Arch Linux in 2024, BTW

For those who know Mission Control, they are acutely aware of our extreme need to distrohop! 

After having spent the last 6 months almost exclusively on OpenSuse Tumbleweed, with a few days here and there on Fedora 40 and Ultramarine (yes that new little Fedora distro we'll chat more about in future), I have returned with a vengeance to good old, vanilla Arch. And here's the thing, it was actually easier to install than any of the distros I mentioned above.

That's right, Arch Linux is actually a doddle to install in 2024 thanks to the new semi-graphical interface that can be triggered by simply entering 'archinstall' immediately following your boot into the installer ISO. 

In fact, the full install (with NVIDIA drivers and a full GNOME desktop) took less time and effort than a comparable install of something lie Manjaro or Endeavour with the bonus of a full, homegrown Arch experience from top to bottom. Sure it's no Calamares or even Anaconda-style installer GUI (as it's still CLI-based), but really, running through the various options takes less than 2 minutes - and you can really tweak the various elements to your taste. In reality, it's more like making a custom Arch ISO or personal Arch distro than it is installing a vanilla system. 


With the continued move of Desktop Linux distros becoming more friendly to new users, I'm almost tempted to recommend Arch to newer or even first-time Linux dabblers at this point - or at least those who can stomach a bit of terminal time. And let's face it, with the help of Microsoft's Copilot+ PC's (Recall!) and Apple Intelligence, there isn't a better time to recruit more AI skeptics to the Linux fold. 

So after a good 6 months Arch-free, I must say it is super-refreshing to be back - and oh so wonderful to have the AUR back in my life! If you haven't given Arch a try recently, and thought you would need something like Manjaro or Endeavour to even dip your toe in the water, you may be surprised at how incredibly easy it is to install Arch Linux directly from their ISO using the new 'archinstall' guided system. 

After all, you can then share your neofetch (or fastfetch these days) screengrabs on Mastodon or X and confidently tell everyone you use Arch, BTW !