Upon reading The Arch Way, it was love at first sight.
Arch is fantastic. Of all the distros I’ve tried over the years: Red Hat, SUSE, Ubuntu/Debian, CentOS, Elementary OS, and Mint, none of them ever stuck. I have finally put a ring on Arch’s finger. She is The One.
I’m sure our initial honeymoon phase was heightened by my first trip to Gnome Shell. Seriously. I have never tried Gnome 3/Shell before, due to all of the controversial slandering about it.
I’ve tried everything else under the sun: Gnome 2, old KDE, KDE plasma, Unity, Cinnamon, Xfce, Pantheon, and LXDE. Gnome Shell completely blows them all out of the water. It feels like an extension of my thoughts. It’s lovely.
Arch Has the Beauty
- Minimal - It starts you with a CLI-only bedrock OS, a foundation which to build ones dreams on top of. There’s no extra fluff, not even beloved locate!
- Sculptable - I choose the desktop environment, everything is compatible. I choose how to administer it. I choose what software goes on it. I choose everything.
- Bleeding Edge - This whole rolling release thing is dreamy. As a former Debian/Ubuntu/Mint user, I was occasionally running into problems just to find out my packages were out of date, even freshly installed ones. It wasn’t until Arch that I experienced the famed rolling release model, as popularized by Fedora.
- Teachy - Arch is an educator. Since it doesn’t hold your hand and magically obscure everything from you, you actually get a clue of what’s going on under the hood. Using Arch is like living in a spoken language’s native country. I thought this quality would be tedious, but it has turned out to be enjoyable and informative.
And the Brains
- Systemd - I don’t even know what to call this.. thing. It’s like a.. command center where I can pull all the strings from. I have never seen anything like it before.
- Pacman - I used to be an apt-get user like you, but then I took an arrow in the knee. Pacman feels like apt-get, done right.
- The AUR - The gaping array of packages available in the Arch user repo blows my mind. There is nothing I have not found there, and it’s unbelievably up to date. I never once thought any distro could rival Ubuntu’s repository.
- Documentation - The Arch wiki is the best distro wiki I’ve ever seen. In fact, it’s the best general Linux wiki I’ve ever read.