I Try Arch (btw)  |      17.02.2023   2min read 

On a rainy sunday afternoon I felt the sudden urge to ditch Windows as my desktop OS and replace it with some Linux distro.

Well that came out of nowhere? Almost.

My last experiments with Linux on the desktop were back in 2016 when my Acer R13 Convertible, featuring it’s distinctive “Ezel Aero Hinges” and a touchscreen display, was new. Previously, I had used Ubuntu as my desktop OS for some time on my previous notebook. Back then also the Windows installation was somehow corrupted and I felt a similar urge to install Linux on that machine. And honestly I was pretty happy with it, so I quickly tried Ubuntu on the new computer. But naturally I had some driver issues regarding the touchscreen and the Thunderbolt 3 port, so I decided to keep the preinstalled windows around, not least because I didn’t want to do university without Microsoft’s awesome OneNote for taking notes in class (which worked almost perfectly with Acer’s stylus for the R13 - but I’m getting off the point here).

Back at that recent rainy sunday afternoon, I have now graduated and the primary applications I use on my private computer are now pretty much Firefox (for browsing and various web applications) as well as Docker and VS Code for developing various things. So basically things where Linux should shine, right? Right.

Furthermore, I had stumbled over Material Shell, now a GNOME plugin, previously a theme for awesomewm. The keyboard-centric workflow and it’s determinism immediately caught my attention. But as it turns out, that was just what dragged me into the rabbit hole… (And /r/unixporn did the rest).

So why Arch, you ask?

I always had the feeling that the “high furbished” Ubuntu is like the entry level distro for people switching from Windows. Being more experienced now, I felt that I’m now grown up enough to get myself a real distro. And in the back of my head Arch had that image of being “not so easy”. Only a few days in I realized that I actually do agree much with Arch’s philosophy of being user-centric, unopinionated (apart from systemd, but this one luckily is also my opinion) and a rolling release. To be fair, at the time of writing this I’m only a few weeks and like two kernel updates in and so far hadn’t had any critical problem regarding the fast update cadence, so that still might be yet to come.