Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 21st Mar 2005 11:22 UTC
Linux 2003 was the year with Gentoo written all over it in the Linux universe. Last year was Ubuntu's & MEPIS'. I believe that Arch Linux's year is the current one. Read more for a comparison of Arch to existing distributions, and why we think it rocks and where we think it still requires some work.
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RE: Arch, Ubuntu
by Nickos on Mon 21st Mar 2005 21:37 UTC

My opinion of why Ubuntu is popular (positives listed only):
(1) Tons of packages available (& pretty well programmed)
(2) Easy, simple to install & configure (with no config file editing).
(3) Synaptic (GUI) package manager (installs & uninstalls).
(4) A GUI software updater (for currently installed apps/packages).
(5) Lots of computer hardware is supported.
(6) Many developers working on packages, updates, improvements, etc. (makes it a *big* distro).

My brother installed Arch on his system. It seems to be very responsive & quick (compared to Mandrake, Suse, Redhat). Speed is what it has going for it (based on viewing it in operation). Installs fast (25 minutes or less) (probably installs less packages than other distros). Lean, efficient packages (not bloated). Sum up - Speed!

Arch Negatives - Not that many packages available (compared to bigger distros). No GUI package manager (pacman is command line; simple to use once learned, but not as appealing as using a GUI version). May require editing config files for proper installation. Installing new programs could require extra steps or manual configuration. Sum up - Not as easy to use or install & way less packages available. (better suited for intermediate or advanced skilled Linux users).

Comparison between Ubuntu (Gnome) vs Arch (KDE) is not really fair. (Should only compare Gnome to Gnome or KDE to KDE for linux distros). ie: Kubuntu vs Arch (& use actual benchmarks to prove your statement)

I'm not sure if Kubuntu runs faster. I've only tried Ubuntu (Hoary) & it seemed average (ok) speed (from observation).

Mandrake, Redhat, Suse, etc. are optimized for i586 processors (doesn't that tell you something). Ubuntu is i386 architecture compatible. A i586 Ubuntu or Kubuntu would perform quite faster. (I believe 10%+ depending on which system it was used on, ie(something like this): P2 300Mhz 10% (i386 vs i686), P4 3Ghz 30%;*note, these are not actual performance numbers; just made up to illustrate a point).

I hope that Kubuntu & Ubuntu will optimize their software for i586 or i686 soon to get extra speed improvements.

(One way to test speed difference between i386 & i686 is to compile Gentoo, apps & benchmarks for i386, run benchmarks & record the results. Then recompile Gentoo, apps & benchmarks for i686, run same benchmark programs, record results & compare both sets. This should prove it. My assumption, the faster the computer (fast CPU, & 512MB RAM) - the bigger the performance spread between i386 vs i686 (I think). I'm surprised no one has taken the time to do this type of comparison/review (I just don't have the time to do it).

My personal statement. If Kubuntu/Ubuntu would optimize their distros for i686 (or i586), then I think the speed and responsiveness would be close to or better then Arch (plus Ubuntu would have all the other benefits I listed at the beginning). But, sigh, many distros want to remain compatible with the i386 architecture. When it should be i586 instead.