Hey Linux Heads,
In this post, I will be explaining a bit about Arch Linux and why I like it. I have been Distro-Hopping for almost 4 months now, going from one Distro to another thinking that one am on will be the one am sticking to, when I couldn’t be further from the truth. If you have noticed a pattern by reading my previous posts, I always end up on the same thing, an Arch based Distro with KDE and some sort of customization done to it.
First things first, What exactly is Arch Linux ?
Arch Linux is a Linux distribution for computers with x86-64 processors. Arch Linux adheres to the KISS principle (“Keep It Simple, Stupid”) and is focused on simplicity, modernity, pragmatism, user centrality, and versatility. In practice, this means the project attempts to have minimal distribution-specific changes, and therefore minimal breakage with updates, and be pragmatic over ideological design choices and focus on user-centrality rather than user-friendliness.
A package manager written specifically for Arch Linux, Pacman, is used to install, remove and update software packages.Arch Linux uses a rolling release model, meaning there are no “major releases” of completely new versions of the system; a regular system update is all that is needed to obtain the latest Arch software; the installation images released every month by the Arch team are simply up-to-date snapshots of the main system components.
Arch Linux has comprehensive documentation, which consists of a community wiki known as the ArchWiki
Suffice it to say, that Arch Linux is, in my opinion the way Linux should be. Albeit a bit complex to install, but don’t let that intimidate you, it did me, at first but through sheer determination, and help from many Linux Monkeys over on Discord I now have it up and running and I couldn’t be happier.
Thanks to a few devs out there, there are so many ways to get it up and running, going from Advanced to beginner. The advanced way is called the Arch Way, which means we have to have to have the Installation Guide open on one system following it word for word doing everything manually by typing each and every command. Some say this is the best way of doing it, I disagree. There are better and easier ways of doing it.
The easy way comes in different shapes, ranging from scripts to full on Calamares. I, myself prefer the script way giving us more control over what is being done. Calamares is stripped-down giving us much less transparency and control. So in this post I will skip the Calamares method and talk about scripts a bit.
– Automated Method :
In the video above one of my favourite methods is used, called, Arch Linux Install Script (or ALiS for short), it installs unattended, automated and customized Arch Linux system.
It is a simple bash script that fully automates the installation of a Arch Linux system after booting from the original Arch Linux installation media. It contains the same commands that you would type and execute one by one interactively to complete the installation. The only user intervention needed is to edit a configuration file to choose the installation options and preferences from partitioning, to encryption, bootloader, file system, language and keyboard mapping, desktop environment, kernels, packages to install and graphic drivers. This automation makes the installation easy and fast.
– ArchFi Method :
In the video above my absolute favourite method is used, called, ArchFi, it makes installing Arch easier, using a few prompts but with much more control than Calamares .
It’s just a simple bash script wizard to install Arch Linux after you have booted on the official Arch Linux install media.With this script, you can install Arch Linux with two simple terminal commands. This wizard is made to install minimum packages (Base, bootloader and optionally archdi).
At the end of this wizard, you can install or launch archdi (Arch Linux Desktop Install) to install and configure desktop packages.
~ ArchFi Github ~
There are many, many, many other ways to install Arch that I haven’t gone over in this post, so to keep it short, I just showed off the 2 main methods I like and have used.
All that being said, the reason I have come to like Vanilla Arch so much, is simple really, boils down to a few, Stability, Customizability, Freedom of choice, and finally, it being a Rolling Release.
In my opinion going the Vanilla route, is, in many ways like installing Windows fresh vs installing a pre-customized version. It’s way more stable and offers a blank canvas to start with. Building on top of someone else’s work not only introduces many points of failure, but we loose the element that makes distro our own, if you know what I mean. Anyway that’s just my opinion.
It also helps me learn more. Using Linux for past 4 months, I learned how to create my own, albeit, basic scripts, that I am uploading to my TechXero Github page. I will be posting everything Arch I learn over there.
In conclusion I would like to say that, I think, if nothing happens, I will stick with Vanilla Arch for as long as possible. Sound off in the comments below, which method you use and why you like Vanilla Arch..
See ya in next post… 😀