Our Very Existence

Random. And incoherent.

Arch Linux, and why I can’t go back to Windows.

with 4 comments

Switching to Linux is difficult, and so is switching back to Windows. I remember when, a few years ago, I used to always request Ubuntu CDs starting from version 6.06.

Back then, the difference between KDE and Gnome didn’t matter to me, so I just requested 2 versions each time a new release is out. So yeah, I ran out of requests quicker than most people did 😀

I installed, removed, installed again, then removed again. My Linux-ing those days were extremely intermittent, since I’ve always wanted to be reunited with my Windows-only apps. Also, for gaming purposes.

Time passed by and I’ve searched for new distributions, and hopped from distro to distro to find what what perfectly suits me.

The first distribution that I have ever used in my entire life was Ubuntu(+other derivatives like the KDE version). This was then followed by PCLinuxOS, Mandriva, DSL (but I didn’t really figure out the stuff back then), openSUSE, NimbleX, and a lot more. The last one that I remember was Fedora, and I thought it was a happily ever after.

Turns out it wasn’t.

I still kept on going back to Windows since, for one, if I can’t figure stuff out, I tend to give up, and two, if I just don’t feel that I have control over the system or it does not fit me perfectly, I ditch the OS and go back to Windows.

Fedora tought me a lot though. This was the one that survived the longest.

Then came Arch Linux.

Despite it not having a graphical installer nor a GUI after installation, it’s the perfect distribution for me. I didn’t have to wait for a major release every after some time, I decide how the system is going to look and perform, and a lot more. It gave me total control. Gentoo could give me even more, but with this processor, it took me more than an hour to compile a kernel that’s minimal enough to get the system to boot.

Anyway, I can’t go back to Windows because of the following reasons:

  • It took me some time to get this configured. My second install took significantly less time though, since I knew what to do then.
  • XFCE. Seriously, this desktop environment rocks. It’s extremely easy to shade/roll up windows, so I never really gave this up for KDE or any other DE. This is extremely useful when working with A LOT of windows.An example of a rolled up/shaded window:

    Normal state:

  • Arch Linux provides the latest packages most of the time. This is opposed to most distributions’ scheduled release cycles. The problem with this is that I often get packages breaking. For now, it’s the new version of Gnome messing with my XFCE install, since XFCE depends on a few GTK libs and stuff from Gnome.
  • Rhythmbox. How this player manages and plays stuff is perfect. At least for me. I often go shuffling, or playing in the order they’re supposed to be played, or sometimes a little bit of both. The closest to this behavior I could get from Windows was using Media Jukebox, which sucked big time when switching to shuffle and non-shuffle, and also when focusing/centering the song that’s playing on the library view.
  • GRUB’s flexibility. I experiment with different distributions once in a while. If an OS’ installer gives me an option not to install a bootloader, I don’t install one. I just use the one that’s here.
  • It’s a lot lighter than Windows 7. Heck, even some of my games run better on WINE than on Windows. Typing of the Dead, for example, fares better in Linux than on Windows 7, despite Linux having poor graphics driver support from Intel. Newer games, I don’t know. I haven’t been playing any resource-demanding games on my laptop recently. Oh wait, Minecraft runs better here too.

There’s a lot more, really. I can’t go back to Windows because of all these reasons.

Even if I’d get a better laptop/computer, I’d still install Linux distributions on it. The first would be Gentoo, since having a newer PC would imply getting a better processor for faster kernel and package compilations. Also, I still haven’t mastered hard drive/partition namings on GRUB and the kernel for multiple physical disks. There’s still a lot more to learn.


Written by kpbotbot

May 8, 2011 at 12:21 pm

4 Responses

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  1. BTW, KDE has also supported shading/rolling up windows for a long time, I also love it. Too bad they changed the defaults in latest versions, In the beginning you only double clicked on titlebar to roll up the window and now this only maximizes window. So to get the old and in my opinion better option back you have to change the setting (right click on titlebar → Configure Window behaviour → Actions → Titlebar tab)


    May 8, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    • KDE is a good DE, but it’s too heavy for my laptop (Celeron, the P4 based one, and an x3100 GPU). I only use it when my gtk packages break xD Thanks for the tip though. I just can’t live without window shading. Better than tiling WMs IMHO 😉


      May 9, 2011 at 11:00 am

  2. Was this before or after you discovered “Virtual Box”?


    May 16, 2011 at 4:16 am

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