Robert Burns wrote a review of his experiences with Arch Linux 0.6. Review is here, discussion is here.Our Take: I installed Arch Linux this week as well and while I liked the non-bloated nature of the OS and its somewhat simplified configuration method, I found its -Current tree more unstable than the ones found on Slackware or FreeBSD. Surely, -Current is always meant to be unstable, but I would expect more stability than just that (I isolated at least 12 major issues so far, 4 of them show-stoppers).
In my opinion, Arch has way too many package trees, Current, Unstable, Testing, TURs, Extra etc. I wouldn’t mind having just a “stable”, a “Current” and a TUR’s trees and making absolutely sure that whatever goes to -Current is actually tested. I have seen packages on -Current that are _completely_ untested (Totem being one of them (dependancies aren’t set correctly in the package), all GStreamer-based apps are misbehaving, while Gnome 2.6 package team is hosed on its own as well, half of the gnome apps can’t find their icons, while later the Planner package hosed further my Gnome 2.6 installation by overwriting all my permissions on /opt/gnome/etc/gconf, so only root could load the gnome settings from that point on).
In the short period I run Arch, I liked the speed and the simplicity, in this respect is a lot like Slackware, however unlike Slackware, I can’t consider it stable enough. Before I get bombared with messages like “-Current is meant to be unstable”, I must protest that Slackware’s and FreeBSD’s Current trees are not _that_ untested. Besides, the pacman package manager is configured by default to upgrade from the -Current tree. Defaults matter, and this means that a lot of the Arch population does run Current (especially because all the “interesting” recent packages are all in Current). For this reason alone, I would kindly ask the Arch people for some more effective inhouse testing before they place packages on -Current that easily (I have already emailed Judd Vinet about it).
Other than that, Arch is really great if you are a somewhat experienced Linux/Unix user.