Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Arch vs Slackware, a Friendly Comparison

For some time, there hasn't been a great comparison article about Slackware. Most of the article i saw usually compared Slackware to other Linux distribution that has different point of view of how operating system should be developed, so it tends to be a biased review.

But yesterday, i saw a new article has been brought up back to Twitter about Arch vs Slackware. It's an old article, but i found it very interesting since it tried to compare two Linux distribution that shares the same basic philosophy: simplicity. No fancy GUI during installation, mostly manual configuration required, and highly configurable.

I also like the conclusion, since it gives both side pros and cons based on the facts:
Slack and Arch: KISS principle, 32 and 64-bit, tarball-based package management, text install, config file editing is expected in administration, KDE.
Notable points to help decide between the two:
Slackware: total stability, good for servers and not-bad for desktops, relatively small (but reasonable) amount of well-tested stable software, security updates provided, GNOME from a third-party, standard release schedule, i486 build officially distributed, admin tools depend on sh.
Arch: good (but not guaranteed) stability, huge amount of cutting-edge software, good for desktops but not-as-good for servers, update everything continuously, GNOME officially supported, "rolling release" schedule, i686 build officially distributed, admin tools depend on bash.

Which one is truly better? That's up to you!


  1. IMHO Arch have a fault: if you can't upgrade your Arch for a long time (ex: 2 months) sometimes do a pacman -Syu have a lot of bad effects. Arch is so much bleeding-edge. I prefer total control and simplicity of Slackware and Pat's tools.

  2. i had that problem last month where i didn't perform pacman -Syu for three weeks and then it caused the system to break.

  3. I always do pacman -Syu every time I turn on my laptop, besides, is it not a good thing for your system to break? you get to learn linux by fixing broken system :). I'm using Ubuntu right now, not because Arch breaks every so often, but because it doesn't have Unity. I miss Arch :)