Grokking Technology

Arch Linux

Over the years I have used almost every significant Linux distribution available: either in work or at home.

Check out DistroWatch for information on many of these and lots more distributions. More than that, at times work has taken me onto just a few of the different flavours of Unix:

Eventually - possibly somewhere in the very late 90’s or just into the new millennium - I was able to close down my last remaining Windows system and say goodbye to Microsoft products forever - at least as far as my own home systems were concerned. I certainly do not miss the regular 6-monthly system rebuilds or the frantic virus eradication sessions or the progressive performance degradation or the enforced hardware upgrades. Even now, after all these years, I am still impressed by the multi-year uptime stats reported by my Linux systems.

Up until recently, my distro of choice has been openSuSE. Mostly because of my preferred KDE desktop and the Yast administration tool; both made managing the platform very easy. Most of the time, the openSuSE team have created really good migration tools so that moving from one version to another has been relatively painless.

Migration policy has become more important too, not just with the SuSE team but others as well.

I found myself being regularly thwarted by missing repositories and therefore unable to upgrade manually to new package versions since required support libraries were missing. As a result, forced to do without new, improved versions.

Arch Linux

Then I discovered Arch Linux. I tested it out on my Asus netbook and liked it so much, it has spread now to all my home systems. The key differentiator compared to most, if not all, distributions is the lack of versions: there is only the current active one.

To be sure, it is not a distribution for everyone; it can be difficult to configure compared to the likes of SuSE and package updates can cause temporary breakages. Still, for me the cost of these inconveniences is far exceeded by the knowledge that my systems are generally as current as they can be and most of all I can exercise more control over what is installed compared to any other distro.

Unlike most other systems, I can also engage directly with the distribution; helping to evolve documentation and even contributing packages. Being able to give something back, however small, for the amazing software countless people continue to contribute to Linux is a pretty awesome experience.

Arch Linux rocks!

Page created on Sun 25 Apr 2021 by Andy Ferguson
Tag list: linux distro