Using Arch Linux is one of my best Linux experiences I’ve ever had (before I used Debian and then Ubuntu for my personal Desktop).
I really enjoy the way of life, freshness of all packages – while still having a stable Linux distribution. Stable? Rolling? Does that fit at all?
To be honest: I was VERY skeptically to run a rolling distribution first. I mean.. my first setup was about having LVM snapshots created automatically before doing every upgrade. This way a revert would be very easy. Really a mess to get it all running, you will loose a lot of disk space (which is always rare regardless how much you have).. and … actually never needed…
Whenever I encountered a problem (the only one was regarding Thunderbird because it started to integrate Lightning calendar again) I just downgrade the package and ignore the update until I know it is fixed. Another story: proprietary graphic drivers. For these I have always a manual upgrade schedule with enough time buffer to fix potential issues (so I upgrade them once a year at most).
So after using Arch now for about 1 year and a half I switched the desktop of my wife from Ubuntu 16.04 to Arch Linux, too.
This change itself was easy and even when this means to switch from Unity to Gnome (btw: Ubuntu has abandoned Unity so this change will happen one day regardless!) I believe it makes my life easier. The main reason was a new Laptop and so the question comes up installing an (old) LTS and then next year doing a major upgrade to the next LTS or .. just using a rolling Arch. If you had read my first 2 sentences above – the answer was found quite fast.
Now one little problem comes up. I cannot let my wife handle updating the system – it has to be automatic – like it ever was – with Ubuntu. Well tbh it would be possible but.. I’m too lazy ;)
So .. I looked around and thought it should be easy to do so for Arch, too and well .. it is not that hard. But if you ask someone about this she/he will strongly discourage you not doing so in a (more or less) friendly manner ;) For a reason of course. I mean Arch is an advanced Linux experience and so it is up to you – the Arch user – to handle updates. There can happen a lot of things and you should also read the Arch news feed before doing any upgrade!
… and here it becomes interesting. There are several steps to take to do an OS upgrade and my personal feeling is no one actually do this in practice. That’s maybe due to a time issue (upgrades happens every day) or just as they are not aware … well or they just don’t care.
As I like to automate repeating tasks I started to develop an unattended upgrade method valid for Arch Linux based on the idea of this great article here: Techrapid
Stay tuned for the source and guide which is coming soon!
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