rakhesh shows …

March 19, 2006

Arch Linux

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 4:55 pm

"The recent emphasis of the Linux community has been on desktop distros that make it easy to install and configure the system without venturing beyond the GUI. Despite the success of these beginner-friendly systems, a significant segment of the Linux population prefers a simpler approach. These back-to-basics users want clarity, stability, and speed, and they do not care about the proliferation of redundant tools and glossy configuration helpers that populate the GUI-based systems. In the past, no-frills Linux users gravitated to systems such as Slackware, Gentoo, or Debian, but another back-to-basics distro is gaining favor among the Linux faithful: Arch Linux." §

I couldn’t agree more. I gave Ubuntu Linux a shot yesterday, and I am already thinking of removing it. Ubuntu is good, I’m not denying that, but I dunno, I always think of Linux a command-line kind of OS. I started fiddling with Linux when Slackware was "the" Linux distro and RedHat was just starting to put some colour into their initial startup lines; and more than Linux I’ve worked with stuff like Free/Net/OpenBSD and so I kind of like the command-line … and so Ubuntu put me off big time yesterday!

And its not just that. Personally, I feel Linux excels itself in the command-line. Things like GNOME and KDE and too slow or sluggish or complicated or whatever whatever whatever. GNOME’s taskbar is sooo funny for instance (I was using 2.14). If there’s only one window, the taskbar shows its button across half the taskbar. Even though I’ve set the button to have a low maximum size and all. GNOME’s menus are decent though, I have to say that. And as for KDE, its got these huge icons in the system tray, and its menus are sooo bloody complicated, boy! And both of them slow things down big time. I was trying to import my music collection into Banshee and amaroK, and both of them had difficulties doing so. Would just get stuck, and I wouldn’t even be able to open a command prompt or kill the processes etc. In Windows, I use iTunes and it imports things in a snap!

So ya, I think Linux has still a long way to go in the UI part. Even a distro like Ubuntu requires u to open the command prompt now and then. Sure, there might be GUI alternatives to the command prompt commands, but those are not default — you gotta check the forums and then download them etc. I’ve used Windows for long, and I’ve never had to resort to the command-line for simple chores. At the most I’ve had to tweak with the weird looking Registry — and that’s about it! Not like Linux.

I don’t think I’ll give Arch a try though. Dunno, not too interested. Have been put off by these Linux distributions infact. What I want to give a try to though is Bluewall. Its Debian Sid, with NetBSD’s pkgsrc — wonder how it is. I dont mind using the Linux kernel or GNU tools etc — have nothing against them — all I mind is Linux distributions that are trying to make Linux user-friendly and not really getting there.



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