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  • hardikmehta 2:24 pm on March 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , archlinux, , ,   

    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


    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

    • Med Berdai 7:32 pm on March 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Hi fellow Archer 🙂

      I’ve been using it exclusively for almost 2 years now, it never failed me and I didn’t miss Debian at all. Arch Linux is absolutely one of best GNU/Linux distros out there.

      Now that I grown feed up of Arch Linux being so reliable I started messing with FreeBSD and LinuxFromScratch 🙂

      Happy hacking,


  • hardikmehta 4:02 pm on May 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , archlinux, chroot, , pacman, ramfs, recovery, system recovery, upgrade, virtual machine, virtualbox   

    Arch Linux recovery 

    Since some time, I have been experimenting with archlinux[1] as guest in VirtualBox.  Due to some unknown reasons the VirtualBox[2] hanged during package upgrade on the arch setup (pacman -Syyu). I had no other choice than to kill the VirutulBox process in the middle. I think it happened when the packages were being configured. After that when I rebooted the guest OS, it gave me the “ramfs$” prompt and refused to mount any disks. There were some errors stating the uuids of the disks, but for me the errors were beyond comprehension. Being a beginner in archlinux usage, I didn’t know how to recover from this situation.

    Purely instinctively, I downloaded the latest iso of archlinux and mounted it as cd drive on the virtual machine and booted the virtual machine from that iso. I logged in as root and mounted the corrupted archlinux drives / and /home and chrooted to my installation root. After chrooting, I started upgrading the system with pacman as usual. Here the summary of the commands I used almost in the same order.

    # mount /dev/sda1 /media/oldroot (of course I had to create the directory under /media)
    # mount /dev/sda2 /media/oldhome
    # chroot /media/oldroot
    # pacman -Syyu

    The upgrade went fine and after rebooting I got the arch setup exactly how I left it. I don’t know if this recovery was method was a fluke or recommended way to recover arch, but it worked for me. I would definitely like to know what could have happened and the correct procedure to recover from such cases. Although, it was a virual machine and there was no data at risk, It would have taken a lot of time and effort to get the same archlinux setup which I had. I must say chroot is an amazing tool.


    1. Arch Linux
    2. VirtualBox
    • Gaute 1:06 am on June 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you, this was useful. I always re-install Arch from scratch when something get messed up. Next time I will chroot 😀

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