Why Arch Linux?

My History

For four years now, I used Manjaro as my main GNU/Linux distribution for my daily use. That includes developing with Java/C++/Python and data analysis stuff with R/Python.

Now for me, it was time to switch from Manjaro to another distribution. Sidenote: Manjaro uses Arch Linux as base distribution but provides a considerable amount of additional services out
of the box. Manjaro was running fine for four years now with only one incident, with the integrated WWAN modem.

Since I started to use Manjaro, I fell in love with the “rolling release” feature with an up-to-date kernel and all the up-to-date packages. I decided that it is time to switch to plain Arch Linux for me now.

Switching from a running system to a new system is time-consuming, especially if it is running fine. Yes, my Manjaro is fine, but I messed up a lot of stuff up during the time and didn’t install all packages with the Arch package manager (pacman). That made the final trigger to set up a fresh and clean system.

Why I Chose Arch Linux?

  • What I like is the up-to-date kernel and all the up-to-date packages like Arch, but Manjaro adds some delay to the Arch upstream. Other distributions have nowadays an up-to-date kernel, for example, Fedora, but packages are sometimes a bit outdated, and the kernel might be outdated as well.
  • I wanted to dig deeper into the world of the GNU+Linux operating system. With Arch Linux and Gentoo the user has to set up everything manually. This is perfect to see and learn what is required to execute a full OS.
  • There was a very excellent presentation at the fhLUG from an Arch Linux user, who has been using the same installation for years now and is not going to switch or reinstall it in the future.
  • Another good point is the Arch wiki/community: it contains maybe the most significant documentation for a GNU+Linux user. If I search for something, I very likely end up in the Arch wiki or some Arch forum.

These are the main arguments why I wanted to install plain Arch Linux on my notebook.

How Many Resources does a Clean System Require?

After installing the system, I wanted to see how much resources Arch Linux needs after the fresh installation. Sidenote: a full system is running with networking and terminals.

Firstly, how many services are required?

Result form executing the “systemctl status” command

As you can see, there are few services required for running the system. Compare your result by performing:

# run as root or with sudo
systemctl status

Secondly, how much hardware resources are needed?

A result from the “htop” command

Again there is mainly the network manager and systemd as with the process view. Together both require 130 MB of RAM and produce a 0.7% load on the CPU. This system has active LAN and WLAN access to the home network. Compare your result by performing:

# run as root or with sudo

The base installation for this setup requires 1.8 GB of disk space. For comparison, the Ubuntu 19.10 installation ISO with the live-environment is 2.3GB and requires even more after installation. Compare your result by performing:

# run df -h and search for your main partition
df -h /