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Is Arch Linux Stable? I ask this question because of quotes like this from the Arch Linux Wiki Official Arch Linux Install Guide - ArchWiki Development is focused on a ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Enthusiast gerard4143's Avatar
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    Is Arch Linux Stable?


    Is Arch Linux Stable?

    I ask this question because of quotes like this from the Arch Linux Wiki

    Official Arch Linux Install Guide - ArchWiki

    Development is focused on a balance of simplicity, elegance, code-correctness and bleeding edge software.
    Its lightweight and simple design makes it easy to extend and mold into whatever kind of system you're building.
    'Bleeding edge software' doesn't that imply 'not throughly tested'?
    Make mine Arch Linux

  2. #2
    oz
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    I'm not even sure what the true definitions of stable and bleeding edge are, and those terms might be more relative to users on a person by person basis, but Arch has been stable enough for me during the more than 5 years that I've used it. There have been a few bumpy places along the way, but I think that's to be expected with rolling releases where new packages are constantly going onto the system, quite often on a daily basis.

    I'd have to say that I'm satisfied with Arch and its stability, or I'd not have stuck with it for so long.
    oz

  3. #3
    Linux Enthusiast gerard4143's Avatar
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    Maybe I should just concentrate on this part of the quote

    "simplicity, elegance, code-correctness"

    The above quote probably sums up Arch better than just - bleeding edge software...
    Make mine Arch Linux

  4. #4
    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
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    I've been using Arch for about a year and a half without problems. Have it on 4 machines right now.

    But, you should always pay attention to what is being updated, read the forums and news announcements, maybe wait a couple of days before applying major updates and see if others have any problems. There is also the LTS kernel if you're concerned about frequent kernel updates.

    Arch packages are bleeding edge in the sense that they are the latest stable releases from upstream. (Which some exceptions like Chromium Beta, since there is no stable release yet.) So they don't have the same extensive testing and use period a package in say, RHEL or Debian has. Packages are moved through the Arch testing repo relatively quickly, depending in part on how vital to the system it is - the kernel gets a much longer testing period than Pidgin.

  5. #5
    oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by reed9 View Post
    you should always pay attention to what is being updated, read the forums and news announcements, maybe wait a couple of days before applying major updates and see if others have any problems. There is also the LTS kernel if you're concerned about frequent kernel updates.
    My first stop on each visit to the Arch website is the front page for reading the Latest News and to see the Package Updates listing, then I'm off to the forums and always check the Package Announcements Forum, Pacman Upgrades Forum, and the Kernel Forum if there are new kernel updates in the repos. Checking those items have helped to prevent any breakages for the most part.

    Should I see that others are having issues with certain packages, I sometimes --ignore those package with pacman when possible and install the other updates. Other times I'll install all packages even if others are having issues and they usually work fine on my machines. If anything gets broken too badly, it only takes about 4 minutes to restore one of several system images that I keep stored on other drives and we're back in business.

    Arch has always made more sense to me than most other distributions, so it only stands to reason that I should keep on running it.
    oz

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    It's as stable as you let it be.

    As mentioned above, if you pay attention to all the package updates, Arch is stable.
    Even if you don't pay attention to what you're updating (I'm too lazy to always do that), Arch is pretty stable as long as you stick to the core, extra, and community repositories. If you start pulling stuff from the testing repos, it won't be as stable, which is expected.

  7. #7
    Linux Enthusiast gerard4143's Avatar
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    Thank-you for the replies and info. I really asked the question in response of others questioning the stability which got me to thinking...is it...

    Its good to hear responses from long time Arch user...Thank-you for clearing up my misconceptions.
    Make mine Arch Linux

  8. #8
    oz
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    If you were to install Arch but never upgrade any packages, I think it would be very stable. However, constantly upgrading packages gives more opportunity for breakage even with stable packages, but for that taking that risk you get to run the latest software most of the time. That said, I rarely pull in anything from the testing repo.

    I'm of the opinion that most non-rolling releases would break as often as Arch if users were to try upgrading packages on a daily basis. Instead, they might upgrade a few packages during the release cycle, or they might simply wait 6 months until the next release to run the latest software. This clearly involves less risk but you run older software.

    Just my own thoughts on it, of course.
    oz

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    You can keep the arch system up to date without any problem Don't do any partial / hand pick updation. keep watch on pacman log and on the .pacnew / .pacsav files.

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