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Distro Roundup!

post #1 of 108
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As most of you know, I’m Ubuntu user, Often passing on my knowledge to those seeking it when and where I can. Every once in awhile I get an itch to try out other distro’s and compare them, to see if switching is worth it. As I’m quite familiar with the whole “Debian way” that is in Ubuntu, and I have tons of scripts that I’ve built over the years, that are specifically built for the use in Debian based distro’s, so switching from a Debian based distro would require me to alter all these scripts for the new platform.

Ubuntu has its strengths along with its weakness, as other distro’s. I often look at some key points of any distro I try, they usually are things like:

Ease of installation (in case I ever need to re-install or install it to other machines).
The ability to create packages.
The flexibility and reliability of its package manager.
Repositories (the quality of its packages, the standard repo’s included, third party repo’s, etc)

Arch Linux - Initial Review Arch Linux - Initial Review (Click to show)
Installation: Difficult

I ran into a problem installing arch Linux from their current net install, 2011.08.

I was getting an error when trying to activate my Fake Raid array for the installer. There was very little information on this error in the arch wiki, or from repeated Google searches. The one suggestion I was able to find, was from arch’s bug tracking system. It was recommended to use the 2010.05 core install CD (that I had to track down, since it was no longer available on arch’s site.)

This method did not work for me, as grub-legacy wouldn’t’t’t install to my raid, kept telling me the volume did not exist. I tried downloading and installing grub2-bios, but that as well did not work. So I booted into a back up installation of Ubuntu 10.04 that I use for just this purpose. I was unable to correct the problem thru a chroot, so I moved onto a complete installation from this environment.

This Process included bringing pacman to Ubuntu 10.04, which required installing compatible lib’s and other packages from Ubuntu, and packages from arch (mainly libfetch and pacman itself.). When I first ran pacman, I received an error about my glibc version being too old, and I was unable to locate the version needed from Debian Sid or Ubuntu’s repositories. So I went for what could be considered a bit risky option, I grabbed the glibc 2.14 package from the core repository of arch Linux, and manually installed it by opening up in archiver, and transfer the files/folders to their corresponding places in Ubuntu. I then ran sudo ldconfig, to update the lib links. This allowed me to use pacman, long enough to grab the base install of arch, and then Chroot into it, to finish up the installation.

Once inside the chroot, I used a combination of resources from the arch wiki, to figure out why I was unsuccessful in booting arch. The arch wiki is a great wealth of information, but it is sort of annoying in its layout, as they include “alternate” methods, usually split up in case the primary method does not work, instead of including them in their own section. As I found the solution to my problem, in a footnote of the main article of setting up a software raid instead of a hardware/fake raid.

All in all, the installation would’ve been a breeze if it wasn’t that problem with the installation disk, as it moved quite fast once I was in the chroot and then once I was able to get into the install itself.

NOTE: It would be nice if they offered a sort of “livecd” of different DE’s with base install, as most will want to run a GUI, and have sound. To anyone on a bandwidth cap, or where downloading is slow, it might be frustrating if they screw something up, and have an easier way to get to a working installation without having to re-download packages. I am going to assume this violates some arch principal, but it might be a nice “community project”, as I know you can create custom install CD’s of arch. As this might be something I myself might look into if I do switch to arch.


Package Creation:
Arch offers a community driven repository of sorts, called the AUR, which has a few front end tools that allow easy access to it, that downloads the needed pkgbuild scripts and source to build packages from source. I have not built an actual pkgbuild myself since the first time I installed arch a few years back.

It seems to be a pretty straight forward process, of grabbing the source, unpacking it, configuring it, building it, and then bundling it up in a package that it auto installs for you. The ones available in the AUR, are pretty generic, and often times for a serious power user, will require modification, which might be better spent on building their own pkgbuild. Its a nice system to give average users, who don’t care about optimization, the ability to extend the software available for arch, as its included/standard repositories are quite small compared to Ubuntu’s.

Package Manager:

the package manager for arch Linux, is the infamous pacman. It has no graphical front end, so it is all command line. It is fairly straight forward in its use, and switches. It is fairly fast (much faster than apt-get, but I also noticed it doesn’t have the checks and balances that apt-get goes thru when it is installing a package.). All in all it is a nice package manager, and I really can’t comment much more on it, as I have yet to fully explore it, and what it can do. I will update this section as I become more familiar with it over the next few weeks.

Repositories:

Arch has distro repo’s, plenty of mirrors to choose from and tools to determine the fastest mirror from your location. The actually distro repo’s are quite small compared to Ubuntu’s or even fedora’s, but what they lack the AUR makes up for. Which in a pinch, can suffice, but to me it strikes me there isn’t much quality control in a user maintained repo such as AUR.

The software in the standard repositories seem competently handled, meaning they are built well, and to standard, to fit into the jigsaw that is a Linux distro. I can not say the same about the AUR as pacman only handles the installation of these packages, and tracks their dependencies, it can not fetch or upgrade their dependencies if the packages from the AUR are built to rigid. this happens in Ubuntu as well, but often time, Ubuntu’s repositories are so massive, it is hard to find something not in them.

Over all:

So far i’m liking arch, it is snappy, doesn’t seem to have to many bugs. The wiki like previously mention is a bit annoying, same with the AUR. I’ve only been using it for the last few hours, and I will update if my experience with it has changed for the better or the worst. So far, if I was going to replace Ubuntu with a distro, arch is the top ranks for consideration.


Arch Linux: Final Thoughts;My Only thoughts on Mandriva.
Arch Linux: Final Thoughts;My Only thoughts on Mandriva (Click to show)


Arch Linux: Final Thoughts;My Only thoughts on Mandriva.


Arch Linux:


I'm not sure how to begin with my final review with arch. For what you trade in to be an arch user, and what you actually get out of it are not that impressive. There is a huge difference to “up to date” software and “up to date secure and less buggy” software. There is also doing work that is needless, either cause the “maintainer” of a package is incompetent, or felt he was doing some kind of favor by stripping out things that might be considered “bloat” on a dependency chain, then having included in the wiki for it “oh and you will need this as well if you want this feature to work”.


The buggy software, due to the nature of bleeding edge rolling release type model. They are little things, that irk at you when you notice them. Minor memory leaks, threads getting locked in at a 100% for no apparent reason, driving up your core temp and eating up resources, forcing you to manually kill them, cause they have rendered the system slow, almost to the point of unresponsiveness, and you can only hope that it wasn't something you were working on, that you hadn't save.


There are also the unexpected and random closings of programs. I was writing an email to a friend of mine yesterday, and all of the sudden, Thunderbird quit, with no explanation to as why, and then wouldn't open back up cause it was convinced it was still running. I'll be setting here, and conky will close itself, or pidgin will sign out and close down, or my network will suddenly stop working.


Then you start looking around their forum or wiki, and the supported suggestion to this, is find a stable point and stop updating...all I can say to that is, are you serious?


I had to stop using any of the command line tools for the AUR, as they were just horrible, since they aren't official, I can't really hold that against arch, just who ever develops them. As for the AUR itself, I just found it easier to build the PKGBUILDS myself, then to modify an existing one, as it took the same amount of time, and it gave me a chance to understand the “arch way” on that part of the distro.


I wasn't impressed over all with the concept or the execution of the AUR. When I did find the need to dip into the AUR, like previously mentioned, I found myself just creating a new PKGBUILD for my needs, than using the one in it, so eventually I just stopped going to it all together.


With the problems I had with the installation, the extra work for no benefit, the buggy software, I just don't see myself staying on arch all that much. I mean I like it, I just don't like it enough to go “alright I like it so much, I’m willing to forget and ignore these problems, and use it full time.”. I'll keep it around as reference, but I don't think it will survive the test of time as my main distro of choice.


Mandriva:


Its a hefty ISO at 1.7GB. The installation is sorta backwards, as it sets up somethings, installs, then ask you to setup a root password, create a user, etc...


It uses KDE as its DE, and its been heavily modified. The “start menu” is hard to explain, as the closest thing I’ve seen to it used in another OS, is mac os x, and its been added recently in 10.7 lion I believe. Its that “launcher” thing they created, where it displays all your installed programs in an overlay on the desktop, laid out like you'd find on a iPad/iPhone. It has lock/power off button in the right hand corner, it has a program search bar in the middle at the top, and in the left hand corner it displays your name and a cheesy avatar picture.


There are three sections that I could see to this menu, welcome, which has a list of “recent applications” used, and “places” and “recent documents” as sub sections. The next one is “applications” and they are broke up in sections such as “internet”, “office”, “graphics”, “sounds/multimedia”, “tools” and “games”. The last main section, is “time frame” which I have no idea what it does, as it required Nepomuk indexing to be enabled (which was not done by default), once it was enabled and let run, there was still no information available in that last section.


There is always like a dock style “quick launch” that you'd find in windows 7, in the default panel. I didn't play with it to much, it could be just a modified KDE widget, but I was unable to easily find a way to add “programs” to it.


Mandriva also seems to be playing the “cloud card”, and have a built in program called “Mandriva sync client”. I did not register to try out the program, as I don't believe in needless signing up for things that I have no intention of using. But I’d imagine it worked like dropbox or Ubuntu one.


I can't really give this a full review, my network was working, I was able to browse thru Firefox, but I was unable to get urpmi working, either thru the command line or thru the “easyurpmi” GUI. It at first wouldn’t connect to the mirrors, but when I was able to get it too, it wouldn't parse the package information. I was unable to add any third party “repo's” if that is what they are called in Mandriva, and I was unable to install any additional packages. I worked on the problem for an hour, gave up, went back to it about 6 hours later, and the problem was still there. I Googled around the error I was receiving, and followed several guides to “fix” it, but it still did not work.


I didn't want to spend a lot of time trying to fix a broken package manager, for this distro. Its installer is easy to understand, and pretty straightforward to what you are doing, the KDE theme and modifications made to it are quite well done. It was a pity I was unable to find a solution to fix the package manager, but its like they all say, a package manager makes or breaks a system, and a broken package manager on a system this nice is a shame.


There is no wonder in my mind now, why Mandriva was almost forced to close up shop a few years ago, I wish any one the best of luck who decide for whatever reason to try this distro over any of the others available.


Fuduntu: is it a great as its name implied?
Fuduntu (Click to show)
Fuduntu: is it a great as its name implied?

Now I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect with this “fork of fedora”, it claims to be a mix between fedora and ubuntu. I assuming they are trying to “emulate” the success that ubuntu had with using debian sid as a base and going from there.

I didn’t actually get this distro to “review” as a consideration to go to, but I thought it looked interesting.

It uses gnome 2.32 (seems the dev’s suffer from “gnome 3 is evil and bad” mentality, so we are gonna beat this dead horse to get more users.), and it has dock at the bottom of the screen, which I believe is awn.

I played around with it for about an hour, but it felt a lot like Fedora to me, with gnome 2.32 and a dock. Maybe it will become something if the dev’s focus on making it as different to fedora, as ubuntu has done with debian, but right now it is fedora 15 i believe, with gnome 2.32 and a dock.

They appear to maintain their own Repo (unlike how mint use to ride on the curtails of ubuntu repo’s), probably as to control that gnome 3 doesn’t slip into the build by mistake, so if you are going to be using this, I would suggest to be careful when adding fedora repo’s to it.

I didn’t notice any problems installing, and I was able to use yum. It defaults with chromium instead of firefox, which seems to be a trend among these “lesser” distro’s. For an office suite, oddly enough doesn’t endorse the use of libre office, it uses a chromium as a wrapper app for google Doc’s. So it seems they might be trying to gear the OS towards the cloud, as they also integrate dropbox and a dropbox repo into the release.

All in all, its a colorful take on fedora, as fedora can be a be too “clinical” at times with their themes, for all we know it might one day overtake fedora as lead like mint has done to ubuntu.

Arch Revisited:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I’ve spent the last few days reading over my views on arch, and the pursuing sandstorm it seems to have caused a over all seemingly negative response from arch users, even to the point, of almost “bashing” other distro’s...

I feel I should take a moment, to reiterate what the purpose of this was, why arch was done first, and general summarizing of my thoughts towards arch linux.

The purpose of this thread, I’m a ubuntu user, I prefer ubuntu, I like ubuntu, and I’ve learned ubuntu. I didn’t treat ubuntu as a stepping stone to get into other distro’s. I tried out a bunch of distro’s when I decided to make the change, and Ubuntu was the one I was most comfortable with, and still am comfortable with it. As I don’t believe I made a choice out of error, or simply can not see the “perceived” problems that people have said about ubuntu over the years.

I get these “urges” the best way to describe them, to see what I could potentially be missing, as I hear some fantastic things about various distro’s, and the monotony that using only Ubuntu brings, I like the change every once in awhile.

Sharing my views and thoughts on these distro’s, help me “organize” my experience with them better. I also go into these distro’s, to see not only how they differ from ubuntu, but I also see how they compare with what I already do, how I setup ubuntu, and what I know about ubuntu.

Now my reviews of these other distro’s, might come off as just being negative, to poke at other users of these distro’s, I can not stress enough that is not my intention. I also welcome the challenge to my opinion, cause I could very well be wrong, either thru ignorance of not knowing enough about the distro, and the way they do things, or just simply cause I didn’t bother or summarized my experience with it.

I chose Arch first, simply cause it is the one I hear the most about, and the one I have the least hands on experience with, as the first time I used it, it ended in disaster, and instead of trying to fix it, I simply gave up and ran back to ubuntu’s comfort.

Yes I had what I would call serious problems with the installation thru its install media. Even to the point where it almost made me go “okay, not for me”. Instead of throwing my hands up in failure on this, I went forward, looking for solutions, when I could not achieve this. I started using my experience, and figured I could try what seem at the time (even now) as something that was just begging to fail. I was actually quite surprised it had not failed, as it was a combination of things I do with ubuntu when building a custom live iso, when I tried out gentoo, and a paragraph in the arch wiki.

Even after successfully installing it, I still had trouble booting it, I spent a few hours, and my persistence paid off. If at anytime, I felt I was going to just give up on this distro and blow up on it, would’ve been this time.

These sort of installation problems, I’ve never had before, with ubuntu or any of the other distro’s I’ve tried. The closest I can come with it in terms of not being able to use the installer, was when on my sisters laptop I used ubuntu’s alternative installer cd instead of the live cd. which actually later to find out, was not a ubuntu problem, but one with that generation of kernel code, concerning intel graphics. (this was in the 9.10 release, and I think it was also in the 10.04 release, it has since been resolved afaik.)

I enter into Arch linux, with a lot of hope that this Distro would wow and dazzle me. That I would long last find a Ubuntu replacement and go “and this is what I’ve been missing.” unfortunately, I did not.

overall I think arch is a fine distro, it has a lot going for it, to the right user. for me, it offered me in nothing in terms that I don’t already get out ubuntu. I’ve taken into consideration that have been said about my opinion on arch and some of its prized features. They honestly do not change my mind on it.

To me arch’s approach to things, simply do not make me think “oh this better than ubuntu’s approach”, it does however make me go “oh this is different, but do I like it?”.

the over all answer, is no.

AUR, how do can I review the AUR, without it sounding like I’m making excuses.

I use PPA’s, I use third party repositories, and I also check to see if the developer happens to offer a .deb package. if they do not, I will resort to building my own package, which I typically do in most cases, now the other times I compile from source, is to either optimize it cause the software could take advantage of features my cpu offers, to add or remove a feature, or to patch the software with either a security/bug fix update, or it is a patch to add functionality.

With that in mind now, when I would need to use the AUR, compared to the shear volume of PPA’s, third party repositories, and packages on developers site, the potential thought of having to replace that with a majority of source building, then customizing the script if need be, and the added time of compiling in, with the potential of not gaining nothing from it, the AUR to me, is really a poor alternative to adding to the software availability in arch linux.

With the few exceptions to this, I would loose abilities in arch linux going this route. With PPA’s and Third party repositories, adding these to apt’s sources.list, the installed package is not only tracked, but apt will sync with these, and if their is an update available, will notify me of this. as with the AUR, things are constantly being moved from PPA’s, third party repositories and stand alone deb packages, into the repositories based on the popularity and demand of them, often times in the span of a single release, as Ubuntu freezes debian’s sid branch, and things get added to sid very fast most times.

ABS, its actually quite easy to review the ABS, as it is something you will find in all distro’s, in one form or another. with arch complying to gpl an various other free licenses, the source has to be made available upon request. the ABS was arch’s solution, ubuntu adopted debian’s solution to this, by making source repositories, accessible via apt.

These two systems, are very much alike. the reason I say this, well lets look at example:

arch:

We are going to assume you’ve already installed abs and edited /etc/makepkg.conf to customize compile flags.

sudo abs
cd /var/abs/[repo]/[pkgname]/
makepkg

^this is a basic, just compiling with the new compile flags.

Ubuntu:

export CFLAGS="-march=native -O2 -pipe"
export CXXFLAGS="-march=native -O2 -pipe"
mkdir package-build
cd package-build
sudo apt-get build-dep [package]
apt-get source [package]
cd package
dpkg-buildpackage -j#(number of cores to use)-rfakeroot -uc -b
cd ..
sudo dpkg -i package.deb

^ as with arch, this just compiles the package with the compile flags. Now this is only one way to build a package in from sources, to me this is the easiest method to obtain, and the other methods are for more of developing for ubuntu than they are for average users to rebuild a package or two.

If you want, you can easily throw this entire process into a build script, and run that, and keep it on hand for later use or modification.

I know i said this process is very much alike to that of arch’s, but the ubuntu way, is a bit more complicated, but do me a favor, open up the PKGBUILD and look at what they’ve done for you...and you say ubuntu is hand holding...

I guess if you want to streamline this process a bit, you can export the compile flags, alias make to make -j#(cores to use), and then run it like this:

mkdir package-build
cd package-build
sudo apt-get build-dep [package] &&sudo apt-get source -b [package]
cd ..
sudo dpkg -i package.deb

As for the rest of the system, startup resource use, hard drive space used, and processes running at startup, boot up time, they are virtually identical for me in both, to actually set here and detail the difference, would actually be petty in my eyes.

For the other parts of the distro, the speed of the GUI, the speed of the soaftware once opened, I’ve not noticed actually differences in this area, if there are some, it is so minute I can’t visually feel this.

Now on to stability of Arch. I left windows cause of stability issues, why would I want to return to it? The actually stability issues i’ve had, its like this, I mentioned them, but over all they didn’t weigh that much on my thoughts on arch. these things happen, I just thought it was worth the mention, since when I searched about issues, I saw the most given answer to it was “find a stable point and stop updating”, to what end is what I wondered, if anything it was a cry for help on my part, to see what “theories” could be generated as to these problems.

A lot people find ubuntu’s approach to dependency to be some what “bloated”, I don’t, when I install something in ubuntu, I don’t have to go searching on the web/arch wiki, for a solution why a feature isn’t working, cause what I consider to be an actual dependency, is only considered “optional” in arch.

So when I look at all I could potentially give up to use arch, I say “it isn’t worth it for me.”

Open Suse 12.1
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Open Suse 12.1

Installation:

I ran into no problems installing opensuse. It uses a graphical installer like you will find in most Livecd's. It handles all the basic like setting up initial user, root password, partitioning, timezone configuration,etc. Nothing really stood out for this installer, that I haven't seen before in other livecd installers, so I don't have anything remarkable about it to report.

It appears to be a two stage installing, one setting up all the basics and installing the system, after a reboot you are greeted by a automated configuration that has no user interaction. After it is done, it boots into the graphical desktop. (chose the Gnome 3 livecd).

Package Creation:

I gave my hand at trying to build packages in the tools provided in the OS and by opensuse build service. The opensuse build service is an interesting thing. as it is a place to build custom packages and offer them to other users, and to grab additional packages from a 1 click interface from the website.

I tried several times, but I grew frustrated with creating custom packages for opensuse, it is not exactly easy, and takes awhile to get a handle on the finer points of it (it is similar to creating packages for Fedora as well). With enough time, I'm sure it would come easier to me, but to me it seemed like a lot of work to relearn something I already know how to do in other OS's. I rate package creation as a criteria, as there are times I have to create packages, for various reasons, and Opensuse does try to make this processes easier, but it is a learning curve I would need to overcome.

Package Manager/repositories:

Zypper is the command line packager for opensuse. its easy to learn and transition from apt to zypper. There are differences in the approaches and design of the two command line packaging tools, but i wasn't able to really find anything that one could do the other could not. So I might be in error to say, that they were feature equals.

The Yast Software Manager, the graphical front end to zypper, Took a little more to get use to than say synaptic or Ubuntu’s software center. It is not as fluid switching between different features of the software Manager, like refreshing repositories, adding/removing repositories, searching the database for additional software, or adding/removing software. I like the some of the grouping features a bit more in opensuse, as they have desktop groupings, which I imagine come in handy if you want to avoid say gtk or qt libs or pulling in large amounts of another DE for single program. They also include the standard groupings like educational, office, networking, etc.

The repositories seemed to be well stocked with popular Open source software, but it was missing various programs that I used. I was able to locate and install them thru the one click install from opensuses build system. I can't vouch for the quality of all the packages in this system, but the ones I tested out seemed to be alright.

Over all:

Its a fine a distro, a lot of love goes into it from its Dev team, that can be seen in the quality of the build and installer. I liked yast, this "program" contains a lot of things, that I think would help a new user transition into the Linux world a lot better.

I don't see myself currently switching to it full time, but I think I might install it on one of my other machines to continue testing it, as it might serve a useful replacement one day.

Next Distro in the roundup: undecided
Edited by Transhour - 11/29/11 at 5:05pm
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post #2 of 108
You may find packer preferably to Yaourt, a large chunk of the community has been moving away from Yaourt in favor of the many other AUR managers.
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post #3 of 108
I am excited to see this. I wasn't very impressed with Arch, its simple in the technical standpoint but I come from a Unix, BSD, and slackware background and just didn't see an advantage to run Arch over any other distro. But to each their own. I do agree with you the wiki is pretty good.
post #4 of 108
Arch is the first distro I've actually liked. Great package manager, great documentation and community, adherence to KISS, and always up to date. And it's really easy to add things in like plymouth, systemd, grub2, etc.
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post #5 of 108
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ishimura2446 View Post
I am excited to see this. I wasn't very impressed with Arch, its simple in the technical standpoint but I come from a Unix, BSD, and slackware background and just didn't see an advantage to run Arch over any other distro. But to each their own. I do agree with you the wiki is pretty good.
I see a few advantages, mainly how they've setup the packages. Seems they keep the "dependencies" to a bare minimal, even tho I've already ran into a few issues with it going "wth?".

Like with the 32libs for multi-lib, it didn't pull in the audio libs, so skype wasn't working, had to go googling to why since my sound was working, and I have gotten so use to it just working in ubuntu without a hitch.

the other was the aspell library, i had to install that separately? i set my local, I don't quite understand, since this is "needed" to have a functioning word processor, as to why it is a "non-critical" dependency. it was no big deal, but it would've been if i was on a non-internet connected device and needed to spell check before a print. I'm not sure why pacman wasn't capable of using my local and then downloading the right aspell lib...just saying, it is little things like this that annoy me when it comes to other package managers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket Lawnchair View Post
Arch is the first distro I've actually liked. Great package manager, great documentation and community, adherence to KISS, and always up to date. And it's really easy to add things in like plymouth, systemd, grub2, etc.
any distro can accomplish these things you just mentioned, but any with a auto-dependency handling violates the KISS principle. as auto-dependency is typically what breaks the system.

and i wouldn't consider "up to date" a quality principle of arch, yes it has "bleeding edge" software, but at the same time, their is a reason why most distro's have chosen the "release" route, over a rolling release model.

You freeze the release at a certain point, then work out the majority of the bugs from there, and then you just keep weeding out the bugs from then on, with that source version. it is how debian stable does it, where debian testing is a rolling release, they freeze testing at some point, and go "okay, now to track down the problems and fix them for stable", you can't do that with arch, you might be able to fix a bug, but who knows when the next "rolling" update will break it again.

There are advantages to both models, don't get me wrong. I'm more into stability than I am having the latest, if it is that big of a concern, i will grab the source myself and compile it and build a package.
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Quick question - if you dislike Arch but love Ubuntu, wouldn't it have been easier to start with Ubuntu? Plus, this reads a bit more like a blog at the moment. Useful, but YMMV in a big way.

Good idea though, wish I'd thought to do something similar during my insane "distro-hopping in Virtualbox" period a couple of years ago. I went through about 15 including Solaris & BSD, lol
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debian testing?

from the sounds of it, you might prefer it once you take a few minutes to stream line the install process with some scripts
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post #9 of 108
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chemicalfan View Post
Quick question - if you dislike Arch but love Ubuntu, wouldn't it have been easier to start with Ubuntu? Plus, this reads a bit more like a blog at the moment. Useful, but YMMV in a big way.

Good idea though, wish I'd thought to do something similar during my insane "distro-hopping in Virtualbox" period a couple of years ago. I went through about 15 including Solaris & BSD, lol
Its not that I dislike any distro, I have a firm belief they all serve a purpose, and since I don't need that purpose filled I simply don't use it. ubunut, debian, fedora, centos, even slackware I have a firm concept in my mind what I would use them for, and why. Arch is pretty much the only one I can not define, it is why i started with it.

I hear people often assign values to Arch linux, as if it is the only distro that has these abilities. "bleeding edge software", ubuntu is based on debian's sid branch, which is most of the time "bleeding edge".

Arch is a rolling release, if you run debian testing, it is a rolling release, the same thing can be achieve in ubuntu if you change your repo's to the next release name.

Arch has a netinstall cd so you are always up to date on the current software when you install...so does ubuntu and debian...

Arch has the AUR, this one probably bugs me the most. Is the AUR so great cause it offers so many packages? or is it cause it can be built from source? if you get down to it, debian/ubuntu doesn't need a "aur" of sorts, they have well over 30k packages in their standard repositories, then you toss in all the PPA's that the ubuntu community have, go to any website that offers linux software, and more than likely you will find .deb packages for ubuntu and debian.

If it is cause you can build it from source, how many people spend the time to "degeneric" the pkgbuild? or do they just let it build a generic package, and install it? cause if that is the case, then my first argument about the sheer amount of packages in ubuntu/debian stands, as all them are built as generic as possible as well. but if you get down to the nuts and bolts of apt, you can easily rebuild packages yourself, using source code, and having the GCC configuration preset.

sudo apt-get build-dep <package name>

^this grabs the dependencies for the package

sudo apt-get -b source <package-name>

^ and that will grab the source, configure it, build it, and turn it into a nice package waiting to be installed. there is no grabbing a third party tools such as "yaourt" or whatever is currently the better one, there is no editing of a pkgbuild as this can be achieved by setting in your profile, it is all built directly into apt-get.

if you really want to get technical, a pkgbuild is nothing special. it is basically a bash script, that uses tools already in the install, to configure, compile and make a package and install it, i have about 800 of these scripts for debian/ubuntu i've collected and built over the years. So debian/ubuntu hasn't needed to fully exploit this underlying feature they've had for years, since their repositories are massive, and if a power user does need an optimized or special feature of a software not in the generic package that is offered, it is not all that difficult for them to build it themselves.

Arch teaches you how the inner workings of linux work. no, arch like any of the distro's teach you how arch works, with arch's philosophy. arch requires you to a bit more hands on with your install, where debian/ubuntu are more like "we will do it for you", but they don't hide or burry the ability to be hands on in your install if you want.

I could go on all day, but the that is the gist of why I chose arch first, as I'm trying to figure out its "draw" on people, and make them forget that all distro's that i've ever used, are fully capable of doing what arch does, but where it is only arch's main "feature", these other distro's offer more than just one "way".

My feelings towards arch haven't changed in the last few days of using it, I still feel it is a "niche" linux distro, for either people wanting a way not to carry the stigma that ubuntu has about being a "noob" distro, or get the feeling of superiority of being "l337", cause it offers a bit more work, to do what most distro's do from the get go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EntTheGod View Post
debian testing?

from the sounds of it, you might prefer it once you take a few minutes to stream line the install process with some scripts
I've already done the debian testing route, look at my sig (its currently backed up tho, as the constant xorg updates testing was receiving, and having to constantly reinstall nvidia drivers was driving me insane as they were screwing up the opengl libs of nvidia.)

I do like debian testing but I'm more or less evaluating their "release/stable" editions, as that is what I'm more inclined to run.
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post #10 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Transhour View Post
Its not that I dislike any distro, I have a firm belief they all serve a purpose, and since I don't need that purpose filled I simply don't use it. ubunut, debian, fedora, centos, even slackware I have a firm concept in my mind what I would use them for, and why. Arch is pretty much the only one I can not define, it is why i started with it.

I hear people often assign values to Arch linux, as if it is the only distro that has these abilities. "bleeding edge software", ubuntu is based on debian's sid branch, which is most of the time "bleeding edge".

Arch is a rolling release, if you run debian testing, it is a rolling release, the same thing can be achieve in ubuntu if you change your repo's to the next release name.

Arch has a netinstall cd so you are always up to date on the current software when you install...so does ubuntu and debian...

Arch has the AUR, this one probably bugs me the most. Is the AUR so great cause it offers so many packages? or is it cause it can be built from source? if you get down to it, debian/ubuntu doesn't need a "aur" of sorts, they have well over 30k packages in their standard repositories, then you toss in all the PPA's that the ubuntu community have, go to any website that offers linux software, and more than likely you will find .deb packages for ubuntu and debian.

If it is cause you can build it from source, how many people spend the time to "degeneric" the pkgbuild? or do they just let it build a generic package, and install it? cause if that is the case, then my first argument about the sheer amount of packages in ubuntu/debian stands, as all them are built as generic as possible as well. but if you get down to the nuts and bolts of apt, you can easily rebuild packages yourself, using source code, and having the GCC configuration preset.

sudo apt-get build-dep <package name>

^this grabs the dependencies for the package

sudo apt-get -b source <package-name>

^ and that will grab the source, configure it, build it, and turn it into a nice package waiting to be installed. there is no grabbing a third party tools such as "yaourt" or whatever is currently the better one, there is no editing of a pkgbuild as this can be achieved by setting in your profile, it is all built directly into apt-get.

if you really want to get technical, a pkgbuild is nothing special. it is basically a bash script, that uses tools already in the install, to configure, compile and make a package and install it, i have about 800 of these scripts for debian/ubuntu i've collected and built over the years. So debian/ubuntu hasn't needed to fully exploit this underlying feature they've had for years, since their repositories are massive, and if a power user does need an optimized or special feature of a software not in the generic package that is offered, it is not all that difficult for them to build it themselves.

Arch teaches you how the inner workings of linux work. no, arch like any of the distro's teach you how arch works, with arch's philosophy. arch requires you to a bit more hands on with your install, where debian/ubuntu are more like "we will do it for you", but they don't hide or burry the ability to be hands on in your install if you want.

I could go on all day, but the that is the gist of why I chose arch first, as I'm trying to figure out its "draw" on people, and make them forget that all distro's that i've ever used, are fully capable of doing what arch does, but where it is only arch's main "feature", these other distro's offer more than just one "way".

My feelings towards arch haven't changed in the last few days of using it, I still feel it is a "niche" linux distro, for either people wanting a way not to carry the stigma that ubuntu has about being a "noob" distro, or get the feeling of superiority of being "l337", cause it offers a bit more work, to do what most distro's do from the get go.



I've already done the debian testing route, look at my sig (its currently backed up tho, as the constant xorg updates testing was receiving, and having to constantly reinstall nvidia drivers was driving me insane as they were screwing up the opengl libs of nvidia.)

I do like debian testing but I'm more or less evaluating their "release/stable" editions, as that is what I'm more inclined to run.
Thank you. But to be fair it isn't just arch users. Any of the elitist Linux users. Yes I get it, your flavour of choice comes with the tag of "some assembly required" but what that really means is that you can read the wiki provided.
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