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Thread: apt-get vs. pacman

  1. #1
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    apt-get vs. pacman

    I'm thinking of giving Arch a try, but I was wondering about the package manager.

    I've only ever used *ubuntu, so i'd like a bit of info on the big differences between the two.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: apt-get vs. pacman

    I just tied Arch yesterday. Pacman seems ok, not much different from apt from what I've seen. Possibly even simpler, becuase apt syntax might be confusing for some - apt-get / aptitude /dpkg vs. pacman.
    The truth may be out there, but the lies are already in your head.

  3. #3
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    Re: apt-get vs. pacman

    Quote Originally Posted by sunexplodes View Post
    I'm thinking of giving Arch a try, but I was wondering about the package manager.

    I've only ever used *ubuntu, so i'd like a bit of info on the big differences between the two.

    Thanks.
    They're broadly similar, but as stated above, syntax is perhaps a little simpler. 'pacman -Syu' to do a full upgrade, 'pacman -S foo' to install, 'pacman -Ss foo' to search, 'pacman -Rs foo' to remove package and unused remaining dependencies...

    A big advantage comes through using a wrapper such as yaourt, which gives access to the AUR (Arch User Repository) as if it was just another repo enabled with pacman. So 'yaourt -Ss foo' will search through the AUR as well as your other enabled repos, and 'yaourt -S foo' will download the source, build it and install it (with a few prompts) straight away. It's a brilliant system. Easy access to packages as bleeding edge as you like.

    I can't recommend Arch (+ KDEmod for a fellow KDE tweaker such as yourself ) highly enough for people who want a bit more control and a bit less bloat than a K/Ubuntu install. Switched months ago and don't see myself ever going elsewhere.

  4. #4
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    Re: apt-get vs. pacman

    Quote Originally Posted by epimer View Post
    I can't recommend Arch (+ KDEmod for a fellow KDE tweaker such as yourself ) highly enough for people who want a bit more control and a bit less bloat than a K/Ubuntu install. Switched months ago and don't see myself ever going elsewhere.
    I tried it for a while and I just couldn't get into it. I don't mind tweaking, in fact I like to do it with things that I see as being useful, but having to spend hours searching through documentation just to get the fonts to look decent isn't my idea of learning.

    I'd love a distro that left all the control up to you but didn't insist your doing EVERYTHING. I will admit it was nice to have KDE set up and experience something like konqueror starting up instantly... but that wasn't enough to convince me to stay.

  5. #5
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    Re: apt-get vs. pacman

    Quote Originally Posted by jaytek13 View Post
    I tried it for a while and I just couldn't get into it. I don't mind tweaking, in fact I like to do it with things that I see as being useful, but having to spend hours searching through documentation just to get the fonts to look decent isn't my idea of learning.

    I'd love a distro that left all the control up to you but didn't insist your doing EVERYTHING. I will admit it was nice to have KDE set up and experience something like konqueror starting up instantly... but that wasn't enough to convince me to stay.
    Each to their own, of course. The point of Arch is to leave everything to the user, and that's what I like about it.

    As per fonts, I simply followed the instructions in the wiki and I was all set. YMMV.

  6. #6
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    Re: apt-get vs. pacman

    Quote Originally Posted by epimer View Post
    They're broadly similar, but as stated above, syntax is perhaps a little simpler. 'pacman -Syu' to do a full upgrade, 'pacman -S foo' to install, 'pacman -Ss foo' to search, 'pacman -Rs foo' to remove package and unused remaining dependencies...
    Maybe it is simpler, but it doesn't sound like it from what you say. How is 'pacman -S foo' simpler than 'apt-get install foo'? With pacman, I have to learn and remember that -S means install. With apt-get, I have to remember that install means install.
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  7. #7
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    Re: apt-get vs. pacman

    Quote Originally Posted by forrestcupp View Post
    Maybe it is simpler, but it doesn't sound like it from what you say. How is 'pacman -S foo' simpler than 'apt-get install foo'? With pacman, I have to learn and remember that -S means install. With apt-get, I have to remember that install means install.
    That example is fair enough. But I find it easier to do 'pacman -Syu' than 'apt-get update && apt-get upgrade' (or even ...apt-get dist-upgrade' at the end too, e.g. for kernel updates). Searching from within apt-get is, imo, clunky too, with it being 'apt-cache search' and not 'apt-get search'. IIRC, aptitude is a bit easier because it's just 'aptitude install foo' or 'aptitude search foo'.

    I'm not knocking apt-get as a package manager. For reasons of sheer laziness, I still have a Feisty server running, and I find using apt-get to install new programs on it just a little bit clunkier than using pacman on my laptop.

  8. #8
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    Re: apt-get vs. pacman

    Pacman is OK. It's much better than what I remember from rpm (my first distro was mandrake 10.0) but it's still not as cool as apt(itutde).

    What's really great in Arch is AUR+Pacman, which gives you tremendous power to build lots of packages easily. Furthermore, having a rolling release distro means you're not looking forward as much for the next big release. Another bloody cool thing about arch is the ease to configure the services you want running or not.

    In my experience, however, Arch has also a few cons. First of all, you have to know what you are doing. Else, you risk having a system with the latest bash and nothing else. Also, the general quality of its packages seem to me lower than those of ubuntu, at least the gnome packages.
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  9. #9
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    Re: apt-get vs. pacman

    I myself just switched to Arch, pacman seems pretty ok for now. I miss the gui though, it's much harder to find a package for a specific function without one (with Synaptic simply search for what you want - system monitor, bittorent, x*%&$ reader, whatever and make your choice).

    As for everything else, I find Arch much easier to learn than any other user-centric (as they say) distro I've ever tried, mostly because their wiki is actually helpful (really).

  10. #10
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    Re: apt-get vs. pacman

    Just a quick line concerning aptitude / apt-get.
    IMO the following should be done by default:
    Code:
    sudo mv /usr/bin/apt-get /usr/bin/apt-get-SUSPENDED &&
    echo echo just use aptitude! > /usr/bin/apt-get &&
    chmod 755 /usr/bin/apt-get


    same for apt-cache, -config, -key, -mark and all those other redundant tools!

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