Michael's Switch to Arch

I’m thinking of also making the jump. Michael mentioned an ncurses installer that might take some of the edge off the process. @MichaelTunnell what are some of the pros and cons you’ve experienced so far coming over from an Ubuntu flavor? I know this isn’t your first rodeo with Arch, but are you mostly happy with the switch? How much tedium has there been installing things you just take for granted as being present in Ubuntu? The main reason I want to jump into Arch is the AUR. I’m not thrilled with Snaps as they are now (theming issues and startup times and so forth), and I’d rather just use a repository for most things. And the sleekness of Arch is also a draw for me. I’m just dreading all the tedious installs of under-the-hood stuff I take for granted in Ubuntu. That would make a great video actually. Arch install guide for people who are used to Ubuntu. But to remind you of my original question… How goes it with Arch, pros and cons?

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Not Michael but I am using Arch. You’ll find that you won’t use the AUR as much as you’d expect. I have maybe 9 AUR packages installed and the rest are from the default repos. I’m on Plasma and my workstation is pretty well loaded with apps.

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I wrote about a couple “easy” ways to install Arch at Forbes, but I particularly enjoyed this bash script over at pico.dev.

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Hey Sam, so first of all I used Archfi to install it and for the most part it is a good installer but it also has some wonkiness. The main thing I like about Archfi is that it installs mostly the Arch Way so you still need to know how to install Arch normally to use it and you still go piece by piece it just does it in away you dont have to type every command. I think this is a great combination however it is not really made for people who are new to Arch.

I like Arch overall in many ways but there are a lot of little issues that are very annoying such as having to load kernel modules whenever I want to install and use specific apps. Virtualbox for example was an issue because I needed to load modules in order to make it work and those modules wouldnt load. It was due to the fact that my kernel had updated but my uname -r hadn’t updated so it was looking for a folder that didnt exist so I had to figure out what the problem with that was and then manually fix that. It wasn’t a hard fix but I had to figure out what the issue was in general because it wasnt a common problem that I could find instructions for.

There’s things like that and I would say most people should avoid Arch as in a vanilla install unless they are fine with dealing with these sorts of things because they are a guarantee that something like this will happen to them.

I am currently dealing with a weird issue in Dolphin, not really Arch’s fault its a Dolphin fault but since I havent used Arch in like 5 years I dont remember the solution and it is so esoteric it seems that no one else knows the actual solution lol. Dolphin is just sorting files weirdly so the order isnt good and its kind of annoying and the other distros do something to solve that but it seems as though they did this so long ago they dont remember what addresses it lol

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Archfi is great IF you are reasonably comfortable with the normal Arch install process. For me, it’s really most helpful as a checklist so I don’t forget a step.

I know I’m not Michael, either, but I will append what’s already been well said with my own experience. I used Ubuntu-based distros for 12 years, and since January, 2019 (when I discovered Antergos Linux), I have been running an Arch-based system. A few months ago, I found Arcolinux and have enjoyed Linux more than ever – it is phenomenal. EndeavourOS is excellent so far as well. My Arch-based systems have been as stable as Ubuntu for me, although I know everyone’s experience can vary. Good luck!

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Here are some ways to install Arch, the first one is easy.
Zen Installer

Anarchy

ArcoLinux BYOI

ArchLabs

Archfi

**Note that with Archfi, if you need to connect your wireless, you will need to use the command “wifi-menu”. However, there is a good chance your wireless will be soft-blocked. Entering the command in the terminal “rfkill unblock wifi” will correct this.

I hope this helps you.

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Personally I went through the guide and did the install “The Arch Way” and found it not too complicated. I have heard that sometimes those installers are less stable then going the manual way. But if you plan to use an installer use the Zen Installer from what I hear it is the best, but I still recommend the manual way because you control each part of the install. Your choice is plentiful so think it over to make sure you don’t rush things on your system.

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Derek, most true. A lot of videos on youtube doing it the official way. Doing it in a VM for a practice run is a great option as well.

plus making mistakes helps us learn and that’s something we should strive to do is learn :smiley:

I’m relatively new to using Linux (especially as a full time OS), but I installed Arch at the weekend on my machine as a 2nd OS with my main Manjaro install.

In all honesty it wasn’t all that painful! The scariest part is creating a partition on a drive containing an OS, which can much easier be done using a live distro on a USB stick and noting the /dev partition name! :smile:

And installation as a 2nd os meant I didn’t have to manually create a grub loader either, as all I had to do was update the existing grub loader :laughing:

I’d thoroughly recommend running through an install in a VM first if you’re nervous, but I reckon I could probably do the install now in about 20 minutes from live USB 1st boot to desktop environment.

I’ll be launching my own Linux blog in the next few weeks, and this is one of the subjects I intend to cover. The amount of satisfaction I’ve had building and using an OS I’ve installed and configured by hand is unreal, and it’s given me a lot more confidence in using Linux :+1:

I’m now also free of Windows on my own PC for the first time in the 25 years I’ve had my own computers, and that is a great feeling :grin:

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Yeah, generally, if you’re not comfortable installing Arch the correct way (i.e. following the official install guide on the Arch Wiki), you probably won’t be comfortable configuring all the software and troubleshooting when something weird happens.
And then considering that the install procedure can change any time, and it will take long for the unofficial installers pick that up, if they pick it up at all. So my general recommendation (Arch was the Linux distro I installed on my PC after 12 years of Windows-only, so I don’t know much about switching from Ubuntu) is that you install it a few times in a VM, maybe try install it on a bootable USB to figure out if your PC has any weird hardware issues, before you put it on your main production machine :smiley: