Monday, July 26, 2010

Arch Linux

I was going to review a different distro, but when I installed Arch Linux it trashed my grub (got to remember to back it up next time).

Installing Arch was the most difficult OS yet. I'm not the kind of guy to read instructions before I put things together, this was hard without them. After 8 attempts to partition the drive and set up the mounting points (because it didn't like my choices) I had to go with the defaults and I went for help on YouTube. Using step by step instructions from various videos (many thanks to James Manes for the best vid), I finally got the basic Arch Gnome installed (KDE has too much bloat and complicated menus). It contained only the bare necessities and I knew more had to be installed. All installations were done in terminal (using pacman) and editing (I used nano), from which I got in some good practice for learning Linux and Arch. After I installed gnome-extras (about 30 more packages), it started looking like all the other Gnome distros with a lot of cruft. Then I used a beginners guide at an Arch Linux site to getting my sound and some gnome tools. I removed Evolution (not all of it, can't remember which packages are safe to remove), then installed Thunderbird.

Still, nowhere was there any graphical package managers. The internet listed some obsolete ones, but none of the them would even install using pacman. Many times I would see a package that I wanted installed and pacman couldn't find it in the repositories (core, extra, community). Maybe I spelled them wrong and pacman refused to recognized them. I really miss Synaptic or Mint graphical package managers; set up the basics, give me a good package manager and I'll do the rest. I like being able to browse a package manager, you never know what you'll find.

I wouldn't install Arch in a small office with more than 3 computers; its not worth the time. Anyway I give this dog of an OS a 'C' for challenging, its fast and has a lot of rabid fans and support, but its Archcrap.

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