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  1. #1

    Start fresh with Arch versus using existing distro e.g. Fedora


    Hi all,

    New here. Signed up to ask for this advice. Hoping some of you clever bods can help me. Apologies if this seems a long post.

    I've spent the past year and a bit with Fedora. I'd been impressed with the simplicity of installation and what at first looked like the eye-candiness and generally easy function of it all.

    However, all this has rather faded in light of finding myself regularly fixing irritating 'issues' such as log-ins, boot issues, and even silly little things like gnome-extensions breaking, after the regular daily updates.

    Now that I've been somewhat forced to dig into dnf, bash, command line etc. I'm thinking of starting with Arch and then just adding only the packages I need. I'm using five/six yr old hardware which I gather shouldn't really be a particular performance limitation for Linux. So e.g. quad core i7 2.6gHz, 12gB DDR3 RAM on an Asus mainboard. I've just recently added a Samsung EVO 850 SSD.

    This is where I need advice, as it's extremely difficult to form a clear picture. Leaving aside fanboy rants about why one "would never" use this or that desktop etc. in realistic terms, would I gain anything by going through all this time and effort? I'm thinking of installing KDE on Arch, then my media players of choice plus GIMP and few other bits.

    Two things are important: I'd really like my Nvidia GTX 580 card to just work (wouldn't we all? ;0)). Second, what's the deal with using or not using a compositor? I find all this debate about Xorg and Wayland confusing. Fedora 25 uses Wayland officially, and yet despite Nvidia drivers being installed and supported, nobody has yet agreed on supporting the same graphics pipelining! So, for example, my desktop graphics settings cannot be stored persistently under Fedora/Gnome/Wayland! The "it's in the next update" seems to remain one+ update away!

    If I were to use Mate or Cinnamon or Plasma DE on Arch, would I gain a nice smooth video experience? Do I gain or not gain anything by using phonon-vlc backend? Or is every flavour of Linux beset with its own peculiarities and quirks, such as one just picks one (e.g. Fedora) and live with it?

  2. #2
    If you don't like fedora because you have grown tired of fixing issues, maybe Arch isn't for you. From my experience Arch is a tinkering distro for those of us who don't mind rolling up our sleeves. Also I always use the Nvidia proprietary drivers with bumblebee and i have a butter smoothed video experience, and my DE is i3.

  3. #3
    hello, arch user here.
    so i am inclined to recommend arch - being in control of things.
    however, this:
    Quote Originally Posted by thingstodo View Post
    I'm thinking of installing KDE on Arch
    i would not recommend.
    so much hassle!
    i'm using a simple openbox environment, has been around for a while, can be considered stable even on cuttin-edge distros.

    fyi, both arch and fedora are distros that rather quickly adopt the newest out there - but for different reasons.
    arch, well simply because it is like that. an independent & rolling distro.
    fedora, because it's a testbed for redhat.

    but kde - that's likely to not work hassle-free on either.
    i've heard the exasparated reports.

    and this (emphasis by me):
    Two things are important: I'd really like my Nvidia GTX 580 card to just work (wouldn't we all? ;0)). Second, what's the deal with using or not using a compositor? I find all this debate about Xorg and Wayland confusing. Fedora 25 uses Wayland officially
    if you want things to "Just Work", then arch is not for you.
    if you want to set things up yourself, and be sure that YOU Made Them Work, then arch is for you.

    and yes, you can install the prprietary nvidia driver on arch.

    wayland vs xorg - i wouldn't worry about it (yet) - just go with what your system offers (as default).
    fedora uses wayland by default? wow. that surely is bleeding edge - to the point of masochism.

    i consider arch stable.
    If a post is too long and unstructured I might miss important information.
    How to ask smart questions | You can post a link by removing "http://www." from it!

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  5. #4
    Thanks - that's informative and helpful.

    To clarify, by "just working" I meant your second option i.e. that it's my choice, my problem (or not) but NOT something that has been packaged simply because "hey, look at this neat thing we made.."

    Have been playing around/learning through installing Arch on a spare laptop. Second go - first was a bit of a mess. Will certainly look at openbox, but did have a go with xfce. Will leave KDE alone - thanks.

    Perhaps I worded my question badly. I'm quite happy to learn, fiddle, even become frustrated, all the while I appear to be learning. What I detest is 'other people' breaking things that were otherwise working fine. Eye candy: don't really care. Reliable performance, under my control: yes please.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by thingstodo View Post
    Have been playing around/learning through installing Arch on a spare laptop. Second go - first was a bit of a mess.
    i really recommend having a browser window open in another device, and follow the beginners' guide to the dot (usually, if something is recommended or even suggested, it means that that's how you should do it unless you are 100% sure that you know better).
    If a post is too long and unstructured I might miss important information.
    How to ask smart questions | You can post a link by removing "http://www." from it!

  7. #6
    in my experience archlinux takes a while to set up and maybe the process isn't suited for linux beginners, but once it's up and running it's really quite stable; i remember having to "tinker" more with *buntus.
    added bonus: you never have to reinstall or fear the next dist-upgrade
    If a post is too long and unstructured I might miss important information.
    How to ask smart questions | You can post a link by removing "http://www." from it!

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