Distro Wars: Arch vs. Gentoo

While this isn’t “dark web” related, per se, it was Tor that sparked my interest in Linux in the first place.

On MadIRC, where the majority of the people in the chat use Linux, we often get into comical discussions about which Linux distro is the best. It’s almost like guys showing off their muscle cars and revving the engines.

Believe it or not, this was from a “deep web link list.”

Anyhow, I had been considering trying out Arch just for fun (yeah, who does that?). In my head, I was also wondering what differentiates Arch from Gentoo, since both are considered to be “advanced” distros.

As a matter of fact, there’s a good StackExchange post that outlines many of these differences: What is the basic difference between Arch and Gentoo Linux?

Some of the differences they point out are:

  • “Apparently, Gentoo documentation is said to be very intimidating to new users, while Arch documentation is very much up to the KISS (Keep it simple, stupid) motto.
  • “Package managers are also different. Arch Linux uses the Pacman (or in some spins, such as antergos, Pacman XG) which uses the good precompiled package system while Gentoo uses the Portage manager which makes packages from source code.
  • “Popularity is a difference. While you may be interested in being original, the adoption of your OS can make a big difference in your Linux experience. Primarily in how many files you can access out-of-the-disk and how many tutorials you have to look at in times of need.
  • According to distrowatch, Arch Linux is the 8th in overall popularity, while Gentoo is at 47th.

If you read the full post, you’ll notice a few others. Besides that, however, most of it is personal preference. It’s very similar to comparing smartphones or other OS’s.

The official Arch Linux wiki (which I’ve referenced before), has a comparison with not only Gentoo, but quite a few other distros: Arch compared to other distributions.

Their list compares the following (links go to their official sites):

If you want to know all of the differences, click on the link above. In any case, I’ve come to realize that Linux distros, much like other software (and hardware, for that matter) are a matter of personal preference. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, so you have to go with what makes you comfortable.

Of course, if you want to argue with me about this, I always welcome comments! Have a lovely day, Linux users.

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