Learn Linux with Arch
For those just getting started in Linux or not technically minded, then Arch Linux is probably not the distribution for you, but if you’re fascinated by GNU / Linux as I am and interested to learn more about how it works, then you must give Arch Linux a try.
I am often trying out new and different distributions, but I had always been put off trying Arch Linux because I had believed it to be too hard to configure and to get working. Not only that, but I would wonder how long it would take and would I have enough time and perhaps more importantly, patience to complete the task?
Well many of my preconceptions proved to be ill-founded and after spending half a day understanding the steps to installing Arch Linux and what the purpose of each step was, I can now complete an install in less than 30 minutes. This includes the setting up of a desktop and window manager, i.e. Gnome and Nautilus. I can’t stress how educational installing Arch was, because now that I understand how to complete basic tasks like partitioning my hard disk, setting the mount point, configuring my mirror lists and setting up the Grub boot-loader, I feel much more confident about configuring the rest of my system and troubleshooting when things don’t go quite as expected.
I don’t think I will stop evaluating other distributions though. For one, I appreciate the ease with which their automatic installers get a system up and running. However, my knowledge of the underlying GNU / Linux system has take a leap in the last fee days and equipped me with the skills to work through problems more quickly, without having to always look online for help. After all, the more I understand how GNU /Linux works, the more I will be able to do with it.
If you’re thinking of dipping your toes into the Arch Linux pool, then check out their wiki page before you get started. The installation, setup and configuration is thoroughly documented and it will save many hours of frustration if you familiarise yourself with the instructions and tips there first.
If you’re looking for help and you’d like to see someone actually configure Arch from scratch, I recommend heading over to midfingr’s YouTube channel. There are a number of great videos to watch, covering many different topics. These helped me a lot during my first run through.