[Techtalk] What distro?

Darla Shockley hecateluna at gmail.com
Mon Oct 4 13:41:00 UTC 2010

I am a long-time Arch Linux user, and was previously a Fedora user, so I
figured I should share my experiences with Arch, since it was recommended.
I found the transition to Arch from Fedora to be really intuitive (which is
not how I felt about Ubuntu, though a lot of this has to do with the fact
that Arch doesn't come with any sort of default desktop environment, so I
was forced to set it up exactly like I want from the beginning).

The arch wiki is awesome.  It's kept really up-to-date, is really
comprehensive, and keeps things consistently on a level that is comfortable
for me (not assuming I know everything, but also not assuming I am a
complete idiot, and giving me the right tools to find out more if I need or
want to).  The forums are similarly good--a lot more professional than the
Ubuntu forums I have read (or, any technically-oriented linux-related forums
for that matter).

Arch Linux uses rolling releases, like Gentoo and unlike
Ubuntu/Debian/Fedora, which I like, but clearly is not for everyone.  I like
having the newest shiniest things as soon as they are available.
Unfortunately, it means that occasionally, some of my finicky laptop
hardware just stops functioning until the next release (and even more
rarely, something else goes wrong).  Fortunately, the next release usually
happens soon and fixes the problem, if I am too lazy to fix it myself.  As
the laptop has gotten older, of course, this problem has trailed off a lot.

I am not sure what specifically you like about yum (or have against
apt-get), but I find pacman (and also, the other available package managers
built on top of pacman for arch, such as yaourt) to be pretty irritating.
My biggest problem with it is that it does not allow for easy rolling back
of package versions, which is really, really something you want with rolling
releases.  I also don't love the interface, but I have gotten used to it (I
am referring to the commandline interface--I assume there are gui frontends,
but I haven't used them, and don't even know what they are).  With a
desktop, maybe I'd never want easy rolling back, but my laptop issues have
made me curse pacman/yaourt on several occasions.

Also, you should know that installing Arch will be at least an
afternoon-long task.  I know this is actually the case for a lot of distros
anyway, so it should not be surprising, etc., but still.  It is not like
installing Fedora or Ubuntu.  I thought it was fun, and I learned a lot, and
with the wiki I didn't find it to be very challenging, but it does take some


On Mon, Oct 4, 2010 at 2:46 PM, Wim De Smet <kromagg at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sun, Oct 3, 2010 at 5:31 AM, Kathryn Marks <kathryn.linux at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Hi ladies (and gents)
> >
> > After a year and a half of refusing to fight with hardware
> incompatibility
> > and Fedora (I've stuck with Fedora 10), I've decided to jump ship.
> >
> > I have a bit of experience with Ubuntu.  I'm not crazy about the whole
> sudo
> > thing and I like yum over apt-get.  So what to try now?  Distros with
> > LiveCDs preferred.  KDE definitely preferred.
> A friend of mine really likes Arch Linux. It's somewhere in between
> Debian and Gentoo, from what I understand. Seems like fun to play
> around with, if you're trying out new distros anyway. No Live CD I
> think, but there's this:
> http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Building_a_Live_CD
> cheers,
> Wim
> _______________________________________________
> Techtalk mailing list
> Techtalk at linuxchix.org
> http://mailman.linuxchix.org/mailman/listinfo/techtalk

More information about the Techtalk mailing list