Arch Linux

I got tired of dealing with some annoyances in Ubuntu, which included:

  • Unity and having to switch to Xubuntu to get XFCE as my window manager
  • Stupid pop-up menus that gave me the option to shorten a URL every time I copied one, even in Gvim (I have no idea what controlled that).
  • General bugginess and resource hogging.

Therefore, I switched to Arch. I had saved an old SSD from my original Chromebook (CR-48), thinking it might come in handy someday. Armed with an $8 adapter so I could use this laptop SSD in my desktop, I switched my drives’ boot order and proceeded to install Arch via the live CD.

Arch is definitely not for the newbie, as you have to configure everything by hand, with no GUI help. However, Arch has tons of wonderful documentation. If you can read and learn, you can configure your system properly (partitions, mounts, etc).

I carefully formatted the SSD, keeping my old HDD untouched so I could change boot order and be back in Xubuntu if needed. Once I had booted into my new Arch install, I realized I needed to mount my old HDD in /home, if I was to access its contents. I used gparted (with a little sweating) to remove the HDD’s swap partition and create a /var there instead, which is useful when booting from an SSD. Then I mounted the rest of the drive as /home, and created a new home directory. This meant that my old home dir was located under /home/home/[user], and my old configs such as resolv.conf were located at /home/etc/. Thus, Xubuntu became no longer accessible, but I could still access all my files and configs. So far, so good.

I went with LXDE + lxdm for my desktop/window manager, and have thoroughly enjoyed its lightweightness, along with Arch’s bleeding-edge packages, speed, and stability.

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