Switched to Archlinux

At last a new post after a long time !

Lately, I was very busy with real life issues and concerns so could not find time to write.

In spite of being a fan of debian [1], I decided to change my operating system. I was completely happy  with sidux [2] which is essentially debian sid with a pinch of spice, but wanted to try something new and different. I had heard a lot of good things about Archlinux [3]. First I decided to try it on a virtual machine and was impressed by the simplicity of the system. It is highly configurable and yet simple when it comes to configuring it to your taste.  For me the common thing is that sidux and Archlinux both are rolling distributions.  Arch claims to be optimized for i686, so at least theoretically it should be faster than sidux. Though,  I don’t have any benchmarks to support this. Debian has may be the highest number of binary packages available, but Arch has AUR [4] and ABS [5], so it becomes easy to compile a package from sources.

Another reason, I switched to Arch was that I was experimenting with lightweight window managers like fluxbox, openbox, dwm, xmonad etc. The community at Archlinux provides a great support and knowledge base for them. In fact I got encouraged to try those window managers by browsing through the screenshot threads in the Archlinux forums. On the other hand, sidux officially  supports only Kde, and I somehow felt that the community at sidux discourages the use of alternatives to kde and also other lightweight applications.

Although, it was not GUI based like sidux, the installation of Arch went rather smoothly. Archwiki [6] is an indispensable resource. I have a 4 years old Dell Inspiron 6000. The system seems to run smoothly. There are less daemons running compared to sidux, so the boot time is less. I have more or less the same setup as my sidux installation with openbox as main window manager and kde 4 as a fallback ! I am also maintaining my plasmoid plasma_pyweather [7], so I don’t want to get rid of kde altogether.

I don’t know yet, if I will continue with Arch or go back to sidux again. I have realized that you need to read all the messages carefully when you upgrade the system with pacman, this was also true for sidux, but the forum with upgrade warning was a great help.  Anyway, I hope to post interesting things about my experience using Arch.

Here some screenshots for those who want to see it to believe.

Arch clean

Arch dirty

Links:

  1. Debian GNU/Linux
  2. sidux
  3. Arch Linux
  4. Arch User Repository
  5. Arch Build System
  6. Arch Wiki
  7. A weather plasmoid in python

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