Arch Linux vs. Ubuntu: Which Linux Distro Is Right for You?
If you’ve come down to Arch Linux vs. Ubuntu, your choice is between a lightweight, advanced system or a more robust, user-friendly system. It’s an interesting distinction (and a challenging choice) to make.
Choosing the right Linux distribution can be a daunting task. With so many options available, it can be hard to decide which one is right for you. This article will compare Arch Linux and Ubuntu and help you decide which one is the best fit for your needs.
Let’s take a look.
What is the history of Arch Linux?
Arch Linux was first released in 2002 by Judd Vinet, a Canadian computer scientist. It is based on the minimalist philosophy of Unix and is designed for advanced users who want to have complete control over their system. Users choose Arch Linux because of its flexibility and robustness. Other distributions come with a lot of packages pre-installed. Arch Linux has only what is necessary.
The pros of Arch Linux include:
- It’s a lightweight distribution that is easy to customize. A lot of developers or systems administrators use Arch Linux and then customize it to their particular needs, rather than engaging in complex package management and deletion.
- It has a very active community that is constantly developing new and innovative ways to use the system. Arch Linux is built on a bustling community of extremely advanced power users.
- It’s relatively simple to install and use, especially for experienced Linux users. Even though it’s intended for “advanced” users, the byproduct is that it’s actually a very simple product. It’s not loaded with advanced systems like Kali Linux is.
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The cons of Arch Linux include:
- It can be a little daunting for beginners since it’s designed for advanced users. There aren’t a lot of quality-of-life features there for beginners; there’s “less” in general to learn. For some, that’s easier; for others, that’s confusing.
- It can be more difficult to find support for Arch Linux than for other distributions. Most Arch Linux users are expected to know the basics. It’s not one of the most popular distros out there, so it doesn’t have a tremendous amount of documentation like Debian does.
- The system is constantly evolving, which means users may need to keep up with the latest changes in order to maintain compatibility. They also have to understand how these changes work and why they’re being made.
Who uses Arch Linux?
The Arch Linux operating system is built on the Linux kernel and is popular among experienced Linux users who want more control over their system. It is also used by some smaller businesses and organizations that need a lightweight and customizable operating system with minimal install. In other words, Arch Linux comes with only the pre-installed solutions that are strictly required, rather than being burdened with software bloat.
Programmers frequently use this Linux distro because not a lot comes pre-installed, and they can tailor it to their specific needs. Unlike other Linux distributions, Arch Linux is extremely customizable; most of the package management is left up to the user. But if a user is inexperienced, they may not have quality-of-life features that they could need.
What is the history of Ubuntu?
Ubuntu was first released in 2004 by Mark Shuttleworth, a South African entrepreneur. It is based on the Debian GNU/Linux distribution and is designed for home users and small businesses. Arch Linux and Ubuntu have a lot in common simply because they operate on the same kernel; it’s the same technology under the hood. The most current Ubuntu release is 16.04 Xenial Xerus.
The pros of Ubuntu include:
- It’s a user-friendly distribution that is easy to install and use. Ubuntu has been built to make Linux more user-friendly and accessible, so you can hit the ground running.
- Ubuntu has a large and active community that provides support for users. The Ubuntu community loves delivering support since it’s designed for beginners and daily users.
- It is frequently updated in a rolling release model, which means users can enjoy the latest features and security updates. Of course, this also means they need to keep updated and need to update themselves on the changes.
The cons of Ubuntu include:
- Ubuntu is not as lightweight as some other Linux distributions and may not be suitable for older or less powerful systems. Arch Linux can run on microdevices, but Ubuntu probably cannot.
- It is not as customizable as Arch Linux or some other Linux systems, and some users may find it limiting. This is intentional to make it more “foolproof,” but power users may dislike it.
Who uses Ubuntu?
Ubuntu is often compared to Debian as a popular choice for home users and small businesses. It is ideal for those who need a user-friendly and reliable distribution that is easy to install and use. Ubuntu has a large and active community that provides support for users, and the distribution is frequently updated with the latest features and security updates.
It is also available in different editions, including desktop, server, and cloud versions. In short, it’s easier to adjust to Ubuntu than other distros of Linux, especially for those used to Windows and MacOS.
Arch Linux vs. Ubuntu: what are the major differences?
At a glance, Arch Linux and Ubuntu have a lot in common. Both are based on the Linux kernel and are popular among experienced Linux users. However, there are some major differences between these two distributions.
As one of the most popular distros for programmers, Arch Linux is a minimalist distribution that is designed for advanced users who want complete control over their system. It is not as user-friendly as Ubuntu and can be more difficult to find support for. The system is constantly evolving, which means users may need to keep up with the latest changes to maintain compatibility.
Ubuntu is a user-friendly distribution that is designed for home users and small businesses. It’s as close to a Windows or macOS system as a Linux distribution can get. While it’s not completely error-proof, it’s a lot easier for someone without Linux experience to use.
What is a Linux distribution?
We’ve noted that Arch Linux and Ubuntu are different types of Linux distributions. But what is a Linux distribution?
A Linux distribution, often shortened to distro, is a collection of software that makes up the operating system. This includes the kernel and basic structure upon which the operating system is built as well as various utilities and applications.
Linux distributions can be divided into two main categories: desktop and server. Desktop distributions are designed for home users and typically include a graphical user interface (GUI), while server distributions are designed for use in businesses and data centers. Both Arch Linux and Ubuntu can be used as desktop operating systems for home users.
There are also different Linux distributions available, each with its unique features and benefits. Ubuntu and Arch Linux are two of the most popular distros, but there are many others to choose from. All of them have the major advantages of Linux: They’re stable, secure, and advanced.
Linux distributions can get quite complex. What you need to know is Arch Linux and Ubuntu are built on the same technology; the difference lies in how they are configured and what software comes pre-installed.
Arch Linux vs. Ubuntu: performance
Arch Linux and Ubuntu are both very capable distributions when it comes to performance. However, there may be some minor differences depending on the hardware used. For example, Ubuntu is not as lightweight as Arch Linux and may not be suitable for older or less powerful systems.
In general, Arch Linux is probably more powerful in terms of raw resources that can be used. However, Ubuntu may be more “powerful” in the hands of a specific user simply because it makes itself easy to use. It depends on whether you’re thinking about raw system performance (resources) or what can be done with the system (productivity).
Arch Linux vs. Ubuntu: community
Both Arch Linux and Ubuntu have large and active communities that provide support for users. However, the Ubuntu community is much larger and more active than the Arch Linux community.
This is partially because Arch Linux users tend to be “power users” — that is, users who already know what they’re doing and are very advanced with the software solutions. This means that there is a greater chance of finding help for Ubuntu problems online or in person.
Arch Linux vs. Ubuntu: careers
Ubuntu is a popular distribution for home users and small businesses, making it an excellent choice for starting or expanding a career in IT. You’ll find more employers looking for people with experience and skills in Ubuntu than in Arch Linux. Either way, the average Linux administrator makes a little over $83,000 as of 2022.
Arch Linux is less frequently used as a skill generator and more frequently used by programmers, developers, and systems administrators who want to perform better. If you’re looking for a Linux distro that may make you, a power user, more productive, then Arch Linux might be it.
Arch Linux vs. Ubuntu: scalability
Both Arch Linux and Ubuntu perform very similarly in terms of scalability because they are still built roughly the same in structure. However, Arch Linux is going to perform a little better in terms of raw resources simply because it is so lightweight. If you took Ubuntu and fine-tuned it, optimized it, and configured it properly, it would likely be nearly as scalable as Arch Linux.
Arch Linux vs. Ubuntu: support
The Linux ecosystem is married to a sort of “use it and find out” philosophy. What that means is that while the answers are there and the documentation is present, most users are going to provide themselves with support.
Arch Linux, Ubuntu, and many other Linux distributions are open source and collaborative. Users search for answers and communicate with the community, and find their answers there. But you can pay for enterprise Ubuntu support through an MSP.
What are the alternatives to Arch Linux and Ubuntu?
If you’re looking for an alternative to Arch Linux or Ubuntu, there are a number of different distributions that you may want to consider. Some of the most popular alternatives include Debian, Fedora, and OpenSUSE. These distributions offer a variety of features and options, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses.
- Debian. Debian is a popular Linux distribution, likely one of the most popular options out there. It is well-known for its stability and a large selection of software packages. Ubuntu is designed to be an easier-to-use version of Debian, but Debian can also be a great middle-ground between the ease of use of Ubuntu and the lightweight nature of Arch Linux.
- Fedora. Fedora is a free and open source distribution that is sponsored by Red Hat. It is designed for desktop and laptop users and offers a wide variety of software packages. Fedora is also available in a number of different editions, including Workstation, Server, and Atomic. You can pay for an enterprise edition of Fedora that comes with a lot of support and help.
- openSUSE. openSUSE is a free and open source distribution that is sponsored by SUSE. It is designed for enterprise use and offers a wide variety of features and options. openSUSE is also available in a number of different editions, including Leap and Tumbleweed. openSUSE is often known as one of the most approachable distributions because it has an easy-to-use GUI.
Another option might be FreeBSD rather than any Linux distribution. Many users prefer FreeBSD vs. Linux as it’s considered to be stable, secure, and robust.
The great thing about Linux is that there’s a distribution for everyone. If the distribution you’re using isn’t the right one for you, you should move on to the next. Most of the skills that you learn from one distribution will easily equate to the other because they all use the same kernel and essentially the same packages, and the commands and functions are the same.
Conclusion: should you use Arch Linux or Ubuntu?
At the end of the day, it really depends on what you’re looking for in a Linux distribution.
If you’re looking for a lightweight and minimalist distribution, then Arch Linux may be a better choice. Arch Linux is used by advanced programmers, developers, and security professionals.
If you’re looking for a more user-friendly distribution with a large community, then Ubuntu may be a better choice. Ubuntu is used by daily users, small businesses, and organizations looking to streamline their Linux servers.
Both distributions are great choices, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. And because they are free and open source, you can try out both of them and see which distribution meshes best with you.
Before you make a decision, take a look at some of the best Linux operating systems — and another alternative, FreeBSD vs. Linux. If you still can’t decide, you might want to learn a little more about Linux through Udemy’s top Linux courses.
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