Arch Linux

Arch Linux is an excellent distribution. Over the years, hackers have created numerous versions of their favorite distributions to solve specific problems. Not many of them survive the test of time. Arch Linux is one of the many distributions have survived and achieve a impeccable reputation in the Linux community. Arch Linux is based on the principle of simplicity. Code correctness over ease of use. Arch is doing many things that several other distributions should have started doing a long time ago.

PACMAN is the distinguishing feature of Arch Linux. Pacman is a fast and lean package manager for Arch Linux.  Arch community has a strong inclination in controlling each and every package their systems have. I, to simply put, disagree with the assertion. I spend a great deal of time learning technology, in spite of that it is impossibly hard and cognitively exhausting to try to know everything. Trust has to play some role here.  I think computers are meant to make our work easy and not to be obsessed about it. There are also some misconception that packages installed on a system is directly proportional to system resources. A few more packages that make your life easy is nothing more than a few MB sitting on your 500 GB hard drive. Pacman is also is the central tool in Arch Linux whether you use MAKEPKG for building packages all installation, querying, searching, etc. go through Pacman. One benefit of this is that you only have to learn one software unlike Ubuntu which has apt-get, dpkg, apt-cache apt-search, etc. or in Fedora there are RPM, Yum, pkcon, etc.

Arch Linux hosts probably the biggest repository of software in all of Linux distributions. Arch Linux has an official repository that contains both open source and closed source publicly available software like Skype. Arch users have created an additional repository that can be used to install any software using principles defined by Pacman by building them locally.

No Linux distribution is perfect and seeking help and helping others is an important aspect of a community. Arch Linux has been able to build a strong community by not dividing it. The best possible way to get your issues resolved is to use Arch Linux forums. Fedora, Ubuntu, etc. have highly fragmented community spread all over the internet from forums to Reddit to Stackoverflow. There are similar communities for Arch but help is readily available in Arch Forums.

One of the many gripes I have with other distributions is that they don’t provide necessary config files and systemd files.

Canonical, Redhat, SUSE, and other enterprise vendors have commercial goals. Arch Linux wants aware users who participate in the community to build Arch what it is today. When you have commercial goals you tend to move in a direction where your commercial interest lies. When you are community oriented you tend to move in a direction in which community wants you to.

Arch is a rolling release that means all software are always up to date. It can be both good and bad. Developers  constantly make changes and depending on how you use your system that might be both beneficial or detrimental to your work. Fast updates also mean that you get software fixes. You don’t have to worry about PPAs and distribution version support.

Arch does have a clear goal of what it does and what it doesn’t do. For instance, it doesn’t support ARM architectures and all your help posts will get deleted as soon as you mention ARM in the post.

One of the best features of Arch is adherence to upstream. When Arch doesn’t make changes downstream and users report bug or feature request to upstream which helps everyone in the wider Linux community.

Arch also doesn’t like to unnecessary do things that are not required and add an additional layer of complexity. Most distributions will not be able to make quick transitions like remove binaries from multiple folders and moving them to one single directory.