Bad bad Arch., Now I should search for another distro

My linux distro experience actually started with ubuntu, if I guess right it's 6.06. During my first semester of my college, one afternoon a group of guys - they are actually CS dept seniors - plunged into the classroom and announced about a event called FStival. The event day being a saturday, and I had no work - I with my friend decided to go attend it. There we heard one awesome man named Joe talking about free software and GNU/Linux. That was the start. That speech and the followed demos urged me to install GNU/Linux. But having no idea how to install it, I left the thought there(They tried demo'ing installation of ubuntu on stage, but unfortunately that was had some problems - so they dropped).

After few days, I saw a new ubuntu CD lying in my friend's home. He said, 'I got it shipped to me free'! I was like 'Err.., Who would ship a Operating System CD free for you?' - That was a breakthrough! I started reading more and more about free software, linux distros, ubuntu and finally decided

'Yes I am going to install linux'.

I grabbed the CD from my friend's and tried installing it. Yes - my first problem was a b0rked installation, resulting in a 'grub 17 error' ;) I didn't have a net connection at that time. So tried hard to find reasons for it - with the help of google and a senior finally I installed ubuntu :D BUT that's ain't sexy!

Cos, barebone ubuntu install has nothing for a newbie like me. It doesn't play mp3, it doesn't play DVD's, obviously not windows games - those three were the major things for which I was using a computer at that time. So it didn't have any sexy appeal to me - I left Linux world. Till now, I never recommend linux to guy who doesn't have a internet connection cos, they will feel all crap when they realise they can't install things easily by copying the installer from friend's PC - that's what a end user wants you know!

But luckily I didn't give up - cos of my college and my department. I was hearing a mention on linux then and there and was amazed by seeing a lab full of debian machines. Soon in my second year I got a decent Internet connection - the first thing I did was to download a debian Lenny DVD :D This time it was debian cos I heard my college uses debian for all it's servers. Then that was a long journey with debian, and infrequent flirtations with ubuntu. I HAVE NEVER FELT AT HOME IN UBUNTU. I don't know why! I even tried fedora at times - but until fedora 13, fedora doesn't have support for my display adaptor and had issues. So it was a long comfy stay with debian. Then came the Magnificent Arch. I have described about the arch linux experience here. That was an awesome stay - I learned a lot. Then my motherboard got busted and in the new one audio was b0rked. I tried manually configuring - no sucess. I didn't have patience to build arch from scratch again at that time - so went to install ubuntu - only because I had a ubuntu CD readily lying around.

Now exams nearing it's end, and I'm thinking of building arch again - but here comes a bad news. The arch has changed the default python binary to python3 and Me being most of the time flirting with python - didn't feel good about it. So sadly I'm not installing arch until I get a confidence that I can manage it. So have to find another nice mininalist distro - else will stick to my good old debian :)

Now that's the end of my distro story - not as interesting as gautham's one here ;)

So enough rant - somebody reading this please suggest me a good rolling distro - very light weight like Arch. Someone?

Published at : Thursday Oct,21 2010 at 16:33 | Tags : archlinux, rant, distros, | View Comments
But that ain't a easy ride ;)

After a lot of failed attempts, I have now installed archlinux and typing this from a arch box. Yay! The urge to install archlinux came after reading through the blog posts of my friend gautham, here, and here. I have tried to install thrice before this successful attempt, in each I was left struck at different steps. On my last attempt, I have installed the base system, but only came to know that I should have a huge bandwidth to download all the packages to install. That time I was using the BSNL 1.5 GB plan :( So dropped that idea altogether.

After ever since changing to airtel unlimited plan, was planning to install Arch and now I HAVE DONE :D. And the installation ride was awesome fun! I have activated GPRS in my mobile and opened the archwiki beginners guide in it's browser :P So keeping that in hand I followed step-by-step and successfully installed arch+GNOME. Then gautham suggested to chuck the desktop environments and go for a window manager based setup. So installed fluxbox :D

So my PC now has this:

  • Basic Arch setup

  • Fluxbox window manager

  • Idesk for managing the Desktop

  • feh for image viewer

  • VLC :)

  • Firefox 3.6

  • nautilus file manager, with --no-desktop option (rox is too rusty!) ;-)

  • of course Conky!

That's it! Installing all these and configuring them is really a superb experience. I have learned and learning a lot. But I seriously doubt whether I would have this time and patience to build and configure this whole system, when something is going to b0rk :)

EDIT 1: Made this install yet slicker :P

  • Fluxbox -> OpenBox(Boy I love this!)
  • GDM -> SLIM (Sexy!)
  • nautilus -> Thunar (How did I left this earlier?)
  • DeadBeef for audio

And here is a screenshot too,

:)

Published at : Saturday Jul,31 2010 at 16:12 | Tags : distros, archlinux, | View Comments
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Azhagu Selvan SP
Atheist, FOSS enthusiast,
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