Friday, July 13, 2012

5 things you'll face when installing Arch Linux

Arch Linux logoArch Linux is very advanced and popular Linux distro, and as of time of this writing, it is at 7th position on Distrowatch (for the past 6 months). It features i686 optimization and recently adds a support for gcc 4.7, which gives to it very decent performance.

But, what you will face when you install Arch Linux?
Despite of the speed and simplicity you'll find it somehow dificult and not so polished. Let me list some:

1. Default Out of the Box  installation is targeted to users with very decent knowledge about Linux. Average user or beginners probably will not able to install it. There is no graphical environment by default too.

Synaptic Package Manager 0.61 on ubuntu2. No GUI for package manager by default. Default package manager is pacman - console based, but very powerful.

3. There is no web based service for building custom packages like Launchpad or OpenSuse build studio.

4. When installing mysql or apache or something so called daemon in Linux world, the package is not configured by default to start upon system boot. You'll have to do it by hand by editing /etc/rc.conf

5. Unlike Ubuntu there is a lot of updates every day. If you are a developer, it is quite impossible to stick with a particulary (stable) library version for some time, say 5-6 months. Worse, if you are ATI videocard owner, you have to manually hold an old version of Xorg. The later was fixed recently, but there is no waranty of breakage.

So, what to do if you want to try Arch Linux, but want to avoid the above too?

1. Try Chakra Linux (a kind of ArchLinux, now separate branch), Archbang, or Bridge Linux. You can also wait a month or two for my super polished arch based AmeOS.

2. There is a very complete wiki which can save you a lot of headache. Read it everytime you want to do some administrative task like install new driver or package, just because the packages in Arch are so fast moving target and you have to know all the latest configuration tips and tricks in order to get best optimized and fully (also bug free) working system
KDE 4 Current version: 4.7 Older versions: 4.0...

3. Try to install as much packages as you have in mind and do not update next 3-4 months. Then update your system at once. Read the wiki and news on main page before update. That is my preffered way.

4. Read about metapackages in order to install some Desktop Environment, like KDE, Gnome or XFCE.

5. Read my blog to gain more knowledge about Archlinux and make your life with Arch easier.
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment