Yesterday, I decided to install Archlinux. Ranked number 20 at distrowatch, Arch is optimized for i686 (Pentium 2+) processors and uses the pacman package manager. It is like Gentoo, because it compiles all packages from source. So here is how I thought Arch Linux was.

Installation:
Installing Arch Linux is very difficult. There is no graphical or even ncurses install at all. Everything is text based. I partitioned my HDD to make room, and then I proceded to install the base system. While X packages and such are on the cd you must install the base system first and then install x and gnome later. I found a great guide here that was very useful.

Booting up:
When you boot Arch, there is no splash screen, making you think: "Great I messed it up." There is no splash in Arch because it aims to be simple, cutting-edge, and fast. Boot was very fast too. My computer started in about 25-30 seconds (from just after grub to a fully usable desktop) because Arch compiles everything from source, optimizing it for your system. It was great having something so fast.

Installing software:
Installing something from source is as easy as running "pacman -S program." Arch uses the pacman package manager and it was great. It was fast, simple, and it gets the job done. In seconds the program I wanted was installed and ready to use.

Setting up the system
Arch is very nice but it is very difficult to setup. I couldn't get my wireless working with ndiswrapper, due to a problem in the Arch kernel. On top of that, Arch did not detect my USB devices such as my PSP and Ipod.

Overall:
Arch is great but it is still getting there. It's really great but a little complex and difficult to use. My rating of Archlinux is 8/10. Now, I am getting ready to try Gentoo.