I want to encourage a debate between the Debianese and the Archians. So here’s my two cents to show why Debian is better than Arch
Installation for Apps
Arch’s installation for Apps like firefox are only via terminal. Debian’s is both terminal and app store
Arch’s family only is Arch and Manjaro, whereas Debian has Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Devuan, etc.
Debian can be unstable via Unstable Debian, but the normal one is stable. Arch’s is only unstable and it can blow up at times
“btw, I use arch” is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard. Debian has a way nicer community, and doesn’t shitpost with “btw, I use debian”. I understand, this is a meme, but still
Debian has so much choices for desktop, Arch not so much
I mean Arch has Manjaro, but Arch relies on another distro to be “beginner friendly”. Debian is very beginner friendly. This is like comparing Rust to C.
Debian’s distros are the most used(e.g. Mint, Ubuntu), Arch’s not so much. Debian’s “sudo apt install x” is better than “sudo pacman x” used in Arch. It can be used in Ubuntu, Mint, etc.
Arch is a bit rigid at times when coming to many things I’ve presented(app installation, learning curve, updates factor), Debian is flexible in these areas, and because of customization, Debian is better
Ok, this one is also a poor one like No.4. When I say purity, I mean how close is it to the terminal(aka the heart of linux). Debian is closer to it than Arch, but easier than Arch. How the heck
Debian is quicker and better to install than Arch, and although it feels satisfying to install Arch, it feels the same for Debian
To contribute to this topic, debate why Arch would be better than Debian, counter my reasons why Debian is better than Arch, or support it.
I Agree with some of your Reasons others not so much. Debian does have many derivatives But arch has more than a few itself. EndeavourOS for one. Those listed here though not as well know as some based on Debian they are available.
Note: in the following when talking about Debian it´s Debian Stable which I´m referring to.
I guess download data for updates may - in certain scenarios - be an argument against Arch.
With me it´s this case:
Due to some special circumstances my internet connection is established via a 4G-stick exclusively.
My monthly high-speed data amounts to 5 GB (to be exact: 5 GB per 28 days).
That would be about 178 MB/day.
In actual fact this works out alright for me and I can even afford to get regular updates for my BodhiLinux and Debian virtual machines (plus updates for Lubuntu as my daily driver) .
All three of them are fixed release models (as opposed to rolling releases like Arch).
Sure, there aren´t many youtube films or stuff like that included but I can get all my important stuff done.
Big difference there …
Not so long ago I asked the author of a dedicated article on “reasons in favour of rolling releases” (Gründe für Rolling Releases # in German):
What about the amount of download data?
Does a rolling release “consume” more data than a fixed release?
My Internet access consists of a 4G stick (5 GB high-speed/28 days). That’s fine with Lubuntu 20.04.4.
There is usually more than 1 GB of data left at the end.
Would a rolling release “cost me more data”?
Yes, a rolling release downloads significantly more data.
For me, that’s about 1 GB per week (as a rule of thumb).
Thats understandable because the updates come continuously from all packages ( in Manjaro it´s “timed” or “clocked” because it’s curated-rolling)
With LTS, you have ongoing security updates, but no new versions of applications. That’s much less.
I also discussed this topic with the very kind user @nevj and he could confirm from experience that downloads are significantly higher for rolling releases. (thx again @nevj )
So bearing that in mind I´d say:
At least for users who have to watch their data usage: a clear plus-point for Debian stable as opposed to Arch.
This is like comparing Apples to Oranges, that doesn’t make any sense. Having used both at, various times, I find one no harder to use than the other. Debian, to me, is boring, Arch can be something new each day, Debian could care less about being updated, for a trouble free Arch, it is in need of updating everyday, no longer than once a week.
Throw in Gentoo or LFS for a real comparison.
You mean like, with every Ubuntu dist-upgrade or do-release-upgrade?
Okay, I know some people here who have no issue updating between minor/major versions of Ubuntu. But these are exceptions. Almost everyone I know has always issues with doing Ubuntu upgrades. One of my friends switched to Arch from Lubuntu a couple of months ago. I was told, it is actually more stable, than when Lubuntu was still in use. If you watch the AUR news and don’t update, when something is unstable (happens very rarely), then you are just as stable & safe, as on Ubuntu or Debian.
I heard from the Arch community and showed them this list. they told me the cons for debian:
-no customization/too static and boring (true)
-Arch is pure like Debian, because they both are independent
-installation isn’t that bad. you just have to make a lot of choices- like a diy os
-Arch is also universal, it’s like “build your house the way you want it”, debian-based(ubuntu, mint) are more like “here’s a house, with a bed, and everything you need”.
-Arch was never hard. The choices honestly scare newbies
-Arch has Asahi, which takes Linux on M1, and makes a supercomputer out of a computer
-Unstability is a good thing, because it keeps you on your toes
-Arch has a big family just like Debian
-Arch is for people like me, terminal dwellers who want to build a fun OS from the terminal.
I recommend Arch for newbies to Linux, they need to know what they want to use linux for and why they want to use linux. Arch will become the face of linux, and might dethrone Ubuntu/Debian/Mint. Someday…
As a heavy Debian (server) user, I cannot sign this point. If you install plain empty Debian, it’s very slim and you can customise it very extensively.
I think, the biggest difference between the two in this regard is, that Arch is way more direct and in your face about customisation. Debian just works, if you don’t customise it. However, with Arch you are kind of forced to, to a degree. So, it’s more obvious and perhaps seems like it’s more customisable, when in fact, both are customisable.
Is based on Raspbian, which is again based on Debian.
So, Debian is very customisable. It just doesn’t shove it down your throat, if you don’t want to.
Nobody has mentioned that both Arch and Debian are exclusively systemd distros.
If you want to avoid systemd, then long term the choices are more limited. Depending on the level of stability you need there is
Semi fixed ( or semi rolling?) release … MX
Managed rolling release … Void
Full rolling release … Gentoo
For me, the big debate is where I go long term on that scale of 1 to 4?
As @Rosika noted, the further down that scale you go, the larger the downloads.
I still use Debian at the moment. The debate about Debian vs Arch is irrelevant for me, because they have both committed to a stupid init system, without offering other sane options. Abandoning Debian will be sad. I am hoping that they reconsider and offer alternative init systems.
SystemResuCD uses Arch…
Knoppix uses Debian
They both are good products.
Neither Devuan not Artix have my confidence yet. I want to see them survive long term like Debian .
I dont like these forks? I would rather see Debian and Arch offer alternative init systems. It cant be that difficult. Lots of distros offer choice of init system…
My choice of the group would be MX it offers systemd for those that want it but defaults to initv. And It’s been very stable here. Though I’m not totally against Systemd. It does offer some advantages. But don’t like the fact it wants to control so much of my system.
In any event would vote for MX. If I were forced to make that choice. Arch based distros are not my thing and Debian is better for me than RPM based distros. JMHO.