Arch Linux – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly?


Arch Linux is one of the most popular Linux distributions. It was created in 2002 and distinguished from other distributions by its simplicity, minimalism, and elegance. Arch Linux suggests that users must make an effort to understand how the system works. Despite its complexity, Arch has a large community and fans around the world. Let’s look at the main pros and cons of this distribution and determine if it’s worth using it as the main operating system.

You can create your own operating system

Like MS Windows, most popular distributions, such as Ubuntu and Linux Mint, are pre-configured and work “out of the box” after installation. Arch Linux is an immaculate system. After installing it, the user sees only the terminal.

Arch Linux can be completely customized: you have the freedom to create a unique look, install any graphical shell, file manager, and packages you like.
Installation and configuration might seem difficult for an inexperienced user. Installing Arch Linux can be daunting to a beginner. You can’t just use a graphical interface to press a few buttons and select the most basic settings.

The entire installation process uses a terminal and is completely controlled by the user. The user independently partitioning disks, sequentially installs all the necessary packages and programs using console commands.

There is no unnecessary software and services in the system

It’s weird to see users install Ubuntu and then uninstall unnecessary apps and services from it.

After installing Arch Linux, the system has only the essentials. Even the graphical shell and file manager need to be installed by yourself. For an experienced user, this will not be a problem. Knowing all the necessary commands and knowing how to use the Arch Wiki, you can install and fully configure the system in an hour.

The convenient Pacman package manager is used to install the software.

No planned system updates

Most operating systems release large service packs at some time. The main problem is that the user can wait too long for a particular update from the package.

Arch Linux is updated continuously. We already spoke about the rolling release feature in another article dedicated to Manjaro Linux, an Arch-based Operating System. As soon as a patch is ready and checked for errors, users can immediately download it, and there is no need to wait until the date for the release of the update package comes.

It is well known that some updates may create problems. Although this approach allows you to receive the latest updates faster than anyone, it is more likely to lead to errors and system crashes. Advanced users can easily restore the system to work and eliminate the consequences of a failed update, but this can be a problem for a beginner.

Arch is a completely free distribution

Windows users are completely dependent on the Microsoft solution. Linux distributions provide more freedom, but some are still heavily influenced by a company (e.g., Ubuntu).

Arch Linux is a completely free and non-commercial distribution that only caters to the wishes of the community. Many users are oblivious to the influence companies have on their operating system, which is fine, but if you want to be truly free, look at Arch Linux.

Arch Wiki

The Arch Wiki is a huge library of guides that provide all the necessary instructions for installing and configuring all the Linux system components. The information in the Arch Wiki is relevant not only for Arch Linux but also for other distributions.

Most of the articles have high-quality translations into several languages, including Slavic languages.

Custom AUR Repository

The Arch User Repository is a huge collection of packages from regular users. If you can’t find something through Pacman, the AUR has it.
Although AUR packages are not included in the official repository, this does not mean that they are malicious or bad.

An afterword and a few final thoughts

Which operating system to use is everyone’s personal choice. Arch Linux has both pros and cons. It is perfect for people who want to create a unique and convenient system and are willing to spend time and effort on this.
Ordinary users can limit themselves to any operating system that uses a graphical interface. This will allow you not to delve into the technical documentation and not configure everything yourself through the terminal. I recommend you giving the Arch a try. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.