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Switched to ArtixLinux, I am sharing my personal experience

2020-08-17

Switched to ArtixLinux, I am sharing my personal experience

Important note

This is my first post in English, as you might know I am not a native speaker so I always do my best. If you see any grammar mistake you can contact me here

Introduction

Hello.

This post will be about Artixlinux, the OS I currently use.

The operative system is based on Archlinux but it does not have systemd as init. The main reason I wrote this post is because I have an error with systemd and the computer just crashed and it did not allow me to open a “tty” console. From that frustating day I decided to try another alternative.

I wanted to try “Gentoo” but I do not have time and I use my computer for work so I did not want to waste time. I also looked at “Devuan” and I liked but I have not used “Debian based operative system” for long time and Devuan is not a rolling release distro. I also saw “Void Linux” but it was kind of risk, it uses “musl” and I did not want to have problem with software that does not support it and I was kind of scare about loosing the control. I also wanted to try S6 init because there are not many distros with S6 as an init.

Instalation

The installation process is very similar to Archlinux so that means it is aimed at advanced users or beginners who need s plenty of time to dedicate. I won’t show the process because the [wiki] (“https://wiki.artixlinux.org/") does it. You can download many ISO images that are a lot easier to install, however if you want to follow the KISS principle I advise you to download the base one.

As ArchLinux the ISO base comes completely “empty” and simple so you are free to install the program you want and configure it as you want. Unlike Archlinux here you can choose the “init” between “OpenRC”, “Runit” and “S6”. I personally chose S6 but “Runit” and “OpenRC” should also be good choices. In my humble opinion I have felt an improvement in the startup of the computer over “Systemd” and I always have my tty terminal no matter happens.

Hardware

Are you serious? The most advantage of Artixlinux is that you can install on a server or Tamagochi (I exaggerate). All dependents on the software you install. For example you cannot install Gnome 3 if you have “Pentium II” and you do not have a graphics card with 3D acceleration. Anyway these are the features of my machine:

Performance

Despite having a good machine, I decided to install [DWM] (http://dwm.suckless.org/) and use software as simply as possible like [st] (http://st.suckless.org/) and [dmenu] (http://tools.suckless.org/dmenu/). The software that uses more RAM is the browser and only uses 2GB of RAM, in my opinion this is too much.

ps aux --sort=-%mem | head
USER       PID %CPU %MEM    VSZ   RSS TTY      STAT START   TIME COMMAND
chucho    6244  4.1  4.4 3336688 545916 ?      Rl   10:13   7:30 /usr/lib/librewolf/librewolf -contentproc -childID 10 -isForBrowser -prefsLen 3714 -prefMapSize 225139 -parentBuildID 20200811092007 -appdir /usr/lib/librewolf/browser 5720 tab
chucho    5720 16.7  3.6 3290240 444112 ?      Sl   09:58  32:32 /usr/lib/librewolf/librewolf
chucho    8242  1.7  2.0 2720316 253756 ?      Sl   10:54   2:22 /usr/lib/librewolf/librewolf -contentproc -childID 25 -isForBrowser -prefsLen 3759 -prefMapSize 225139 -parentBuildID 20200811092007 -appdir /usr/lib/librewolf/browser 5720 tab
chucho    8155  1.2  1.8 2509260 229228 ?      Sl   10:51   1:41 /usr/lib/librewolf/librewolf -contentproc -childID 23 -isForBrowser -prefsLen 3759 -prefMapSize 225139 -parentBuildID 20200811092007 -appdir /usr/lib/librewolf/browser 5720 tab
chucho   11450  5.8  1.8 2585304 221208 ?      Sl   12:43   1:42 /usr/lib/librewolf/librewolf -contentproc -childID 36 -isForBrowser -prefsLen 6206 -prefMapSize 225139 -parentBuildID 20200811092007 -appdir /usr/lib/librewolf/browser 5720 tab
chucho    8640  1.3  1.6 2673944 202940 ?      Sl   11:14   1:37 /usr/lib/librewolf/librewolf -contentproc -childID 32 -isForBrowser -prefsLen 3759 -prefMapSize 225139 -parentBuildID 20200811092007 -appdir /usr/lib/librewolf/browser 5720 tab
chucho   11485  1.0  1.6 2596508 202376 ?      Sl   12:43   0:17 /usr/lib/librewolf/librewolf -contentproc -childID 37 -isForBrowser -prefsLen 6206 -prefMapSize 225139 -parentBuildID 20200811092007 -appdir /usr/lib/librewolf/browser 5720 tab
chucho    5751  6.1  1.6 965088 199784 ?       Sl   09:58  12:02 /usr/lib/librewolf/librewolf -contentproc -parentBuildID 20200811092007 -prefsLen 1 -prefMapSize 225139 -appdir /usr/lib/librewolf/browser 5720 gpu
chucho    7533  0.8  1.5 2652068 189880 ?      Sl   10:47   1:11 /usr/lib/librewolf/librewolf -contentproc -childID 21 -isForBrowser -prefsLen 3759 -prefMapSize 225139 -parentBuildID 20200811092007 -appdir /usr/lib/librewolf/browser 5720 tab

User-friendly

I would say that installation, at least from base ISO, is for advanced users. After the user configures the sistem as wanted, the easiness of the operative system depends on each one. For example if you manage to install the OS and install desktop environments like KDE or Gnome things will become much more friendly but if you install a windows manager, Artixlinux will not be so friendly.

Although the installation of the operating system is not so friendly, Artixlinux inherits the advantages of Archlinux. For many of us the Archwiki is the holy grail, even for other Linux operating systems. All documentation, except the parts that includes systemd, in the wiki are useful for Artixlinux. If you have problems, you can always go to the forum and the community will help you, but remember to read the fucking manual or search the fucking website before asking in the forum.

What about third party repositories?

In my personal experience I think you will not need third party repositories. However I recommend to use the “Universal” repository because it has interesting software, especially browsers like Ungoogled-Chromium and Librewolf. If you need a software that is not in the repos you should always use AUR but if the software downloaded from AUR requires systemd, you probably has to write the script for your init. In my case I have installed many packages from AUR and I have to write the s6 script for only one package. So it is not very common you face that situation.

Conclusions

As systemd ceased to be an “init” to become a “management tool” it removes the KISS principle that Arch had. That’s why having something like “The Arch without systemd” is always good news for the world of free software. Here is my list with the pros and cons of Artixlinux.

Pros

Cons


Next How to modify ncspot AUR package with alsa backend support


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