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Configuration Time: Ubuntu vs. Arch

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I’ve been thinking lately about the configuration time I’ve spent with Arch vs. what I’ve spent with Ubuntu. Now, by configuration time, I’m not just talking about hardware, I’m also referring to customizing and setting up the working environment to my liking. Now, a lot of you might think that Ubuntu is set up in a workable environment to start with. It is for the regular user, however I don’t feel I’m a ‘regular’ user. In Arch, it’s the exact opposite. Once installed, you reboot and have a prompt and a fairly clean slate to work with. Let’s look at what I had to do to get each environment to a state where I was happy with how things were working.


I rebooted Ubuntu and logged in, greeted by GDM. I logged in and was presented with the default desktop, default apps, no actual ATi driver (using the open source version) but everything worked. So, what did I have to do to get the environment to my liking?


Arch is at the opposite end of the spectrum. As I mentioned, once installed, you get a login prompt and can log in as root only. So, the time I spent in Arch was installing / configuring things I need.

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