I'm going to jump to Arch! Going to post updates

So, after a few beers, and in light of Jupiter Broadcasting's LAS Arch Challenge, I've decided I'm going to nuke Windows on my Acer AO722 netbook and jump to Arch (pure Arch, not a derivative, such as ArchBang or Manjaro). I'm keeping my Mint install in case things go south. I guess the thing that finally pushed me was Matt's recommendation. He said something along the lines of if you've ever broken Xorg and had to fix it, then Arch just may be for you. So, I'm making the jump. Plus I wanted something I bit more efficient to run on my netbook. Currently running Linux Mint 14 x64 w/ GNOME Classic + Gnome Do.

I'll post updates to help anyone else on Teksyndicate who is considering the jump to Arch. I've been strictly an Ubuntu/Mint user since about 2008. I've played around with various DE's, and have gotten my feet with CrunchBang Linux. If I had to rate my Linux skills, somewhere between intermediate to advanced.

Well... let's fire it up. I'm going to try a netboot, which I have never done before. Here goes nothing...

UPDATE 1 - After an hour of trial and error, I finally successfully booted into the Netboot environment and is now downloading. In all fairness, this is my first time ever trying a netboot, and only my second or third time, first time in over 2 years, that I've ever had to edit GRUB, much less make a custom menu entry. It was pretty straight forward, but I made a few bonehead moves, such as not correctly setting the root partition, using mismatching brackets, forgetting to use sudo when downloading to a system dir and wondering why my download wasn't there, etc. As an update to my update, I've now booted up into Arch. Now, time to figure out how to initialize the install process from here...

UPDATE 2 - I successfully(?) installed Arch from a netboot environment. I got both wired and wireless internet working, and I believe I might have gotten Xorg working with AMD drivers, but I made the mistake of skipping GRUB installation, since I previously had Linux Mint installed, and I didn't want to nuke Mint's GRUB config on accident. I needed to add a nomodeset parameter, but I didn't want that to affect Mint in any way, and, well... long story short, I'm struggling with GRUB and keeping settings from Mint and Arch separate. I'm also having trouble getting GRUB to even recognize Arch half the time. Every time I run update-grub, it's anyones guess if Arch is going to show up upon reboot. I think I'm going to bed. I felt pretty good, and it was a heck of a learning experience.  I had a lot of fun. I think I'm going to try it tomorrow, but I'm going to try the graphical installer, and this time I'll be sure to re-install GRUB, and format my partition properly. If I screw that up, I figure I can use my Mint LiveUSB and repair/reinstall GRUB to at least boot Mint again. Mint survived my adventure with Arch. :)

I've always wanted to try Arch myself, but have never really seemed to have the time to really get my hands dirty with it.  I look forward to seeing how it works out for you.

It doesn't mean you're some Linux god just because you're going to run Arch. It doesn't really warrent a thread about it to be completely honest.

I never claimed to be a Linux god. And I never said I was able to run Arch. I'm still stuck with properly setting up GRUB2 (I was trying to keep my old install intact since I have Mint installed), yet alone properly configuring Xorg and installing a DE. And posting my experiences with Arch would be helpful to those who are also considering running Arch. Installing Arch is norotiously overwhelming, especially for newbies. Because of the notorious install process, it is something of a rite of passage to successfully install and run Arch.

However, I get the feeling you didn't read the post, which means you'd probably have more trouble installing Arch than I have had (#ReadTheWiki).


I started using arch right after i started learning how to use linux and it was painful. I broke arch more times than the claims of an emotional football players leg. As some friendly advice, pay attention to the updates they put out or you'll break your machine in a heartbeat.

Yeah, I'm actually planning to get my hands dirty tomorrow. I just finished allocating  a partition for Arch and back-uped all of my files from my current Windows OS. So, it's gonna be Project Linuxify. I have my doubts that going directly to Arch is a good idea. But, since I have a lot of time on my hands and still have the possibility to boot on my Windows OS, I don't see why not.

Also, Tiggum, do you mean that installing certain updates might break your system. Or do you mean that not updating your system, and then installing an update to a program might break it?


You may want to install Arch as a VM before jumping straight in, otherwise you'll need to refer to the Arch wiki just to get up and running.

The install process for Arch is much easier since pacstrap, but if you're coming from a Debian background you'll face a decent learning-curve.



Just finished installing ArchLinux on mine. Since I have a laptop, I don't need to VM it. But, moving from Windows, it'll be a tad hard. For now, taking a break on Windows 7.

Arch is amazing once you break it then fix it, and then break it some more. It's especially good on older hardware where a simple no-fuss system is required, ie; XFCE4/SLIM.

So what DE and LM did you run with?

This guy's workflow demonstrates why Arch is a nice choice   http://y2u.be/snMVK5fqBf0 

Started by using KDE4. But, after a day, I got sick of its bloat, and decided to move to XFCE4 with SLiM. Best config ever, if you ask me. ArchLinux have broken on me about 2 times, now. One because I didn't install AMD drivers right, the other because a modification of GRUB.cfg caused an error. Nothing I can't fix within Arch's live-cd.

Concerning the AMD drivers, I've simply moved back to it's open-source counterpart. The AMD drivers were unstable and obnoxious to use.

You'll find it much easier to use than Debian, if you just check the wiki. Well, that's how it worked out for me. I can be completely hopeless with some other distros, but Arch makes sense to me so I don't get why people think of it as a 'jump' to use.

Just make sure to keep track of everything you're doing, write a to-do list. Make backups and keep copies of your config files. Takes a while to set it up just the way you want it, but once that's done you're all set.

Check and double check everything. Just get into the habit of that.

messed with arch a bit, pretty tough.  good luck.

That is why it's arguably a really good beginner's distro: it's simple, it really teaches you the ins and outs, and plenty of documentation. The issue is, even with the wiki, manually configuring every aspect of the system is overwhelming, especially if you aren't the organized type. Not necessarily difficult, just overwhelming.

I have an old laptop I want to try Arch with, but I just haven't really had the time. I never quite got it properly working on my netbook (well specifically, I never got my old GRUB install to recognize the new Arch install ), but it was quite a bit of fun. The biggest obstacle for me was trying to NOT to mess up my Mint install on the netbook, as it is my daily driver. With the old laptop, I don't really care if I nuke the drive.

As for VM suggestion - I went that route, and it kinda worked, but there wasn't any hardware quirks, and I just wanted to jump in a more real scenario, because odds are is that I am going to run into some sort of snag. As for my old laptop, it's currently running CrunchBang (just too used to apt), but not too well. I think it has something to do with the 256MB of RAM and swapping to an old (and possibly dying) 4200RPM disk drive. I think Arch is my only hope of getting it up to the modern uses.

I use arch on all my computers. The reason is simple, as an advanced user and someone who still appreciates simplicity arch was the perfect choice to me. The thing is, when you decide what distro you use you don't selected the one that is perfect, you select the one with the least amount of flaws and that is why arch was the best choise for me at least. Things you are not interested in are simple to do and when you want to do something complex, in most cases it won't get in your way. Now arch is far from perfect and I disagree with some of the changes theyve made recently, probably most about introducing systemd, but these are things you have to live with. Anyway, I want to wish you luck on your endevour and I hope you find arch both educating and entertaining.