A Closer Look At Arch Linux

August 14, 2007 at 3:38 pm Leave a comment

Well, since I’ve been having trouble getting the Slackware 12 DVD I decided to give Arch a more serious look.

The installation is similar, but not quite as polished as the Slackware installer. (Which I think is starting to need some maintenance too) This may have to do with Arch being a rolling release distro, but if I stay with Arch for any length of time I’ll have to take a stab at fixing the installer.

The next thing I noticed about Arch was that once you have it installed you sort of feel like you’ve been dropped off in the middle of nowhere. There’s endless possibilities, but there’s a lot of work to be done. Pacman makes getting programs easier, but you still have lots of configuration to do.

One of the most annoying things about Arch has always been hardware. Hardware detection is good, but the naming of devices in /dev has always been something that made Arch unique. In earlier releases hard disks were placed in /dev/disk/disk0/partX. (it’s been a while so the path might be a little different) Now hard disks (even ide disks) are labeled sda and CD’s are labeled sr0. Even more annoying that that though is having to add users to certain groups to get access to certain devices.

All in all, it makes a really good, clean base that will help you learn about your system’s internals.

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