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My Experience with Arch

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I was inspired this weekend to make a change. I have an old computer - about 6 years old. It was custom at the time and really nice, but 1GB of RAM and "legacy" graphics drivers just don't work that well. Up until now, I have had Ubuntu and Windows XP dual boot on my system, but recently, it has just been getting slow, and I rarely ended up using it at all. I looked into the problem, and on both the desktop rendering is taking way too long. So GNOME just was not fast enough for me and still be able to do things like gaming. It was just too much.

So, I started my Distro hunt. Arch Linux found its way to me. I was an intermediate user who wanted more control over everything, without having to be a total expert (which I'm not - by a long shot). It offered me that option. After spending 50 minutes of ndiswrapper and wlan0 and modprobe, it was finally a workable system. I chose LXDE ad the Desktop Environment and Compiz-Fusion as my WM. I really like it because my entire system's processes at idle are equal to the amount of memory used to run just GNOME and its processes - even with my Compiz-Fusion...

I am loving Arch so far due to its user-centric view, it's reliance on the experience of the user and thus, not hiding anything at all like Ubuntu does. Not to mention the Arch Wiki is VERY good and I learn things every time.
Read about the Arch way here:

I thoroughly enjoy it and I'm thinking about getting rid of my Ubuntu altogether.

Have any of you had similar awakenings with arch?

6 Comments On This Entry

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SegFaulty Icon

07 November 2010 - 10:29 PM
Arch is a great distro, especially for staying bleeding-edge, and I love the idea of rolling releases. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a server that was up to date all the time, and sometimes it took longer to find a server to download a program or whatever than to actually download the item in question. Apart from that I had a great experience with it, and have decided to go back to Ubuntu, which has better hardware support for my laptop, but with the knowhow I learned from using Arch I now know a) how to fix most of my own issues, and B) what's safe to tweak/how to tweak it.

cfoley Icon

08 November 2010 - 03:39 AM
Next time I'm looking to extend the life of an old computer I'll take a look at Arch. If you're still wanting to play around with distros, take a look at Zenwalk. It runs very well on old computers and has always worked out of the box for me.

grimpirate Icon

08 November 2010 - 09:52 AM
I tried Arch one time on an old computer and didn't have much luck with it. The difficulty came from lack of an internet connection. If you want something RIDICULOUS fast try Tiny Core Linux. It's seriously on the low end of memory usage.

Shane Hudson Icon

08 November 2010 - 10:01 AM
I sort of have Arch Linux on my dual boot... but GRUB kept breaking and not once have I been able to get into Arch! Luckily I managed to get Windows working again, which is very important... so much work to do haha

dorknexus Icon

08 November 2010 - 10:57 AM
Been using arch for about 2 years now I think. Also chose it because of older hardware. I'm a total arch believer and would recommend it.

Dogstopper Icon

08 November 2010 - 02:21 PM
You can download a core version that has the packages you need to install without internet. However, it does have rolling releases, so that means that you would have to set one up eventually.

@cfoley: I might when I'm looking to replace Ubuntu.

@Shane Hudson: Was it using GRUB or GRUB2? GRUB is legacy software and at the moment IS less buggy.

@SegFaulty: Yes, I am learning a lot each time I userch wiki is so good, I don't get frustrated.

@Dark Nexus: I'm sure I won't get rid of it.
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