Customer Reviews: Arch Linux Handbook: A Simple, Lightweight Linux Handbook
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on April 24, 2016
There is no point in having a handbook for a rolling release operating system. By the time you get the handbook, the instructions written in it will be out of date. Don't forget that all of the information in here is free anyways. If you're buying a "handbook" for arch, you shouldn't be using arch to begin with. Just go on the wiki on a phone or another computer and save yourself $100. Plus, why should the handbook to use arch cost more than arch itself, which is free? Just use the wiki: [...]
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on December 31, 2009
While this reference is a bit preferable to printing out all of the not-optimized-for-print wiki entries, I wonder how long it will remain relevant. The pace of development and change in the Linux kernel and by extension, the various components such as sound (ALSA, OSS), video (X/Xorg, KMS, mesa), networking, etc - are pretty fluid right now. Also it would have been quite helpful for the beginner if included were the entries for manually setting up wpa_supplicant in the even someone needs to perform an install and only has wireless available to them.

Arch Linux is, in my opinion, not the distribution for someone brand new to Linux to start with. There's just too many opportunities for things to go wrong, to be misunderstood, or to be forgotten and this could lead to a frustration which in itself could be counterproductive. However with some practice, multiple dry runs in a virtual environment, and this little reference manual, you can be rewarded with an incredibly stable, up to date, high performance work environment. And in the process you will gain an understanding of the underpinnings that make a GNU/Linux operating system work.

There are indeed some things that make an Arch install procedure unique from other Linux install procedures and again there are some things about maintaining an Arch Linux install unique, so this reference will offer some valuable information that you won't readily find in the all-in-one type Linux references.
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on May 29, 2010
This is a great installation guide for Arch Linux; I installed Arch several times with nothing but this book and the 2010-05 netinstall CD.

However, in using Arch I found that the Handbook seemed to defer important information to online sources. For example, it does not fully document the essential pacman command. It gives example command lines that tell you what you must type to do an initial install but defers documentation of the all-important "pacman" with the suggestion that you try "man pacman" or "look up the pacman wiki entries at your leisure." There is a pacman tutorial in an appendix that gives example command lines that you would use for various purposes, but no detailed explanation of all of the pacman commands and options like you would find in an O'Reilly nutshell book or handbook.

There are other examples of information that is online being deferred to when a table in this book would make this a really useful "hand" book, one that you could carry into the woods with you and learn all about Arch Linux while sitting around the campfire.

There are numerous Arch specific man pages and wiki articles that should be included in this book. I was very glad that this book was available and I've enjoyed having it while bringing up my first Arch Linux system but a couple of hours after the installation I find no reason to carry this book to bed or even to keep it beside the computer.

It will be really great if the next edition of this book contains for us to carry to the bedside or the campfire all of the man pages for each command that is unique to Arch Linux and a more thorough compilation of "what you need to know to become a competent Archer."

Arch Linux does have a great support community and documentation. I've spent at least a year with each of Debian, Gentoo, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and Ubuntu and it seems to me that Arch Linux may exceed them all in its quality of implementation and may meet the best of them in online documentation. This book improves the level of documentation for Arch and is well worth the small price to get started with this distribution.
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on October 12, 2009
I've been using Arch Linux now for the past 6 months and I think it's great because you are instructed to learn how GNU/Linux works and go from there. Once the book is available I will purchase it immediately because I've printed so many of the help wiki's that it would be nice to have a book version. The funny part is that you hear about about distros like Ubuntu, Mint, Gentoo, Slackware, and countless others but Arch is rarely mentioned. If you wan to lean how GNU/Linux works pick up a copy of this book once its released, burn the ISO image from the Arch Linux website, and grab yourself your favorite beer or scotch, or if you're under age to be drinking booze a hi-c or coca-cola, and enjoy what Arch is all about. Embrace open source!
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on February 28, 2016
$120 for information that is freely available online, ridiculous.
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on November 24, 2009
Not an expert on these command line and os matters, but it is obvious that Arch Linux offers a very viable alternative to other -- very glitch prone -- more top heavy operating systems. The book itself is well written and fairly self-explanatory.
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