Sunday, September 12, 2010

Archlinux review.

Yes, folks, I am now running all my machines on archlinux. What made me switch? Well, let's take a little journey into the date 8/30/2010 (August 30th, 2010). It's about 2pm, I am on my Pclinuxos box (unknowingly for the final time) when, for the last time...flash plugin skips. Firefox 4 beta was no help in fixing the flash player either. I was annoyed of constantly having to run bleachbit whenever flash crashed. Then it dawned on me....what if I had a bleeding edge distro that I can practically build from the ground up...(Ok, so the thoughts did not go exactly like that.) I had been running arch linux on my laptop for quite sometime now, and really digging the ease of maintenance, yet if you wanted to, you can get your hands dirty (more-so than pclinuxos) and without the reliance of rpms. I had been contemplating on whether I wanted to rebuild my system from the ground up this time, but first, I backed up some config files into my misc partition. I burn the newest arch snapshot at the time (20100829-archlinux-core-i386.iso) and proceed to install, once I get past the installer I am greeted by a command line interface, then I go to bed.
----------------------------------------THE NEXT DAY--------------------------------------------------
SETTING UP ARCH: (NOTE: I wouldn't recommend arch to the first time linux user.)
First things, first, I never actually thought I would get arch up and running...what occurs next are a series of roadblocks that test my linux skills. (Think of that scene in golden child, where eddie murphy has to pass a series of tests to get the blade.)
Pretty much to setup my arch machine, I had the arch wiki on tty 2 that I could follow.
One of the major areas that the wiki pointed me to was getting a config script for my wpa2 network, so I could get this sucker online and synced. I have the zd1211 wifi card, and thankfully I am running a machine with usb 2.0 port so, setting up the network was a breeze, once I got the basic layout down. I just needed to add the script to rc.conf so it could load. I edited /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist and uncommented the mirrors that I wanted then, I ran a pacman -Syu (to sync and update the servers.) Once I get the new packages, I install my graphics card drivers (for nvidia geforce 7200) and my window manager of choice (ratpoison). Then I run X -configure, and pacman -S slim then add slim to my daemon array. Next I am greeted to a login manager. Once, I login, I am in bare ratpoison, so I chmod my old config files and move them to the appropriate places. All that i have to do now is get some programs (which I already have done).
-----------------------------------------------FINAL THOUGHTS--------------------------------------
In the linux distro world, I have tried many distros, ubuntu, opensuse, mandriva, sabayon, gentoo, pclinuxos and many many more, but, the one distro that is perfect for me is archlinux, it doesn't hold your hand, but, it doesn't get bloated unless you choose to make it bloated by force feeding it packages.
Here's my archlinux screenshot on the forums.