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A Weekend With Arch

Jan 12, 2009, 20:35 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kristin Shoemaker)

"By nature, Arch Linux is barebones. It is optimized for i686 and x86-64 architecture chips, and official and community repositories offer the full range of applications you'd expect from any of the "larger" distributions. Of course, the idea behind Arch is that you choose the included applications, development and desktop environments, daemons and services.

"Arch does a very respectable job making this simple. I opted for a network install of an i686 image via flash drive on my AMD Athlon X2 desktop. I chose this method for a few reasons: Arch recommends network installs to save time updating after the fact, 64-bit operating systems aren't without quirks (nor is booting some 32-bits on 64-bit systems), and a flash drive was handy.

"Downloading the network install image and getting it on to my USB drive was straightforward, and the initial boot was uneventful (save the not unexpected need for adding 'noapic' to the kernel line in GRUB). Indeed, the common installation guide and efficient approach to the installer made it seem, in many ways, less confusing (if not quite as visually appealing) than some graphical installers."

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