Difference between revisions of "Arch Linux"

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Arch Linux is an independently developed, [[Wikipedia:P6 (microarchitecture)|i686]]/[[Wikipedia:x86-64|x86-64]] general purpose GNU/Linux distribution versatile enough to suit any role. Development focuses on simplicity, minimalism, and code elegance. Arch is installed as a minimal base system, configured by the user upon which their own ideal environment is assembled by installing only what is required or desired for their unique purposes. GUI configuration utilities are not officially provided, and most system configuration is performed from the shell and a text editor. Based on a rolling-release model, Arch strives to stay bleeding edge, and typically offers the latest stable versions of most software.
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Arch Linux is an independently developed, i686/x86-64 general-purpose GNU/Linux distribution that strives to provide the latest stable versions of most software by following a rolling-release model. The default installation is a minimal base system, configured by the user to only add what is purposely required.
  
== History ==
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== Principles ==
  
:''Main article: [[History of Arch Linux]]''
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=== Simplicity ===
  
Arch Linux was founded by Canadian programmer Judd Vinet. Its first formal release, Arch Linux 0.1, was on March 11, 2002. Although Arch is completely independent, it draws inspiration from the simplicity of other distributions including [http://slackware.com Slackware], [http://www.crux.nu CRUX] and [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkeley_Software_Distribution BSD]. In 2007, Judd Vinet stepped down as Project Lead to pursue other interests and was replaced by American programmer Aaron Griffin who continues to lead the project today.
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Arch Linux defines simplicity as ''without unnecessary additions or modifications''. It ships software as released by the original developers ([[Wikipedia:Upstream (software development)|upstream]]) with minimal distribution-specific (downstream) changes: patches not accepted by upstream are avoided, and Arch's downstream patches consist almost entirely of backported bug fixes that are obsoleted by the project's next release.
  
== Simplicity ==
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In a similar fashion, Arch ships the configuration files provided by upstream with changes limited to distribution-specific issues like adjusting the system file paths. It does not add automation features such as enabling a service simply because the package was installed. Packages are only split when compelling advantages exist, such as to save disk space in particularly bad cases of waste. GUI configuration utilities are not officially provided, encouraging users to perform most system configuration from the shell and a text editor.
  
Following [[The Arch Way]] philosophy, Arch Linux is lightweight, flexible, simple and aims to be very UNIX-like. A minimal environment (no GUI) compiled for i686/x86-64 architectures is provided upon installation: rather than tearing out unneeded and unwanted packages, the user is offered the ability to build up from a minimal foundation without any preemptively-chosen defaults. Arch's design philosophy and implementation make it easy to extend and mold into whatever kind of system is required, from a minimalist console machine to the most grandiose and feature-rich desktop environments available: it is ''the user'' who decides what his Arch system will be.
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=== Modernity ===
  
== Modernity ==
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Arch Linux strives to maintain the latest stable release versions of its software as long as systemic package breakage can be reasonably avoided. It is based on a [[Wikipedia:Rolling release|rolling-release]] system, which allows a one-time installation with continuous upgrades.
  
Arch Linux strives to maintain the latest stable release versions of its software as long as systemic package breakage can be reasonably avoided. It is based on a [[Wikipedia:Rolling release|rolling-release]] system, which allows a one-time installation with continuous upgrades, without ever having to reinstall and without having to perform the elaborate procedures involved in system upgrades from one release version to the next. By issuing one command, an Arch system is kept up-to-date and on the bleeding edge.
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Arch incorporates many of the newer features available to GNU/Linux users, including the [[systemd]] init system, modern [[file systems]], LVM2, software RAID, udev support and initcpio (with [[mkinitcpio]]), as well as the latest available kernels.
  
Arch incorporates many of the newer features available to GNU/Linux users, including the [[systemd]] init system, modern filesystems (Ext2/3/4, Reiser, XFS, JFS, BTRFS), LVM2/EVMS, software RAID, udev support and initcpio (with [[mkinitcpio]]), as well as the latest available kernels.
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=== Pragmatism ===
  
== Software Packaging ==
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Arch is a pragmatic distribution rather than an ideological one. The principles here are only useful guidelines. Ultimately, design decisions are made on a case-by-case basis through developer consensus. Evidence-based technical analysis and debate are what matter, not politics or popular opinion.
  
Arch is backed by [[pacman]], an easy-to-use binary [[Wikipedia:Package manager|package manager]] that allows you to upgrade your entire system with one command. Pacman is coded in ''C'' and designed from the ground up to be lightweight, simple and very fast. Arch also provides the [[Arch Build System]], a ports-like system to make it easy to build and install packages from source, which can also be synchronized with one command. You can even rebuild your entire system with one command.
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The large number of packages and build scripts in the various Arch Linux repositories offer free and open source software for those who prefer it, as well as proprietary software packages for those who embrace ''functionality over ideology''.
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=== User centrality ===
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Whereas many GNU/Linux distributions attempt to be more ''user-friendly'', Arch Linux has always been, and shall always remain ''user-centric''. The distribution is intended to fill the needs of those contributing to it, rather than trying to appeal to as many users as possible. It is targeted at the proficient GNU/Linux user, or anyone with a do-it-yourself attitude who is willing to read the documentation, and solve their own problems.
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All users are encouraged to [[Getting involved|participate]] and contribute to the distribution. Reporting and helping fix [https://bugs.archlinux.org/ bugs] is highly valued and patches improving packages or the core [https://projects.archlinux.org/ projects] are very appreciated: Arch's developers are volunteers and active contributors will often find themselves becoming part of that team. ''Archers'' can freely contribute packages to the [[Arch User Repository]], improve the [[Main page|ArchWiki documentation]], provide technical assistance to others or just exchange opinions in the [https://bbs.archlinux.org/ forums], [https://mailman.archlinux.org/mailman/listinfo/ mailing lists], [[IRC channels]]. Arch Linux is the operating system of choice for many people around the globe, and there exist several [[international communities]] that offer help and provide documentation in many different languages.
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=== Versatility ===
 +
 
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Arch Linux is a general-purpose distribution. Upon installation, only a command-line environment is provided: rather than tearing out unneeded and unwanted packages, the user is offered the ability to build a custom system by choosing among thousands of high-quality packages provided in the [[official repositories]], supporting the [[Wikipedia:P6 (microarchitecture)|i686]] and [[Wikipedia:x86-64|x86-64]] architectures.
 +
 
 +
Arch is backed by [[pacman]], a lightweight, simple and fast package manager that allows to upgrade the entire system with one command. Arch also provides the [[Arch Build System]], a ports-like system to make it easy to build and install packages from source, which can also be synchronized with one command. In addition, the ''Arch User Repository'' contains many thousands more of community-contributed [[PKGBUILD]] scripts for compiling installable packages from source using the [[makepkg]] application. It is also possible for users to build and maintain their own custom repositories with ease.
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== History ==
  
Supporting i686 and x86-64 architectures, Arch's [[Official Repositories]] provide several thousands of high-quality packages to meet your software demands. In addition, Arch encourages community growth and contribution by offering the [[Arch User Repository]], which contains many thousands of user-maintained PKGBUILD scripts for compiling installable packages from source using the ''makepkg'' application. It is also possible for users to easily build and maintain their own custom repositories.
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=== The early years ===
  
== Source Integrity ==
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Judd Vinet, a Canadian programmer and occasional guitarist, began developing Arch Linux in early 2001. Its first formal release, Arch Linux 0.1, was on March 11, 2002. Inspired by the elegant simplicity of [http://www.slackware.com/ Slackware], [[wikipedia:Berkeley_Software_Distribution|BSD]], [http://www.pld-linux.org/ PLD Linux], and [http://crux.nu/ CRUX], and yet disappointed with their lack of package management at the time; Vinet built his own distribution on similar principles as those distros. But, he also wrote a package management program called [[pacman]], to automatically handle package installation, removal, and upgrades.
  
Arch provides non-patched, vanilla software; packages are offered from pure [[Wikipedia:upstream (software development)|upstream]] sources, how the author originally intended it to be distributed. Patching only occurs in extremely rare cases, to prevent severe breakage in the instance of version mismatches that may occur within a rolling release model.
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=== The middle years ===
  
== Community ==
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The early Arch community grew steadily, as evidenced by [https://dev.archlinux.org/~dan/archstats.svg this chart of forum posts, users, and bug reports]. Moreover, it was from its early days known as [http://www.osnews.com/story/4827 an open, friendly, and helpful community].
  
The Arch community is very dependable, lively and welcoming: all ''Archers'' are encouraged to participate and contribute to the distribution, be it helping with the development of the core software, maintaining packages, reporting or fixing [https://bugs.archlinux.org/ bugs], improving the [[Main Page|ArchWiki documentation]], helping other users solving problems or just exchanging opinions in the [https://bbs.archlinux.org/ forums], [https://mailman.archlinux.org/mailman/listinfo/ mailing lists], [[IRC Channels]], or sharing one's knowledge or even self-developed applications. Arch Linux is the operating system of choice for many people around the globe, and there exist several [[International Communities|international communities]] that offer help and provide documentation in many different languages.
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=== The dawning of the age of A. Griffin ===
  
See [[Getting Involved]] if you feel you want to become an active member of the community.
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In late 2007, Judd Vinet retired from active participation as an Arch developer, and [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=38024 smoothly transferred the reins over to American programmer Aaron Griffin], aka Phrakture, who remains the lead Arch developer to this day.
  
== Summary ==
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Over the years, the Arch community continued to grow and mature, and has recently received an unusual amount of [[Arch Linux Press Review|attention and review]] for a Linux distro of its modest size.
  
To summarize: Arch Linux is a versatile and simple distribution designed to fit the needs of the competent Linux® user. It is both powerful and easy to manage, making it an ideal distro for servers and workstations. Take it in any direction you like: if you share this vision of what a GNU/Linux distribution should be, then you are welcomed and encouraged to use it freely, get involved, and contribute to the community. Welcome to Arch!
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Arch developers remain unpaid, part-time volunteers, and there are no prospects for monetizing Arch Linux, so it will remain free in all senses of the word. Those curious to peruse more detail about Arch's development history can browse the [http://web.archive.org/web/*/archlinux.org Arch entry in the Internet Archive Wayback Machine] and the [https://www.archlinux.org/news/ Arch Linux News Archives].

Latest revision as of 16:59, 21 May 2016

Arch Linux is an independently developed, i686/x86-64 general-purpose GNU/Linux distribution that strives to provide the latest stable versions of most software by following a rolling-release model. The default installation is a minimal base system, configured by the user to only add what is purposely required.

Principles

Simplicity

Arch Linux defines simplicity as without unnecessary additions or modifications. It ships software as released by the original developers (upstream) with minimal distribution-specific (downstream) changes: patches not accepted by upstream are avoided, and Arch's downstream patches consist almost entirely of backported bug fixes that are obsoleted by the project's next release.

In a similar fashion, Arch ships the configuration files provided by upstream with changes limited to distribution-specific issues like adjusting the system file paths. It does not add automation features such as enabling a service simply because the package was installed. Packages are only split when compelling advantages exist, such as to save disk space in particularly bad cases of waste. GUI configuration utilities are not officially provided, encouraging users to perform most system configuration from the shell and a text editor.

Modernity

Arch Linux strives to maintain the latest stable release versions of its software as long as systemic package breakage can be reasonably avoided. It is based on a rolling-release system, which allows a one-time installation with continuous upgrades.

Arch incorporates many of the newer features available to GNU/Linux users, including the systemd init system, modern file systems, LVM2, software RAID, udev support and initcpio (with mkinitcpio), as well as the latest available kernels.

Pragmatism

Arch is a pragmatic distribution rather than an ideological one. The principles here are only useful guidelines. Ultimately, design decisions are made on a case-by-case basis through developer consensus. Evidence-based technical analysis and debate are what matter, not politics or popular opinion.

The large number of packages and build scripts in the various Arch Linux repositories offer free and open source software for those who prefer it, as well as proprietary software packages for those who embrace functionality over ideology.

User centrality

Whereas many GNU/Linux distributions attempt to be more user-friendly, Arch Linux has always been, and shall always remain user-centric. The distribution is intended to fill the needs of those contributing to it, rather than trying to appeal to as many users as possible. It is targeted at the proficient GNU/Linux user, or anyone with a do-it-yourself attitude who is willing to read the documentation, and solve their own problems.

All users are encouraged to participate and contribute to the distribution. Reporting and helping fix bugs is highly valued and patches improving packages or the core projects are very appreciated: Arch's developers are volunteers and active contributors will often find themselves becoming part of that team. Archers can freely contribute packages to the Arch User Repository, improve the ArchWiki documentation, provide technical assistance to others or just exchange opinions in the forums, mailing lists, IRC channels. Arch Linux is the operating system of choice for many people around the globe, and there exist several international communities that offer help and provide documentation in many different languages.

Versatility

Arch Linux is a general-purpose distribution. Upon installation, only a command-line environment is provided: rather than tearing out unneeded and unwanted packages, the user is offered the ability to build a custom system by choosing among thousands of high-quality packages provided in the official repositories, supporting the i686 and x86-64 architectures.

Arch is backed by pacman, a lightweight, simple and fast package manager that allows to upgrade the entire system with one command. Arch also provides the Arch Build System, a ports-like system to make it easy to build and install packages from source, which can also be synchronized with one command. In addition, the Arch User Repository contains many thousands more of community-contributed PKGBUILD scripts for compiling installable packages from source using the makepkg application. It is also possible for users to build and maintain their own custom repositories with ease.

History

The early years

Judd Vinet, a Canadian programmer and occasional guitarist, began developing Arch Linux in early 2001. Its first formal release, Arch Linux 0.1, was on March 11, 2002. Inspired by the elegant simplicity of Slackware, BSD, PLD Linux, and CRUX, and yet disappointed with their lack of package management at the time; Vinet built his own distribution on similar principles as those distros. But, he also wrote a package management program called pacman, to automatically handle package installation, removal, and upgrades.

The middle years

The early Arch community grew steadily, as evidenced by this chart of forum posts, users, and bug reports. Moreover, it was from its early days known as an open, friendly, and helpful community.

The dawning of the age of A. Griffin

In late 2007, Judd Vinet retired from active participation as an Arch developer, and smoothly transferred the reins over to American programmer Aaron Griffin, aka Phrakture, who remains the lead Arch developer to this day.

Over the years, the Arch community continued to grow and mature, and has recently received an unusual amount of attention and review for a Linux distro of its modest size.

Arch developers remain unpaid, part-time volunteers, and there are no prospects for monetizing Arch Linux, so it will remain free in all senses of the word. Those curious to peruse more detail about Arch's development history can browse the Arch entry in the Internet Archive Wayback Machine and the Arch Linux News Archives.