I moved to Antergos, an Arch Linux distribution. For the last 10 years I was using Ubuntu and very much used to it. I got bored and looking for a new Linux distribution. My colleague suggested Arch Linux as it is lean and does not come with baggage of unnecessary applications. Installing Arch Linux is a tedious task as it does not come with an user friendly installer as we have for Ubuntu. It is well known in the community that Arch is for serious Linux enthusiasts. I found Antergos over the Internet and thought of giving it a try. Believe me, it is really awesome. I am using it for the last 3 months and really loving it.
Antergos comes with basic applications to run the system and you can even configure them while installing the OS. You don’t even have LibreOffice. Chromium comes as default browser but later you can install Firefox, Google Chrome etc. I don’t see any issues with the drivers related to graphics, audio and networking, all work well. But somehow I am unable to get NVidia graphics card working with proprietary NVidia drivers. So, I kept the default one that come with the OS and using my builtin Intel graphics card, which works fine. Another important thing I would like to say is you can configure your favorite desktop (Gnome, Cinnamon, KDE) etc which you are installing the OS. I am a fan of Gnome.
Availability of Packages
Ubuntu has a large list of packages in their repository and most of the applications provide Ubuntu compatible binaries. I was afraid if I get the same support for Arch as well. But to my surprise I got all the packages that I was using previously through the AUR repositories. Below are the list of packages I use regularly.
- GIMP – Image editor
- Openshot – Video editor
- Vokoscreen – Screen recorder software. I use Kazam which work pretty well on Ubuntu, but somehow it didn’t work as expected on Arch. So, I am using Vokoscreen which is very similar to Kazam
- Libreoffice – Word, Excel and Powerpoint
- Visual Studio Code – Code editor for Python and Web applicatxions
- Postman – HTTP Rest API tester
- Slack – for communication
- Gedit – Text editor
- Putty – SSH client
- Nylas-mail – I am a fan of Thunderbird, but I recently came across this simple email client. Will provide more information about this in another post.
This is the first time I saw WebEx working perfectly in a Linux environment. My clients use WebEx for screen sharing and it is difficult for me to get this up and running on a Linux machine as it works using Java runtime and only 32-bit version of Firefox support this. In my earlier attempts to install Firefox 32 bit version on Ubuntu along with 64 bit version always had problems and screen sharing in WebEx does not work. But in Arch it worked like a charm and even with the recent update of Firefox also it didn’t break. This is really a plus point for me.
Faster than the previous
I definitely agree that Arch is faster than Ubuntu versions. I don’t know the exact reason but community say that Arch is highly configurable and you keep only those packages that you install for your daily use, so it is faster.
Very Stable, Rolling release
I noticed that the OS is more stable than Ubuntu. The reason being, I used to see a lot of app crashes in Ubuntu, even in LTS versions as well. But I didn’t saw a single app crash report in Arch in the last 3-4 months. The only thing I noticed is a lag when I try to store a document via LibreOffice writer. Even Nylas mail client also works fine on Arch where as it takes a lot of time to come up in Ubuntu.
Rolling releases keep my system up to date. I got the latest Firefox 57 running on my laptop and without breaking WebEx.
So, If you got bored of Ubuntu or any another flavor of Linux and you never uses Arch, just make a shift and you definitely like it. That’s all for now.