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Arch Linux Guided Installer

Discussion in 'General Linux Discussion' started by Daerandin, Apr 12, 2021.

  1. Daerandin

    Daerandin Well-Known Member

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    So Arch Linux has a guided installer now, in addition to the default manual installation method. This installer is not mentioned in the official instructions on the Arch Wiki, at least not yet. There has also been a lot of controversy regarding this on the Arch forums. Most of the long term forum members has expressed a lot of disappointment in this, and some even changed their signatures to indicate that they can't help anyone who used the installer.

    I have not tried it myself and I don't intend to ever do so either, so I can't really comment on the quality of the installer. From what I understand it makes some assumptions and you don't have the same flexibility and freedom as the usual install process gives you, but it certainly will make it easier for someone just wanting to try out Arch.

    https://archlinux.org/news/installation-medium-with-installer/
  2. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Very nice! Arch has always been the distro I've stayed away from. Learning from our interactions in Linux I've felt like too much control and options increase the amount of work you have to do on your PC. I'm not one to complain because I do a lot more work that most people, but I gotta draw-a-line somewhere. For me, I like having options, but I'm not real picky. Most of the vanilla features in Ubuntu or Mint work just fine for me. After using Windows for 20 years... I've like anything Linux can provide in a vanilla state.
    Of course the more I have learned about Linux I've customized a few things:
    • PrintScreen Key - Scrot command
    • Image Batch Processing - Magick command in Terminal
    • OpenBox Window Manager - Sometimes testing games
    • htop - TTY shell processes
    • Mint Themes - Windows 10 theme
    • Game Desktop Shortcuts - For keeping all game shortcuts in one place
    That is about it. I use whatever Cinnamon provides for audio, desktop manager, menu's, panels and everything else.

    Its nice because I can install Mint and my programs/settings and be ready-to-go in about an hour. I have a lot of games and shortcuts, otherwise it would be even quicker.

    I have a feeling this guided installer is for people who want to try Arch and do not understand all the manual options. This way they would get it installed and setup with less confusion and start using Arch. As they use the Operating System they can learn about it and all the customizations later on.
  3. Daerandin

    Daerandin Well-Known Member

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    According to the devs, the goal is actually not for people who want to try Arch. First time installers are still pointed towards the manual method as it is a beneficial learning process.

    One of the Arch devs mentioned that the installer will help people who do a lot of installs, for instance on multiple computers. The installer is also a Python library, meaning that you can write some simple instructions to have Arch installed according to some criteria automatically. Or just use the guided installer which simply prompts you for the options.

    The installer obviously does not support all possible things you could do during a manual install, and I suspect my setup is not supported. At the moment I'm not even using a bootloader as I'm directly booting a self-signed kernel image with secure boot.

    But all of this does not change the fact that it does enable people who are unfamiliar with Arch to perform a quick and easy install. I am also under impression that it will let you include a desktop environment in the install.
    booman likes this.
  4. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    That makes sense...
    I thought it was a simplified installer for newbs.
    So as an IT Admin this is a cool feature because, as you said, Arch could be installed multiple times with the features you want each time. Like automation.

    I agree as well that its important to do the manual installation. I would have to install Arch manually at least 10 times before I started to understand the naming schemes, acronyms and feature configurations. When I first used SuSE it was so confusing understanding all the application names. Then finding out many distro's have different names and Desktop Managers and Window Managers have different names. None of it makes sense... ha ha

    Its like every time I get a new IT job in a new industry... they all have acronyms, processes and software customized for their industry. Its all so confusing.

    Thanks for the explanation!

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