The Arch Way

You love tinkering with your computer. You've tried Ubuntu and Fedora, and they're good, but you feel something is not quite right. Maybe you don't like all those daemons loading on boot, or maybe you want to build your Linux desktop stack just how you want it? Perhaps you're completely new to Linux and want to learn exactly what makes a Linux workstation tick? It's time for you to try Arch Linux. Arch Linux is often called the binary Gentoo—an appropriate description. Arch gives you a full but simple command-line base to build on, but unlike Gentoo, Arch uses i686 or x86_64 optimized binary packages instead of source code.

This will not be a step-by-step guide on getting an Arch Linux desktop up and running. You can find that on Arch's fabulous wiki. Instead I'll share with you what separates Arch from other Linux distributions and what makes Arch one of the best distributions for a personal workstation.


Arch development is guided by simplicity. The Arch wiki states, "Simplicity is absolutely the principal objective behind Arch development."  Most system configuration is done via text files, which may seem complex at first, but is much easier in practice than searching visually through a menu tree. For example, daemons, kernel modules, and networking are all configured in a single text file, rc.conf. GNU text parsing tools included in every version of Linux make finding and editing configuration files a breeze. It's much faster to search for and edit a text string in Vim than to click through endless GUI tabs looking for a radio button.

Rolling Release

Arch uses a rolling release model. This means that the repositories are updated frequently with the latest stable packages from upstream developers. The advantage here is that you don't need to reinstall or do a complex upgrade procedure every six months. Do a pacman -Syu (more on the gloriousness that is Pacman below) every few days to keep your entire system updated. This is not to say that an update will never cause problems, but if you encounter problems, in all likelihood there will be a fix posted on the forums or the Arch front page.

The Wickedly Good Arch Wiki

Speaking of documentation, the Arch Wiki is the most comprehensive repository of Linux information out there. Back when I used Ubuntu, I often found the answer to a tough configuration issue on The Arch Wiki. Yes, the Arch Wiki is tailored to Arch, but it can often help you solve problems with other distributions as well.

BSD Style init

Say bye-bye to complicated System V runlevels and their associated symlinks. Most distributions use a System V style init, which has a separate directory for each of its eight runlevels. Arch uses a BSD-style init system, which accomplishes much the same with a simple set of scripts. Need to add CUPS to start at boot? Simply add CUPS to the daemons list in /etc/rc.conf. Done.


I've used many different Linux package managers: pacman, aptitude, yum, zypper, and netpkg. Pacman is hands down my favorite.  It's fast. Downloads, searches, and installs are all the quickest I've seen. Full system upgrades are typically problem-free. Arch has five official repositories: core, extra, community, testing, and multilib. Core contains the minimum necessary for a functional Linux system. Core includes the kernel, GNU command line tools, pacman, and networking tools—basically everything you need to start building the perfect workstation.  Extra contains packages that are not necessary to a base working system—stuff like X, Gnome, and Apache, for example. Community includes packages maintained by The Trusted Users of the Arch community. These packages are binary compiles of PKGBUILDS from the Arch User repository, and are voted into the community repository by Arch users. Testing is just that, packages that are being tested for stability. Testing is commented out by default in pacman.conf. Use it at your own risk. Multilib provides closed binary applications that are only available as 32 bit binaries, and the 32 bit libraries necessary to run these applications on 64 bit installs. Skype and the Adobe flash plugin are good examples of this.


What happens when the application you are looking for is not in your distribution's repositories? If you run Fedora, you might need to add an unsupported 3rd party repository of questionable quality. If you're running Ubuntu, you hope for a Personal Package Archive.  Sometimes you just have to compile from source, and endure the heartache of dependency resolution. On Arch it's pretty simple.  Chances are that the app you are looking for is available using a PKGBUILD script from the Arch User Repository or AUR. A PKGBUILD is a script created by a member of the Arch community that takes much of the pain out of building an application from source. The makepkg command runs the PKGBUILD script, detects and installs dependencies, and builds a pacman installable binary package. There's no need to search for any obscure libraries that may not be installed in the core package list.

So there you have it. These are a few things that separate Arch Linux from the crowd, and make it binary awesomeness. This list is far from exhaustive, so if this piques your interest, spend some time on The Arch Wiki and Forums. The best way to get to know Arch, however, is to install it and use it. I promise it's worth your time and effort, and they don't even pay me to say that.

How-To Get Help...  Tactfully

You'll find far less hand-holding on the Arch Forums than some of the other distro's forums, and for good reason.  Arch has one of the most informative, user-friendly wiki's out there. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT ask a question in the forums or on IRC without searching the wiki and the forums first. If you can't find a solution by searching, include all appropriate log files and as much information as possible in your request. Look at some of the current posts marked "Solved" in the Arch Forums for examples.


Kevin Bush is a Linux systems admin, dad and book-lover who spends far too
much time tinkering with gadgetry.


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Racists on the Arch Linux Mailing List

Meeku's picture

I joined the Arch Linux public general mailing list and posted a free opensource FOSS font for coders to use, Rail Model font. I was accused of spamming and trolling by certain developers there. These were just excuses from them as underneath they had a racist attitude to my email address for the mailing list:
hare_krsna_hare_krsna_krsna_krsna_hare_hare_hare_rama_hare_rama_rama_rama_hare_hare -at- .....

Thus when I tried to defend against their accusations I was banned from there, no discussion nothing.

Race ≠ Religion

archtaku's picture

Learn the difference.

Race ≠ Religion

archtaku's picture

Learn the difference.

Interesting thread,

Danny8's picture

Interesting thread, that.

After ignoring polite directions to create an AUR submission -- with an invitation to seek help if need (at the appropriate location) -- Meeku continues to prod and probe forum members until he is banished.

I wouldn't stomp into a restaurant demanding that someone change my car's oil. If I did make that blunder I would withdraw gracefully. Try using some etiquette next time.

Danny8 (not verified) on Mon, 01/24/2011 - 10:35

Meeku's picture

In response to Danny8 [(not verified) on Mon, 01/24/2011 - 10:35]

The facts are:

1. -ignoring- is not the correct word to describe. I requested for help as I am not a techie.

2. -prod and probe forum members- is not correct phrase either. They were some on that Arch Linux mailing list who just could not accept my email address, hare_krsna_hare_krsna_krsna_krsna_hare_hare_hare_rama_hare_rama_rama_rama_hare_hare -at- ..... and just used racist weasel words and phrases, hounding me on and on relentlessly.

3. -etiquette- was used by me without any foul language. Some on that list were using racist weasel words and because I have been a victim before several times I could tell, it was not new to me.

4. -stomp- is not what I did, it was a general public mailing list and I posted an on-topic subject. I had posted the same press release on other public mailing lists and I never came across what I faced at the Arch Linux public mailing list.

"because I have been a victim

Danny8's picture

"because I have been a victim before several times" ... yada yada, boo hoo

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. — Eleanor Roosevelt

Well, Meeku, why don't you

Chdslv's picture

Well, Meeku, why don't you send whatever you make to the Crunchbang Forum? They are a very nice bunch of friends over there!

Take care!


Kevin Bush's picture

I'll let Linux Journal readers determine if the Arch Devs responded appropriately or not. Here's the original post folks, follow the thread and decide for yourselves:



Kevin Bush is a Linux systems admin, dad and book-lover who spends far too
much time tinkering with gadgetry.


Spanky's picture

The only thing I have to say, is if you are a REAL(tm) geek, you will make it (all of it) save more time! Else, you're wasting it. This comfort with taking up time, really is a serious issue and it really does, put people off.

Tried Arch... and like it! But staying with my Ubuntu for now.

michalmiddleton's picture

Hey Kevin!
When it comes to trying new distro I am rather conservative and keep back. Many distros are active only for first year or two and then slowly die. I knew about Arch but never paid any attention to it. Your article (especially your comparison to Gentoo, which was my favorite) made me try it out .... and I really liked how lightweight and fast Arch is.

You seemed to be very happy with pacman - and that's what I was having some difficultes with. Pacman is not very thoroug and many commands just don't make any sense. (-S = install, -Ss = search, -Sy refreshes repository ... but -R removes a package). I wish pacman was as good as emerge!

I definitely got over this point and accepted pacman for what it is. What seems to be more serious issue is my ATI video card. Arch (on their wiki) explain that opensource driver is the only preferred way, which a) turns the fan to max on my graphics card and b) usually makes Xorg to freeze.

Installation of proprietary ATI drivers seems to be more difficult than installation of Arch linux os. Don't get me wrong, nothing that I cannot do! But it's just another thing to watch for during the time.

The bottom line is I'm choosing to be lazy and keep Ubuntu for now... as long Unity can be removed ;).

pacman isn't that bad

_kzen's picture

Having used Archlinux for a while now, I have to say that I like it over other package managers. When it seems weird, I just blame it on the developers being Canadian, and move on.

On a more serious note, think of -S as "synchronize" as in you're going to synchronize a package available in the repositories to your local computer; -Ss is you're going to search synchronizable packages (or just fall back to the "they're canadian" thing //shrug).

The ATI thing I understand, sorta, but I don't run into the fan problem you do with the open source driver. They used to maintain a fglrx driver in the extra or community repository, but it was really a hit or miss on whether or not it would actually work between version upgrades.

more Arch Linux pros & cons...

Didier's picture

I used Arch for about 8 years. Just because I needed a fast system for my old computer. Meanwhile I enjoyed the Arch simplicity - especially for building custom packages - and outstanding documentation. What I found tedious and time consuming is setting the final touches, including selecting a consistent set of fonts, nice appearance, judicious file associations, etc... This is all the more boring as it does not teach you anything about Linux. I also tried preconfigured lightweight systems and found Slitaz especially elegant, but I happen to use specialized scientific pieces of software that would require compilation of extensive packages missing from such small distros.

A couple of months ago I bought a brand new computer. Althougth based on Atom D510 processor, it is lightning fast compared to my previous celeron. Therefore I tried Linux Mint on it. The way the system is pre-configured is a delight. The problem is that I would need to convert my PKGBUILDs, while I do not know the debian packaging system and at first glance it appears quite complicated... I first considered going back to Arch, installing MintMenu and setting up a Mint-like config. However, I am now considering using Sabayon, in order to get both a well pre-configured system and at the same time the possibility to package easily specialized sofware, as ebuilds appear equally simple as Arch PKGBUILDs.

W Arch

Naf's picture

I tried Mandriva, PCLinuxOS, Debian, Ubuntu and others, but frankly none of them gave me the satisfaction I was looking for long time until the great Archlinux entered in my life, since that day I became a true master of my system ... Oh my God, what a great satisfaction to set up your system how you need it to be. The only sin is the choice of python3 as default but solvable with a little knowledge. Long life to Archlinux.

Archlinux and Gnome, guaranteed party :-)

some theme icon for your linux:

Still prefer Debian or Free-BSD

Anonymous's picture

I've used Arch extensively over the last 2 yrs (maybe a bit more).

I agree with almost everything that's been written, but I became a bit disenchanted with Arch around 6 months ago, mainly because of the package quality in AUR. I know AUR is a "user" repo and shouldn't be considered in the grand scheme of quality, but seriously, the only reason I ever tried Arch was because of AUR, and the quality of packages in it has steadily declined in the past year.

I'd be happy with Arch if it were the only on offer, but as of now, I still prefer using minimal Debian Testing/Sid and Free-BSD on most of my rigs.

BTW, Arch doesn't actually teach you a whole lot about linux. You see many Arch fanboys claim they "know" linux just because they followed the installation guide to a tee. Granted, it probably teaches you a tad more than a beginner-friendly distro like Ubuntu or Mint, but it's mostly related to maintaining an Arch system, still far off from what LFS, Source Mage or Gentoo teaches you.

Personally, when it comes to "rolling", my distro-hopping stopped at Debian/GRML/Sidux/Aptosid... all Debian. I still prefer the "Debian Way", and keep coming back to it time and time again. GRML, in particular is probably my favourite distro right now. BSD, I use for my servers, and Slitaz is the best fit for my netbook (it makes any other distro, Arch included, feel slow on underpowered hardware).

Just my 2 cents.

Still, a good read.

Well Said.

Kevin Bush's picture

Quality of the PKGBUILDS in Arch can vary. And yes LFS and Gentoo forces you to dive deeper.



Kevin Bush is a Linux systems admin, dad and book-lover who spends far too
much time tinkering with gadgetry.

Arch is great for learning Linux and using day-to-day

Danny8's picture

I agree wholeheartedly with the major points of this review: Arch's simplicity, BSD-style inits, and excellent Wiki.

Arch's wiki, in particular, deserves praise for its accuracy and conciseness. Read the wiki's Arch Compared to Other Distributions and see if you don't agree. They don't waste time hyping their distro -- they simply explain why Arch may or may not be for you.

I haven't asked for help in Arch's forums so I can't say much about that. Gleaning information from Linux forums is often frustrating or fruitless. That's especially true with 'everyman' distros like Ubuntu: skill levels are all over the map.

I've tried a number of distributions over many years (last time I used 'Fedora' was before it was called that). I love Ubuntu--and it works great--but it's too controlling in many ways. For example: try disabling GDM easily. ... I'd love to use a true *NIX distro of some kind, but their lack of hardware compatibility is a problem for me. In fact, I hope to choose my next mainboard purchase knowing it has PC-BSD/*NIX compatibility beforehand.

With Arch, I've learned more in three months than I ever expected to. Granted it took time because I had to read a lot. It was worth it. I'm still exploring the wiki and slowly figuring out just the way I want my OS to be.

You pretty much need two computers: one to install Arch on, and another to read about it while installing. A direct wire connection to your router is helpful so you won't have to muck with your wireless card just to do the installation.

Thanks for your great article.


Anonymous's picture

Well, why not spend the freetime on something else than the computer?
I therefore using Fedora 13. No hassle, it only works great. ;)

If you're less ambitious then

Anonymous's picture

If you're less ambitious then go with Fedora. Many people don't need more than Firefox, Thunderbird, OpenOffice, Gimp etc. pp. Other people have different needs, don't like e.g. Gnome/KDE or they aren't working with OpenOffice at all. They want some small system, that gets out of their way. So it's quite the opposite to Fedora.

ArchLinux +hurd, +kde, +GasPoweredCheeseGrater

nolochemical's picture

Nice write up. Stopped distro hoping with Arch. I found it to be the distro that fit my need to tinker and trim; while still functioning as a workbench for daily use.

Since learning about GNU Hurd I was ecstatic to see the archhurd project breathing huge life towards opensource.

Overall, I have had the pleasure to install arch on two lappers (IBM R52 and Toshiba L300D AMD X2 TK-57). Everything worked on both out of the box, wifi install for the R52. Can you imaging my surprise..

What also really attracted me arch was/is the documentation is realistic and up-to-date. Forums are simply icing on the cake.

Arch, is fast. I thought *I* would most likely fail after trying to install a desktop on a strange bug that I would have to manage from the commandline; yet after down'ing the right set of packages, following the wiki steps, and weighing the best options for a light system. I'm satisfied. Arch seriously rocks, hard.

Why another distro?

idflyfish's picture

It seems that this distro is a solution in need of a problem. Seriously, why another distro?

re: Why..?

_kzen's picture

Try not to think of Arch as a solution, but a tool. The solution to my problem of needing a desktop system that isn't windows is to install another operating system, the tool I use to arrive at that solution is Arch.

By providing a small set of core utilities, Arch allows me to create the solution to my own specification, instead of relying on a distributor's proposed customizations meeting my needs. I was regularly unhappy with other distributions due to either too much junk I don't use, or customizations that get in my way rather than enhancing my experience. Yes, it takes me a little bit longer to get to my desktop when I install Arch, but my desktop stays there for long periods of time, even between upgrades.


Aparaatti's picture

The same here, I spend a lot of time hopping from distro to distro, either they where too complex to approach (slackware) or to "simple" to configure. Now I have stayed with arch for over 2 years or so and have a really flexible system that does what I need it to do, not what someone expects me to do with it.

Plus I really have learned a lot about the workings of linux, which didn't happen when I was fooling around with bigger, less transparent distributions. I mean that it wasn't that easy to see what went wrong and why... with arch I have always found the solution, and it has always been something that I could comprehend and solve without slowly messing up the predefined distribution framework.

Now I have a really nice manageable system that works like a thought :D

Meh. If I want a fast,

goody's picture

Meh. If I want a fast, minimal install, I'll just do ubuntu/debian minimal iso, and build it up from there. Arch offers me nothing. I tried arch but found out the headaches setting it up aren't worth the payback. But hey, choices are good though.

To Each Their Own

Kevin Bush's picture

Minimal Debian installs can be very fast. What Arch offers you over Debian is the very latest upstream packages, simple config via rc.conf, and the AUR. What Debian offers you over Arch... signed packages. Arch isn't perfect, but it is damn good. :-)

Kevin Bush is a Linux systems admin, dad and book-lover who spends far too
much time tinkering with gadgetry.

I can get the latest packages

goody's picture

I can get the latest packages in ubuntu/debian also. ;)

Running Sid?

Kevin Bush's picture

If you're running Sid, fair enough. :-)

Kevin Bush is a Linux systems admin, dad and book-lover who spends far too
much time tinkering with gadgetry.

Not just sid, but I can use

goody's picture

Not just sid, but I can use ppa's in ubuntu and have the latest and greatest. Forget about that?

All that being said, if I do a minimal install of ubuntu, put on only what I want, use ppa's to get the latest software, and it runs like greased lightning, why would I want arch? Please don't tell me "to learn more about linux". It only teaches me how to administer an arch install. And since I'm well versed in the debian way of doing things, I see no reason to switch just to become "one of the cool kids".

advantage is pacman and stability

vikram's picture

I was a ubuntu user for while and found pacman to be a lot faster and easier to use than apt. I also got a lot of headches doing system upgrades with broken packages etc. Never had an issue with Arch. this is just my personal experience and your mileage may wary.

Did you read the article?

KevinBush's picture

I address PPA's in my article. I'm not trying to convince you to run Arch. If you're happy with Ubuntu keep using it. I covered what makes Arch different in the article. If these differences don’t add value to your computing experience, well... no worries mate. ;-)

Not just sid, but I can use

goody's picture

Not just sid, but I can use ppa's in ubuntu and have the latest and greatest. Forget about that?

All that being said, if I do a minimal install of ubuntu, put on only what I want, use ppa's to get the latest software, and it runs like greased lightning, why would I want arch? Please don't tell me "to learn more about linux". It only teaches me how to administer an arch install. And since I'm well versed in the debian way of doing things, I see no reason to switch just to become "one of the cool kids".

Arch X Ubu 10.10

Eduardo's picture

I'll, after read this, definitively give Arch a try.

Since I became frustrate with th M$ world and discover the Linux flexibility and perspectives I've tried Red Hat, Suse, Mandrake/Mandriva and, recently Ubunbtu.

But, frankly I'm not so happy with those Ubu 10' versions any more. Several small problems...

So, maybe it's time to change and give a chance for something new, simple and light.

Thansk for the article!


Nice Project

mpegteknesi's picture

Its very nice projected and amazing.

prefabrik a kabin a prefabrik ev

Is Arch "user friendly"?

hpb's picture

"...Do not, I repeat, DO NOT ask a question in the forums or on IRC without searching the wiki and the forums first..."

Do I smell a sence of fear? Yes, Arch is great, maybe one of the best. But why are some people so unfriendly? I once asked a very polite question on a forum (I did search the internet, wikis e.o.) and the admin guy answered as if I was a stupid cow, not being able to count to 3.

You can have a great distro and a great wiki, but it makes no sence to be so rude and unfriendly to your users.

Fear? No. Less Hand Holding? Yes.

Kevin Bush's picture

I find most Arch moderators reasonable in their responses. They typically only get pissy when the question has already been answered in the forums, or is already available on the wiki. They expect users to make a valiant effort in solving their own problems before asking for help. Unlike Ubuntu, Arch's goal is not desktop domination, so you will definitely find less "Lazy Web" question accommodation. This isn't a good or a bad thing. It just is what it is. I can't speak for the moderator who harshly answered your post, because I haven't seen it, so it's hard for me to make a judgement there. In general though, I find the Arch community welcoming and reasonable.



Kevin Bush is a Linux systems admin, dad and book-lover who spends far too
much time tinkering with gadgetry.

Forum replies...

Chdslv's picture

The best I have seen yet is the Crunchbang Forum, nice replies whatever the question! If Archies want to be up-nosed that's their problem! If a guy, who gets mad, if someone asks a 'silly' question, then he/she is silly too!

Don't people fall in love and ask the other one to marry? Is that too is silly??? Oh, come on! If Archies want "their" operating system to be only their own, then let them keep it, right?

Every OS should be MINIMALISTIC, just like the MS Windows...Isn't Bill Gates windows 7 a minimalistic one, even though it is such a cow? (sorry cows!) isn't MS Windows only have a web browser, a notepad, a dvd player, a music player and a simple wordpad? What else does it have? Nothing! Every other program has to be downloaded and paid, or sometimes free as some other benefit from the "free" stuff there!

So, let ALL Open Source operating systems be minimalistic, and give the user a chance to have the freedom, we all talk about so much! BUT, let the OS be installed by anyone, even a grandma!

Why forget that practically 90% of all computer users are just ordinary people? How many drivers know how to change a wheel?

Come on, stop being geeky, but give the world of ordinary people a very good Open source operating system, which is user-friendly, or shall I say Grandma-friendly...

Take care, guys!

Grandma Friendly...

Kevin Bush's picture

There are plenty of grandma-friendly open source distributions out there. Ubuntu, for example. Not all distros need be grandma friendly. Let us geeks have our fun too. ;-)

Kevin Bush is a Linux systems admin, dad and book-lover who spends far too
much time tinkering with gadgetry.

Grandma friendly...

Chdslv's picture

Sure, let Geeks have lot of fun too!

But, when would the Open Source be so enticing for the ordinary-non-geeky people, who are actually the largest % of all computer users?

And when would Open Source be not the one that would be a change for MS Windows, but be equal and/or above Bill Gates and "one-CD - many copies" approach, only for him to have the money, and not the user to own what the user has?

Arch maybe nice and geeky, but how many of the "ordinary" users can understand that?
I like the idea of Crunchbang, and it is little geeky too, but the Forum is amazingly friendly.

When you say that Archies are jumpy at newbies, and also it is practically written in that Arch Forum, who would really jump in to clod water?

I have seen Linux changing face since 1980s, and what I see in Ubuntu make me happy, for it is not only for grandmas, but also for the housewives, and for all non-geeky men and children!

Everyone is getting somewhat jumpy on the Unity of Mark, but it is quite a nice one, not-geeky maybe, but friendly to the masses.

BTW, have you noticed that "all" forums are for the somewhat geeky people?
Have you noticed that Bill Gates makes his money by only showing how to install any program with one-click using .exe extension?

So, why can't the geeky community of Open Source developers be wee bit ordinary people. people, who have to eat, sleep, play work, etc too?

The Open Source operating system should be minimalistic too and the user should have the freedom of choosing whatever program the user wants and install it with something like Bill Gates .exe extension.

With all the geeks around the world, producing amazing programs, Bill Gates is very rich, why? Because, he doesn't think geeky, but gives what the user (hmmm...end consumer) wants. That is the main idea behind a successful business, right?

So, why can't the Open Source be a good successful business too, even though the Open Source community doesn't ask for payment?

OK, let the geeks have fun too, of course!

Take care and have a nice day!

Maybe we should just agree to disagree...

Kevin Bush's picture

There are plenty of forums that answer lazy questions. Arch forum is not one of them. If you don't like that, don't use Arch. It's really that simple. I am very much a Free Software Evangelist like you, but you must understand that there is room in free software for noob friendly distros and geeky distros. Arch is not trying to dominate the desktop, or become the next Microsoft.

And there are plenty of successful open source businesses out there. Redhat is the obvious example.

Let's not try to homogenize the diversity in free software. ;-)

Kevin Bush is a Linux systems admin, dad and book-lover who spends far too
much time tinkering with gadgetry.

Of course, we have to agree to disagree...

Chdslv's picture

Well, then we have a major problem in the open source community. Practically all Linux OSs state a disclaimer and also trying to say or saying that this given OS is not there to substitute MS Windows. Strange, don't you think?

Why use lot of energy to develop OSs, if they are not going to be the best and take over major portion of the user market? The OS becomes best, when it is used by the major part of the consumers, right?

The only Arch OS that I could look into was Chakra, as it had come out for the ordinary users (consumers). But, eventually I go back to a Ubuntu flavour, even if I don't like the Gnome look. Why should any Open Source OS try to mimic MS Windows, and then say it is not doing so? Arch may have a KISS principle or whatever, but Arch is not made for the end-user, but for few geeks or geeky, who has the time to play with being geeky.

You see, I saw this problem a long time ago, in the begining of 80s. And so much time had gone, but Open Source had not gone "that" far! Many businessmen can use the Open source (free as free beer) programs to earn money without paying much or at all. Most servers in the world use Open source, but would the businessmen ever pay so that the Open Source grow?

No, they won't, as business is to make profit and free software won't make that profit or any profit. As you mention Red must be making money from the work of the Open Source community, for it gets the software free from the work of Red Hat's sort-of free Open Source I right?

Canonical, on the other hand doesn't say it is not a business venture and also it is not producing an OS to displace MS Windows, but Canonical simply doesn't mention MS Windows! Canonical wants to be the ONLY OS in the world, and the way it is going, it will be one day. lot of developers are turning to Debian these days, but Debian is producing something that Canonical uses, so as a result the normal, ordinary end-user is going to have a very good OS.

Whether Arch is faster, does it matter to end-user, if the end-user can't even install it to see what it is?!

Take care!

Arch is for Experienced Linux Users

Kevin Bush's picture

Arch is not created for your fictional clueless "end-user." And that's partly what makes it great for tinkerers and customizers. Like most Free Software Arch was created to be the ideal platform for the person who created it, then it was shared in the hopes that other people could make use of it as well. It's simply a tool, and a great one at that. No world-desktop-domination goals or theories are necessary. If you like it, use it. If you don't... don't use it. And noobs certainly can install it, they just need to make an EFFORT to read the wiki and famialiarize themselves with the Arch install process FIRST. I've said about as much as I can say on this subject.

Take care,


Kevin Bush is a Linux systems admin, dad and book-lover who spends far too
much time tinkering with gadgetry.

Hmmm...temper! Is it the

Chdslv's picture

Is it the Archway?

BTW, I am thinking why is that Archbang Live loads into a laptop with a NVidia card, but not to a laptop with a ATI card...both laptops are new...

Everything is OK, let Arch be for the non-domination of the world and not for the ordinary end-user...Maybe Archbang will...who knows...

BTW, the Arch wiki is also for geeks...I am not a noob...but not a geek too, in IT, but a pretty good geek in another area...

Take care! Good night!

Nope, the temper is all me.

Kevin Bush's picture

Nope, the temper is all me. Can't blame that on Arch. ;-)

Kevin Bush is a Linux systems admin, dad and book-lover who spends far too
much time tinkering with gadgetry.

Of course not! Arch is not

Chdslv's picture

Of course not!
Arch is not blamed, but we are only human!

Take care and good night!


Chdslv's picture

Yesterday, i tried to install arch Linux in a Lenovo T400, but didn't succeed in getting X installed. Tried it on a Acer Aspire 4741G, and it didn't start there too. Then downloaded Archbang, but couldn't load it even Live on the Lenovo, but loaded nicely on the Acer. Now, the Lenovo is older then the Acer; core 2 duo, while Acer is i330. Arch should install in older hardware, though Lenovo is not that old.

Archbang directed me to CTKArch, which loaded nicely in Lenovo and installed beautifully too. I am writing to you from CTKarch. It is a lovely OS!

So, now I have Crunchee Statler, which would be my main OS, and two to play with; AntiX 8,5 and CTKarch. All three of them would stay as they are not bloated.

That doesn't mean I don't like Ubuntu. I want Mark to succeed in his Unity. I like Sabayon, a lovely Gentoo distro! I won't touch anymore OpenSuse, Fedora type, I am tired of them, really...

Debian maybe good, but it is a headache to install. I have no idea, why Debian cannot give out one CD and let the user dowload what the user wants through Synaptic or something. Debian wants us to sit and wait ~ 4 hours until thenetinstall finishes! Who has the time?

Crunchbang Statler is absolutely superb and the Forum is absolutely friendly! i would be quite happy if it would take the place of MS windows in the world. AntiX is as good as Crunchee, and I like Anticapitalista (he is Polish). I hope Archbang would be able to be installed in any hardware. CTKArch is lovely!

See, I am not against Arch, but I'd like it to be more user-friendly and hardware-freindly...

Take care & have a nice day!


Aparaatti's picture

I'm running arch on T400 and didn't have any compatibility problems. The normal arch install comes without x, so you need to install that too... there, under graphical user interface, if that was the problem.

Arch Linux

Chdslv's picture

Hi, Kevin!

After the slight argument with you, which was quite positive, I tried my best to get Arch installed, but had lot of problems, but got myself CTKArch and now Archbang Symbiosis. Both got installed without a hitch and pacman is quite a nice program! I can understand why you guys are so loyal to Arch... Have you tried puppy Linux too. That is a OS by itself, a real classy one. Thanks for arguing Arch out!
Have a nice Sunday!

You are quite welcome. It's

Kevin Bush's picture

You are quite welcome. It's been a great discussion. On a different note, I tried out the latest Crunchbang Statler iso, and it's very good. Nice that there are many choices with regard to lightweight Linux distributions. I have played with puppy, and it is great for low spec systems.



Kevin Bush is a Linux systems admin, dad and book-lover who spends far too
much time tinkering with gadgetry.


Chdslv's picture

Good morning!

Good that you tried Statler and Puppy. There is an Israel soldier making another Puppy named "Teh Gray", try that please. You can make a review of that too.

Actually, when I look at any Linux distro, I don't really consider it a distro, but as a operating system, so for me all operating systems are minimalistic. They become bloated and a distro by putting in their and other people's software in it.

It is quite interesting how Barry Kauler could make the same program much smaller as a .pet, while a .deb or .rpm is much larger. Of course, PC-BSD same software is even larger.

I remember the days of 20MB hard drives and even smaller Atari and Commodore times, where the software was so small. I remember having a word processor named Tag, which was less than 1MB, and it had a dictionary in it too!

Most developers must be thinking that bigger is better, like the massive SUVs Americans love. But, I have a feeling one day there will be another Barry Kauler or Corenomical, or Mikeextreme, who would come out with very fast and very small operating system, because all the tools are out there, like Mike of Archbang says.

Have you tried Kolibri? I cannot make it get connected to the internet, as i am not that geeky, but would keep on trying when I have free time.

Take care and have a nice week!

Which is exactly why you

Anonymous's picture

Which is exactly why you should use Arch, but get help on the Crunchbang Linux forums. They love Arch over there, and are by far the nicest forum that I have come across.

With the help of Crunchbang Forum, one might try to use Arch...

Chdslv's picture


With the help of Crunchbang Forum, one might try to use Arch...

Maybe if Arch is friendly and Arch forum is friendly, it might go some place, who knows...