pacman -Ss gnome # searches for gnome
pacman -S gnome # installs gnome
In the particular case of pacman, I really like the design of the arguments, in particular the top level ones. -S is for syncing, -R is for removing, and -Q is for querying and so on. Nice!
Package managers are funny beasts. They're like children, when someone rips the flaws of one, the community comes rallying to its defense.
Having said that, I've personally always hated Zypper.
Nevertheless, you may add some alias to change the behavior if it's annoying you.
Pacman is especially confusing since -S actually means the sync mode. Which doesn't really fit with the idea of installing a package. Also, why do you use sync mode to install a package, but have a special remove (-R) mode to remove a package? Shouldn't there be a -I to install?
To take it further, standard use cases for a package manager should be install, upgrade, search and remove with standard arguments -i/--install, -u/--upgrade, -s/--search, -r/--remove.
It seems that most of the package managers get this wrong. For apt-get what's the difference to update, upgrade and dist-upgrade? For yum why is there both an update and an upgrade and why is there a special groupinstall? I know the answer to these questions, but it's confusing until you wrap your head around it.
The idea is that you are synchronizing your copy of the local package (which is currently empty/nonexistant) with the remote copy. It's also the same command you use to update that package. So,
pacman -S foo
will upgrade foo if it exists locally, and find and install the most recent version of foo if it does not.
Once you get used to it, the command-line switches in pacman actually address your second concern (the one with apt/yum). In pacman, everything is built on top of a very simple database model - it just so happens that that simple database model is also powerful enough to serve a range of complex functions.
If you use Archlinux, make sure you use the wiki and bbs to their full power. Most of the problems you think of have been solved in a way or another. It usually just requires installing some packages, which is a breeze.
Fonts needs some setups indeed before to get something good.
Personally speaking, since I am so xterm oriented, the best thing I did was install the bitmap font Tamsyn, which I just adore. Easy to read and use. It is available from AUR, but I just download it to a directory in my home folder and use xset to add it to my fontpath.
(And Arch's wiki has an incredible wealth of information. It is one of my favorite online resources, along with OpenBSD's FAQ.)
In my experience Arch users are very happy and proud to be running such a powerful, flexible system, and they give back by helping others. I ran Slackware for a year, then messed around with Mint before trying Arch. I can't see myself trying anything else -- except maybe LFS ;).
let's define 'stable' http://www.tuxtips.org/?cat=3
If you are looking for a pain-free linux system, Arch Linux isn't it. You will run into little things like this, living one step behind the bleeding edge (basically someone compiles your software for you, does a sanity check, then you get it ASAP). Don't get me wrong, I love it, and will continue to use it as long as it has the most flexible and clean system, because I appreciate their dedication to simplicity of implementation.
Arch on one hand has a large user base (everyone) using the rolling release packages, this means that bugs get quickly found and squashed. There is also a testing repository which is used for the "base packages" so major bugs don't get get past into the "stable" repos. For example, kernel 3.1 is still in testing because of some problems that the testers experienced.
On the other hand, debian unstable has bitten me more than once very hard. So from my experience, it feels like debian does very little if any Q&A on debian unstable. I would compare Arch to Debian testing more since by then, packages have had some time to test and mature.
That said, I've experienced less crashs on arch than on any distro. Mind you I actually read the news. I honestly can't even remember the last time I've had a crash on archlinux.. maybe several years ago with some kernel update.
I only ask because I have never had a problem with a window manager on Arch.
Using Arch also really made me appreciate all the work Ubuntu does to make a desktop that isn't ugly. I found myself installing Ubuntu-patched versions of many Arch packages just to get things like a decent notification system and non-ugly fonts. (And even then, OpenOffice fonts never did work correctly.)
I was raised on Slackware, so I'm no stranger to DIY-style Linux, but these days I'm happy to install Ubuntu and have a working, decent-looking desktop system in 20-30 minutes.
That said, if I was looking to build a minimalist dev box or something other than a general desktop system, I wouldn't hesitate to install Arch.
It depends on what you're talking about. With relatively fast internet (I have 20Mb/s), I can have a functional box up with my favorite DE in just an hour or so. It's true that I configure things here and there for the next couple days as I need them, and each configuration is simple and only takes a second or two, but several hours seems a lot longer than the average install to me.
The biggest gotcha for me as a newcomer was trying to install on a laptop, having no ethernet access handy, and not knowing that I'd need to install wireless_tools when running through the initial setup in order to get online.
The amount of time it takes varies greatly according to what you consider to be complete. I never stop tweaking my system, and there are always some points of dissatisfaction with it. But Arch is a great distro. It's very well-documented, and is pretty much delightful to configure.
1) I previously tried in a virtual machine
2) I had a second machine next to mine to look up stuff in the wiki and follow the installation guide.
The intersection of Gentoo and Arch is that they both require more configuration than your average Debian-based distro, and they both have rolling release models, but in my opinion that's about it.
Agree! I have been using it for almost a year and the most atractive thing is the rolling release update. I don't have to worry about upgrading the whole system like others distros.
But if Ubuntu is easier, why not use Ubuntu?
If you are not a power user and Ubuntu likes your hardware then Ubuntu is easier. If you need to mess with things in /etc then you hit its roadblocks quickly.
Ease to use is not the only thing mater for everyone, and having something powerful, more customizable, more understandable, those kind of things mater to some persons.
But what is the advantage of Arch over Ubuntu? They are both Linux... My question was serious, I really don't know why I should prefer Arch.
Your question, now, is a much more open one, then more difficult to answer. This page try to explain the Arch Way https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/The_Arch_Way
I wrote something that tried to explain why AUR is an important part of Arch Linux http://www.nicosphere.net/why-aur-is-part-of-the-arch-linux-...
Simplicity of use, packaging, configuration, understanding. No default choices as Unity, it's light and fast, a great distro to learn from, great community and documentation, and much more, that make Arch a great distribution widely used.
Also keep in mind that to a large degree these things are a matter of preference. I like Arch's package manager over Debian's. Things like that have pros and cons, but on some level it breaks down to simple preference.