Arch Linux
2017 May 09

I recently decided to make a move to Arch Linux, and I really like it. I haven't encountered any major issues yet. It's very slim. However there are some rough points to it, and some extremely nice parts.

The biggest thing I lke about arch is it's superior package manager. pacman is impressively fast. It doesn't hang like dnf does, and does not pull down large amounts of meta data every time you run it. It includes dependency resolution and all that kind of stuff. Additionally with the AUR, you can easily find a lot of commercial software prepackaged and ready to go on arch with updates built in. The only rough spot is that you have to use the wiki to setup a lot of things and lookup package names. Also, I haven't found a way to get pacman to support tab completion.

I also like that it is very minimal and allows me to pick out the packages that I want, not some random thing that is massive but provides little to the user like the stupid tracker system for gnome. I hate that thing, it sucks up way too much ram for what it does. I can start with what I want and start from there, adding the packages that I want. Also there's none of that *-devel package BS, hidding the headers from the system. The headers are placed right in /usr/include for me to use.

Now on to the setup that I put together. I started with the arch base packages, then I installed gnome and the Nvidia drivers on top. To that I added the standard development libraries I use like C++ and Node.JS. Yes, the Node.JS package is up to date, and on the cutting edge. I also added my standard editors like Code::Blocks , Visual Studio Code, and TexStudio.

As such I think I will be staying with Arch Linux for quite some time, as it appears to be well maintained and solid. It does have some rough edges, but those are minor compared to clean system that I get.

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Written by Henry J Schmale on 2017 May 09