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Arch Linux vs Void Linux: What are the differences?

Introduction: Arch Linux and Void Linux are both popular Linux distributions known for their simplicity, performance, and lightweight design. While they share some similarities, there are several key differences between the two that set them apart from each other.

  1. Package Managers: The package management systems in Arch Linux and Void Linux are one of the major differences between the two distributions. Arch Linux uses the Pacman package manager, which relies on binary packages and the Arch User Repository (AUR) for additional software. On the other hand, Void Linux utilizes the XBPS package manager, which is source-based and focuses on providing a simple yet powerful package management experience.

  2. Init Systems: Another significant difference lies in the init systems used. Arch Linux defaults to systemd, a modern init system that handles the management of services, devices, and other aspects of the operating system. Void Linux, on the other hand, primarily utilizes runit as its init system. Runit is a simple and lightweight init system that offers excellent performance and ease of use.

  3. Rolling Release vs. Fixed Release: Arch Linux follows a rolling release model, which means that updates are continuously released, and users receive the latest software versions as they become available. Void Linux, on the other hand, follows a fixed release model with periodic stable releases. This means that Void Linux users receive updates in batches rather than continuously.

  4. Documentation and Community: Arch Linux is famous for its extensive and well-maintained documentation, known as the Arch Wiki. The Arch Wiki provides detailed instructions, tips, and troubleshooting guides, making it an invaluable resource for users. Void Linux, although it has a growing community and decent documentation, doesn't have the same level of comprehensive documentation as Arch Linux.

  5. System Resources and Performance: Both Arch Linux and Void Linux are lightweight distributions that focus on minimalism. However, Void Linux is reputed for being exceptionally lightweight, using fewer system resources, and offering better overall performance compared to Arch Linux. This makes Void Linux a preferred choice for older hardware or systems with limited resources.

  6. Package Availability: While both distributions offer a wide range of software packages, Arch Linux's package repository, combined with the AUR, provides a vast selection of software for users to choose from. The AUR allows users to access and install packages maintained by the community, further expanding the software availability. Void Linux, although it has an extensive package repository, may have a smaller selection of third-party software due to its focus on simplicity and stability.

In summary, Arch Linux and Void Linux differ in terms of their package managers, init systems, release models, documentation and community support, system resource usage and performance, and package availability. These differences make each distribution unique, catering to different user preferences and requirements.

Decisions about Arch Linux and Void Linux
Simon Aronsson
Developer Advocate at k6 / Load Impact · | 7 upvotes · 272.2K views

At the moment of the decision, my desktop was the primary place I did work. Due to this, I can't have it blow up on me while I work. While Arch is interesting and powerful, Ubuntu offers (at least for me) a lot more stability and lets me focus on other things than maintaining my own OS installation.

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Pros of Arch Linux
Pros of Void Linux
  • 17
    Large Community
  • 15
    Package Manager
  • 13
  • 12
    Rolling Release
  • 11
    Arch User Repository
  • 11
    Bleeding Edge
  • 10
    Extensive Documentation
  • 8
    Arch Build System
  • 7
    X86_64 architecture supported
  • 4
    Can fix bugs yourself if you know how to
  • 4
  • 3
    Musl supporting
  • 2
  • 2
    No systemd
  • 1
    Wayland friendly

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Cons of Arch Linux
Cons of Void Linux
  • 4
    Systemd only
  • 3
    Only X86_64 architecture is offically supported
  • 1
    No Guided Installation
  • 1
    System maintenance
  • 1
  • 1
    Comparatively fewer offically supported packages
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    What is Arch Linux?

    A lightweight and flexible Linux distribution that tries to Keep It Simple.

    What is Void Linux?

    It is a general purpose operating system, based on the monolithic Linux® kernel. Its package system allows you to quickly install, update and remove software; software is provided in binary packages or can be built directly from sources with the help of the XBPS source packages collection.

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    What companies use Void Linux?
    See which teams inside your own company are using Arch Linux or Void Linux.
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    What are some alternatives to Arch Linux and Void Linux?
    Ubuntu is an ancient African word meaning ‘humanity to others’. It also means ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’. The Ubuntu operating system brings the spirit of Ubuntu to the world of computers.
    Debian systems currently use the Linux kernel or the FreeBSD kernel. Linux is a piece of software started by Linus Torvalds and supported by thousands of programmers worldwide. FreeBSD is an operating system including a kernel and other software.
    Kali Linux
    It is a Debian-based Linux distribution aimed at advanced Penetration Testing and Security Auditing. It contains several hundred tools which are geared towards various information security tasks, such as Penetration Testing, Security research, Computer Forensics and Reverse Engineering.
    The CentOS Project is a community-driven free software effort focused on delivering a robust open source ecosystem. For users, we offer a consistent manageable platform that suits a wide variety of deployments. For open source communities, we offer a solid, predictable base to build upon, along with extensive resources to build, test, release, and maintain their code.
    It is an accessible, friendly, open-source Linux distribution and community. Based on Arch Linux, it provides all the benefits of cutting-edge software combined with a focus on getting started quickly, automated tools to require less manual intervention, and help readily available when needed.
    See all alternatives