Author Topic: Review of Arch Linux  (Read 143 times)

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Offline fox

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Review of Arch Linux
« on: January 09, 2023, 07:32:24 am »
Jesse from DistroWatch did a good review of Arch Linux yesterday (find it here). It made me nostalgic for our "old" PLUG, when we met regularly and various topics were presented. One of those was Arch Linux, which Jason presented some years ago. He left instructions on how to install it, and I took up the challenge. I put it on my XPS laptop, and although I only used it occasionally, I supplemented it with all of the programs I regularly use and kept it up to date for two years; never encountering a problem. I removed it eventually; getting tired of the huge updates and the time required to build some of the updated packages. It served its purpose; giving me more confidence in my limited Linux skills.

While I no longer have Arch on any of my computers, I put Manjaro on an external drive about two years ago and use it occasionally. It's very fast like Arch, and I have yet to encounter a problem when I update it. It's actually more fun to use than Ubuntu because of how fast it is, but being risk-averse, I still won't trust a rolling release distro as my primary OS.
Ubuntu 22.10 on 2019 5k iMac
Ubuntu 22.04 on Dell XPS 13 2 in 1

Offline Jason

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Re: Review of Arch Linux
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2023, 05:10:19 am »
Which desktop environment are you using with Manjaro, Fox?

Regarding being risk-averse, I hear you. The use of Timeshift can help with this as any number of updates can be rolled back easily and usually fairly quickly. But there's still some time involved.

Thanks for letting us know about the article.
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Offline fox

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Re: Review of Arch Linux
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2023, 02:40:27 pm »
Manjaro Plasma. Just to have something different.
Ubuntu 22.10 on 2019 5k iMac
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Offline Jason

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Re: Review of Arch Linux
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2023, 09:35:54 am »
Have you used it much? Wondering what you think of Plasma. You might notice that it's faster than Gnome unless that's just on low-memory systems.
* Pop OS 22.04 on a PC desktop with a 3.6 GHz i5 (quadcore) processor, 12 GB RAM, and 512 GB Kingston SSD
* Lenovo 300e Chromebook (2nd generation)
* Motorola One 5G Ace with Android 11, Octo-core processor, 4 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage

Offline fox

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Re: Review of Arch Linux
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2023, 01:19:37 pm »
I don't use it much; I maintain it and use it occasionally. In terms of speed, it's definitely more responsive than Ubuntu. But that is likely because it is Arch-based. Since I use Ubuntu Gnome and Manjaro Plasma, I can't separate out the effects of the distro from the desktop.
Ubuntu 22.10 on 2019 5k iMac
Ubuntu 22.04 on Dell XPS 13 2 in 1

Offline Jason

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Re: Review of Arch Linux
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2023, 08:28:25 pm »
I don't use it much; I maintain it and use it occasionally. In terms of speed, it's definitely more responsive than Ubuntu. But that is likely because it is Arch-based. Since I use Ubuntu Gnome and Manjaro Plasma, I can't separate out the effects of the distro from the desktop.

It's probably more likely Plasma. Btw, I hadn't realized that Plasma was the default for Manjaro. That's cool.
* Pop OS 22.04 on a PC desktop with a 3.6 GHz i5 (quadcore) processor, 12 GB RAM, and 512 GB Kingston SSD
* Lenovo 300e Chromebook (2nd generation)
* Motorola One 5G Ace with Android 11, Octo-core processor, 4 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage

Offline fox

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Re: Review of Arch Linux
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2023, 07:19:44 am »
Manjaro puts out three official images, one with Plasma, one with XFCE and one with Gnome. I think that in the past, XFCE was the default but now, the three appear to have equal status. I chose Plasma because I wanted to play with that desktop. My Ubuntu is with Gnome, and I consider XFCE to be just a lighter version of Gnome. As to speed, I think it is Manjaro itself and not the Plasma desktop that makes it faster. I say this because I used to have Arch as a secondary distro. I used Gnome on it and it was fast like Manjaro. Why do you think that Plasma is faster than Gnome?
Ubuntu 22.10 on 2019 5k iMac
Ubuntu 22.04 on Dell XPS 13 2 in 1

Offline buster

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Re: Review of Arch Linux
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2023, 04:30:59 pm »
" I consider XFCE to be just a lighter version of Gnome."

I think some of us will disagree with this statement. Have tried many times but find Gnome awkward. Too many things to be 'fixed' before comfortable use. And I know that you love it.

As a contrast XFCE has always been comfortable to me, from the moment it is installed.
We have music and poetry because our lives can never be perfect.

Offline fox

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Re: Review of Arch Linux
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2023, 08:20:20 am »
Buster, I'm pretty sure you are referring to the desktop configuration and in your case, I'm I think that you are most comfortable with anything that is set up like Windows XP. XFCE is set up that way by default, but Gnome can be set up almost like that with the help of extensions. In any case, the GTK toolkit (GTK3, I think) underlies both Gnome and XFCE, whereas Plasma uses the QT toolkit. In that way, Gnome and XFCE are related.

The default Ubuntu desktop is not the same as vanilla Gnome; I don't care for the configuration of the latter either. Vanilla Gnome hides the dock and provides no application menu, except when you hit the cmd key. (Then you get applications in rows and columns.) In Ubuntu, you get a dock, but on the left-hand side of the screen, which I prefer. But the settings allow one to move the dock to the bottom. Add the ArcMenu extension, and you get a customizable application menu not very different from that of XFCE or Plasma. I have ArcMenu installed, though I rarely use it, as my most used applications are on my dock. I know that there are other differences between XFCE and Gnome, but given my setup, I find XFCE to be just a simplified version of Gnome.
Ubuntu 22.10 on 2019 5k iMac
Ubuntu 22.04 on Dell XPS 13 2 in 1

Offline Jason

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Re: Review of Arch Linux
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2023, 07:24:24 pm »
It's a rare thing to say but I'm with Buster here. Besides the toolset, Xfce has nothing to do with Gnome. All of the major desktops can be configured to look like one another as you've pointed out but Ubuntu and Xfce are very much different in looks including the setup tools that come with each.

When you said lighter, I thought you meant in resource requirements when I saw you first mention it. Xfce definitely uses fewer resources although Plasma is very similar in that vain. Having said that, if you have even a desktop less than 10 years old with sufficient memory (over 4 GB) and a decent graphics chipset or graphics card, you're not going to notice a difference in performance. I don't. And my desktop is 10 years old. But on the Toshiba laptop, I had, anything more than an Xfce desktop was virtually unusable. Using Windows 7 was painful. It had only 4 GB of RAM and a low-performance chipset. Even MATE was too much. Ran MX Linux beautifully, though, for two years.

Buster and I diverge on how easy each desktop is to use. For the average user, Gnome has far less stuff to fudge with, which can be a lot simpler for most folks, including myself. I've had no problem moving to Pop OS, which could possibly be considered a more complex form of Ubuntu. You get used to it. The argument could be made that Windows is much harder to use because it takes too much work to make it look like any Plasma-based distro which is pretty much impossible unless you get an add-on program. It's a lot easier to just adapt or stick with what you prefer than change everything to look like another desktop environment.
* Pop OS 22.04 on a PC desktop with a 3.6 GHz i5 (quadcore) processor, 12 GB RAM, and 512 GB Kingston SSD
* Lenovo 300e Chromebook (2nd generation)
* Motorola One 5G Ace with Android 11, Octo-core processor, 4 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage

Offline fox

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Re: Review of Arch Linux
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2023, 07:45:09 am »
Well we'll have to disagree on the XFCE-Gnome relationship. I think that the toolset does define the relationship, not the performance.

Interesting about your Toshiba laptop. When it was mine, I never noticed it to be particularly slow, with either Windows or Ubuntu. I suspect it's a combination of aging parts and the greater resource requirements of current operating systems, although the latter doesn't explain why MX Linux would run any better. Ironically, I used to have MX Linux as a backup distro on my Dell xps 13. I found it to be slower than Ubuntu. Eventually I changed it for Linux Lite; not because of its speed but rather, just to try Linux Lite. (Your recommendation awhile back.)

I do agree with your argument about ease of use. As we know, Buster is not particularly interested in learning new things; at least as far as operating systems go.
Ubuntu 22.10 on 2019 5k iMac
Ubuntu 22.04 on Dell XPS 13 2 in 1

Offline buster

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Re: Review of Arch Linux
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2023, 03:13:17 pm »
" Buster is not particularly interested in learning new things; at least as far as operating systems go"

Absolutely true. Spending too much time playing with desktops interferes with 'learning new things'. There are only so many hours in a day to learn.

Interesting that the desktops that most of the world uses are the same day after day.

We have music and poetry because our lives can never be perfect.