My Journey to Arch Linux
Arch Linux is a great distribution. There is zero doubt about that. The syntax of the package manager, the choice by default, and among other things the wiki. But how did I even get to using arch Linux? Well- it was a long history, and that history is super long and complicated.
How I originally used Linux
As a child, at age 7, I installed Ubuntu. I actually ended up having the home machine drive entirely wiped with nothing to boot. I even booted ‘chromium’ os on a school computer. This I somewhat say ruined my Linux experience. As one- the apt package manager makes no sense. Second, Ubuntu wasn’t ready. I was big into Roblox, and I still am But again, this exposed me to the world of other operating systems other than the Windows 7, which at the time was the latest Windows version. I quit after it just not making any sense to me at all. Like for real Ubuntu: Apt feels so bad… Apt makes no sense and default repos didnt include alot of the stuff I wanted…
And then I eventually got my own laptop with Windows 10. Which I used for multiple years, and still occasionally use for testing both Linux distributions, however modern Windows 10 is super slow on this computer ( it takes 10 minutes to login to Windows 10 off a cold boot). So this ended for many years
The second time around
Reasons that brought me back
2020 brought many things, and a sequence of events really brought me to use some kind of Linux. First that happened was COVID- it gave me a bunch of free time away from school, which I used to learn a bunch of new things, and I started to really put effort in my own hobbies.
Secondly was some YouTubers talking about Linux, spefically at the time was SomeOrdinaryGamers, which had me messing around with spefically Manjaro, which despite what some people say, is a good distribution to learn some stuff from. I still didnt quite understand what I was fully doing though. I also made a friend and we tried to get some stuff working.
There came Mental Outlaw, which appeared well from the ‘YouTube Algorithm’. Which had been a big part of what got me to learn Linux and the philosophy surrounding such as much as I do now.
Next came Windows 11, which with it came a new found reason to get away from Windows entirely. Which this was a minor reason. But it really had me set a deadline, I was to fully switch to Linux before Windows 11 dropped, and that I successfully did, I saw the Microsoft ad for Windows 11 and said that was garbage. A year after, I used Windows 11 on a friends computer. I couldn’t even play rocket league on it. I’m not sure if it is because of the Intel graphics being entitely broken, or Windows 11 being broken. But it was awful. From this i made a comittment to use Linux entirely by the end of year.
Grapejuice AKA The Nail
Well this is what was preventing me from using Linux. I needed a way to play Roblox on it. Here is the story of how it was fixed AFAIK: a patch was added into wine which fixed getting instantly kicked, that sparked interest from someone who wanted to make it almost a seemless experience. Which formed Grapejuice. Which when I was searching for ways to get Roblox working on Linux , I found it. I went and booted manjaro to test. To my surprise it worked just about flawlessly, I could now play Roblox on Linux.
This was really the nail in the coffin, to get me to try everything else that came after this.
The Actual story
This part will be referring quite a bit back to the reasons, and additional information provided before with a helpful link like this.
So- well it was a combination of these things, and well it was quite honestly a pretty big jump to make, I was gambling.
Leadup- Initial testing
Well- I was inspired by Muthar AKA someordinarygamer, that I tried out Manjaro, I kind of liked it, and that was it for a while. I switched back, again because there wasn’t a way to get Roblox working at that time. A year later, there was a new thing called ‘Single GPU pass through’. I installed Manjaro on my main machine and followed SomeOrdinaryGamers [video](video Here). I failed at it, and gave up on it. I went back to using Windows
Second time around
But I wasn’t done yet, I found a channel called Mental Outlaw and said hey that looks cool. Then I saw grapejuice, and I was amazed. Exactly what I had been wanting. What what kept me from using at that time. I installed Manjaro onto my main Machine again. This time I tried out Roblox, my mind was blown, it fully works with performance being okish, but most importantly: IT WORKEDDD. I could now launch Roblox and play it fully under Wine on Linux. It was honestly amazing to me, roblox had been broken for at least 6 years. As long as I had played Roblox it’d been broken. Manjaro now was my daily driver.
I had heard of a channel called [Mental Outlaw](link here) and I saw a video by chance on how to install Arch Linux. Just by this rabbit hole I found some of my favorite Linux content creators, including but not limited to: Distro Tube, Brodie Robertson, and Mental Outlaw. I was now invested into this.
Testing Arch Linux
Well, I made a commitment when Windows 11 first was announced i made a commitment to switch entirely to Linux, for that see here. For that i did succeed with, I entirely cut it out. I again now knowing about Arch Linux, wanted it. I installed Manjaro on my main machine, I said to myself as a temporary condition, until I can install Arch Linux.
That was to be soon, but I had another machine that had been collecting dust for about half a decade, as my Ubuntu endeavors had ended not great. It was time
I virtualized a arch Linux install
Well- I knew Virtualbox was a thing… Because I knew that an Archlinux install would be long and honestly arch install guide…. You kind of suck with all the redirects. But I installed In a VM. I was now going to try to deploy on hardware… Turns out I had a piece of hardware no one cared about… A relic of my original endeavours
I installed Arch on my other computer
I realized I had a relic of my previous experience, an old PC that everyone thought was dead anyhow, I remembered it, I hooked it up to a old VGA monitor, and got a USB stick, and stuck it in there (dang, i could’ve had the chance to plop in a CD and burn archlinux ISO on it). Then got into the Archlinux screen. Installed it- I literally had to pull up a video on a phone to do this also (Like this was not an optimal way to install Arch)
It took a bit to configure an Xorg environment, at the time startx was still kind of the “standard”, so i used that with DWM. I configured everything how i wanted it to be. It was amazing…
By some point- I had installed Manjaro on my main PC- while I was messing with Arch Linux on the other computer. To try to do single GPU passthrough, but that hadn’t gone very well. But since Windows 11 released, I made a commitment that I had to keep.
I tried Arch on my main computer
After loads of tinkering on my alternate machine- i determined i was ready to install Arch Linux on my main machine: Remeber at this point there wasn’t any “Archinstall” script bundled with arch. I followed Mental Outlaws Video. I had gotten it installed. I was ready to install DWM- but one major roadblock layed there.
Yep- the one and only killer of dreams. I had known from using Manjaro that NVIDIA is kinda broken… but i didn’t expect what was to come. I eventually fully read through NVIDIAS Xorg Documentation. To fix this i had ran:
Remember: I am on a laptop. So NVIDIA Prime is kind of not fully working, it is much better now than what it was right before. Specifically because
nvidia-xconfig is now known to me.
After I got through that- It was basically free-sailing.
Lots of terminal and compiling due to DWM. But it was entirely worth it to bring the knowledge that I got from it.
How this has changed me
Arch Linux really brought me to love Linux, and to really start messing with it. It really brought me to the user I am today. This brought me to learn how a system works. To learn how to even script.
Issues I’ve encountered
All of these issues haven’t been specifically with Arch Linux. Each of these issues originated from some way either externally from a bug, or with me doing something wrong.