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Arch Linux Report Card

As I mentioned in a previous post, I trashed my Arch Linux installation in the process of reinstalling Windows Vista (it’s a long story… read it if you like.) Anyway, prior to that event, I had been fairly happy with Arch. Here is a report card I wrote prior to “losing it”:

“I’ve used Kubuntu, Mepis, PCLinuxOS, but was irked by all the bloat, as well as the need to wait for the next “Intrepid Ibex” or whatever. I looked for a trim distro that had up to date KDE 4.1 and rolling release.

I would warn off anyone who is afraid of command line, or who hasn’t done a few Linux installations: this install is not for the faint of heart. You will not do this installation without a considerable amount of reading, learning, and a hiccup or two along the way. If you do not have a second machine available to browse the beginner’s guide during the installation, BE SURE to print it out! It is 45 to 60 pages, depending on how you set your margins, text size, etc. Yes you need it!

I’m quite pleased with the results. After a week or so of messing around, I’ve created a very attractive and functional desktop, with access to cutting edge versions of nearly all the applications I have been accustomed to using: OpenOffice, Gimp, Blender, Firefox, Flashplayer 10 beta, Dolphin file manager, Kmail, etc.

Shaman is a capable replacement for Synaptic, although I despise the name. In addition to pacman there is yaourt, a command line tool which also gives access to Arch Linux’s AUR (Arch User Repository, I think), providing a somewhat automated package building process for a wider range of packages than are available through the normal arch repositories. This is where I had to go for Bibletime and Sword packages.

Nice job, Arch Linux!”

I still feel the same about Arch, I’m just not willing to go through the pain of setting it all up again. The incredible thing about it was that after installing just about everything I needed, I still had less than 700 packages installed. Compare that to my former Kubuntu 8.04 installation at about 1400, or my current Mepis 8 installation with 1043.

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

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Mepis 8: It’s a beautiful thing!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I used Mepis for quite a while, back in the Mepis 6 days. I have to say that I am very glad to see that they have gone back to using a Debian base and repositories instead of Ubuntu (which is Debian based). Why put one more layer of complexity between you and Debian?

So, in my developing desktop, I am using Mepis 8 beta, KDE 3.5.9, and the beautiful Xaphire theme mentioned in my previous post, which satisfies my need for a dark glassy classy look. Perhaps I don’t need to hurry in reinstalling KDE 4.1!

Mepis 8 also provides the tools to help me with another issue… network configuration. I really don’t have a difficult setup… Verizon dsl, Actiontec router, & ethernet card. Somehow, though, I’ve been having issues, even since the new ethernet card. I’m beginning to wonder if the router is going bad. At any rate, the Mepis Network Assistant has been helpful each time in getting the connection reestablished.

Other tools that I use a lot which are included in Mepis 8, or available in their standard repositories (accessible through Synaptic)–

  • GIMP, (Gnu Image Manipulation Program: an open-source alternative to Photoshop), Blender (3-D modeling and animation),
  • OpenOffice 3.0 (Microsoft Office alternative)
  • Firefox 3.0.1
  • Synaptic 0.62.1, my favorite package manager
  • Bibletime 1.6.5.1, a great Bible study program

A couple of other nice things:

  • automatic recognition and mounting of usb memory sticks, external hard drives, etc.
  • Flashplayer works perfectly “out of the box” at Youtube, Foxnews, etc.

Stay tuned…

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

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