Palpable Antagonism From Arch toward “Derivatives” Antergos Manjaro Apricity.

Essentially their attitude is this: The derivative of Arch wanted their own wikis and their own forums, so they can have it. Just don’t come to us with questions. Ever.

That is the most distasteful part of Archlinux: their antagonistic approach to what they call “derivatives.”

I believe the word they don’t like using is distro or distribution. For them, Manjaro, Antergos, Apricity and even Arch Anywhere are derivatives. They and a host of others are illegitimate derivatives at best. Arch != Antergos (Arch does not equal Antergos).

Linux is all about distros spinning off from mother-ships such as Red Hat, Slackware, Debian, Gentoo, and relative new-comers Arch and Android. Red Hat begets Fedora with no malice. Debian begets many, including Ubuntu and Mint. Again no malice. Arch begets Antergos, Apricity and Antergos – with significant malice.

Arch and Gentoo are geek distros. You’ve got to get your hands dirty to do the install. No GUI installer here. When you install Arch you get a command prompt. You have to carefully read the wiki on how to install it and take the steps one at a time, beginning with partitioning your hard disk with fdisk, which can be made complicated if you are using a dual boot system or a computer with multiple drives (like mine).

Arch people say this is good for you. You learn Linux. You learn how to put it together following the KISS philosophy (Keep it simple stupid), which is ironic, because the installation is anything but simple. The end product has only what you want, but to get there it’s sleeves up and set aside time to study, read and be frustrated – maybe wipe out some valuable data on the way.

I was thinking about this today. I was using Manjaro, now I’m using Antergos – both Arch “derivatives.” Shouldn’t I just go and install Arch? I certainly have the know-how and experience to do it.

Then it hit me. The entire philosophy of Archlinux goes against everything I stand for in the Linux world.

What do I stand for? Simplicity. That includes installation. Why? Am I lazy? No, because I want my wife to look at it and think, “Oh that’s attractive. I’d like that on my computer.” I want my friends and readers of my blog to think, “Linux sounds pretty cool. I’ll download it and install it.”

You can have your Arch. It is, without doubt, very cool that you could and did build your own personalized Linux tailored just for your computer and your needs. Nothing more, nothing less.

That being said, the antagonistic attitude in the Arch forums of seasoned Arch architects goes against what I believe in. I want Linux to be more accessible to people. I want Linux to move into the mainstream. I like the graphical, easy installation. So does Linus Travalds, the creator of Linux, who uses Fedora Linux and makes regular comments about the ease of installation – something he likes.

I’ve been around the Linux world for a decade and a half. I want my Linux to be a rolling distro. The top rolling distros are 1) Arch, 2) Antergos, 3) Debian and 4) Gentoo. I’ve already had Debian. I don’t like the Arch forums or their attitudes toward their “derivatives.” (Derivatives are, after all, for sissies who couldn’t hack the real deal.) I don’t like Gentoo because it too is not in line with my philosophy that simple graphical installation is desirable for the promotion of Linux.

That leaves me with Antergos.

Today I had the realization, after all these years of searching and trying distro after distro, Antergos is the one I like the most. Manjaro was too conservative for me. Arch is too – too – command line dependent. Antergos is the right mix.

Some people are scared of rolling Linux distros. A rolling distro means as the components are actively updated and improved by developers (or in some cases broken) they get forwarded along and your system inherits them auto-magically through the distro’s Internet update system. Once you install a true rolling distro you never have to install it again – ever. The alternative is to have stable release models like Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Fedora and so on, which you download and reinstall every few months to keep your system up-to-date.

The only thing is this palpable antagonism from the Arch developers toward the Arch derivatives (there I said it without “quotes”). They justify it, and it sounds kind of reasonable, by saying that Arch forums are for Arch installations. Essentially their attitude is this: The derivative of Arch wanted their own wikis and their own forums, so they can have it. Just don’t come to us with questions. Ever.

There’s a word for that attitude. It begins with “s” and ends with “ity.” It’s palpable. The Arch people who think this way (obviously all of them don’t) are full of yourselves, overly proud and condescending.

That’s my take on it.

You may say, “Who are you to say such things?”

I’m nobody. That’s the entire point. I’m the simple, dedicated, faithful desktop Linux user, the 3.5% of all personal computer users.

I’ve been using Linux long before the newcomer Arch came along, long before Android.

This distasteful Arch attitude is the reason I almost went back to Fedora today, until I started thinking about why I am using an Arch “derivative” in the first place: the rolling distro. Of course Debian and some Debian based distros like LMDE (Linux Mint Debian) and SolydXK are rolling distros. I’ve used both of them before as my sole computer OS, but I wanted something fresh. Frankly, this Arch “derivative” Antergos gets top ratings along with Archlinux itself in terms of being one of the best rolling distros out there.

If this was posted on any of the Linux forums it would be called a “rant” and might even be deleted. It certainly would be deleted from the Arch forums (which I secretly belong to). However, I’m saying here, on my own blog: I’m king here so I can say what I think and the only one who will delete it would be me!

So grow up people.

Author: Wayne Boyd

Wayne Edward Boyd was born in Morristown, New Jersey in 1953. He is a published author, former ISKCON sannyasi, and traveler, having lived on 3 continents and visited 37 countries. He presently lives in Amarillo, Texas working as a correctional officer and has interests in photography, political science and astronomy.

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