Is Arch worth installing?

From what I understand, Endeavour is pretty much Arch with the basic files needed to run out of the box, plus your choice of DE and drivers

I would just install the exact same DE and drivers immediately if I installed Arch. So, is there any difference?

Answer:

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@Archnoob
I thought you had EndeavourOS installed? Why would you want to install Arch form scratch when you have an online installer that works like magic. It’s Arch on a carpet! It doesn’t get any more magical than that! Installing Arch is like writing an essay…nobody really wants to do it. :laughing:

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I do :smiley:
Actually I run both arch and Endeavor, I don’t know, but there’s something exciting when you build your own system, it pleases me every single time. And every time I do it slightly different, so it’s also partially a discovery that we all love so much.

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I have just done a reinstall on my secondary computer and went with Arch + Openbox. The Arch part really only takes about 20 minutes but configuring Openbox is as long as a piece of string (English saying). The point really is that Arch + xfce4 can be done within an hour, easily. But installing Arch and Openbox is a lot of fun and very instructive in the ways of Linux. Endeavouros is probably the best way to install Arch with some nice additions in record time. You ‘pays yer money and takes yer chances’.

Yes, I’m currently on Endeavour. I like trying as many distros as possible. I’ve basically run out of options except for Arch, Slackware, and Gentoo because I don’t feel like getting an aneurysm installing a distro

It’s good to know that Endeavour is like Arch with an installer so I don’t have to manually install it to get the same experience

BTW thanks to the devs for this awesome distro. It’s probably my favorite out of at least 50 I’ve tested

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I do too and have done it also or are still doing it sorta of. I also like trying other Arch distro’s and or Arch install scripts. But, that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I do it to compare the process. In the end i think Arch is Arch no matter how you install it unless it’s not. :thinking: Some are maybe…not so Arch?

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I like the speedy way to get an Arch up and running that EndeavourOS delivers.But from time to time I make an Arch installation to stay in touch with the basic steps. And I write down what’s to do and why. This information is quite helpful for understanding the underlying mechanisms and helped me even to get a FreeBSD up and running.
So I would say: EndeavourOS for speed and elegance - plain Arch for deeper understanding and learning.

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I’d like to try Arch, but I’m worried to get stuck on some basic installation step due to my newbieness :sweat_smile: I honestly don’t think it can offer more than EOS already does, and I’ll probably go with the same very minimalistic setup I have now anyway, but it’s definitely doing to be great for learning.

I think it depends what your motivations for installing Arch are in the first place.

Things installing Arch will not do for you(coming from EndeavourOS):

  • Make your system faster/better/more efficient
  • Be practically different in a measurable technical way
  • Give you some secret Linux knowledge

Someone else recently said this and it seemed very true to me:

all I’ve ever learned from installing Arch, is how to install Arch.

What does it take to install arch?

  • The ability to follow well documented instructions
  • The ability to partition your disks with minimal guidance
  • To know which timezone you are in
  • To understand which locale you want to use

Of course, if you are a beginner, those instructions may be a little overwhelming, especially if you lack patience. Disk partitioning without a parachute is probably the most daunting part, especially since it is basically the first significant task.

To me, what is actually interesting is not installing Arch, it is what happens after the install. In most cases, once you finish an Arch install you are left sitting at a TTY without a network. From here you need to figure out how to get the network up and running, create users, install/configure a DE/WM and DM, etc.

None of those tasks are particularly difficult but if you don’t know how to do them, each will take patience and research. Even after you do them, you will inevitably notice something you missed and needs to be added later once you start working with the system.

To me, what building an Arch system up from the bottom teaches you is less about Linux and more about basic qualities like self-reliance, patience, the ability to research things and the value of trial and error. I believe you will get more benefit from this process once you have enough Linux base knowledge to be able to process all the information that you will need to build up and Arch environment effectively.

Back to the original question, “Is it worth it?”. My answer is yes if you want the adventure and see value in the journey. Otherwise, if you are more focused on results of the install, it probably isn’t worth it.

Either way, if you do decide to do it, I would recommend trying it out in a VM first.

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In a practical perspective, installing vanilla arch doesn’t really offer you any better edge than something like an enos installation does. But, that won’t negate the fact that you’ll learn/understand a lot of things, by installing it the arch way.

Does that mean I’m advising against enos, and encouraging you to use vanilla arch? Not quite. While the end choice is yours, imho, enos is a much better choice for a daily driver. But you should still try and install arch “the arch way”, atleast in a virtual machine. @dalto 's reply also explained this pretty well, so I won’t repeat anything.

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hahahaha phrase great !!!
:joy:

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The reality of it is that we only really know what we have learned. If you have never installed Arch before you will learn things.

  1. How much you really don’t know.
  2. How much patience you do or don’t have.
  3. Your ability to grasp concepts from reading technical information.
  4. How easy it is or isn’t for you to follow and interpret the technical info and understand how to use it.
  5. Whether it was worth to you and what you learned by doing it or attempting it.

I can’t say whether it’s worth it or not for someone else. Only you will know after attempting it, succeeding at it or failing at it. Sometimes it takes multiple attempts. That’s how you learn …
For me i would say it was worth it so i would recommend to anyone who asks to give it a go and then you decide whether it was worth it for yourself. You will learn many things by doing it. :grin:

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I’m not abandoning Endeavour for anything, even Arch :slightly_smiling_face: I’ve never been much of a distro-hopping kind and this distro became a home for me. Arch is just a tempting challenge because of its reputation of being unaccessible to general user, I cannot judge how justified this reputation is. Trying it in a VM is a good advice, though it’s not so fun as being left “sitting at a TTY without a network” on a real hardware :sweat_smile:

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If you want fun, here’s something you should try out.

  1. Hit a vm
  2. Start installing arch
  3. In each step, write down the command you’re using. Not as a text file, but rather as a shell script. It doesn’t have to be complicated as you won’t do any guess work. You’ll know what timezone you want, what locale you want etc.
  4. After the installation is done, save the script on github.
  5. Next time whenever you want to experiment, and say don’t have an arch vm, start the iso, pull git, clone your repo, and leave the script to do your job.
  6. Over time, make the script better, little by little.

This is what I do sometimes to pass time. It’s really fun.

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That sounds like a heck of idea, I just might do that!

Pudge

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An excellent idea. I have a text file that I update each time I reinstall Arch Linux; I keep a separate one for the different desktops I use (only XFCE and openbox). Mine is based on the Arch installation guide and the experience I have gained, including the important applications to install at the right time. Naturally, I keep the file on a different computer or HDD. I should add it to my github repos.

I have found that the most awkward services to sort out are always ‘sound’ and ‘printing’. You can spend hours trying to sort them out if you don’t know what is needed.

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I did miss this part out. These are the things you’ll learn by trying out vanilla arch. Let me be clear, you won’t learn everything there is to learn (not even close), what a lot of elitist arch users prefer to say or think, but you’ll learn the things that you don’t know right now, and is quite helpful even for a basic user.

For example, this statement, without internet left on a tty, you won’t be in a tty, left without internet access. You have a wired connection? Install dhcpcd along with all the base packages, and on the chroot step, enable the related service. You have wireless connection? Install networkmanager along with base group and on the chroot step, enable the NetworkManager service. And after the reboot, you won’t be in a tty without internet access anymore, wired connection will work automatically, and for wireless connection, you’ll have nmtui. And as long as you have internet access, you can create anything you want out of that minimal setup. You might not understand what specifics I said here, but you’ll understand them soon enough, if you give vanilla arch and its install process a shot. (You also don’t necessarily have to boot to a tty, and then install a desktop environment or any of your preferred applications, you can do all of that right from the liveISO, along with the base install/configuration)

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From what i have seen of your posts i don’t think you will have too much of a problem getting through it. I can’t say what you will learn but you will learn something and it may be more or less than you think or what others are telling you. I can’t really say or can anyone else in my opinion. It’s definitely worth trying it. I just said before why would you want to when you have EndeavourOS but there are reasons. Everyone has there own. You have nothing to lose especially in virtual.

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I was actually half-jokingly referring to dalto’s post (a great post by the way). Those are the most intimidating things for a beginner. Being left completely on your own, not even knowing where to start from.
Thanks for the clarification about the network, taking notes here :nerd_face:

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