Introduction to ArchLinux
Introduction to ArchLinux

ArchLinux is very special


This article is not going to give many details about ArchLinux. Instead I will discuss the Arch in the way of user’s experience.

Arch is not easy to accquire

Install Arch on any computer is easy, only as you really know Arch very well. However it is not an one-shot task, as the wikil introduced, you only get a basic Arch Linux after the installation process. If you really want to use it as a daily tool, you have to install and configure many other softwares. Installation of software is not difficult but the process of chosing which one is handy is painful. Therefore I conclude that the Arch is not easy to build. It may take you months to make it really usefull.

Another thing about Arch is that you have to upgrade the system from time to time. By not doing so you may easily find it is imposisble to install new softwares some day. That is a feature of Arch: you are always using the up-to-date version of Arch.

Arch is not easy to tame

Unlike Ubuntu, which has numerous users active on the Inernet, the Arch Linux has relatively fewer users. The wiki of Arch has greatly compensate for the weakness. The wiki is a knowledge base for all the Arch users, and nealy all the things a user need to know about Arch can be found here. However, knowledge and experiences are needed to find the treasures in the base. Some beginners find its painful to use the wiki because they cannot locate the solution among such a big amount of pages.

Unfortunately, Arch is not beginner-friendly. The beginner’s guide is actly not a guide for beginners. Every time I install the Arch Linux I will use the beginner’s guide even if I am not a beginner, while my studentwho is truely a beginner will be stuck at the first line. If a person want to use Arch he should be actually familiar with Linux.

The sotfwares in Arch are of high quality, and most of the time you will find no problem. However it is no surprise to encounter problems occasionally. I now find that my xfce4 has some problems with the openJDK. The interface of the Java application behaves oddly sometimes. This leads to many inconveniences because I am a Java developer and many of my software tools are Java based. For example the eclipse will not work on my system. I am working now to settle this problem, but find little progress because it seems others didnot experience such bother.(I finally settled this problem. It is actually about the gtk3. It is need to disable using the gtk3 in eclipse’s configuration file. You can find the solution in the wiki.)

Like most linux distributions, Arch needs time to make it suitable for its user. However be in mind that the Arch need more time.

Arch is actually the light weight

The reason I choose Arch linux as my daily OS because it said it is light-weight, and because most of my laptops are old and slow, so comes the answer. After using it for a peroid of time, I find it is realy had a good performance on my old computers. I have laptops bought in 2006 and 2011, and they both run arch smoothly. The graphical system I used is xfce4. It may not looks that impressive but it can work on machines with small ram and slow CPUs.

You can do anything with Arch

Arch is based on linux and therefore there are few things that cannot be done with it. I use arch to do parallel computing programming, write java codes, write documents and blogs, web-surfing and play sily games. It is absolutely OK for everyday use. Entertainment is also available with Arch Linux but sometimes I will use tablet or smart phone instead.

Arch Linux makes my old computers work again. That’s good and bad. Good thing is I have more usable computers, and the bad thing is that I have to use old and slow computers for another peroid of time.