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Let's get this point out, right off the bat. Arch Linux isn't for everyone. If you are looking for a simple install of Linux in order to set up a quick server somewhere, or you just want to get down to business with Linux fast, Arch Linux is not for you. If this is what you are looking for, try such places as Red Hat, Mandriva Linux, Fedora or Suse.
The fundamental idea behind Arch Linux is to provide a bare minimum working version of Linux, without a lot of 'clutter.' The install of Arch is very simple and once it's done, all you have is a basic, command line version of Linux with no graphics, no development tools, and no network (i.e. no Internet)! All you end up with is a 'scary' login prompt. But the world that awaits you beyond that login prompt is a wonder to behold. Now why in the world would you want to install such a 'crippled' version of Linux? Education!
I think the fact that Arch Linux is so 'unfriendly' is what is great about it. If you want to learn Linux without all the confusing clutter that most other big Linux distributions throw in, this is the one. You are forced to learn Linux fast with this thing. This is a good thing. The more you learn about Linux, the better you are able to use/manage/fix problems. Spend a few months learning your way around Arch Linux and I guarantee you will gain a much better understanding, and appreciation for Linux.
You are not completely on your own in this endeavor, though. Various web sites exist that provide a wealth of information on how to setup Arch Linux in particular, or Linux in general. Some good places to start would be:
Arch Linux also provides a relatively easy to use package management system called 'Pacman' that makes it easy to completely upgrade all the software on your machine to the latest versions. There are no subscriptions, no signing in, no nothing. You run the command and it updates your computer with the latest software. Period. This is a refreshing change in this world of web sites that want to know everything there is to know about you before you
Try Linux. You'll like it. In future blogs, I'll highlight some of the interesting things you can do with it.