Arch Linux is More Awesome Than I Previously Thought
As an ardent Debian user, I’ve always admired the simplicity and stability of this incredible operating system. One of the things that I like about Debian is that I can download and install a netinst version and build up the whole OS from ground up with my preferred packages and apps. In this way, I ended up with an extremely stable Debian installation on my little EeePC netbook with very low footprint. However, since I had already got rid of my ancient, noisy and big desktop computer, the EeePC netbook was the only computer I had for the last few months. Therefore, buying a computer for more serious computing was on the to-do list for a while. Looking for a fairly decent second-hand laptop I came across this 3.5 years old Dell Inspiron 1520. Core 2 Due 2.2 GHz, 2GB Memory, nVidia 8600 GT Graphic Card. I suppose the system used to be a gaming machine in its better days. I was quite satisfied with the specification and $150 price tag so I decided to pick it up.
After turning on the computer, unsurprisingly, the monotonous loading bar of the Legacy OS (the vista kind) appeared on the screen. I think It took a solid 10 minutes for the Vista to boot up. Then I was welcomed with loads of errors complaining missing DLLs, outdated Anti-viruses and stuff like that. The computer was unable to perform even the most frivolous tasks like web browsing at a reasonable speed. The OS was consuming a huge portion of CPU resources and the central fan was basically howling in pain.
So the next step was to pick up a GNU/Linux Distro and revitalizing this decent computer which was suffering from an inappropriate operating system. Although I was initially planning to install Debian on this machine, later I decided that it is not a good practice to rely on a single distro. Furthermore, I kept hearing great things about Arch Linux so I decided to install this cutting-edge distro.
The basic installation of Arch Linux is very straight-forward and simple. You do the usual stuff like partitioning and boom. In less than a few minutes, you have a basic installation of Linux and a bash prompt ready to take orders. From now on, you are the creator of your own universe and you can install whatever Desktop Environment, Window Manager, modules, drivers, software you would like to have on your system. If you don’t know where to start, the Arch Wiki is a great read for you.
I spent the whole yesterday reading Wikis and customizing Arch. I’m so far amazed with it. It’s so lightweight, powerful and elegant that It is already on the way of becoming my favorite distro. I’ve learned a lot of things and now I feel like I know more about the guts of GNU/Linux. My head is still buzzing with new idea on how to customize Arch even more and I feel like I can do some amazing things with it.
To conclude, I wish I could suggest Arch Linux to Linux newcomers instead of these ‘buntu, mint stuff. It’s a quite easy to learn and use. You just should not be afraid to use command line. The process of installing and configuring all parts of your operating system might be a bit time-consuming yet it’s a very rewarding and valuable experience. Just give it a go!