The virtues of Arch Linux
There are many different Linux distributions available, but few provide as much direct control over your computer as Arch Linux. One of our bloggers here on ITworld shares his thoughts on why he picked Arch Linux as his desktop distro, and why you might want to consider it as well.
Swapnil Bhartiya reports for ITworld:
Installing Arch Linux is a bit like building your own house. You have to dig the foundation, erect the walls, build the roofs, run the plumbing and electrical wiring around it ... and all the rest of it. In other words, installing Arch Linux is not at all like renting an apartment, just moving in, and letting the landlord take care of everything else.
Arch is the primary distro that runs on my main system. I do use openSUSE, Ubuntu, and Kubuntu on it and switch between them from time to time. But I spend the majority of my PC time on the Arch system because I find it to be an excellent distribution for advanced, and new, Linux users. In a nutshell, I am hooked on it. And there are reasons for it.
The bigger question is, why did I choose Arch Linux over others and what does it have to offer that others don't.
#1 By the community, for the community
#2 The 'biggest' software repository
#3 Almost all major desktop environments at your disposal
#4 Total user control
#5 Once it starts rolling, it never stops
The Arch Linux wiki has more information:
Arch Linux is an independently developed, i686/x86-64 general purpose GNU/Linux distribution versatile enough to suit any role. Development focuses on simplicity, minimalism, and code elegance. Arch is installed as a minimal base system, configured by the user upon which their own ideal environment is assembled by installing only what is required or desired for their unique purposes. GUI configuration utilities are not officially provided, and most system configuration is performed from the shell and a text editor. Based on a rolling-release model, Arch strives to stay bleeding edge, and typically offers the latest stable versions of most software.
Arch Linux was founded by Canadian programmer Judd Vinet. Its first formal release, Arch Linux 0.1, was on March 11, 2002. Although Arch is completely independent, it draws inspiration from the simplicity of other distributions including Slackware, CRUX and BSD. In 2007, Judd Vinet stepped down as Project Lead to pursue other interests and was replaced by American programmer Aaron Griffin who continues to lead the project today.
Roger Comply at Paranoid Penguin has a full review of Arch Linux:
Arch is extremely fast and responsive and I have yet to experience a single application crash. This is highly unusual for me in my KDE endeavors so I’m both surprised and impressed with how well the system has performed.
By choosing Arch Linux you’ll get a distribution that is all about you. Assemble the system you always wanted on a lightening fast Arch base and enjoy a vast collection of current software. Obviously this approach is not everybody’s cup of tea, but if the Arch way makes sense to you, then get ready for a fun and rewarding learning experience.
The Arch way, which should be a blueprint for software development in my opinion.
The Arch community. The ArchWiki has become my main resource for everything Linux, no matter what distribution I’m using.
Rolling releases. Never grow old. Never die. It’s fun to be an Arch Linux distro.
Bleeding edge. Get all the new toys before most other distributions. A good way to get familiar with new technology.
Bleeding edge. It’s called bleeding for a reason, some challenges regarding the stability of your system have to be expected.
Not a suitable choice for production servers in my opinion.
The Arch User Repository may contain build scripts of questionable quality.
No choice of init system.
Drop by the official Arch Linux Downloads page to snag a copy of it for your system. You might also want to check out the Beginner's Guide, Installation Guide, and Arch Linux FAQ. If you have any problems installing or using Arch Linux, be sure to seek feedback and assistance in the official Arch Linux forum.