It's Time to Install Arch LinuxLast Updated 22 November 2016
If you've come to this post through a internet search, you're wondering if you should install Arch Linux. You might as well stop now and head over to https://www.archlinux.org/ and do it. That itch won't go away.
After reading the wiki to solve my Fedora challenges, I finally decided to wipe my laptop, remove my Windows 10 safety net and jump in with both feet.
I don't really consider myself a developer or programmer. I do like privacy and knowing what's on my system. The idea of progressively adding only the things I wanted and deeply understanding how my linux system worked was my primary motivation. The Arch community and access to the wiki made me feel a lot better about it.
If you're like me, you stressed out about it for awhile and read through the various posts online about how scary it was, or how great it is.
Here's my experience after five weeks:
- I haven't had a single freeze or crash.
- Pacman, the package manager, is amazing. DNF and apt-get are great. I'm really comfortable with apt-get after years of managing Ubuntu servers but I'm sold on Pacman with a bit of Yaourt (the unofficial package manager for Arch) for some fixes.
- I run KDE and i3wm depending on my mood. i3 is very efficient and keeps me focused. When I'm tired or my kids want to play a game, KDE Plasma is a beautiful desktop enviroment.
- I've had a couple issues with my broadcom wireless card and setting up a dual-screen system. In both cases I understood how to quickly how to fix them perfectly.
I'm not a linux expert by any means. The install guide and a few blog articles helped me setup an ecypted system that works perfectly. It took 4-6 hours which I attribute to being green / out-of-date with setting up a system. During that time however I learned more about how an operating system works and how to build one than any other distribution before.
While Arch isn't appropropriate for an enterprise deployment to non-developers, it's been rock solid and extremely resource light. Coming from a decade of OSX, I haven't looked back. If you're on the fence, make a pot of coffee and jump in.