Is Arch or Gentoo even worth it to install?

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DoodMann
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Is Arch or Gentoo even worth it to install?

Post by DoodMann »

Hey, Filipino here and as you expected, INTERNET IS SO @#$/*& SLOW!

And it came to my mind, is it worth it to install that only you can control what you're installing. And also, Arch uses a different app system/filetype. I am certainly happy with Linux Mint. But is this kind of Linux distros worth it?

I actually tried installing to a VM and it's a total pain, as I said, slow internet. It would take DAYS for it to install.

If you call your internet which has an average of 5MBPS of download speed slow,
You're gonna hate here when it comes to internet. But it's worth to visit.

Anyways, back to the topic, anyone tried out Arch or Gemtoo? Can you send some pics of what it looks like and your opinion about it.


NOTE: It's impossible for me to install Arch nor Gentoo because internet here needs to have your login credentials, which I can't do if there's no desktop environments.
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zshlover
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Re: Is Arch or Gentoo even worth it to install?

Post by zshlover »

What they offer is a slight speed up because all the software is compiled for your CPU architecture. I installed Gentoo over a decade ago, and it took almost a week to compile and install it. It ran very well, but these days I am working and I don't have time to do that kind of things. The computer for me is just a tool to get work done.

If you have a lot of free time, you may give it a try for learning purposes, but I don't think it really offers that much advantage over other Linux distributions. I think most of the Linux distributions more or less offer the same software, people choose their own desktop etc. One of the Linux distributions I found makes a huge difference is Qubes OS (Linux based), because it offers security through isolation which is not something the standard computer systems offer (Windows, Mac, Linux)

If you want to learn more about Linux, you can try Gentoo, Arch, Linux From Scratch etc. But it really doesn't make that much of a difference, unless your in an environment where every second counts.
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Re: Is Arch or Gentoo even worth it to install?

Post by rene »

Note; Arch is as binary as Mint; is not a distribution you are suggested to compile together yourself from source, only piece together from binary packages.

And as to the original question, "what it looks like" is also not well-defined then: any desktop environment or window manager (that is available for it) is available for it, i.e., all or most all. I've been on Arch previously, and no, since at especially the lower levels "Linux" is converging anyway "courtesy" of e.g. systemd, I feel piecing together your own distribution from binary packages makes little sense.

Have never used Gentoo even if only since historically it was used overwhelmingly by twats so shall refrain from having an opinion.
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Re: Is Arch or Gentoo even worth it to install?

Post by antikythera »

Don't go to a rolling distribution with your Internet.

I haven't tried vanilla Arch but I have used Manjaro for around two years. What I would say is with a slow and unreliable internet connection it is not a wise choice. The updates come thick and fast for Arch and arch based operating systems because they are rolling.

Instead, either stick with Mint 20 or use something Debian based. Reason being, there are less frequent updates. The size of programs to download doesn't differ for Arch from Mint's by the way. The compression level used is near identical.

The grass is always greener is a popular saying. In this instance you'd really end up getting more frustrated than you are now. I know your pain, up until around 5 years ago I actually had a 2.5MBps download speed because we were too far from the broadband cabinet. Weirdly that home was more urban than where we are now. I live in a small village and we have minimum 32MBps here due to being 500m from the cabinet at the end of the single lane road (borderline farm track) to our home.
Have never used Gentoo even if only since historically it was used overwhelmingly by twats so shall refrain from having an opinion.
rofl, me either and I wasn't aware of the ilk of people using it :lol:
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Re: Is Arch or Gentoo even worth it to install?

Post by rene »

antikythera wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:17 pm
Have never used Gentoo even if only since historically it was used overwhelmingly by twats so shall refrain from having an opinion.
rofl, me either and I wasn't aware of the ilk of people using it :lol:
Of course "refrain" isn't something I'm in fact any good at so in that sense --- but I'll stick to the userbase! --- historically the Gentoo userbase had very definite cult-like tendencies, fanboy-style. Us against them, we being put down by the man, we, us, us, we, group, us. Could never stand it and although I've not paid attention to Gentoo for some time, in fact at some point believed to see that at least the distribution's management had grown up a fair bit, seeing some of the psychological excrement being hurled at e.g systemd from that direction had me doubt it was by now in fact very different. And that's while I tended to agree with many of the critiques in a technical sense. Instance of "with friends like that who needs enemies?"
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Re: Is Arch or Gentoo even worth it to install?

Post by Portreve »

DoodMann wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:46 am
And it came to my mind, is it worth it to install that only you can control what you're installing. And also, Arch uses a different app system/filetype. I am certainly happy with Linux Mint. But is this kind of Linux distros worth it?
Distros like Arch and Gentoo are for people who either just want to learn everything they can about what's under the hood (just short of being a developer, I guess) or those who feel like anything less does not give them the level of control they want.

I tried to install Gentoo once with a friend on the phone trying to guide me through it, but I was doing it on an iMac G4 and there came a point where even his advanced knowledge really couldn't help. Basically, he'd have needed to be down here (he lives in Pennsylvania) at the keyboard to directly try all the things he would know to do.

It's not that I don't have an interest in knowing more than I do; however, there eventually comes a limit to my patience in trying to learn stuff, particularly when I don't start off with a need to know.

I need a sustainable, supportable production system, not a tinker toy. However, perhaps that does not describe you and/or your needs.
NOTE: It's impossible for me to install Arch nor Gentoo because internet here needs to have your login credentials, which I can't do if there's no desktop environments.
Why would you need log-in credentials? What sort of service do you have? I haven't seen that kind of thing since, I dunno, like the late 1990s here if someone was using a DSL modem hooked straight to their computer and the modem didn't store their credentials.
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Re: Is Arch or Gentoo even worth it to install?

Post by senjoz »

I cannot remember when exactly, probably around 10 years ago. I decided to try Gentoo. I compiled, compiled and compiled. At that time processors were not very quick. Outcome was usable but not spectacular. After a few months I gave up. I learned something but till now I forgot almost everything. If you really have a very special requirement or a very specific device and a lot of time, try it. Otherwise try a few mainstream distributions and choose one that is closest to your demands.

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Re: Is Arch or Gentoo even worth it to install?

Post by mr_raider »

If you want Arch without the headaches, go with Manjaro.
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Re: Is Arch or Gentoo even worth it to install?

Post by zshlover »

mr_raider wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 8:38 pm
If you want Arch without the headaches, go with Manjaro.
Manjaro is easier to install yes, saves you a lot of time. I think with Gentoo you have to wonder if the time you spent is worth the few cpu cycles speed up
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Re: Is Arch or Gentoo even worth it to install?

Post by Barbados99 »

Arch is worth installing. I found Arch a real challenge to install but it was worthwhile. I felt like it was a good learning experience. I also liked how you have so much choice in what you actually install (I was forced to do my research). But Arch also gave me a greater appreciation of what Mint provides as far as stability and ease of use. Mint is so easy to install and use.
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Re: Is Arch or Gentoo even worth it to install?

Post by carum carvi »

mr_raider wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 8:38 pm
If you want Arch without the headaches, go with Manjaro.
I totally agree! Because I think Manjaro has got the easiest install procedure of all the Linux distributions I have ever tried. Once Manjaro is up and running it has many many many options, which can be a bit overwhelming, but (AGAIN) all these options are so incredibly user friendly, that I am flabbergasted that such a user friendly OS like Kde Manjaro is based on the widely feared Arch.
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Re: Is Arch or Gentoo even worth it to install?

Post by antikythera »

Yes Manjaro is easy to use and live with as long as you keep reading the update announcements so you do not get snarky when the upgrade goes awry because you missed some vital snippet of information.

The problem here for the original poster though is the internet connection they have. Manjaro and Arch are really not suited to 5MBps because of the frequency and size of updates they download. Even on Stable branch of Manjaro, the updates would take hours to process every time they are pushed. I know it's around fortnightly on Stable but it would soon get frustrating as hell considering you should never do a partial upgrade of packages. Each time an update is pushed the total is invariably around 1GB.
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Re: Is Arch or Gentoo even worth it to install?

Post by Shadow in Fire »

I wouldn't recommend Manjaro at all. Artix GNU/Linux is more user-friendly, while having the latest packages ready.
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Re: Is Arch or Gentoo even worth it to install?

Post by Hoser Rob »

Portreve wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 3:28 pm
... Distros like Arch and Gentoo are for people who either just want to learn everything they can about what's under the hood (just short of being a developer, I guess) ....
Actually they're used more by those who already really know what they're doing and, and in the case of Gentoo they probably are developers. The Android kernel is a patched version of a Gentoo source.

Rolling releases aren't for the less than expert, it's going to break after updates. Not a question of if but when. And you'll need some very good CLI recovery skills. Their user forums don't hold begnner hands either.

Plus with Gentoo AFAIK not only the original install and all software updates are done by building and compiling from source and sorting out all the dependencies yourself. Yes, you can build a lightning fast Linux setup with Gentoo but how long is it going to take me do all that compilation?
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Re: Is Arch or Gentoo even worth it to install?

Post by Barbados99 »

Hoser Rob wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 11:03 am
Portreve wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 3:28 pm
... Distros like Arch and Gentoo are for people who either just want to learn everything they can about what's under the hood (just short of being a developer, I guess) ....
Actually they're used more by those who already really know what they're doing and, and in the case of Gentoo they probably are developers. The Android kernel is a patched version of a Gentoo source.

Rolling releases aren't for the less than expert, it's going to break after updates. Not a question of if but when. And you'll need some very good CLI recovery skills. Their user forums don't hold begnner hands either.

Plus with Gentoo AFAIK not only the original install and all software updates are done by building and compiling from source and sorting out all the dependencies yourself. Yes, you can build a lightning fast Linux setup with Gentoo but how long is it going to take me do all that compilation?
Those are good points. I found the Arch forum helpful IF you've done everything you can to research the issue yourself. The Arch documentation is outstanding. It is the best documentation that I have found among many distros I've used over the years. The user forum expects you to use this excellent resource first. One additional point. I definitely agree Arch is not for beginners, but you don't necessarily have to be a Linux expert - if - you understand the fact that there is a steep learning curve if you are not an expert. That's what I did. The result is that I learned a lot from my experience. Since I am not an expert, I would not use Arch as a daily driver OS. For me it was okay if it took me a day or more to figure out what was broken. I wasn't totally depending on that install for my work OS. It was just a fun project. And it did feel good to finally get it set up and working how I wanted it to work. But yes, it was a painful learning curve for me at times. And it will always be more demanding of your time investment than Mint.
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Re: Is Arch or Gentoo even worth it to install?

Post by BG405 »

Arch is certainly worth installing if you want to learn about how Linux works (I have a couple of VirtualBox installations) but I suspect that even with a minimal bare-bones install, you'll really struggle with updates .. and Arch (based) systems do require being up to date whenever you want to install new packages. Point-releases like Mint generally aren't as fussy.

I estimate I'm eating 10 or more GB per month just for the system updates on my two Manjaro KDE systems. I certainly agree with the other posters here, in that respect.
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Re: Is Arch or Gentoo even worth it to install?

Post by antikythera »

Yeah that and the fact Manjaro is becoming the Ubuntu of Arch. I was using testing branch for a couple of years ;)
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DoodMann
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Re: Is Arch or Gentoo even worth it to install?

Post by DoodMann »

Is there any Gentoo based distros in the wild? If yes, I'd like to take a look at it as I still didn't see one.
Portreve wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 3:28 pm
Why would you need log-in credentials? What sort of service do you have? I haven't seen that kind of thing since, I dunno, like the late 1990s here if someone was using a DSL modem hooked straight to their computer and the modem didn't store their credentials.
We use an internet all around here at the subdivision which are paid at least a dollar for 2 days, and you need to provide the address of your house, which needs an internet browser. SUCKS!
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Re: Is Arch or Gentoo even worth it to install?

Post by Barbados99 »

antikythera wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:17 pm
Don't go to a rolling distribution with your Internet.

I haven't tried vanilla Arch but I have used Manjaro for around two years. What I would say is with a slow and unreliable internet connection it is not a wise choice. The updates come thick and fast for Arch and arch based operating systems because they are rolling.

Instead, either stick with Mint 20 or use something Debian based. Reason being, there are less frequent updates. The size of programs to download doesn't differ for Arch from Mint's by the way. The compression level used is near identical.

The grass is always greener is a popular saying. In this instance you'd really end up getting more frustrated than you are now. I know your pain, up until around 5 years ago I actually had a 2.5MBps download speed because we were too far from the broadband cabinet. Weirdly that home was more urban than where we are now. I live in a small village and we have minimum 32MBps here due to being 500m from the cabinet at the end of the single lane road (borderline farm track) to our home.
+1
Good point about the Arch rolling distro stressing that slow Internet experience. Also, I noticed that the OP is running this on an Intel i3 370 M. If it were me I'd consider running Mint XFCE and not deal with the Arch updates over a slow Internet. I have a somewhat similar powered laptop and the Mint 20 XFCE provides the best performance on that unit (I've run both Arch and Manjaro on it among other distros). The Mint 20 XFCE is more responsive and pleasant to use on it.
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DoodMann
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Re: Is Arch or Gentoo even worth it to install?

Post by DoodMann »

I like XFCE for Mint but I don't like the looks of it out-of-the-box. My system can handle Cinnamon, so I'll go with Cinnamon.

I also tried Manjaro. True that it's a rolling release, but it looks like a good distro for gaming, finding out that everyday, I'm wasting valuable GB of space.

Also, I have problems booting the Burnt ISO of Manjaro, I used arvy's reply on my post on booting Linux Mint on a partition or from Linux Mint itself.

Here: viewtopic.php?f=46&t=322306
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