I had to laugh when I first saw monsterstack‘s signature on the Ubuntu forums.
As an Ubuntu Forums discussion grows longer, the probability of someone mentioning Arch Linux approaches 1.
It’s funny because it’s true: Inevitably, regardless of the topic or issue, be it technical, ethical or otherwise, eventually someone has to raise their hand and offer Arch Linux as a pat response. It would almost be funny to just enter the words “Arch Linux” in response to any thread in the Community Cafe, except that would be something akin to spamming, and the staff would not find it as amusing as everyone else probably would.
It’s funny because it’s true, but it’s true because in one manner of speaking, Ubuntu and Arch are diametrically opposed. Each one offers what the other lacks, and for that reason it’s common to see a problem or an issue circumvented by offering the other as a solution.
I kind of touched on this last year, but did a rotten job, in retrospect, of explaining the phenomenon. Arch Linux draws people away from Ubuntu when they realize Ubuntu is overstuffed and suffers a weight problem.
That alone is a turnoff for some people — the fact that, even in its slimmest configurations, there is a loss of speed and performance that is measurable when held up to something like Arch.
This is not news to anyone who has used Linux in its current incarnations; I’ve been chanting that mantra for years now, and I heartily endorse Arch as an option to anyone who wants to see some measure of perfomance. I can say with 99 percent assurance that, whether or not you use Pentium III-era machines, picking up Arch will offer a huge payout in performance.
But it must also be said that there is a flow to match the ebb. Occasionally — and I admit it’s rare to see — there’s a note on the Arch Linux forums saying something like “I prefer the way Ubuntu handles this.” It’s an odd sight and everyone takes a screenshot to prove it happened, but trust me, it does.
So that performance I mentioned earlier might come at the cost of something else — probably “ease in setup,” if I can say it that way — and that’s usually what sparks those rare forum threads that suggest Ubuntu as an option.
The probability doesn’t really approach 1 though. Or if it does, it’s over a much, much longer time.
P.S.: The threads suggesting Crux as an option to either of those two … well, I might be the only person driving that campaign.
P.P.S.: monsterstack has a blog here, which is fun to peruse. I particularly enjoy the “troll of the week” feature. …