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Handmade Network»Forums
37 posts
Why People Use Windows
How is Arch in terms of ease of using 3rd party software? To date, I've stuck with Kubuntu because if there is a Linux version of anything, it usually targets Ubuntu. Do things tend to work out of the box fairly well on Arch and its associates? I'm thinking particularly of closed source software like Steam/Skype etc. that I can't just build from source.
Mārtiņš Možeiko
2583 posts / 2 projects
Why People Use Windows
Edited by Mārtiņš Možeiko on
Skype works fine if you use pulseaudio (no more alsa support). It's in AUR: https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/skype/
But nowadays if I'm forced to use Skype (I use Hangouts for everything) then I simply go to https://web.skype.com/

Steam also works fine. It's actually a package in multilib repo: https://www.archlinux.org/packages/multilib/x86_64/steam/
Sometimes there are some glitches, but wiki page on fixing issues is a great resource: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Steam/Troubleshooting
I actually run two Steam instances - one native on Arch, one through wine for Windows games. Both steam's work fine.

Other 3rd party binary-only software I run on Arch:
* IDA Pro
* Android Studio
* Android SDK & NDK
* Dropbox
* Google Chrome
* Plex Media Server
* Sublime Text v3
* BitTorrent Sync (now called Resilio Sync)

All the updates for 3rd party software are very automatic if they are available in AUR. Just use AUR helper like pacaur instead of default pacman.

As usual with Linux, sometimes there is something that doesn't work out of box. Then you really need to open terminal and fix things, you cannot avoid that on Arch. If you use Arch then you must not be afraid of terminal.
Andrew Chronister
194 posts / 1 project
Developer, administrator, and style wrangler
Why People Use Windows
o wow people actually replied to this thoughtless rant, ok

I think the point I was trying to make was that linux isn't going anywhere as a consumer-capable OS until it starts shipping default on more things? Also that Windows is getting worse about dual booting. I don't really know. I was pretty tired and angry when I wrote it :)

Re: Casey, I actually ended up giving up on ElementaryOS and using Manjaro on Abner's recommendation. So much easier, and it all worked out of the box! Also, I'd figured out the steps to be able to actually boot into it/install by then.
37 posts
Why People Use Windows
Thanks for the info mmozeiko. That definitely sounds promising. I'm pretty happy with my Kubuntu setup at the moment, but I've been interested in Arch for a while, so next time I feel the need to do a clean re-install I'll definitely give it a try.

I think the point I was trying to make was that linux isn't going anywhere as a consumer-capable OS until it starts shipping default on more things?

I completely agree here. Actually this is something I'd like to ask about, because it's something I've wondered for a while now. Why is it that the vast majority of PC and laptop vendors decide to ship with Windows? Is it purely a question of what it is assumed that customers will want? I used to think it was a question of giving users what they are familiar with, but I think this seems unlikely now given systems like Windows 8 threw out a lot of that familiarity and yet companies kept shipping it on their machines. Or is there some issue of support here? Again, I used to think that a lot of the reason for favouring commercial OSs was because the company behind them could offer support, but I wonder what this actually means in practical terms? And how it would compare to working with a company like Canonical? Or is it purely that Linux is still perceived as being difficult for the average consumer to use? Does anyone know anything about this?
Jeremiah Goerdt
208 posts / 1 project
Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
Why People Use Windows
I've been using Arch for years and absolutely love it, but I can't argue that it takes much more work to get up and running. What I love about it is the ability to build a very light and very customized OS just for me.

I also enjoyed using Manjaro a few years back when it was a brand new distro. I haven't tried it since then, so thanks for the reminder that I wanted to give it another go. I'll be putting it on my laptop today and hope to see lots of improvements.

Arch and Manjaro are definitely my two favorite distros, and I think they cover pretty much all kinds of users with the options they provide.
Jack Mott
110 posts
Web Developer by day, game hobbyist by night.
Why People Use Windows
I've had good luck with Ubuntu, and Mint. Both just worked. But I have a rather simple desktop. Dell, Intel, Nvidia, no strange peripherals.

There are tons of little desktop usability complaints I have, mostly tied around the window managers. Switch window managers just moves the complaints around rather than reducing their number =)

Like I need to be able to optionally put the close/min/max icons for windows on the right so that my brain doesn't explode when I turn from my windows machine to my linux machine.

Changing colors and sizes of UI elements should be simple

The mouse acceleration should be easy to adjust so that it isn't bizarre

I should be able to move the taskbar anywhere I want

It should be easy to add/remove things from the task bar, or right click on a thing on the taskbar to figure out what it is doing exactly.

It should be easy to find where applications are installed.

I should not download an application from the web and find out it out it needs some library I have the wrong version of. Statically link it! Or make an installer that can grab what it needs.

Anyway all of this is little nit picky stuff that nobody want to do for free. Things that are hard and uninteresting. Maybe we could set up a bounty system for Open Source Nitpicky Usability Features

With enough money we might get gdb with a good interface too.

3 posts
Why People Use Windows
One thing that I miss from Linux is a good Tiling Manager. Nothing beats it when your work day is coding/bug-fixing/development. I spent at least a month to get herbsluft-wm just right for me and my productivity really skyrocketed. There are many alternatives of course.

If you don't know what a tiling manager does, it's basically tmux (to a lesser extent screen) for your desktop. I personally set mine up so my mouse didn't do anything (no buttons, menus, what-not). With a few addons for your browser (ex: vim for chrome) and the right editors, you can live in a mouse-less world. Of course, that is a dev-only machine, I wouldn't want to come home to that.

Worth checking out if you don't like wasting time grabbing your mouse,
Fond memories.
Dustin Specht
12 posts
Why People Use Windows
I find it funny that people go arch is hard linux is hard until they find something like manjuro or antergros (another arch based distro that people seem to like have not tried it yet) but once you get something that works with drivers (Also happens on a FRESH windows installs way to often maybe even more then most linux installs (odd hardware not withstanding). All of these steps would be needed on a fresh windows install except maybe the secure boot and I think that was a issue with elementary not having it signed yet.

The whole selecting the boot device and everything is always there and is not something to rant about or even consider since you need to do it on anything with a fresh install. I am also not sure what this SPECIAL way of rebooting windows is I just reboot and enter my bios (f8 for me, f12 for boot menu) and off I go.

Being a dual boot arch user for a while and having run a ok number distro's linux is really not that bad once you understand things are not magic and that with the millions of hardware possibilities it is hard to package everything in one install package without the bloat (looks at windows, and ubuntu).

After the drivers and everything is fixed/solved which should not be that bad of a problem. You come to the many choices of window mangers and desktop environments. Which like distro is a choice to the user to find what they like. Unlike windows where you just have to deal with it you have choice on linux.

I currently am using i3wm (which is a tiling window manger. it allows for some very clean and clutter free environments while remaining blazing fast). Bundgie (from the Solus Project is a decent DE (desktop environment), Gnome, KDE, Mint and many others are there to be tested to find something you like. You can just pick one of the big ones and deal with it or try many and find one to customize to your liking.

And as stated from other users there are out of the box linux laptops and desktops to buy that you can just use as you state in your using windows section. just a matter of finding one since windows has the monopoly of oem installs.

As far as people asking about 3rd party things it varies by distro but you can normally get it working on anyone of them with some work. Yes you normally compile things to install them on linux which means you may be missing libraries or other programs at least it tells you what you are missing (most of the time). On arch or any distro really you can expect it to be on the AUR if it is not a system package which is amazing as the community keeps the packages on AUR updated and ready to go. If on arch or a arch based distro you can install apacman or yaourt to help make installing dependencies easier and automatic more like a windows installer.

(And I know I have not been around lately been down with no work still, but hello everyone and sorry for the long post)

TL:DR linux is just as easy as windows to install but can do much more to have it run like you want.