The ArchLinux Release Engineering Team announced the official release of the 2009.02 ISO after a long period of intense development. This distribution is among the first to officially support the new Ext4 filesystem. I’ve always noticed that Arch seems to be quite popular among OSNews readers, and I’m interested to know from our Arch users: why? What makes Arch such a good Linux distribution?
Software available in includes kernel 2.6.28, GCC 4.3.3, KDE 4.2.0, Gnome 2.24, X.Org 7.4, OpenOffice.org 3.0.1, GIMP 2.6.5, Firefox 3.0.6 and all the most recent multimedia stuff.
Other notable features are:
- Rescue and maintenance capabilities for Ext4 root partitions
- Fallback ISOs with the ISOLINUX bootloader, for those that have trouble booting Grub-based images
- Several bugfixes in the installer
- Brought the included documentation up-to-date
- Inclusion of AIF (Arch Linux Installation Framework), the next generation installer, currently under development.
You can get the ISOs via bittorrent. The Archlinux Team also wishes to announce that their goal is to bring coordinated releases following the rhythm of kernel releases, in order to provide optimal hardware support.
â€¦ it’s your taste that defines the distro you chose.
Arch is for me the best because I can do a base install with it (even shrink that down a bit more after first reboot) and then install just what I want. And that in a very fast and simple way thanks to the pkg manager pacman.
Sure, you have to modify some config files, but to ~90% it’s all about the rc.conf which is very well documented and therefore easy to modify. IIRC I had to add hal, fam and alsa to the modules array so they get loaded at boot. That pretty much sums it up for configuration that I had to do.
But the real beauty is makepkg and ABS imo.
Compared to other distros it’s sooo easy to write a PKGBUILD file and therefore many many users are contributing such PKGUILDS via the AUR. There are already tools (yaourt for example) that let you automatically fetch those PKGBUILDS from the AUR, make a pkg from it and install it.
Combining the official binary repositories from Arch and the PKGBUILDs from AUR is probably one of the biggest package libraries in all distros.
An example of the awesomness of PKGBUILDs: If you don’t need flac support in your mkvtoolnix then quickly grab the PKGBUILD, delete the –enable-flac line and the ‘flac’ dependency and issue a makepkg command to build it. That’s all.
To sum it up (probably reads familiar to many other conclusions about Arch Linux): you can mold it into any possible way and that in a simple way. Easy != simple imo, but as soon as you know the basics about Arch you won’t leave it anytime soon.