A new beginning – with Arch and Openbox

Despite recognising the benefits of a major easy-to-use Linux distribution like Ubuntu, which without question is a great OS, people know they often lack the speed of their not-so-easy-to-use counterparts like Gentoo or, in my case, Arch.

Earlier in my Linux life there I had like almost any experienced user a Gentoo period. Setting flags, compiling, speed and Portage in general made you feel leet. But after some year or two and multiple set up Linux boxes I began to wonder if this is really the way to go and if the stability and speed are worth all the pain of waiting some hours for some greater graphical applications to compile – I came to the conclusion it wasn’t.

I decided to give Debian a shot (which is still running on my home server by the way) and stuck with it some time. Setting up a working system was just a piece cake. There is this saying that even a chicken could install Debian if you just put enough grain onto the enter key. Funny enough, it’s kind of true.

Debian’s flaw in my opinion was or rather is the very conservative package policy. Sure, it might be awesome for a working place and really kinky for servers but I still missed something for my desktop usage.

As time went by there came up the rumours of a Debian based desktop distribution, Ubuntu.

Ubuntu is a pretty decent distro with great usability and a 6 month stable release cycle, with a huge community and many third party repositories.

The con is that the usability comes hand in hand with a lack of simplicity and foremost speed. :(

So I decided it was time to move on a look for another distro for my main box.

And I found Arch.

Arch is a i686 optimised binary distro, the base installation uses up about 80MB of disk space, and it has no graphical configuration tools, still easy to configure as every important rc is located in /etc .

I decided to adapt this simplicity to X by using Openbox, a very simple and fast window manager in the spirit of other well known *boxes like black- or fluxbox.

Screenshot:

openboxscreen.png

Panel: pypanel

mpd-client: Sonata

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5 thoughts on “A new beginning – with Arch and Openbox

  1. Hey mrigns!
    It’s a good story. It’s nice to have a description of your way to arch, although I knew about some things before ;)
    As always, the openbox screenshot just looks awesome…
    But why did you add all these links? In my opinion, this is a bit annoying.

  2. Actually I’m pretty impressed, I did no benchmarks but it seems to run faster than Ubuntu, Debian or any of their derivatives. I put Arch on a lot of PC, my own and those of friends mainly on a couple of older (3-5 years) machines and the difference is clearly stunning.

    All in all I can really recommend Arch to those willing to get through a little reading and a maybe not so user friendly installation.

    They won’t get disappointed.

    The only thing I didn’t like was that I had the impression that a lot of things got literally dumped into /opt