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Arch's goal of simplicity means there's usually one preferred way to get things done - through organized and well documented configuration files. This focus, combined with the community's recognition that configuration files can be intimidating, has resulted in excellent documentation that's accessible to newcomers, and very instructive about how Linux actually works. The documentation is often so thorough that, when searching for solutions to problems while using other distributions, such as with video card drivers, oftentimes you'll find the most effective solution in the Arch Linux wiki or on the forums. See More
Updating an Arch system is always a gamble. The problem could be as simple as a package having a bug causing a program to crash on start or it may be something bigger like the WiFi or Bluetooth no longer working. There is also the slight chance the system may not even boot at all after a large update. If the user does not plan to read the forums weekly/daily or update fairly often, things can go wrong very fast. See More
Arch keeps its core repositories slim and free of unnecessary dependencies. At first installation only a bare system is set up. You can easily get the other applications through the package manager. The repositories are nearly as full as those of Ubuntu, while they are often more up to date. That way you don't have to waste time with software you don't need or want. See More
Arch uses a rolling release model for updates. Unlike, for example Ubuntu where a new version is released every six months, packages are updated when they are ready. The advantage is a very up to date system and that the work of upgrading can be spread over a longer span of time to a point where it is hardly noticeably effort. However it can be difficult for people without a high bandwidth connection, or with limits on how many GB can be downloaded imposed by their internet service providers. A GB a month of downloads is quite possible. This can be somewhat offset by Arch being lightweight, besides the relatively small core, the user selects what is installed (and has to be updated). See More
The AUR is a repository with a very extensive catalogue of build/install scripts that are contributed by users. While these scripts are inherently less secure than conventional packages maintained by a distro's authors, it's still way easier to verify the security of install scripts than it would be to write them yourself. It's very usefull. See More
Arch does not come with an automatic installation process. The user is expected to walk through the installation steps published on the Arch wiki. This is very useful if, later, something happens to the installation as the user will be more familiar with the foundational steps required to get a full blown Arch installation working. See More
Pacman has performance advantages over apt-get and yum in both database operations (thanks to being written for speed) and download times (by virtue of using better mirrors than other distributions tend to select by default). There are also fewer default repositories to download from, and all package management is combined into one tool instead of being split into dpkg, apt-get, and apt-cache like on Debian distros. See More
If searching through the wiki or the forums for any problems turns nothing, any question on the official forums, Arch subreddit or the IRC channel will be answered within minutes. There will probably be no hand-holding however, Arch users prefer to point anyone to a resource that may help them instead of trying to outright solve their problem in a forum thread. This is quite helpful for people who want to really learn how their system works but also for other people who may stumble in that thread considering how most problems don’t have a universal solution. See More
It's useful for both beginners and professionals. For the installation, Gentoo offers various types, which are referred to as stages. Basically meaning how in depth you would want to go into the process of installation. For beginners it's useful to choose for a starting distro due to its various stages that can be very time consuming but beneficial as you learn the composition in general of Linux. See More
The Gentoo package management system allows you to configure what compilation flags packages should support - i.e. specific processor flag support (SSE, SSE2, etc.), -O1, -O2, -O3 optimization, etc. If you accept one of the default flags, Gentoo downloads binaries from the server. However, if you decide to optimise, it can and will download all source packages and start compiling allthe programs and libraries on your system. If your chosen flags don't work with a particular library, installation will fail. See More
You build the package from a source you can see and read. You decide which features you want to build in and which aren't needed. You can choose build options, optimisation and whatever else fancy stuff you want modified. With a binary distribution this simply isn't possible. See More
While being outdated per se is virtually impossible for a rolling-release distro with a large community, a large portion of said community sticks to outdated solutions. For example, Gentoo's primary init system is OpenRC, which is cumbersome and awkward to use and provides little control over the system. While you can just choose systemd, it will require some tinkering. Other examples include stubbornly declaring an initramfs a last resort and an "oh my god 1337 H4XX0RZ surely have nothing better to do than trying for a month to exploit some vulnerability to steal my pony art, I have to fortify so hard my performance and ease of use will suffer" 90s security mentality. Because of just how much freedom Gentoo provides you with, this usually isn't a big deal though. See More
Even though it makes sense to split devel and the actual binary of an application, the splitting has become as mess in debian and its derivates: for example the nvidia driver is splitted into over 40 different packages: https://packages.debian.org/en/source/sid/nvidia-graphics-drivers See More
If you want the newest packages, you'll have to do a minimal installation of Debian stable then upgrade to testing or unstable by editing the repositories. Save yourself time and install a distro that is rolling release by default. See More
Because of its popularity, Debian has a lot of applications available which range from productivity programs to business software, games and development tools. It comes with over 37,500 packages (software that is precompiled and ready to be installed on a local machine) -- all of them for free. See More
Debian offers stable and testing CD images specifically built for GNOME (the default), KDE Plasma Workspaces, Xfce and LXDE. Less common window managers such as Enlightenment, Openbox, Fluxbox, GNUstep, IceWM, Window Maker and others can also be installed. See More
Fedora does not support proprietary drivers, meaning that users may have problems with a lot of hardware when using Fedora. The software to make that kind of hardware work can be installed, but it can be done only through third-parties and it's not easy for the average user. See More
While there are a few tools on offer that will upgrade an old Fedora release to the newest, there can often be problems with these methods. Some that may not even crop up at first but will show later down the road. Being that upgrading can be an issue, it can be exacerbated by the fact that Fedora updates every six month, which means twice a year there is a risk of completely borking ones install. See More
Fedora is backed by RedHat, the 2nd biggest Linux kernel contributor in the world. Using a distribution made by RedHat means that it will be fine-tuned to work as efficiently as possible since it's made by the same people who work extensively on the kernel and know its ins and outs. See More
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