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Please stop recommending arch. For real. Stop!

Let's back up. I'm an arch user. Have been for years. I love arch! Like hardcore! But for real, cut it out.

Either they didn't ask and you're being obnoxious or they probably asked "what's a good distro to learn?" Or "Ubuntu holds my hand too much, I want something more consoley" either way, arch is not the answer. Arch is a distro for us stuck up types who like spending all day fixing dependency errors, changing our WM every other week, debating the merits of X vs wayland, and acting better than everyone else.

But here's the thing: I found arch because I wanted something that I could compulsively configure and get really in the weeds. I think most arch users feel that way to some degree. You kinda have to if you want to not be miserable. But many Linux users aren't like that. And that's fine! Let them use mint, or Debian. So they never change their DE. Cinnamon is a great interface! Gnome 2 is totally fine! There's literally nothing wrong with being content with sane defaults and not manually installing every package, and having scheduled releases from a stable source.

Do you tell 7th graders "if you really want to get better at algebra, you should try calculus. You really gain a deep knowledge of math!" No! They will get there when they are good and ready! Or not. It's not a beginner distro. In fact (controversial opinion ahead) it's pretty shitty at being a distro. I have used arch for years! But I don't recommend it to anyone. Because if you want to configure a box for literally 100s of hours (it's never really over is it?), Then you aren't asking anyone about distro recommendations. You've tried them all. You've heard of arch. You been to /r/unixporn.

Stop acting better than everyone else and stop telling people it's better than <other distro here>. It's not. It's different. Very different. And it's not for everyone.

Comments
  • 22
    Wait a minute.... you’re an Arch user saying don’t use Arch. What kind of dream world did I just walk into?

    *slaps self with a fish*

    Ps. Here’s hoping the devRant compression doesn’t kill this.
  • 18
    @C0D4 I'm not saying don't use arch. By all means! I'll be an arch user probably forever! But don't recommend it to people who are legitimately looking for a new distro. Or even worse people who are content with their non arch setup.
  • 6
    @deadPix3l
    Why not ?
    If they want a more advanced distro, I'll recommend arch, since its the easiest of all the advanced distros.
  • 13
    @metamourge I'm totally fine with that. If they want an "advanced distro" then totally do.

    But I've seen too many times either a) recommending it to people who didn't ask for recommendations. b) people who are looking to move away from Ubuntu (Ubuntu is a good first distro. It was my first distro. Arch is a bad second distro. I recommend fedora or mint. Or even plain Debian) or c) people who just want a more typical experience, or a little more customization (arch is neither typical nor "a little" customization)

    Bottom line, if they ask for advanced, sure. But not everyone uses Linux to fanboy hard and configure every piece. Some just hate windows. Or can't afford licensing, or like the way unity looks. Don't try to be their savior. The arch community gets a bad rap for being pushy and elitist.
  • 16
    Same argument applies to Vim.
  • 4
    Wish I could take this post and shove it down people's throats every time I see a retard suggesting Arch the nanosecond 'distro' and 'suggestions' are pronounced in the same sentence.
    Yes, Arch is good and it has its place, but it's not for everyone, nor is it the answer to all the questions. And if more people actually stopped sucking Arch's cock and opened their eyes for a second, they would see that the world is bigger than what they experience on a daily basis. Just because it works for them, doesn't mean it works for everyone.
  • 9
    @rantsauce I do advise developers to give Vim a good try. Spend one weekend on running through a bunch of tutorials, set up a nice config, install a few plugins.

    Not because I think everyone should use Vim all the time.

    I don't use it for day to day development, the languages and frameworks I use more or less require IDE tooling which Vim plugins can not (yet?) sanely provide.

    But Vim is like Git: It can make your life so much easier if you at least learn the absolute basics.
  • 8
    @rantsauce

    And I honestly think the same about Arch. For most computer geeks I will recommend it.

    As a weekend project.

    You should reserve a dreary weekend to install Arch on an old computer, try out every possible desktop environment, make it look nice, or configure it as a home server.

    I would never trust Arch to be my production system again (neither for desktop nor server).

    And I think 95% of people should use Ubuntu server or Mint desktop, or anything else that functions well.

    Just like LSD, it's good to try it occasionally, not so great for daily use.
  • 6
    @deadPix3l wait, I started with fedora 1 then moved to Ubuntu about a year ago... Did .. did I go the wrong way?
  • 4
    Been there with Gentoo bootstrapping stage 1 years ago. I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemies. Which is why I say "stick with what you got"
  • 5
    I've done arch at points, but I've always had trouble getting the WiFi to work, lole. It's definitely more of an enthusiast distro, and not for beginners, but still, I can see the appeal. I just don't like it when these Arch elitists (or so-called "Archfags") shove it in my face. If someone ever asked me what distro to go with if they want to go deeper than Ubuntu or Mint, I would personally say Debian.
  • 4
    @bittersweet there's a lot to unpack there:

    What do you need from vim that it doesn't provide? I use it for everything.

    I do recommend vim to programmers. If you're a programmer, then more than likely you have at least a few CLI tools. I think it breaks workflow significantly to constantly switch between a gui and a shell. but I can also see that vim is complicated (I'm no where near a pro) and not for everyone.

    As for arch: there's plenty of Linux people who aren't truly Linux people. They needed an OS. That's it. There's a reason you can survive Ubuntu without ever touching bash.
  • 4
    I recommend the Ubuntu minimal install with X and i3-wm.

    All of the beautiful UI and flexibility.

    None of the configuration.
  • 2
    Linux is about configuration and you say one of the easiest distro to configure is bad?

    I don't get it.
  • 2
    @deadPix3l The linux kernel is Linux. Anyone that uses something based on it is a Linux user. Not using Arch doesn't make them less of a Linux user.

    #NotAllLinuxUsers
  • 3
    @kookoon 100s of hours isn't "easy". Linux is about open-source code, knowing what the OS does... not just about configuring the OS. That's a very shallow view.
  • 4
    @Parzi wholeheartedly agree! I'm sorry I phrased it wrong:

    Not all people who use Linux are Linux fanboys (or fangirls or fanpeople. It's 2019). They don't use Linux because they want a package manager and have open source hard-ons and etc.

    Some people use Linux because it's a nice, free, and distro depending, easy and good looking OS. These people don't need or want arch. They are absolutely not the target audience.
  • 1
    @bittersweet I don't disagree with your point. Learning a command line text editor is important if you're going to deal with servers for example. However, I don't think it has to be Vim in particular. Simple vi or nano would suffice. We just don't need to throw Vim in everyone's face all the time.
  • 1
    @rantsauce disclaimer: I'm a hardcore vim user. I use it for literally everything. Not a pro, but it's my preferred editor. I also understand that not everyone feels this way, it's fine.

    I advocate at least learning hjkl and :wq for a few reasons:

    A) it may get you interested in what else it can do. Vim is a powerful beast.

    B) if you ever use a box that isn't yours, say sysadmin some servers or an old HPUX machine from 1850 in a back closet with 8yrs of uptime, then I guarantee you will need vi(m) eventually. You probably won't have emacs, and pico/nano may not be there sometimes. Vi is the great constant that you can almost rely on it to be installed everywhere. Shit, even BusyBox, the minimal Linux OS designed for home routers and DVRs and toasters includes vi.

    C) you will use those lessons in mannnnnny other tools (sublime, several GNU tools like less for example, etc)

    That said, you don't have to use it. But everyone should be able to get in, make a change, and get out of vi.
  • 2
    @deadPix3l

    What I need from Vim is not so much impossible as it is a giant hassle.

    I need to be able to switch from controller to blade template and follow routes, I need PHP autocompletion on facades and have typehint corrections, I need Postgres and MySQL field & join autocompletion within Rust files, I need support for Haskell templating features, I need to be able to see which docker containers are running when executing integration tests, etc.
  • 0
    @bittersweet fair enough. That's a lot. And I'm sure there's plugins to do at least most of it. And I'm sure vim could handle it well. But that's a lot of stuff, and if you have your editor doing all that, then who am I to be like "my editor which serves my purposes is better than your carefully crafted environment which is perfectly set up for you! You should switch and start from scratch!"

    You do what works for you man!
  • 2
    @deadPix3l

    I still use Vim for Latex, Markdown and often for Haskell as well 🤷‍♂

    I've found that the Jetbrains IDEs have a lot of amazing stuff preconfigured. The IDEs are a bit bloated in some ways, but they pack pretty much all the right stuff. I used to do some of those things in Vim with plugins, but found myself spending SO much time writing configs/vimscripts.

    In that way it is actually analogous to Arch linux vs Mint: In Arch you build from the ground up, and while it ends up approaching perfection it costs a lot of time. Mint is more of a top-down approach: It works out of the box, although you might need to shave a few things away to get it to your liking.

    I used to like building shit from scratch, and it's the most educational, and it's very satisfying... but it's not the most productive approach.
  • 1
    @bittersweet definitely agree. building from scratch, shaping it to be just perfect is obviously the best answer. As long as you have infinite time, no other projects, deadlines, friends (or your friends are massive nerds which satisfy the other conditions) or other hobbies, and are willing to put in the work.

    For everyone else, prepackaged defaults are usually close enough with minor tweaking.

    I think many arch users fit into category one, like myself.
  • 4
    True story: When I started university I wanted to try linud but knew nothing about it. This guy insisted I try arch. I never managed to get it to work. Laptop was so broken. I stayed away from Linux for years. A few years later I tried Ubuntu and loved it.

    I would never use Arch. I have no need to overconfigure my OS. I just need it to work out of the box so I can spend time on the stuff I really like doing.

    That is why I mostly stick with windows. Don't want to spend my free time setting something different up.

    And the whole OS discussion is a matter of opinion. Saying an OS is "better" is so dumb. Depends on the user and their needs and likes
  • 0
    Actually I am using Antergos for years now. And I am here because I explicitely didnt want to solve dependency errors anymore.
    I changed to antergos after I accidentally uninstalled all dependencies relevant for my graphics driver. I dont remember details but I couldnt fix it and the way it happened was bullshit and embarassing for me and the distro, but mostly for the distro.
    So, I said, fuck it. I dont want to configure every-everything, but I want a distro that feels non-static, up-to-date and doesnt break after I do a distro upgrade..
  • 1
    I do recommend arch from time to time (To the power users only and if they're searching for something new to try) and I absolutely don't get the problem with that; should I not recommend it solely because its arch?

    I am a power user very much myself but I love KDE and thus kubuntu works fine for me :)
  • 1
    @rantsauce i noticed myself that i put a lot of work on it to get the same functionality as in pycharm and decided it is not for me :)
  • 0
    @linuxxx I'm good with that. I will recommend it to power users (the all of 1 person I've known who could handle it)

    My problem was this "I use arch so I'm better. If you switch to arch, you can be better too" thing that's going around with no concern of who you're preaching at or their skill level or needs.
  • 1
    The reason Manjaro is number one.
  • 0
    Unreal engine 4 user, looking for Linux distribution to run ue4 on and do game Dev. Also an ide that isn't visual studio but still works well with ue4..... Also VR and nvdia drivers?
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