Arch Linux is an independent Linux distribution that adheres to the principles of simplicity, modernity, pragmatism, user centrality, and versatility. It is a minimalist, lightweight, and bleeding edge distro targeting proficient GNU/Linux users over the idea of trying to be appealing to as many users as possible. Arch promotes the do-it-yourself (DIY) attitude among its users and thus provides you with the freedom to tweak your system according to your needs.
Advantages of Arch Linux:
Arch is bleeding edge:
Arch Linux follows a rolling release model, this essentially means that you get all the new features and updates as soon as they roll out. When updating and upgrading your system boils down to a simple command mentioned below, there is no need for versions.
Arch is what you want it to be:
Arch Linux offers absurd amounts of customizability to its users. A clean installation of Arch doesn’t even include a Desktop Environment or a Window Manager. The user builds their system from the ground up. This approach also makes Arch extremely lightweight because there is no preinstalled bloat on the system, the user has full freedom of what you want and when you want it.
The Arch User Repository (AUR):
A unique feature that makes Arch stand out among other distros is the Arch User Repository (AUR). It is a community-driven repository for Arch users. It contains package descriptions (PKGBUILDs) that allow you to compile a package from source with makepkg and then install it via pacman. The AUR was created to organize and share new packages from the community and to help expedite popular packages’ inclusion into the community repository. AUR extends the software offerings of Arch’s official repository much further and beyond.
The Holy Arch Wiki:
Arch Linux is one of the, if not the most well documented Linux distros out there. The Arch Wiki is the stuff of legends among Linux enthusiasts. It is extremely well-documented and massive. Its offerings extend beyond Arch Linux itself at times. If you run into some trouble with your system, Arch Wiki probably has the solution already.
It is a bridge:
Package Manager (pacman), the package manager of Arch Linux is pretty unique in its own right. It is flexible enough to support the installation of binary packages from the Arch repository, as well as binaries compiled from source via makepkg. This makes Arch a bridge between the distros which allow the installation of binary packages via their package management systems and the distros which trade ease of users to allow their users to compile binaries from source with variable configurations.
Improve your understanding of Linux:
You won’t know how rewarding it is to get a clean installation of an Arch system unless you experience it yourself. The installation process is pretty complex since most of the things you will be doing won’t be GUI-assisted and you will be using CLI commands. Although this kind of complexity might sound scary to new users, it still has its own perks. The installation teaches you a lot about how Linux actually works, which you won’t bother learning because modern-day GUI installers take care of that for you. You are introduced to concepts like display managers, chroot, configuring networks, and much more during the installation itself.
Note: Arch Linux still has GUI installers for new Linux users who are not ready to do it the hard way but where is the fun?
If you are into cybersecurity, you must have heard of Black Arch. The Black Arch repository contains a massive list of security tools for penetration testers and security researchers. The downside of installing Black Arch for some users might be its massive size as it comes with all the tools which include the ones you are never going to use. The good news is you can integrate the Black Arch repository in your Arch system and fetch tools you need on-demand from the repository.
Other popular Linux distributions based on Arch:
- Manjaro Linux
Disadvantages of Arch Linux:
It is an advanced distribution:
- Although you might find Arch to be a very likely contender for your next distro hop, let me remind you that it is not at all a newbie-friendly distro. It is not recommended that an absolute Linux newbie tries out Arch. With the amount of customizability Arch offers in question, it is highly likely that a new user might potentially break their system trying to configure it in a totally wrong way. If you really want to try out Arch and you are not confident with your Linux skills, it is a much better idea to try out the installation in a virtual machine and then make the jump on a real system once you are confident enough.
- Smaller community compared to others.
- Cannot be fixed easily during any breaks.
Most frequently asked Questions on Arch Linux.
What is the difference between Linux and Arch Linux?
Linux is an open-source system kernel that provides the basic services for applications to run on a computer and when we talk about Arch Linux it is a distribution of Linux that is lightweight and customizable.
Arch Linux is most widely used by advanced users who always want to have more control over their system. In this user are allowed to easily install and manage software packages by using a package manager called Pacman. In Arch Linux releasing of new model is frequent, means it uses a rolling release model and updates are constantly done.
Overall, we can say that Linux has many distributions, each having pre-installed software, whereas in Arch Linux users optimize and configure in accordance with their needs. So, we can say that Arch Linux is a specific distribution that is known for its customizability and lightweight.
What is Arch Linux best used for?
It is best for users who want complete control over their system. And for users who want a lightweight customizable and up-to-date operating system. As it provides rolling release model. It is also known for its speed and performance.
What does Arch Linux stand for?
It does not stand for anything in particular. The name ‘Arch’ refers to minimalism, elegance and simplicity of the distribution. The main goal of arch Linux is to keep it simple and user centric. Even its features a circular target, which represents simplicity and user-centric design.
How much RAM does Arch Linux use?
However, it is difficult to give a precise answer to how much RAM dose Arch Linux uses because it depends on variety of factors like hardware specification of our computer, widows and desktop manager in our system and application we are using in our system, anyways if we have a minimal installation requirement, we can expect around 200-400MB of RAM.
Is Arch Linux without GUI?
Yes, installing Arch Linux is possible without having a GUI (graphical user interface). As we understood from the above discussion Arch Linux is flexible and customizable which means users can customize it according to their need. Many Arch Linux used to prefer minimal installation without GUI.