I am still living in a virtual box, but a couple of weekends ago finally made the move from Fedora to Arch Linux. I’d no real complaints with Fedora, but since first discovering XMonad and then all the Suckless stuff I no longer needed a distrubution that came with unecessary “weight” and wanted to do things more minimally and cleaner. Also, if you are going to use the best Linux wiki out there for troubleshooting, you might as well also use that distro. Really I just need X11 and then the only things I run in that are:

  • dwm
  • st
  • tabbed/surf
  • gvim (because if I’m writing VB code for work gvim makes for easier copying and pasting to the Visual Basic IDE).

Everything else I run in the console:

  • R
  • vim
  • cmus
  • ranger


So, when my hard drive died on my work’s laptop and I lost my virtual box install (and so was starting from scratch) I thought that was an ideal excuse to move off an easy distro. I’d actually prefer to use a BSD, but the only BSD supported in VirtualBox is FreeBSD. I did give this a go first of all, and got X11 and dwm up and running, but then chickened out because the version of webkit-gtk was out of date and so I couldn’t keep up to date with surf - perhaps a silly reason, but I was pushed for time. So then I tried Arch but the continual distractions at home mean that I actually ditched that for a week and I went with a minimal Fedora net-install (which at least means you don’t have to install the Gnome GDM bloat). But then the following weekend I had another stab at Arch and actually managed to find enough uninterrupted time to get it installed an up and running.

I suspect I will like Arch greatly until that time when a system upgrade borks my install and I’ll be scuppered at work (because everyone just assumes I run Ruby, R, etc in Windows - no I’m being too kind they haven’t a clue how I do what I do). Oh well. I have my home directory in a separate virtual disk, I can run back to Fedora if I get desperate. Already had my first system update and got booted into safe mode because of filesytstem errors.