Arch Linux: a developer-friendly Operating System

I have been using Arch Linux as the working environment for nearly 2 years. Generally speaking, the experience is very good, and I want to recommend it for more people, especially software engineers.

Because I am a developer, one SSH client is mostly enough, and fascinating desktop doesn’t appeal to me. Since Arch Linux is “rolling release” mode, it means I can always get the newest kernel and software packages (one “pacman -Syu” command will refresh the whole system), and my favorite thing is to make use of the newest functions provided by compiler and kernel . On the contrary, one pain point of distributions whose mode are “point release” is sometimes you need to compile the vanilla kernel yourself if you want to try some up-to-date features (E.g., use eBPF on RHEL 7) .

The package management system is another killer feature. For instance, I used to try to develop OpenMP program using clang. Not similar as gcc, clangrequires additional package:

# pacman -S clang
Optional dependencies for clang
    openmp: OpenMP support in clang with -fopenmp
    python2: for scan-view and git-clang-format

The prompt not only shows me that I need to install openmp package, but also requires “-fopenmp” option to compile OpenMP program. This is very humanized. I tried to enable OpenMP feature of clang on some other OSs, and the process is not as smooth as Arch Linux.

Last but not least, Arch Linux community is friendly, I can always get help from other enthusiastic guys.

For me as a programmer, what I need is just a stable Operating System which can always provide latest software toolchains to meet my requirements, and I don’t want to spend much time to tweak it. Arch Linux seems fulfill these demands perfectly. If you have simple requirement as me, why not give it a shot?

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