Why Arch?

archlinux-vert-dark-svgHeyyy, you might have noticed in some of my countless (yes I know, it’s nerve wrecking, right?) writings about Linux distros that I always recommend some run-of-the-mill mainstream stuff like i.e. UbuntuMATE, Mint, Linux Lite and stuff but always find a friendly word for Manjaro and other Arch-based distros as well. I just don’t recommend them to total dough-eyes … for reasons.

But I, yeah, me likey Manjaro very mucho, and I suggest everybody to use it (or real vanilla Arch) once you’ve left that initial beginners stage of computational development. Why? Because I love it! And so will you once you know your way around the Linux shit and feel at home in the environment. Reasons to love Arch and prefer it over, say, Ubuntu and Debian based systems, are plentyfold and important. There is the fact that Arch is a “rolling” distribution, which means you’ll get upgrades and updates all of the time so your system will always be on the cutting edge of development. Once installed there is theoretically no need to ever install anything new again. Your Arch system will just roll along nicely and keep your computer up to date. At my admittedly kinda progressive system I’ll receive updates like 3 to 4 times a day, sometimes even more. The other day I got like 6 updates in one day. Fortunately it’s not like Windows updates, you will not be kicked off and you will be able to work as if nothing has happend. And even better, you can work on during the update process, which is usually brief enough to even sit thru it if you so want.

manjarologoYou can finetune and adapt this rolling feature to your personality. If you’re rather security conscious and rate security and stability higher than risky sexyness you can dial down the rolling from Unstable repositories to a so-called Testing or even a Stable branch. Or dial down your Kernel version from cutting edge Experimental to a moderate LTS – Long Term Support – one if you so wish. That’s all sorts of great and allows you more than enough wiggle room to totally wreck your system. But by no means do you have to. For that stuff we got our lovely assistant Orca, who is totally education resistant and happily jumps into the next crocodile infested moat.

Another thing, and this is like totally great, is the legendary AUR, the Arch User Repository. This is something no other Linux repo has. Not even remotely getting close. See, on top of the usual Arch repos the AUR contains every little fart any developer ever made in converting softwares for the Linux world. If it’s available, and be it the most exotic special interest software ever, as long as someone made it in Linux it will be in the AUR!

And now this becomes very nice for us Second Life connoisseurs: Contrary to any other Linux repo on the planet you’ll find the Firestorm and Singularity viewers in the AUR. So no more starting from a downloaded package or installing it without knowing what you’re doing. From the AUR you download and install your viewer with the single command line yaourt firestorm (repectively yaourt singularity-viewer) like so:

I guess there is also a GUI from which you can do it with a couple mouseclicks, but after a little while in Arch, or any other Linux, you’ll notice the Terminal is so much faster, easier and more elegant as well.

Cool, some Arch lover is obviously busy on Second Life as well and made these two viewers available for us. Just type in 1 … and there you gooooooooo…

Can’t be simpler, eh? No need to surf to Firestorm’s website and download, unpack and install the viewer package, your Arch Linux will do all that for you. The whole process shouldn’t take longer than 2 or 3 minutes … depending on your internet speed. Unfortunately the super freak is a bit behind with Singu’s Alpha versions but at least we can get the official actual version 1.8.7 (6866). No probs. This is just lovely ain’t it? One more reason why you should switch not just to Linux but to Arch while you’re at it. 😉

My Singu fresh from the AUR. \o/ YAY! \o/

So, hey wait a minute, Orca you’re talking about Arch and Manjaro and what’s that all about and please stop confusing us! Is simple. Arch in its original form and shape (we call it vanilla) is a rather bitchy system that needs you to read whole train wagons worth of literature and wikis and whatnots. As a normal mortal you can’t even install it without becoming suicidal. Do we necessarily want that? Naaw. So some fraggles got the idea to make Arch a lot less bitchy, more user friendly – not necessarily n00bie friendly but friendly – by making an easy installer for it and give you some other easy to grasp functions and have their own repos.

By that Manjaro became kinda the Ubuntu of the Arch world. Now many pundits are claiming Manjaro ain’t Arch … but fuck em. I’ve tried them, tried them all. And didn’t like them much. Manjaro is a damn fine system for everybody and for human beings too. If you want to keep it more real please feel free to use Antergos and/or the Architect installer, which are more like real Arch. See where that gets you.

Nothing against a bit of geekysauce in my life. And, hey, as a simpleminded housewife, running Linux is cool, running Manjaro Linux is unbelievably cool … and even a wee tiny bit geeky! But geeking out for the sole purpose of being geeky? No, not gonna happen.



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