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I think I may change distro

Discussion in 'General Linux Discussion' started by Daerandin, May 2, 2024.

  1. Daerandin

    Daerandin Well-Known Member

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    I haven't made a decision yet, and I absolutely love Arch Linux. Been using it for more than 10 years now, joined the Testing Team some years back. Overall, super happy with my distro.

    But.... systemd.

    I had the attitude that I don't mind, but this feature creep is starting to seriously annoy me. It started getting to me with the introduction of homed, which I can only view as a complicated way to potentially break home directories. Thankfully it's optional, but since it comes with systemd I can't uninstall this feature. And now we are getting systemd's take on sudo functionality with the upcoming run0. Not to mention that we already have systemd-boot, systemd-networkd, systemd-resolved. systemd-journald and on and on. It feels more like Windows, this big piece of software managing every part of the OS. In my opinion, this also becomes a very big point of failure.

    Don't get me wrong, I haven't actually had issues with systemd. But that doesn't change the fact that I dislike it, I dislike the whole concept.

    So I have started to seriously think about changing distro, and there is really only one option I am considering as a viable choice, Gentoo. Gentoo has been on my mind for a long time, just never got around to trying it out since I've always been so happy with Arch. But I think the time might be to finally get around to giving it a real try. It will at least be easy to keep both Arch and Gentoo dual booting while I make up my mind. I just expect to need a LOT of time getting the USE flags the way I want them, so it might be weeks until I even get it to a state where I can actually use it normally.
  2. Gizmo

    Gizmo Chief Site Administrator Staff Member

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    I ended up building a Gentoo server to replace a Debian server I have, precisely because I got tired of faffing about with systemd (plus Debian does some things that, to my way of thinking, are just plain WEIRD).
  3. Daerandin

    Daerandin Well-Known Member

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    Yeah Debian tends to do a lot of patching, which is also something I don't like. I prefer when distros stick as close to upstream as possible, which is what Arch does. I'm guessing Gentoo takes this stance as well.

    This is not an easy choice for me, because I really like Arch. Have been super happy with it all the time I've been using it. But, who knows, maybe I'll be even happier with Gentoo. I might get started during the weekend, maybe just focusing on getting a bootable system before I try to get everything set up properly.
  4. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Daerandin you are the distro master! I know you will research test and find the right distro for your needs.

    I admit, I'm still a "windows-ish" user when I use Linux. Still using the same keyboard shortcuts and right-click menus. But I will always love the freedom to try another desktop environment or uninstall something I don't... or not using an antivirus.. on and on...

    At the same time I put up with some of the bugs and crap that come with Ubuntu and inherited by Mint. Even Mint has had a few bugs and issues I haven't been able to resolve. Either way, I still have to use Windows at work and every day I'm reminded how Linux is freedom. I never regret moving to Linux for all of my gaming machines and entertainment.

    Let us know what you end up choosing and why. I'm always curious!
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  5. Daerandin

    Daerandin Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't call myself a distro master, I've been sticking with Arch for over 10 years now. I just feel that it is time to expand my horizons to see if I'd be happier with a different choice, but just because of systemd.

    We have so many options with distros, which I think is a good thing. People are different and want different things, so as long as you are happy with your distro then that's all that matters.

    Didn't get started this weekend as I've been busy with some other stuff. But I have spent a bit of time reading the installation instructions in the Gentoo handbook, I can start the install while still booted into Arch, which is nice. I have already created two new btrfs subvolumes for Gentoo, one for / and one for /var. I will share the same EFI partition so dual booting is simpler.
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  6. Gizmo

    Gizmo Chief Site Administrator Staff Member

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    Just a note, when you start building your world, I would suggest making /var/tmp/portage be a ramdisk. 4G should be plenty. Depending on what you are compiling, 1G might be sufficient.

    All of your compiles happen on /var/tmp/portage, so making it ramdisk will dramatically speed things up.

    Also, look into ccache. It caches precompiled headers and such, which improves compile times as well.
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  7. Daerandin

    Daerandin Well-Known Member

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    Thanks a lot for the tips.
  8. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    I think you are more of a distro master than I am. But I'm also like you, pick one and stick with it. Your benefit is using Arch which gives you a lot more exposure to behind-the-scenes functionality of the operating system. For me, I've stuck with Mint cause its more "Windows" like than other distros.

    My history in Linux:
    • SuSE around 2005
    • Fedora 2007-current (server only)
    • Ubuntu 2011-2018 (netbook)
    • Mint 2015-current
    • Debian on Raspberry Pi
    That is about it... you taught me how to install Arch at one point and I've tried a few tiny distros on a thumb drive just to check them out.

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