Having been hopping around the linux distro world for a long time, I found a nice distro which I am finally comfortable with! It is called arch linux.

A basic installation of Arch linux, i found, was similar to Gentoo. Both install the basic minimum software required for a functional linux system. For example, X is not installed by default. This  fits into the philosophy of both these distros – to be able to configure the system as the user sees fit.

With gentoo, however, there are two main problems. The first one is the installation time of any new piece of software as each and every package has to be compiled from scratch. A kde installation, for example, can take days. The second one is that there seem to be too many configuration files which are specific to gentoo. This consumes a lot of time to get familiar with. Also, it is argued that the compiled (optimised) software in gentoo is not much faster compared to installing software from binaries in other distros.

With Arch linux, the first problem is nonexistent as software is installed from binaries and it is fast. As far as I have understood this system, there seems to be only one configuration file that is of importance: /etc/rc.conf  (I have not tweaked any other system wide file in the whole OS).

Compared to other distros (Ubuntu, Debian, OpenSuse) there is one another important factor in favour of arch – Arch linux has rolling releases (like Gentoo) so there are no versions of arch. There is no hassle of updating to new versions. Simply type pacman -Syu and the system is always up to date!

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