Linked by Shahar Weiss on Thu 1st Mar 2007 18:58 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu I've been an Arch user for roughly 3 years. I'm pretty much familiar with it all - The way it boots, its configuration and its package management. I've also heard a lot of good things about Ubuntu, and wanted to try it for a long time. So, two weeks ago, I took the plunge. These are my findings.
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da_Chicken
Member since:
2006-01-01

(s|h)da change was due to the introduction of a new PATa infrastructure (more precisely, move of IDE to libata) in kernel 2.6.19 (IIRC). If you stick to the old infrastructure, there should be no change there. I don't know whether this change of names is due to the upstream (i.e. kernel) change or udev/Arch tricks.

I have a sourcemage gnu/linux installation with the 2.6.20 kernel and it still sees my hard drive as hda.

Arch uses a BSD-style initscripts, unlike most of the distros, who use SysV-style ones. They're simple and fast.

Agreed.

As for packages, I see ~3200 packages on Frugalware ftp (they might be hiding elsewhere). Currently Arch official repos host ~4000 of them and another 4000 pieces of software are available in AUR as PKGBUILDs. Thus, your point is not valid here.

I didn't add the AUR repos when I tested Arch, they're not enabled by default. Still, you might have a point there. If I choose all the official Arch repos on their web site (http://www.archlinux.org/packages/search/?repo=all&category=all&q=&... ), I get about 2750 (11 x 250) packages.

On the Frugalware web site I can't do a similar package search but they have 2 DVD ISO images (4.1G + 1.9G) or, alternatively, 11 CD ISO images worth of packages. (http://www4.frugalware.org/pub/linux/distributions/frugalware/fruga... ).

The bottom line for me is that I can find most of the software I need from the Frugalware repos but not from the (official) Arch repos.

Rereading your first words, I think it's actually kind of on the contrary - it's all those different distros offering their own GUI tools for all the possible tasks that are doing it their own way. Once you get familiar with one, you're lost in another. Arch tries to follow the KISS principle here, which makes it more transparent - once you learn how to handle it, you will know how to manage on other distros (or even other Unix-likes) as well.

No, I meant that I find myself a bit lost on the command line in Arch when compared to the other distros I've used -- the file system hierarchy is different in some aspects (their use of /opt, for instance).

Honestly, I don't know why I'm advocating for Arch so much ;-) Maybe because it has never let me down.

Yeah, Arch seems to be a fast, reliable and decently up-to-date distro. I also like their KISS philosophy. But I just find some aspects of Arch a bit weird -- it all comes down to personal preference, I guess. If Arch would comply more closely with standards, I would like it even more than I currently do.

Reply Parent Score: 2

monodeldiablo Member since:
2005-07-06

It appears to me that your major hangup is the use of /opt for, as the Arch Packaging Standards call them, "Large self-contained packages" (see http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Arch_Packaging_Standards#Direct... ). If you'll give the LSB a read-through, though, you'll see that, actually, this is the preferred use of /opt (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filesystem_Hierarchy_Standard ). Thus, I don't feel it's fair to accuse the Arch developers of not being "standards compliant". Technically speaking, Debian and its derivatives violate the LSB by not using RPM, if you want to be nit-picky ;)

Also, a straight-up and simple package count (using Pacman) gives me 8,035 packages in Arch's repos (including the 'community' repo). Frugalware gave me 3,296. Even without including the 'community' repo, Arch still has 5,426 packages available. Hopefully this resolves any confusion over repo size (although I encourage everybody to check my numbers).

Of course, I'd be interested in which packages you can't find in any of Arch's repos. I'd recommend you give the AUR a look-through and, if you don't find what you like, submit something (making packages for Arch is so ridiculously easy, I almost prefer it to binary installs... almost).

Regarding the hda->sda debacle, I believe that this is, indeed, due to an underlying change in the kernel structure (see http://www.archlinux.org/news/272/ ). Maybe SourceMage is doing some magic (no pun intended)?

And finally, I've found most of the devs and maintainers to be helpful, affable, flexible folks. If there's something you don't like, the community seems pretty open to debate and criticism (assuming you don't come out swinging with accusations, presumptions and foregone conclusions).

Arch *does* comply with standards, arguably more closely than any other major (or minor) distro. I think you might just be confusing "standards" with "your comfort zone", in which case, the entire OSS world isn't complying with Microsoft's "standards" ;)

Give it another go. I think you'll like it once you get used to its eccentricities (like any other distro).

Reply Parent Score: 1

da_Chicken Member since:
2006-01-01

It appears to me that your major hangup is the use of /opt for, as the Arch Packaging Standards call them, "Large self-contained packages"

It's just that very few distros install Mozilla and/or the DE's under /opt. In this sense I find the Arch solution non-standard and inconsistent.

Regarding the hda->sda debacle, I believe that this is, indeed, due to an underlying change in the kernel structure

Maybe you're right. It seems to be a recent change in Arch and if I see a similar change happening in other distros, then I'll admit that it's not specific to Arch alone.

Of course, I'd be interested in which packages you can't find in any of Arch's repos.

There were several pieces of commonly used software that I couldn't find from Arch repos using pacman's search function. Unfortunately I've already forgotten what I searched for. Terminus-font, at least, was one of those that I missed -- it's my favourite font for terminals.

Reply Parent Score: 2