In this video, at the request of subscribers I have finally decided to throw in my hat as to what the *best* Linux distro is. I’ve thought about it for quite a while, And I’m going to tell you what I think the best Linux distro is, all things considered.. but also, the *easiest* Linux distro, all things considered. The answer might surprise you! (I should put that in the video title or something.) Now, you may know that I did a video a couple years ago, In fact, it’s one of my most popular videos on Linux distros generally. And my narrative on Linux distros for anyone who is new to Linux — The narrative should be “Distros DON’T matter!” They are social constructs — Once you gain a certain level of competence on Linux, It is very easy to change the desktop environment, and other things that people fixate on when they usually talk about distros. So that is my general stance on distros.. BUT All things considered, I think there is one I wouldn’t have said this a year ago. (Or even a month ago!) There is one distro that I think is a little special. That distro is Arch Linux. OK? Now, that might be a weird answer because Arch Linux You hear about it all the time, you would think I’d choose something more special, right? Um, but Arch Linux — again, I think is the best Linux distro I also think that it is the easiest. Now, me saying that might sound like a Zen koan. You might think I’m playing a trick on you. It’s like, “What did he mean by this?” What I mean by that.. I’ll say two things. Two general topics. One general thing about Arch Linux.. .. is that it, despite the fact that there are some initial hurdles, like the manual installation process, which actually does you a good favour (I’ll talk about that later.) But despite those initial hurdles with Arch Linux, Arch Linux does better than ANY other distro I’ve used at avoiding the pain you might have to put up with in MANAGING any kind of system Be that Linux, Windows or anything else. Okie? Umm.. that is, people often think about the hardness of.. Arch Linux being installed I’m thinking about lifelong hardness (difficulty) Say it with me, LIFE LONG HARDNESS! That is what I’m thinking about, I’ll talk about that in a second. The other thing that makes Arch Linux extremely an exceptionally good distro is — ironically enough, is something that I guess is in the heart of those who use it. That is, Arch Linux, more than any other distro.. has the most potential to change the way that people think about Linux distros. Partially because it is one of those distros that you install MANUALLY and you go through the process compared with other distros like for example, Gentoo When you’re making your own kernel and compiling it (and stuff like that), Arch is easier, but it also gives you what you need to really understand how your system works. Now let’s talk about those two points briefly. OK, so — lifelong hardness. Now here’s the thing about Arch Linux, Let’s ignore the installation process, OK? Let’s talk about managing a system. Now.. One nice thing about Arch Linux is the fact that.. Every program in the world is basically available to you. If it runs on Linux, you can easily get it on Arch Linux. Now that sounds very trivial. “OK,” you’ll say, “So what’s your point?” But think about it this way. I take this for granted as an Arch user. But when someone comes with me [brainfart] — comes to me with a problem It often is of the format of — There’s either a program that has a dependency and their distro, since it’s not rolling release It is outdated, or it’s something they really want to install But it’s, you know.. They have to figure out how to get it off of GIT and compile it themselves.. The thing about Arch Linux — because it has its own repositories and the AUR (Arch User Repository), It is very easy for even an introductory user to use Arch Linux.. and be able to get so much out of it, that is.. You can pretty much.. if you watch my channel for example, I go over a lot of different programs and if you’re one of those on Arch Linux, You can install it basically instantaneously. It’s probably going to be on the AUR or the main repos. Play around with it and get rid of it. That’s not necessarily the case with other distros as I’ve recently found out. Um, if you want to compile some program on Debian, Debian has a great repository, it has some great stuff in it. But there’s a lot of this minor stuff that it doesn’t have. Installing that can sometimes be a big pain. Not just, you can do it on the command line easily with an AUR manager (or something like that). But it err, you know, erm, you know, Ubuntu having the PPAs (personal package archives), It has all the equivalence of the AUR, but it’s much more difficult to use. And additionally.. Now I’ve said before, I don’t actually care about Arch Linux being a rolling release distro, meaning Updates come out for it all the time. Now that I think about it, that is actually a really good thing. If you’re installing programs– if you’re playing around with new programs, Um, because a lot of the time, The development on these programs, you know, if you’re some guy on Github who’s making some program you want to play around with, A lot of times, he’s using the most recent version of I dunno, Perl or Python.. (Well, they don’t really, I don’t think they have many updates) Some kind of program or some kind of programming language or library.. And they’re using the most recent version, but if you’re using some staggered release distro like Ubuntu, and that thing is not automatically updated in Ubuntu’s repositories, You have to go through a big rigmarole of just getting something basic done. [As with Luke Smith’s videos in general — just simplify what you need to do to reduce life’s tediums, easy as ABC, 123, baby you and me~] So, Arch Linux, again, ignoring the install process, we’ll talk about that in a second, But in terms of system management, there are so many HEADACHES you just avoid in Arch Linux. Let me throw in another Zen koan, actually, cause I didn’t say this before. I meant to, Arch Linux, in addition to being the best distro, I will say, that it also has nothing particularly good about it. The good thing about Arch Linux is that it AVOIDS pains like this. Not that I think it’s all by design, but because that just happens to be how Arch has evolved, and I think it works extremely well. I’ll go ahead and tell you, well, let’s get into the second point, oki? As I said, the second point is, using Arch Linux or going through the install process changes the way that people look at computers. Or changes the way they look at UNIX or GNU/Linux or whatever. Because what happens.. it might strike you when you are first thinking about using Arch Linux.. is that installing it manually is “JUST STUPID,” “WHY CAN’T YOU HAVE AN AUTOMATIC INSTALLER!?” There are lots of, “Oh I’ll just use Manjaro!” “Oh, I’ll use whatever!” You know, that’s fine. If you wanna do that, that’s fine. BUT, There’s a big difference in how that makes you think about the system. Huge difference! First off.. When you.. let’s just talk about narrowly your system. For your system alone, If you install everything from the desktop manager or whatever, You know what I mean, the Display Manager, the Desktop Environment (DE), Window Manager, If you install that kind of stuff, what kind of graphical settings or your network manager, You read up on it, in the process of installing it. But once you do that, you KNOW what’s on your system, You know how it works, you know how it interacts. It’s not a difficult process. And once you do that.. You know where the pieces are going together. So, what ends up happening is if, hypothetically speaking, something breaks on your system (which frankly on Arch, things don’t really spontaneously break), But if something acts in a way you don’t expect it, If you have gone through that minimal install process, You know what’s going on! You don’t have to.. You look it up on.. Stack Overflow or something, You generally know exactly what’s going on. And it’s not a big problem if something reacts in a way you don’t expect it. So that.. it changes the way you look at distros, where a lot of times.. I mean, as an example: A lot of times, if you.. if you Google search for something, if you’re a Linux newbie, And you wanna learn, “How do I change this audio setting on Ubuntu?” You look that up on the internet or something, and you will get a guide that tells you how to click on the GUI (graphical environment) in Ubuntu and change sumthin’. But of course, the graphical environment is NOT Linux. It’s.. a graphical environment that interacts with your actual system INDIRECTLY. When you install the system minimally, you actually have an idea of what’s going on underneath. And that, because if you’re using Arch you have to go through this process, which again, is not THAT difficult. But once you do that, it gets rid of so many of the headaches you would otherwise run into. If you’re using some kind of Linux distro, or even worse, if you’re using macOS or Windoze (of all things!) where you can’t really do — if something goes wrong, You just have to sort of grin and bear it. If it’s.. You know, some system vital thing that you don’t.. you can’t really change. So there is that thing. And the other irony.. .. of this, that comes from this, is the fact that I’ve had so many subscribers tell me this exact same story. They’re using Fedora, they’re using Ubuntu.. They’re using.. even Manjaro or another Arch-based distro. They’re using Trisquel, They’re using whatever! (Hannah Montana Linux) And they have a problem, and they look all over the place and it’s not there. But where DO they eventually find the solution? They either find it on the Arch wiki.. or they just ask on an Arch Linux forum. And they’ll be able to tell you. Now, it’s not because Arch Linux users are just like the greatest things in the universe. That’s not what it’s all about. You can be just like that~!