2010-12-02

In Praise of the Arch Wiki

I'm not an Arch user. In fact, I've never used Arch before (save for two reviews of Chakra GNU/Linux, an Arch-based KDE distribution made to make Arch easier). So why am I talking about the Arch Wiki?
Well, I'm looking into doing a couple more respins, and the Arch Wiki has been absolutely indispensable for configuration tips. As Arch Linux is built from the ground up, there needs to be thorough and up-to-date documentation about how exactly to install and configure various applications and services, and the Arch Wiki does not fail. Everything is laid out in a way that I can understand, and the presumed level of prior knowledge is quite low, which is nice. Plus, because Arch is meant to be fully customizable, there are many alternative tools discussed as well, even if they aren't as frequently used.
So thank you Arch Wiki for helping me do these respins! (Also, stay tuned for posts about these new respins!)

17 comments:

  1. The Arch Wiki is why I switched to Archlinux, well that and their forum. I was originally an Ubuntu user but whenever I had an issue hardware related and googled for a solution, 9 times out of 10 there was a link to the Arch Wiki and I was able to fix the issue using that link or at the very least get pointed in the right direction. So I figured if there documentation is this good why not actually try using Archlinux, well one year latter I'm still an Arch user and couldn't be happier. The rolling release model is also a pretty good reason to switch. :)

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  2. Arch Linux and its wiki have been indispensable in helping me learn how Linux works from the inside out. Do a couple of Arch installations, and all of a sudden, what your computer is doing is no longer such a mystery. You know what's happening in the background because you told the computer to do everything it's doing. You know what drivers you're using because you installed them yourself. You know exactly what software is installed on your machine at all times because it is up to you to make additions or removals. And hey, if X crashes, you know enough to see what happened and try to get it back up again.

    The average Linux user these days tends not to know too much about any of that, but for those who wish to learn more, I don't think there's a better way to do it than Arch. I often hear Gentoo and Slackware touted as the best Linux learning tools, which is true if you're reasonably competent in Linux already, but you can get away with only knowing basic UNIX commands and still perform an Arch installation if you can follow directions.

    I still use Mint Debian for when I want to get a machine up and running quickly, but I far prefer installing Arch and telling my computer exactly how I want things done every step of the way.

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  3. The Arch wiki is great and so is Arch Linux. I have the wiki on speed dial and its one of the main reasons I switched to Arch from Ubuntu earlier this year.

    emk

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  4. @Anonymous 1, 2, 3: Yeah, in a few weeks when I have more time I'm definitely going to try out an Arch installation. A lot of my information on configuring things like Openbox, GNOME services, and those sorts of things have come from the Arch Wiki. Thanks for the comments!

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  5. As per the first poster, the Arch Wiki and the Arch forum are what turned me on to using Arch. I was a VectorLinux, Mint and Ubuntu user previously. Their wiki and forum are heads and tails much more useful and better edited and moderated than any others I know of. I have learned much more about Linux than ever before by using Arch.

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  6. Arch wiki is excellent. Arch became my favorite distro very quickly because of how easy it was to configure. Thanks to the wiki I got it installed very quickly and was able to get it set up for ssh, nfs and samba much quicker than Ubuntu.

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  7. @Anonymous 1, 2: Personally, I'll still be using Linux Mint on a regular basis because it really just works (and I don't really have that much time to play around with config files AND fix things that break if they do), but as I said, I'm certainly interested in trying Arch when I get more time. Slowly but surely, I am falling in love with their wiki. Thanks for the comments!

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  8. It should be added that for a intermediate experienced linux user installing Arch can be something to shy away for. Not necessary and if you want to enjoy Arch out of the box I recommend Archbang that does a lot of configuring for you, and you can still learn from your new installed system when using it.
    It worked great for me.

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  9. @pablo: I have reviewed ArchBang before, so please do check that out on this site. Thanks for the comment!

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  10. I have used Arch Linux and gone else where to only come back again. I started out using Chakra but did not really like it all that much. Finally Arch Linux got better updates for KDE so I went to Arch Linux. I screwed up my system a few times. Some times just bad updates and other times my stupidity. I have used ArchBang and was happy with it but wanted more then that. This last time I used Archboot and was quite happy with it. It was easy to install and they also had other software to install along with it so you did not just have to do the base install and then install other things after a restart. With the beginners guide Arch Linux is not that difficult to install. It takes more time then say Ubuntu but I like Arch Linux much more then Ubuntu.

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  11. @United against: Out of curiosity, what exactly is Archboot? I tried searching for it online, but I couldn't really understand what has been written about it. Thanks for the comment!

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  12. It is basically just another arch linux distribution. They make a cd that includes newer software and newer kernel then arch linux. They also include other options like making the disc btrfs which I did. One thing that is odd with it now is that they include parted instead of cfdisk which makes it harder to set up the disk but you can use cfdisk as well but I had to exit the install to get to this. What I like is they include items like xserver, gnome, kde, and other items. This way you just select what you want to install and it will install those applications as well. The way arch linux is set up you install the base system and then do a reboot and install every thing else. With archboot this all can be done in one step which makes it faster to install. Below is a link to the wiki on arch linux website that will explain more about it.

    https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Archboot

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  13. @United against: Thanks so much for the information. Maybe I'll even review Archboot soon (so please do keep your eyes peeled)!

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  14. The Arch Wiki is what has previously been the Gentoo Wiki for me - a great source of invaluable information regarding (almost) anything Linux. I don't know when or how they lost it, but the Gentoo Wiki nowadays seems to be outdated on most stuff. Still good, but Arch is just top notch; so is the distribution.

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  15. @azmd: Given that Gentoo is also a rolling-release distribution (and one that makes you compile your own packages, at that), I too am surprised at the fact that its wiki is not quite as good as Arch's. Thanks for the comment!

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  16. Even a Vietnamese chemist loves Archlinux as well, because archlinux helps him to know what is going on with his machine. Well documented like Archwiki, the system is in your hands.

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  17. @vntexvn: I'm glad that you've found it useful as well. Thanks for the comment!

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