Antergos: Arch Linux Made Easy

Antergos for everyone - Arch Linux Made Easy

And so, here we are.  It's almost Spring.  The winter here in Upstate New York was relatively mild.  That is a nice switch.

I haven't felt motivated to write at blogger for about a year now.

It was around this time last year I chose to close Linux Advocates.

And I needed time to reassess what is going on in my life and whether or not Linux matters enough to stay 'in the fray' writing about it daily or weekly.

I've spent plenty of time doing other things in my Google Plus account accumulating over 17 million page impressions.  Indeed, there is a lot going on in the world besides Linux.  But today, I thought I would bring you up to date on my thoughts about the world of Linux.

The question I have put to myself: Has Linux changed for the better?

Well, to answer that question I have to discuss what has changed for me.

I don't recommend any Distro to friends and family besides Fedora.  Fedora will be around in 5 years and is stable.  The cookie cutter Distros will whither away and my disdain for Debian and Ubuntu has not diminished.

For me and the 'gear heads' out there, I recommend Arch Linux.  No, I don't have the typical 'attitude' and swagger, a reputation that is not entirely unjustified.

Arch is a 'nuts and bolts' Distro with 'some assembly required'.  This is where the trouble comes in for many who simply cannot do the needed manual cobbling together of a gui desktop to the kernel.

I began using Antergos (Arch derivative Linux) about a year ago.  And haven't switched away from it since.  That should tell you something.  I have found myself in the past constantly switching to try one Distro or another, only to retreat to old faithful Fedora.

This time, I was 'wowed'.  You see, as far as I was concerned, Arch has a great 'unmet need'.  That is, a drop-dead easy gui installer live cd.  The Antergos devs filled this unmet need with a Python cnchi installer from which six (6) guis can be installed on top of the Arch repo system, including AUR.

Antergos cnchi installer

Antergos is not without its growing pains, mind you, but I have dealt with the transition and don't have any reason to leave the fold.

Hat's off to the Antergos Developer Team.

And, the trend continues -- now there's another installer for Arch called Architect Linux.  And 'head turner' Apricity OS just arrived.

What makes Arch great?  Most gearheads will tell you, pacman.  I will agree.

It makes the difficult simple.

My biggest fret about static package Distros like Fedora is that you cannot get the latest revisions of software until the next release cycle, which leaves one about four to six months behind.  This causes a cycle of reinstalls, clean installs, depending on the need and extra work.

Arch is 'rolling release'.  That means when any upstream software provider makes a release, your pamac-systray will turn 'red' and notify you of an update.

It's a double-edged sword of course, but I like it.  I have set up an external eSATA 'BlacX' HDD docking station and have a mountpoint added /etc/fstab for a 1TB WD HDD to do cron backup at midnight (incremental diffs using rsync with Back in Time).  Back in Time runs like a swiss watch.  And, if the need should arise with a rolling release borked update, I can quickly revert to the previous day's backup set.  My laptop is a ThinkPad T510 m560 with 8GB ddr3 ram and a crucial 1TB SSD.  It's your typical 'tank' ThinkPad.  Rock solid.  The SSD is formatted to ext4.

And, just last week, Antergos became the first Distro to release with a ZFS filesystem install option.  That blew me away.  But, I don't think it is quite ready for prime time so I think I'll wait for the bugs to shake out and have a look again in 6 months.

So, to answer the question: Has Linux changed for the better?  The answer is definitely YES.

Only, it's not necessarily the way many think.  Debian and Ubuntu are both stagnant, one bogging down the other.  Canonical Ltd. has chosen to use the gnome-software installation center.  This is somewhat of a concession in my opinion.  Unity is a 'one off' gui -- no other Distros will use it.  I gave up on it a few years ago and have never looked back.

I might give Apricity OS a spin as a virtual machine in Antergos.

That's about it.  Will be back soon.  -- Dietrich


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