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Why Arch?

mahmoudhossam profile image Mahmoud Hossam ・2 min read

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People have been having problems with Ubuntu recently so I proposed Arch Linux as a replacement, but it'll require some changes to your behavior to get a similar experience.

Arch Linux is a rolling-release distro, that means you'll only ever need to upgrade packages since there are no formal releases.

That means you'll always have the latest versions of the packages you have installed.

Most people think this means Arch is less stable, but this isn't true at all, Arch has always been more stable for me than Ubuntu, Fedora or even SuSE ever was.

At the time of writing this post (September '17), I have the 4.12.10 kernel, and GNOME 3.24.2 and I've had no freezes, bugs, or instability with anything so far.

Another one of the reasons why I use Arch is the package manager, Pacman.

Pacman runs circles around apt, dnf, zypper or any package manager I've used so far, and it has package signing so you'll always have trusted updates (unless you turn that off, of course).

Someone might ask: "Okay, but what if the software I want isn't in the official repos?"

Arch has the AUR (Arch User Repositories) to solve this problem, it's basically a community-maintained repo with recipes to build basically any software you can think of, they're even more comprehensive than Ubuntu's PPAs!

All this comes at a price though.

The price is that you'll have to maintain your own system as Arch gives you very little by default.

The default installer is CLI based, so if you don't know the shell like the back of your hand, there will be a learning curve involved.

This is where the Arch docs really shine, I learned almost everything I know about Linux from the Arch Wiki.

It has a detailed installation guide and a dedicated beginner's guide for people completely new to Arch.

And in case you can't find a solution for your problem anywhere in the Wiki, you'll find one in the Arch forums.

Most people usually stay away from learning stuff like system maintenance, but I think all Linux users should learn how their system works.

This knowledge will come in handy when you come across a problem with your system, I promise.

And in case you don't want to go through all this hassle to have a stable system, there are Arch-based distributions that give you basically the same experience but with a much lower learning curve, the most popular of those is Manjaro Linux.

Discussion

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mnlwldr profile image
manuel

I use Arch since ~6 years at work and on my private workstation. It works and I had no problems with it.

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dancingkoala profile image
dancing-koala

Nice article, I also got on Arch Linux after years on Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora and I fell in love with it ! As you said, the learning curve is not the smoothest one but I feel it is important to say how rewarding it feels when you actually get it and become able to fix things by yourself.

For those affraid of the CLI installer, you should try Manjaro, a distro based on Arch which provides a more user-friendly experience without altering Arch's stability
(I've been using it at work for 6 months and no bugs so far).

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defman profile image
Sergey Kislyakov πŸ‡·πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

Manjaro adds its own repos. I'd suggest Antergos if you only want a GUI installer.

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mahmoudhossam profile image
Mahmoud Hossam Author

Thanks, I haven't tried Manjaro myself but I hear very good things about it.

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Arik

Awesome post. I LOVE Linux and I use it almost exclusively (have to use Mac at work). But I always wanted to dig in deeper to the Linux internals in a hands on approach. You just gave me the perfect recipe for that.

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mahmoudhossam profile image
Mahmoud Hossam Author

Arch is perfect for this purpose, I definitely know more about Linux and the command line thanks to its minimal approach.