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Arch Linux For Newbies? Manjaro Is Here! 120

Penurious Penguin writes "Well within the top ten Linux distros, Arch Linux has a strong following for sure. But with an installation process requiring a little more involvement than the average distro, not every prospective user is ready to embrace the Arch Way, and understandably so. This is where Manjaro steps in. With a 100% compatibility with Arch, uncompromising adherence to principia KISS and a pre-configured Xfce, — or alternatively available GNOME & KDE — those who've been hesitating to explore Arch now have a few less excuses. And a little side-note for those still bitter about the lack of package-signing: You'll be glad to know that Arch fully implemented package-signing in June of 2012."
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Arch Linux For Newbies? Manjaro Is Here!

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  • love Arch (Score:5, Insightful)

    by robot5x ( 1035276 ) <robot5x AT gmail DOT com> on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:21PM (#41118377)
    just here to say - for me, arch is what turned linux into a curiosity I tinkered with occasionally into the foundation of my home network and daily productivity.
    Being short on time for the last 6 months, I've kept 4 machines right up to date with the latest packages through some fairly major changes (filesystem and udev, off the top of my head) by doing little more than invoking pacman every now and then.
    When I get some time, I know I can get my hands dirty using abs if I so choose. Arch is beautiful.
    • Re:love Arch (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:30PM (#41118465)

      Its very neat, right until you get bitten by the bleeding edge software updates.

      I've had my system rendered unbootable or at least without working wifi or graphics drivers a few times after updating.
      Its a nice linux distro with a russian roulette feature built-in

      • Re:love Arch (Score:4, Informative)

        by VortexCortex ( 1117377 ) <(VortexCortex) ( ...> on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:58PM (#41118685)

        Its very neat, right until you get bitten by the bleeding edge software updates.

        I've had my system rendered unbootable or at least without working wifi or graphics drivers a few times after updating. Its a nice linux distro with a russian roulette feature built-in

        This is why I dual boot. Linux and Linux.

      • without working wifi drivers

        what, you mean there are working wifi drivers? ;)

      • Always read the archlinux website before doing pacman -Syu, if there are expected problems with the upgrade it gives instructions how to avoid them.

        • I just visit the website if I have any issues/warnings/errors (since I -Syu every day). The rule is, though, to follow arch-announce, or follow the website's rss.

      • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

        I've had my system rendered unbootable or at least without working wifi or graphics drivers a few times after updating.

        To be fair, I've never had that problem with Mandrake, Mandriva or kubuntu, but a Windows update that replaced my perfectly good network driver with one the was totally nonfucnctional is the last straw that got me to Linux.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The biggest weakness of arch is package management. Pac is mediocre at best, and anything that isn't available with pacman is a gigantic pain in the ass to install.

      • Have you used the AUR? I find compiling on Arch is way easier than it was on Ubuntu.

        The PKGBUILD system means only one person has to figure out the compile process and then they can easily share it with everyone. If it doesn't work on your system, you can often open it in a text editor and tweak it to find something that works.

        Sometimes it takes a bit of effort, but learning to help yourself is the whole point of Arch.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Yeah, I was most disappointed by how often I had to try to get the thing I needed through AUR, which I don't think ever worked for anything I tried to build.

          Precisely the benefit of having moved back to a debian based distro is that most everything is a package in repos, and anything that isn't is distributed in a deb that pretty much always works.

          I liked Arch for being able to decide what I wanted at install, and the speediness that came from that. And the instructions were pretty good so it wasn't difficu

          • Re:love Arch (Score:4, Informative)

            by shimage ( 954282 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @11:05PM (#41119249)
            Hmm. I use yaourt. "yaourt -S package_name" and it just installs what you want, period. "yaourt -Syua" updates everything, including your aur packages. I have something like 50 packages from aur installed, and I don't have any problems. Day-to-day, it has taken almost no effort on my part for the last 5 years. There were some big updates that took some care to do correctly (udev and filesystem come to mind), but most distros have things like that and arch's documentation is always great.
            • Please don't recommend yaourt on public places like this. It has serious security issues, and you'll just make new users start using it on their first day. If you must recomend an AUR helper, it'd better be packer.

              In any case, the point of not including an AUR helper ni arch, is because AUR is unsupported, and any user can upload anything there. Users are advised to review the PKGBUILD before building it (it might just say "rm -rf /").

              • by shimage ( 954282 )
                I know why arch doesn't include an aur helper in any of their repos. If you don't want to check your pkgbuilds before using them, that's on you. And I don't really care what other people use. I just said that this is what I use and it works for me. If you like something else that's fine with me too. There are so many aur helpers these days, just pick one that suits you.
                • I was just leaving a warning, since many people would read your comment, and may be tempted to use yaourt, which actually sources the PKGBUILD's before you check them.

        • Have you used the AUR? I find compiling on Arch is way easier than it was on Ubuntu.

          The point is you usually don't have to recompile things on Ubuntu, given the prevalence of PPA repositories.

          • I love PPAs myself, but they aren't available for everything.

            Case in point: I was interested in install Wagic the Homebrew on a Ubuntu computer recently, but I couldn't find any PPA for it.

  • As someone who has been interested in Arch but turned off by the laborious installation (call me lazy but I just have better things to do), this might just do the trick.
    • Really? A half-hour installation process turned you off? I don't mean to be offensive, but you're really better off using something like Mint or Ubuntu; Arch is a "configure it the way you like it" distro, so even after installation, you still need to manage you own system.

  • Chakra? (Score:4, Informative)

    by mhh91 ( 1784516 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:23PM (#41118405)

    How is this different from Chakra []?

  • The package list looks like he kept adding codec support and other stuff you may not need until he hit the arbitrary 700MB limit. I know there will be a few who use it but who wants wavpack in their default install. Everyone can download these later.

    I guess there is not too many look like services that slow you down but unless he used crap compression the default install size is that of Ubuntu.
    Just give the user a desktop environment, a browser (to look up stuff on the wiki), the text installer for the conf

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      I think that you're missing the point of the distro.
      • by nzac ( 1822298 )

        I think that you're missing the point of the distro.

        No they are not clear. Still can't tell if they newbie in the arch or linux sense.
        My initial understanding was that they wanted to help you skip the install, which is not fun without prior knowledge and the beginners instructions were a little out of date.

        Installing user-space programs that most will never use does not fit the arch way. They appear to want to make Debian with an "arch core", which provides none of benefits of arch as the core arch utilities are only average.

      • by nzac ( 1822298 )

        I or users still want access to these packages, I just don't want to have to track them with rolling releases or taking up space on my hypothetical SSD if I don't chose them.

  • by mister_playboy ( 1474163 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:39PM (#41118549)

    One of the main points of installing Arch is that it forces you to learn about how your system is built.

    While some people have reported problems with Arch's rolling updates, I have had zero troubles in my 6 months of using it. When something pops up that requires you to do anything more than "sudo pacman -Syu", you can always find the solution on the forum announcements.

    It's absolutely true that I would not bother to spend the time setting up an Arch install for someone else. I gave a friend a Kubuntu install and I was surprised to see how much stuff was buggy on it compared to my own KDE Arch. So maybe there is a niche for this, but I am not at all convinced that things can be made "user-friendly" without them also becoming non-transparent.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      i find it funny that all of my hardware works out of the box using Arch, but ubuntu gives me problems after problems

    • While some people have reported problems with Arch's rolling updates, I have had zero troubles in my 6 months of using it.

      Six months doesn't seem like a very long time to vouch for the stability of the updates.

      I'm not talking about Arch here specifically, but it seems to me any system accumulates bits of custom configuration and slight deviations from the common use patterns over time. In a word, entropy. As your particular setup becomes more specialized and rare, it becomes less likely to have been covered by testing and therefore more prone to conflicts with new updates. So while a good six months is a good six months, it ma

      • by marsu_k ( 701360 )

        Well, I've been using Arch since... had to actually login into the forum to see how long, since 2004. At some point I when I was finally able to use Linux at work, I told myself I should use a more "professional" distribution, as I'm partial to KDE I tried OpenSUSE. That didn't last long, it was a really buggy and generally unpleasant experience, I promptly returned to Arch. In my experience, given how bleeding edge Arch is, it's really amazingly stable. Yes, every now and then the updates require some manu

        • by Hatta ( 162192 )

          Having said that, the rolling release system also means you have to go with the flow - you don't need to upgrade daily, or weekly even, but still every now and then.

          And that's the problem with Arch. You can leave a Debian installation unattended for years and it will still correctly update. Why can't Arch do that?

          • by marsu_k ( 701360 )

            I'm not an Arch developer, so this is just my impression as a user. Arch seems to target for simplicity and also being bleeding edge. As such, there are points when some very fundamental changes have to be made - for the benefit of the user, in my opinion, but it also means the user has to make the changes as well. It's been so many years that I can't even recall what it was called... but way back when men used to walk uphill both ways and edit their xorg.conf to get two monitors (actually, it wasn't even x

      • That depends a lot. On a distro like Ubuntu, 6 months means a single real update really. On Arch, since it's rolling release (and bleeding edge), every single package may have been updated several times, as well as some not-so-minor changes to the filesystem [], for example.

        I've been running two PCs with arch for about 18 months now, and have never encountered any real issues with the rolling-update process.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Archbang, anyone?

  • Bridge linux, Pure ARCH, but installs xfce as well, a good way to ease into arch linux.
  • Just installed arch for the first time and in some ways loved it. It has the minimalist feel of Gentoo but without the time taken to compile all of the source. But still has a lot of the work in doing a stage 3 install al be it somewhat quicker. Hmm do I prefer Gentoo or Arch or the ease of something like Ubuntu. I hate all of the crap that is installed with a base install of Ubuntu but if you go with Ubuntu server you can trim it down loads. Then again I Love Gentoo's Portage package management system, it
    • If you want transparent AUR access, try yaourt instead of pacaur. It has the exact same syntax as pacman. I hardly ever use pacman anymore, since yaourt handles everything.

    • Actually, you can easily add additional repos by editing /etc/pacman.conf
  • But I was running Gentoo before I switched to Arch, so maybe my perspective is just skewed. Also, it's been several years since my last OS install; my memory of it may be a bit fuzzy by now.
    • I was using Gentoo before I switched to Arch, as well.

      The main draw for me is that Arch doesn't make specialized versions of packages, plug their own configuration tools or intentionally cripple itself due to ideology.

      Apart from the boot-up message saying "Welcome to Arch Linux!" and the package manager, I could just as well be running Linux From Scratch. I like that, to me it's the closest to what Linux actually is, and it really isn't that hard to deal with compared to Fedora or Ubuntu or whatever, becaus

  • newbie (Score:3, Funny)

    by PixetaledPikachu ( 1007305 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @11:15PM (#41119323)
    It's a newbier version of a newbie bistro :D
  • Debian has ideology and a huge community, fedora has corporate clout, ubuntu has support, Linux Mint has "like ubuntu but not batshit insane" what has Arch to offer?

    If the only thing new about Arch is it's package manager then you better give me an awesome sales pitch because I'm sick of centralized servers. The thing I want to see succeed most than anything is a distro based on Zero Install [] or something like it. What good is arch for?

    • That's what I like about Arch. It's not trying to "sell" / offer ANYTHING. They (or I) don't give a flying f*** about getting more users on the distro. You either like it or don't. If you don't then move along, nothing to see. It's by far the least "preachy" of the distros I've used; and it doesn't pretend to be the replacement for Windows for grandpa either.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      The main thing arch has to offer is how vanilla everything is.

      They try not to modify the vanilla kernel with their own patches, they don't modify the libs, etc. etc. etc, which means that they don't introduce all sorts of problems.

      Arch is more "linux" than most other linuxes. It's sort of the new slackware.

    • Arch is "bleeding edge", and also KISS.

  • Unless I'm mistaken, Distrowatch rankings are not a measure of "most popular" (first link).

    Even Distrowatch says Distrowatch isn't a reliable measure of popularity.

    (My definition of popularity is usage share.)

    • by NotBorg ( 829820 )

      It's a decent measure for what people are curious about. I have to admit every time I consider switching distributions or am trying to find a specialized distribution for a project, I usually end up there. It may not be a good estimate for what people are actually using, but it is still an interesting measure of what people are looking at.

      It's not an absolute, but if you look that the top of the list... the interesting and relevant distributions are all at the top. You'd probably have a hard time arguing

  • This works. Uses systemd already which looks like something arch will be going too... so saves a little hassle, especially if you are new to arch. I ran the xfce version and no hassles. Bridge Linux is cool too, and has a nice post-install script which I really like. It's weird to think of installing Arch so easily... but it seems to be picking up steam!
  • Arch also has one of the 2 Hurd distros [] - the other being Debian. Wonder how well that one's coming along?
  • by Gordonjcp ( 186804 ) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @06:25AM (#41121165) Homepage

    I'd consider myself a pretty experienced Linux user, having been using it since it came on two HD floppies. I use Ubuntu, and keep hearing people going on about "oh Ubuntu is for n00bs, only n00bs use it, use $other_distro because you get more control of what gets installed".

    I don't care about controlling what gets installed. I want to take a bare OS-less machine and have it up and running with the minimum of hassle. If I'm spending time watching pages and pages of compiler output scroll past, I'm not having fun and I'm wasting time - and more importantly, I'm not getting *real paying work done*.

    So, fine, if you want to *play* then stick with distros that take two hours to install to a basic command prompt and ask you all kinds of pointless questions about how you want /opt/srv/lib/ formatted. If you actually want to get stuff done and learn about Linux, stick to the "easy to install" distros.

    • Because experienced users usually want to configure their own PCs to their likings, and Ubuntu makes this way harder than Arch.
      While installing Ubuntu may be easier, configuring Ubuntu to my liking can take a lot more time than it takes to configure Arch.

      Or course, newbies will customize neither, so Ubuntu is the way to go for them.

      • Most people don't care about "customising" their distro. They want to get work done.

        If you want to spend all your time glueing fake plastic spoilers and splitters to your car and adding fancy glowy neons, then fine. Once I've got the seat adjusted and the radio tuned, I'm quite happy to leave the rest alone and get on with the fun bit.

        • by tramp ( 68773 )
          I agree to that. I just installed both Arch and Manjaro to compare them with each other and with Ubuntu with Mate. And I like the speed but I have a job to do and do not want to tweak that last bit: it should just work. Manjaro does a good job to ease installation but you still have to do a lot yourself without a graphical packagemanager. And yes I know how to get along without it but why should I? Computers should make my life easier not harder.
        • Most people don't care about "customising" their distro. They want to get work done.

          And that's why arch isn't for most people. :)

          If you want to spend all your time glueing fake plastic spoilers and splitters to your car and adding fancy glowy neons, then fine. Once I've got the seat adjusted and the radio tuned, I'm quite happy to leave the rest alone and get on with the fun bit.

          Actually, arch isn't about customizing the look and feel of your OS, it's more lower level than that. Think more in the lines of "changing the engine", "replacing the steering wheel with a joystick", or stuff like that. It's not just about the paint.

    • I've been using arch for about 4-6 years now and I've never had to sit and watch compiler output. It takes about 20mins to actually install and set-up (a bit longer if you count downloading the packages and updating them). I've never been asked about the format of /opt/srv/lib (I don't even have one). Other than the occasional update requiring a bit more intervention than pacman -Syu, the up keep on Arch is as simple as pacman -Syu and the install wasn't much more difficult.
    • by Hatta ( 162192 )

      Because once you know what you're doing every distro is easy to install.

    • by Yfrwlf ( 998822 )
      Computers aren't supposed to get you to the applications you want and let you get work and playing done! They're supposed to be time-sucking vampires from hell that make you throw them out windows.

  • In my stint in previous company I was given a machine with 256 mb ram. Running ubuntu was a nightmare & so I installed arch with openbox, feh & rxvt-unicode. I never looked back. The only issue was the hibernate but that never worked for me in ubuntu anyways.
    • by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

      great for you, arch isnt the only distro that does that

      and I like how you went from one end of the spectrum to the other, did you try anything in the middle or do you just like being extreme?

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter