Sunday, May 06, 2012

Arch Linux working well on E520

I had already posted that I'm getting to grips once again with ArchLinux in preparation for the delivery of my long-awaited Raspberry Pi in the first week of June.

So what's to like or dislike about Arch Linux?
Here are some observations:

1. Arch is easy to install and configure. I chose the lxde environment because it's lightweight and likely to be more suitable for the limited RPi resources.
I also use Compiz/Emerald  as WM and everything works great.

2. I also chose the reiserfs filesystem for both / and /home primarily because I have no experience with it.
At fisr glance, it seems faster than ext4 and has caused me no problems up to now.
It's something I'd like to know more about

3. Pacman is a very nice package manager, possibly the best I've seen in any OS. Its principal advantage is that it's fast and efficient.

4. The Arch repos seem just a little more limited than those of, for example, Ubuntu. No avant-window-manager, no in the repos to name just a few.
However, there is always AUR which provides source code ported to Arch which provides nearly everything that's missing.

5. AUR takes a little getting used to as the system for building for code is nowhere near as streamlined as in FreeBSD. So, you may have to track down missing dependencies or simply figure out how to compile because there seems to be no uniformity of approach.
Luckily, however, there's yaourt which automates the build, make and install processes. In the short time I've been using Arch yaourt has proven invaluable.

6. Conky works perfectly for me in Arch.
Incidentally, although conkyforecast is available in AUR, to get it working, I just copied all necessary files and folders, including the conkyforecast binary, ober from my Ubuntu install on the same machine. Everything worked fine.
I had a little problem with conkyemail, until I discovered that it prefers python2 to the default python 3.x in Arch.

7. Although Last.Fm is available in AUR, but not in the official repos, I was unable to install it even with the help of yaourt.
However, the repos have shell-fm which is a console-based Last.Fm client.
And, guess what?, this is a wonderful app. It works perfectly and I thing I now prefer it to the GUI versions I use in my other OSes.

8. In the lxde-compix combination I'm using, Alt-F2 doesn't work to open the run dialog. This is inconvenient as I use this to reboot and shutdown.
However, a hack to get over this is presented in this thread post.

All-in-all, I see absoluteluy no reason to reverse my choice of Arch for my RPi. Indeed, I'm looking forward to exploring this lightweight OS a lot more.

No comments:

Post a Comment