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Review: Archcraft 2021.06.06

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I feel that I don't have a lot to say about Archcraft and I feel this is because the distribution doesn't, for better or worse, attempt to do much. The project's website is understated, claiming to offer a minimal distribution based on Arch Linux with a lightweight window manager and yay for acquiring software from the AUR. This is what we get, along with the friendly Calamares system installer. There isn't much else to look at, out of the box.

This seems to be the point, really, of Archcraft - it delivers a fairly minimum base, low RAM consumption, and offers better than average performance. It isn't particularly flashy, convenient, or full of features. The idea appears to be that users can build their system from a small foundation and add the pieces they need. There isn't a lot of documentation and I suspect we are expected to seek out the Arch Linux wiki if we need help.

Most of the time Archcraft takes on this role fairly well. I did have a few complaints though. Personally, I'm not a fan of system monitors built into the panel or desktop. I find them distracting and the ones used by default don't provide information I find all that useful. There are a lot of little configuration tools and, oddly enough, some duplication in functionality in the application menu. I'm not sure why we need three application menus, two file managers, and a couple of text editors in what is otherwise a very minimal platform.

In short, Archcraft does what it sets out to do. It's basically Arch Linux with a window manager and yay pre-installed for us. This works and yet I don't feel the distribution distinguishes itself from the many other minimal Arch-installed-via-Calamares distributions currently available.

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