September 17, 2007
After sticking with OpenSuSE for a long time (read 2 years), I finally got one of the bleeding edge distros : Arch Linux. Oh and the answers to the WHY :
Updates. Getting the updates was quite tough. There is this way of starting up Yast and getting the full system update, but I was really lazy to add up sources and get the packages. Well I follow quite a few opensource projects and build stuff from svn/cvs repositories.
- Too much dependency. I could never keep track of the extra packages i needed to run a software. Now someone can argue that its the software developer’s problem. But still i would say the RPM way was becoming tougher for me.
Finally, to be frank, My System needed a life (even I also need one ;-)). I believe that the system should do one stuff and do it properly (unix fundae).
I had tried to customize SuSE to as much as I could. Removing all the unnecessary stuff which bloat the system etc.. Just for history : I could get my system running with a desktop manager (e17) and music player daemon at \~50 MB of RAM.
Apart from all this, I would still say that OpenSuSE rocks. For someone new to linux and OSS, I would definitely recommend OpenSuSE. Even the new OpenSuSE build service (http://en.opensuse.org/Build_Service) seems promising.Now I had the option to go for Gentoo or Arch Linux. After reading a few reviews, I got the impression that in gentoo i will have more of a source based system (correct me if I am wrong !). Here are the answers for "Why Arch" ?
- Simplicity (The Keep It Simple Stupid! principle). Save the precious CPU cycles. I was really fascinated by the Arch philosophy.
- Its more of experiment and learn. Do it yourself stuff.
- Full system upgrade with a single command : pacman -Syu !
All system configurations are maintained in a few files.
Some facts about my current setup :- Rapid improvement in my system boot up time. I get full X running with in 20-30 seconds ! - I can practically see what all packages are installed in my system and do periodic cleanups. (Will write a script for that) - Update my system daily :-)
I will follow up with a “How to : Arch” in a few days.
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