New distro on my road

Quite some time since I wrote something in my blog. This time I want to share a small story and I believe/expect that most of the future blog articles will be influenced by this.

So… after 5 years of full time Debian/Ubuntu I switched to Arch linux!

Well, at least for my desktop. My server will be on Debian still for the time being. Not that it matters, because at this moment my server is not online anyway, and I prefer the stability/security of Debian. So then… why did I make that switch? I believe I have some interesting reasons for that.

My first big Linux love was Debian GNU/Linux. It is rock solid, looks good, works, easy to install and maintain and absolutely a great distro. Then, after some time I noticed that the software was a bit outdated. So I took a look around and that was just at the right time to jump in on Ubuntu Linux (I believe it was version 4.x). This distro was based on Debian and had most of it’s positive points. However, after using it for some time I noticed some stability issues. This, especially after updates. Of course, that was not something I liked. Besides this, both Debian and Ubuntu work with strickt update moments. For Debian, nobody knows when an update will be there and for Ubuntu this is every 6 month. In order to actually get to use all the new features and functionality you had to perform a clean update. Well, not neccesarily, but in general it is recommened.

Since the “easy updates” should be one of the strength of GNU/Linux, I believed this whole update part could be done more efficiently. Therefore I have been looking for a new linux distro since quite some time. With this in mind there is quite a variety of distros that could be interesting. I will name a few:

All of these distros have their positive and negative sides and I would like to remind myself which they where:

  • Arch linux   - a lot of in depth knowledge
  • FLS             - a lot of work, compiling, in depth knowledge, hard updating
  • Gentoo        - a lot of compiling, in depth knowledge

Well, looking at the list above there is 1 that gives me the feeling that I should try that more (I tried them all by the way). So I went on and invested more time into Arch linux.

Arch is quick, it is easy and it works like a charm. The update process (pacman -Syyu) is very smooth and I have not had a problem with that yet (althoug I use it very often). Of course, I do need some more indepth knowledge. I have to edit a lot of config files, I have to install all from scratch (no working X windows after the base install), etc. For me this is not really a problem as I work with Linux for many years and I have the knowledge. Besides this, the config files are not changed by installing updates or new packages. If the config file changes, I did it myself. Thus, do it right once and it will stay right for ever (or at least a very long time).

One more thing I like about this distro; it just takes the original packages from the package developers. No special editing, no custom branding, etc. Just a nice and plain package! That is how I like it.

So now you know… the news is that I switched to Arch Linux… and that I love it.