are up a bit I will change opensuse to arch, maybe.

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#18 2008-07-23 19:35:56

daneel971
Member
Registered: 2008-03-28
Posts: 179

Re: Should I give Arch to my parents?

As for me, I made my mother switch from Fedora to Arch (since I switched...): so far, so good - she can't install anything, she uses her usual apps (firefox/thunderbird, OOCalc, tellico, and a bunch of games) and we are both happy.

Last edited by daneel971 (2008-07-23 19:36:11)

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#19 2008-07-24 07:50:20

new2arch
Member
Registered: 2008-02-25
Posts: 235

Re: Should I give Arch to my parents?

For my parents I would probably choose a distro that didn't need much maintenance once installed, such as CentOS or equivalent. I would also consider disabling autoupdates and rely on security mailing lists to determine whether updating their box is mandatory/urgent. I know there are plugins (for CentOS) that checks for existing kernel modules and reinstalls them automatically after a kernel upgrade but I don't know how well those work.

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#20 2008-07-24 13:40:32

miesnerd
Member
From: Texan by birth, TN by paycheck
Registered: 2008-02-17
Posts: 94

Re: Should I give Arch to my parents?

Since everyone is sharing, I got my mother (who is a non tech saavy, free thinking artist) a xubuntu box with 128 of ram.
It has 3 icons at the top. OpenOffice, Firefox, and email.

I put a sticky on the desktop with quick reminders on there for her, as well as teaching her about everything.
Set up open office to automatically save everything as a .doc (she doesnt get file formats)
Set up firefox to have 3 tabs which automatically open up to what she wants. She never uses a menu. Just clicking (no offense) like a trained rat. No need for updates at all for her. All she does is surf, email, and write stuff for her school (she's a teacher).
I set it up a year ago and havent touched it yet.
Made permissions so she cant install anything (not that she even would, that would require using a menu!)
No need to even SSH in, the machine stays exactly as is.

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#21 2008-07-25 09:06:45

ruscook
Member
From: Sydney Australia
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 105
Website

Re: Should I give Arch to my parents?

My 80 year old father lives 2 doors away and uses my adsl over wireless for internet connection. I moved him to Ubuntu 3yrs ago and then to arch about a year ago.

As long as gnome works and gives him open office, thunderbird and firefox (with plugins and movies as required) he doesn't know or care what OS he's on. The beauty for me is we don't have pirated software nor are we susceptible to viruses.  He used to get a virus a month on windows, now zip, nada, nought big_smile Thanks FOSS!

He does have sudo access and I do have 2 accounts on the PC so I can log in as well. I update him every 2 or 3 weeks after I've done my machine.

Russ

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#22 2008-07-26 12:40:47

zenlord
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2006-05-24
Posts: 1,209
Website

Re: Should I give Arch to my parents?

I have both my mother and my grandfather using archlinux.

My grandfather (aged 86) started about a year ago with computing, and arch was the very first OS he saw, so he kind of hit it off to read and send emails, browse the web a little. The only trouble is that he wanted a book per se about the internet and I couldn't find anything else than a windows-based one, so I had to 'translate' everything for him... I update his system every several weeks.

My mother has a little windows-experience, but never really got the hang of it. She is having more difficulties with arch, but I doubt it would be better in Ubuntu.

So: go for it. They probably won't notice the difference. If you setup SSH and an account with dyndns.org correctly, you can update their computer from wherever you are.

Zl.

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#23 2008-07-26 15:06:13

ravster
Member
From: Queen's U, Kingston, Canada
Registered: 2004-05-02
Posts: 285
Website

Re: Should I give Arch to my parents?

Hey,
  I had Arch installed on all the computers at home, and it was working fine for a while, but then my dad had to install something new and I told him to pacman it, and the whole thing died on him.
  Now I have installed Ubuntu, and he is pretty happy with it, and I've told him not to install anything without asking first.
  I suppose the problem was not due to Arch, but due to me telling him to do a 'pacman -Syu' every few weeks all by himself.

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#24 2008-07-26 15:15:10

dhave
Arch Linux f@h Team Member
From: Outside the matrix.
Registered: 2005-05-15
Posts: 1,110

Re: Should I give Arch to my parents?

You guys are great -- helping your old parents like this.

Now, when something goes really wrong, especially when they mess things up royally, just remember -- they used to change your diapers :-).


Donate to Arch!

Tired? There's a nap for that. --anonymous

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#25 2008-07-26 15:23:23

quetzyg
Member
From: /home/quetzyg
Registered: 2006-08-03
Posts: 129

Re: Should I give Arch to my parents?

dhave wrote:

You guys are great -- helping your old parents like this.

Now, when something goes really wrong, especially when they mess things up royally, just remember -- they used to change your diapers :-).

You're so right! lol


ZzZz...

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