So what exactly is Arch? Arch, in a nutshell, is a “geek” distribution of Linux. In other words, Arch is not exactly easy to set up. However, it is fast and powerful once the initial effort to set it up has been made. The two main reasons for using Arch are for its Pacman package manager made possible by the Arch Build System (ABS), and for its blazing speed due to the fact that it is optimized for i686 (Pentium Pro) and above. This distro is absolutely not for newbies. To give the general idea, it takes considerably more effort to set up than even Slackware. It may be most closely compared in terms of ease (or difficulty) of installation and configuration with Gentoo.

I would not recommend this distro to dial-up users. One of Arch’s chief strengths is the Pacman package manager. Linux software packages are often quite large, and a single package can often take over 1 hour to download on an average dialup connection. Arch allows users to maintain a stable bleeding edge system without much hassle, and without this strength, one of the main reasons for using Arch is neutralized.

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