New AL user switching from Bunsen

Evening all,

I’ve been using and loving BL for a bout 12 months now. Lots of time and effort involved in theming and configuring made this my go-to distribution.

However, I have a problem. Purchased a new PC a few days a go, a current gen Intel NUC released in Q4 2018 and sadly the hardware requires something fresher than BL. Doesn’t boot from the USB, and even if it did I’d need to swap out the Kernel and update Mesa - which kind of defeats the point of running Debian stable branch.

I always theme my BL using he files pinched, sorry borrowed, from ArchLabs so I’m thinking of making the switch. My reticence concerns the Arch base.
I’m not a noob in the sense that I can fix most issues I’ve encountered with Debian and am perfectly happy playing around in config files…I learned most of this from Bunsen.

Getting to the point, it’s the often seen comments about Arch breaking after updates that concerns me, so I thought I’d seek the opinion of those actually running it full time. Are such comments exaggerated?
What is the best update regime - taking them as they emerge which I know can be very frequently, or if you have a fully working system is it ok to simply hold off updates for a couple of months?

Advice greatly appreciated.


What I can tell you that I use for years and I feel good, if an update goes wrong, which happens rarely, you can always go back with a downgrade.


Hi Rob, welcome to ArchLabs :grinning:

The pros and cons with regard to Arch compared to Debian are obvious and known. In all my time using Linux, I’ve only completely trashed a system three times and all were while using Debian (mainly because I pushed too hard against Debian’s conservative approach to packaging, tried to install something I should not have).

Because of Arch updates coming fast and furious, you do run more of a risk from breakage but the times that has actually happened to me, I can count on one hand and each time, the fix was simple.

I personally update three times a day (on average) because wanting the latest software is one of Arch’s greatest attributes (imo) and should something not go well, I have less updates to track the problem through.

As I said above, should something go wrong, a quick google search or check on the forum… Has always resolved an issue.


@redrobbo. welcome to the forum. So far I have been pretty good with updates and not having any breakages. Put it this way. I am still on an install from the ArchLabs 2017.10 release. As a base Arch is very solid.


Welcome @redrobbo, in the next link we were talking about the updates. To give you an idea of the frequency of updates of some of us.


100% agreed with Glenn here. I can also say that I set my updates to every 2 hours.
A general rule that I use is this:

The more apps you install, the greater the risk of breakage. Let me explain - it’s not so much the number of apps, its more the uniqueness. For example - I am not a gamer so apps (and/or dependencies) that might be associated with games (Steam, etc) would give me a greater chance of breakage than if I use a more “standard” set of apps.

The kernel may be the next item to keep an eye on - that being the case, allow yourself the ability to go back a kern or two.

I have been running Arch* systems for about 8 months now - not once have I experienced an issue. Of course, YMMV

And lastly (although it may not be 100% applicable) I keep an eye on the Arch site under Latest News. There they tend to post known issues. I don’t know how applicable it is to AL, but its more of a heads up for me.

That’s my 2 cents worth :slight_smile:


^ A very good point!

The more discriminating you are with installed software (particularly from the aur) the less chance you’ll have of breakage.


Welcome to our forum @redrobbo. As far as Arch based distros breaking. As @anon37345411 and @Chris has mentioned, usually can occur. Another possible reason for breaking is caused by experiments of those who are trying to configure their systems and end up going beyond the boundaries of system settings. Or not updating their systems regularly. But, I have seen these issues occurring on Debian based systems as well. When something goes wrong, then that’s the perfect time to learn about Linux. Their have been a number of times where I did a change of some kind, and it breaks. And when that happens, arch wiki, other Google pages, or forums such as this one usually has a solution or pieces there of that can help you. Just recently, hooking up my VPN service using the newest release of AL, wasn’t working at all. But I figured out how to correct this issue with researching and experimenting and was able to figure out how to make it work with the network manager and openvpn apps. Arch based distros are the best platforms to learn Linux and scripting, if that is you want to learn more. You are also given more freedom in arch than debian in making your system the way you want it or needs to be. Just my opinion, but… :thinking:


Don’t listen to these guys. Be afraid.

Be Very Afraid.

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Then there’s @DatNobleSavage:joy:


Hi @redrobbo,

I switched to Arch in 2017, and the only issue I experienced to date happened after the xorg-server update (1.19.6 to 1.20.x), which killed proprietary Nvidia driver. I’m on an Optimus laptop, so got stuck on Intel graphics for next several weeks.

So many replies on new years day - thanks all! :slight_smile:
I’m encouraged, lets do it.
ISO downloaded and ready to install. Obviously coming from and loving BL I’ll be opting the the Openbox DE.
Are there any issues with also installing a tiling wm such as bspm since I fancy trying one.

I always make backups so what’s the worst that can happen - a 20 minute install and restore :slight_smile:



Most any tiling is a winner in my book. For me, it’s i3.

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…and I gotta say, this is the slickest looking forum I’ve ever seen - it’s beautiful.

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They’re all crazy about tiling, but we know well that Openbox is the best. :slight_smile: :stuck_out_tongue:


lol bad boy, good one, using OpenBox here also.

Edit: I never tried i3 I must say, so don t know much about it.

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I installed bspwm as my wm.

Only issue was that there may be some sort of breakage with xfsettings messing up the default Super Key binding. Get an error about some Xfce components missing. Doesn’t appear to be a pervasive bug. Easy fix if it happens to you.

As far as upgrading, I run a couple of window managers on an old system with an Nvidia graphics card. Update every couple of days no problems.

I tried once. It took me about half an hour.

So your install will go pretty much event-less but most of your time will be ricing up your WM. I think I speak for pretty much everyone here, that’s what you’ll spend most of your (non-productive) time doing :wink:

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Then back to OB @nwg ! Don t feel like trying these for now, don t know about it in the future.