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Arch Linux is a rolling release distribution of GNU/Linux focusing on minimalism, simplicity, and elegance. Arch is often used by advanced users in light of its relatively difficult installation process. Arch is a distribution favored by the /g/ community for ricing.
Why Use Arch Linux?
- Minimalist installation process
- Near-complete customization
- Excellent package management
- Offers bleeding-edge software; always up to date (hence, rolling-release)
- The very complete Arch User Repository; every package you want is highly likely to be either in the official repositories or in the AUR.
Disadvantages to Using Arch Linux
In addition to the advantages of using Arch Linux, there are also a number of costs, including:
- Offering bleeding-edge software can cause stability issues
- When Arch Linux breaks, it is often difficult or time-consuming to repair'
- A minimalist installation process can often confuse new users
- Smaller community than other distributions, for example, Ubuntu
Arch installation is a fully command-line process. If you can't into command-line, you won't into Arch. See lesser distros such as Manjaro or Archbang for an automated install.
The Arch Linux website supplies ISO files that the user may burn to a disk, or use on a USB flash drive to install. In the past, Arch has offered a graphical interface throughout the installation, however, no longer does. For beginners, it is recommended to use the Arch Install Scripts, which help to provide an easier installation process. For average or advanced-level users, a Wiki page is offered on the Arch Wiki that describes the install process from scratch.
pacman is the package manager for Arch. This uses the repos specified in /etc/pacman.conf.
Yaourt is one of many pacman wrappers that manages packages from the Arch User Repository. Beware, this software is not maintained by the distro maintainers. (See Yaourt Installation)
Parabola GNU/Linux-libre is an FSF-endorsed Arch derivative whose repositories only contain free software.
Manjaro is an XFCE/KDE Arch based distro.
Chakra Linux is a fully KDE Arch-based distro (though they have their own repos). Semi-rolling release.