So as you know, I use Arch Linux with the KDE Plasma desktop environment. I’ve tried a few other distros, like Gentoo, Fedora, Debian and I’ve always eventually come back to Arch Linux. I decided to write this blog post to get into some of the reasons why that is.
This is a huge thing for me, I love rolling release distros, and I love having access to the latest software. While being a double edged sword, as rolling releases can have impacted stability, generally they are quite stable. Stability issues with rolling release distros are often times overexaggerated, you will generally find Arch Linux to be a very stable distribution, if you keep the best practices.
- Read the Arch Linux news, very important!!
- Follow the wiki
- Don’t randomly install packages if you don’t know what they are (advice for ANY distribution)
- Update regularly, but not obsessively, now this one is important
- Don’t install too many AUR packages no matter how tempting it is
- Install software you trust, again best practices for any distro
- NEVER make install unless it’s to a distinctive subdirectory in /opt, or in your home directory
- Regularly audit and remove software you don’t need
- Update configuration files
- Reboot after kernel updates
Arch Linux is often times heavily ridiculed for being “unstable”, however as I’ve mentioned, as long as you keep the best practices you should have a stable system. Arch Linux probably won’t ever spontaneously break, unless you don’t know what you are doing, or you deliberately break it. I’ve never run into any serious problems using Arch Linux, and any problems I have run into are typically fixable in around 5 minutes.
Highly flexible when needed
When I ran Gentoo Linux, I ended up having to compile very package from source, and that got very annoying. With Arch Linux however, it comes with precompiled binaries, and it’s very easy to compile your own packages from source simply using the Arch Build System .
Arch User Repository
The Arch User Repository , or AUR is a repository where people can upload packages to. Usually if a program isn’t in the main directories, you’ll almost always find it in the AUR. The AUR is a great resource for finding packages. You can also upload any packages that you maintain to the AUR so you don’t need to maintain your own repository.
The Arch Wiki
The Arch Linux wiki is a fantastic resource, even if you’re not using Arch Linux. It’s a very helpful wiki and well written, it’s very well documented and you’ll almost always find what you need, and contributing to the wiki is easy!
It’s what I’m familiar with
Why should I use something else? I’m familiar with Arch Linux and I’ve used it for a long time. I’ve eventually come to realize this, as all of my distro hopping ends with me going back to using Arch Linux.
When it comes to Linux distros, just use what you are familiar with, if you have no reason to switch, then why switch? I’m quite comfortable and familiar with using Arch Linux, as I’ve used it long enough to establish a familiarity with it, and be comfortable with using it.