So I’ll start out with what my blog is about and I’ll also explain a bit about who I am. My Arch Experience is essentially a blog that focuses around the wonderful Linux distro called Arch. I’ve decided to keep track of any tips/tricks that I run across on the internet or browsing the Arch forums. I figured this would help me keep track of my progress with Arch as well as being able to find easily anything that I learn. I’ve had a problem with finding a nice tip online and soon forgetting it.

As for me, well I’m a 22 year old male from the Midwest. I’m learning to program (python in case you’re curious). I’ve been around computers most of my life and have primarily used Windows for most of it. Up until around 2004, I had heard about Linux, but never really bothered with it. I was too busy breaking and fixing and learning what I could with Windows. I got to a point where my general Windows computer was to my liking, but was still lacking something. I decided to give Linux a try and ended up downloading openSUSE (I believe it was 9.1 or something around there). I installed it but instantly ran into the problem of not having a usable wireless internet. I ended up essentially leaving openSUSE for that reason.

Eventually I stumbled across Ubuntu a couple of years later. Ubuntu 7.04 was my first full fledged Linux distro that had working wireless internet. I dual booted between that and Windows XP, but tried to force myself into using it. I was at a loss for most things and kept trying to figure out how to install ‘exe’ files. Even the root folder structure was incredibly odd to me. I pressed onward, and started to slowly learn about various parts of the desktop and google anything I could for Linux/Ubuntu. As the years rolled on, and with each release of Ubuntu, I found more and more problems with it. Each time I would upgrade to a newer version, I would run into problems. For about the first month, I would have major problems that essentially hindered me from using it. On top of that, I grew tired of outdated software. I knew it was time to make a move.

I ended up going distro hopping for a few months and stumbled upon a lot of useful distros, but nothing ever really caught my eye. Everything that I tried seemed harder than Ubuntu, and a lot of things I had grown familiar with (‘ppa repositories, apt-get, synaptic, etc’) had disappeared and most distros I didn’t like how the software installed. I tried just about every distro that was a branch off of Ubuntu I could. I got into a very minimalistic phase and ended up with #! (Crunchbang). It was for the most part what I wanted, but just wasn’t quite what I wanted. It still was essentially Ubuntu, just without gnome and used lightweight applications instead. It still had the same problems Ubuntu had though.

I came across Arch in my minimalistic phase and tried to install Arch with XFCE. The problem was I ended up just leaving most of the configuration files alone since I didn’t understand what most of them did. I ended up with a fairly broken system. Not much worked, icons were missing and things failed when opened. I waited for the newest version of Ubuntu to come out; 9.10 I believe. I couldn’t even install it. I was getting to the point where Linux was not working for me. I decided to give Arch one more shot since I enjoyed what it was about and I did learn a bit from installing it. This time however, I decided to read thoroughly through the Beginners Guide. I also decided to go with what was fairly popular for Arch at the time, KDE. Installation went smooth for the most part, and I only had a few hiccups.

I’ve gone through a few formats with Arch in the last couple months mainly due to the fact that I never seem completely satisfied with my desktop. I’m constantly looking for new applications or a more usable desktop environment, but I couldn’t imagine leaving Arch now. I’ve grown too fond of pacman and having complete control over configuration files. I’ve learned more in 2 months of using Arch, than I have of using Ubuntu for several years. Granted I would have had a hell of a time with Arch if I hadn’t used Ubuntu to begin with, but overall I wished I had used it sooner.


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