Why Arch Linux?

Shlomi Fish shlomif at iglu.org.il
Sun Apr 24 13:26:13 UTC 2011

Hi Cheryl,

On Sunday 24 Apr 2011 06:42:30 Cheryl Homiak wrote:
> Having gotten help for my volume hardware keys from arch linux wiki
> articles, I decided to read the one for blind users, basically covering
> installation. I notice that quite a few people are going to arch linux and
> I was just interested to know what the reasons were for adopting Arch.
> I've been a debian user for a long time, with brief forays into fedora and
> ubuntu and gentoo so I don't know if I'll really switch one or both of my
> linux machines but I'd like to hear what people find compelling about this
> distribution.

In addition to Chuck's excellent E-mail, let me add that Archlinux is:

1. A very fine distro.

2. Not for everybody, or even not for most non-"ultra-techno-geeks" users. I 
mean, most distros (even Debian) configure your DHCP connection after the 
default install.

3. I decided it was not for me either, because I like the glue that Mandriva 
(Cooker in my case) adds. Not sure how accessible Mandriva is for the blind, 
of course, because I have good eye sight.

4. Seems a bit like Gentoo done right to me, because in Gentoo, you keep 
needing to wait a lot of time for various packages to install ("emerge kde" 
taking a whole day, anyone?), because they don't have binary packages.

5. The people on #archlinux on the Freenode IRC network are very friendly and 
hopsitable, and they even agreed to help me with Linux-problems (that were 
distribution-non-specific naturally), despite the fact I'm using Mandriva. 
This is a much better attitude than many other topical channels on Freenode.


And concluding: you should probably use a different distribution such as 
Ubuntu, Mandriva, Fedora, MEPIS, etc. but if you want good performance and 
responsiveness, and not a lot of bells and whistles and bare-to-the-metal-
simplicity, then Archlinux is for you. Since I don't find Mandriva to be 
particularly slow (not even on my aging P4-2.4GHz), and since I appreciate the 
glow and the often convenient configuration programs, and can cope with the 
cute bugs and sometimes upgrade problems associated with Mandriva Cooker 
(which is Mandriva's equivalent of Debian Testing/Unstable), that's what I 
ended up prefer to use. 

Archlinux is, as a general rule, a good distribution for its intended purpose 
and audience, only it makes certain assumptions on what these things are. I 
tried it and decided it's not for me, but you may like it better.


	Shlomi Fish

Shlomi Fish       http://www.shlomifish.org/
Interview with Ben Collins-Sussman - http://shlom.in/sussman

I often wonder why I hang out with so many people who are so pedantic. And
then I remember - because they are so pedantic.
-- Israeli Perl Monger

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