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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'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
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
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
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
Thanks to the Portage package manager, you can forbid the installation of certain packages by "masking" them, adding packages to different "world sets" for maintaining them separately, using stable and unstable branch of packages individually or system-wide and installing different versions of the same package in "slots". And unlike Arch, because of compiling, linker errors after package manager actions are less likely to happen, and when they do, you can build dependencies reversely. 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 ALL the programs and libraries on your system. If your chosen flags don't work with a particular library, installation will fail. See More
A feature called USE flags control how packages are compiled from source, and what options are configured to get compiled. That means you can have per-packages USE flags to enable or disable certain features in them, or system-wide USE flags to enable or drop support for something you don't want entirely. 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
While having less official packages for desktop applications compared to something like Arch Linux, it has many options for system programs and utilities. For example the choice of glibc, uclibc and musl. Also the choice of kernel, vanilla kernel, gentoo patched kernel and even GNU/Hurd. You also have the choice to have a Gentoo FreeBSD. 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
Fedora is backed by RedHat, the 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
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 has a relatively short life cycle: version X is supported only until 1 month after version X+2 and with approximately 6 months between versions this means that a version of Fedora is supported for approximately 13 months. This promotes leading-edge software because it frees developers from some backward compatibility restraints. See More
It has all of hackage in it's package manager (which is confusingly named "nix" as well) due to being based around hashing and allowing you to compile in a sort of virtual machine (really just changing the PATH variable temporarily) it solves many of the versioning problems that you commonly have with cabal. Here's a tutorial (there's many others as well) http://www.cse.chalmers.se/~bernardy/nix.html. You can also use the package manager a la carte on Mac and most any linux distro. See More
Since NixOS stores all its packages in isolation from each other in /nix/store and because of the declarative configuration model, upgrading NoxOS systems is extremely reliable. Furthermore, it gives you the ability to roll back upgrades. See More
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