Which Distribution Do You Use for Your Desktop? Arch Linux

Posted by tadelste on Feb 19, 2006 9:33 AM EDT
LXer.com; By datcracka
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Arch Linux feels like home to me. I have used it for about 5 months now and I have no plans to stop using it.

I started 3 or 4 years ago with Red Hat 7.1. I'm sure we can all guess how that went. That was my learning box and very little "worked" how I wanted it out of the box. So there were several months of playing, breaking, reformatting, and reinstalling. I worked with RH 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 until I really felt comfortable using another distro.

I then discovered Mandrake 9.0 Beta 1. It was an amazing distro, to be honest. The wine that it shipped with actually ran more windows programs than the wine's I use today. The CD burning quality I got out of it far surpassed the Red Hat quality.

Then I farted around for a year or so with Mandrake 9.0, 9.1, 9.2, and quit while trying to use 9.3 (it was very crappy). I then discovered Texstar's Mandrake RPM's that made my 9.1 and 9.2 systems awesome. I followed everything he did, and when re released PCLinuxOS, I used it faithfully for over a year. I never had to reformat and reinstall, I just installed the preview 5 of his distro and kept upgrading. I upgraded to #9.1 successfully (I couldn't believe it myself) and started to need more from my distro. I'm using an AMD Athlon XP 2000 and have 512MB DDR, but there was a latency involved with EVERYTHING on PCLOS that I jus couldn't live with. I then tried UBUNTU and KUBUNTU, but staying bleeding edge always broke something BIG. Manual compile's and install's would break something. I started then to know what I truley wanted from a distro:

(Stability is a given, and I find it in most well maintained distros...)
Bleeding edge at least possible without severe breakage(I'm a developer too...)
Athlon XP or i686 optimization (figured it'd kill the latency issues)
A VERY SANE compiler (I had SO MANY compilation issues on ALL the previously mentioned distros)


Source Based Packages would be nice
A nice, easy, and smart package manager
A large community
A large set of packages
The ability to create my own packages and receive useful feedback
A beautiful desktop

I went from Debian Sarge to OneBase linux and accidentally ended up with Arch Linux.

Accidentally? Yeah, I was told Ark linux was a good one to try. Figured it was a new red Hat, but I couldn't bash it until I tried it. So I go to [HYPERLINK@www.archlinux.org] (I'm a bad speller. I'm sure there are examples in this post) and downloaded what was there. After I download, I go to install and...son of a bat...a cli installer! I was in love all ready. A binary install with the source included, well packaged and well explained...more love! After the base install, it was pretty easy to do a pacman -S kde. I admit, I had to play around with some of the startup scripts to get the distro where I truly want it to be, but it was so easy. Everything is so well explained at the website. The community is loud and friendly. Any package you want, someone will try to make it, and everyone will help you to make it yourself.



I will say the upgrade process broke my machine twice now, but that was due to the bleeding edge software I crave so much and not reading releasenotes. There were specific instructions on what NOT to do when upgrading and what to be prepared for. I did what I wasn't supposed to, and I didn't prepare my box for the upgrades, but it was actually really easy to fix. The fix was in the WIKI 1 day after this happened to me! It had happened to others.

Unlike other distro's, the community didn't bash me/us for not reading instructions. I felt some love when I admitted I had made a mistake and got given a direct link to where it could be fixed, topped off with a "It really does happen to everyone every now and then". It happens to everyone! I suspected that was the case, but according to the elitist I had asked for help in the past, NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO MAKE MISTAKES, EVER, IN PERTAINING TO LINUX.

At this point, I'm rambling...but know this: Arch Linux feels like home to me. I have used it for about 5 months now and I have no plans to stop using it. I do not see anything happening to this distro or it's followers that could ruin what it has. I actually have no complaints about it at this point. It is the strongest desktop I've had using Linux. It will compile ANYTHING! The packagers are right on 99% of the time. The speed increase alone is worth it compared, at least, to ubuntu or mandriva or red hat or PCLOS or Mepis or...you get the picture...

I hope there are others out there who choose to post about it's greatness here.

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Subject Topic Starter Replies Views Last Post
Ark sounds gentooreat.. justins 1 1,253 Feb 20, 2006 6:32 PM

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