Monday, August 8, 2011


Hey all! This post, I'm going to take some time to talk about Linux. It's everywhere. It runs servers for major web sites from Google to Facebook and beyond. Some heavily modified flavor of it probably runs your smartphone, your tablet, or your e-book reader. It runs the New York Stock Exchange. It powers the majority of the worlds most powerful computers. It's embedded in devices you wouldn't even think of. And it continues to grow today.

While it might not dominate the desktop or laptop markets, thanks in no small part to Redmond and Cupertino, it does seem to be slowly gaining ground in that department, and has been for some time. This is in part thanks to the ease of installation of most major Linux distributions, as well as major improvements in ease of use, features, and driver development. The most successful of these being Ubuntu Linux by Canonical.

It's the distro I've been using almost primarily for the last seven months on the netbook I got for Christmas last year, and it's been my primary OS in general since my main computer got boxed up in my move back to the States. And I have to say, it's currently number one for a reason. It's got great device support right out of the box, it's easy to use and install new software, and, some would argue, it looks slick with it's new Unity interface.

While it's a great all around desktop, it leaves something to be desired for a nerd like me. So, awhile ago, I went hunting for another distribution to try (and possibly use for a fast, lightweight HTPC install). What I found was Arch Linux.

Arch Linux is a very bare-bones Linux distribution, and it's not for the technically feint of heart. With it's text-based installer, and no GUI default install, it leaves a lot to be desired as far as ease of use goes. But that not what Arch Linux is about. It's about teaching how Linux works to those with some experience and a lot of curiosity about the inner workings of the kernel. With it's documentation and community to help you along the way, Arch Linux is a great way to become an old hand at manually tweaking Linux to run just the way you want it to.

Until recently, my main computer has been boxed away. It's up and running now, and I think it's ready for an OS swap out. I'm going to be putting Ubuntu on it primarily (possibly Kubuntu or Ubuntu Studio or Linux Mint), and installing Arch on it as a backup. I also want to put Arch on my netbook. Afterward, I'm planning to do how-to's on both distros.

That's all for now! Come back soon, and you should see some updates on my progress.

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