Arch Linux vs Ubuntu – A Comprehensive Guide to Picking Your Linux Distributions

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Arch Linux vs Ubuntu

Linux is a popular operating system with over 32.8 million users around the globe. It’s commonly ranked alongside macOS and Windows, and people often prefer Arch Linux vs Ubuntu OS versions. It has captured the hearts of developers, tech enthusiasts, and server experts worldwide, mainly due to its open-source nature and long-standing flexibility, security, and reliability history.

If your choice may come down to Ubuntu vs Arch Linux, then you’ve come to the right place. While both are open source and free, each has merits and demerits. Distros often go beyond providing the basic Linux OS.

This article delves deeper into what makes Arch and Ubuntu distros stand out. It aims to help you choose the perfect Linux OS based on your specific needs.

Table of Content

  1. Arch Linux vs Ubuntu: Philosophies and Design Principles
  2. Arch Linux vs Ubuntu: Performance and Customization
  3. Arch Linux vs Ubuntu: Security and Reliability
  4. Arch Linux vs Ubuntu: Community and Documentation
  5. Arch Linux vs Ubuntu: Compatibility and Use Cases
  6. Conclusion
  7. FAQs

Arch Linux vs Ubuntu: Philosophies and Design Principles

Arch Linux and Ubuntu are largely viewed as two extremes about how the two systems suit new users. This is mainly because the distros were founded on two distinct philosophies. While Arch is a community-oriented project developed from scratch, Ubuntu was built by the Ubuntu Foundation and is based on Debian Linux.

Arch Linux Philosophy

Arch Linux aims to provide a lightweight, functional OS. It promotes the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) attitude by allowing tinkerers to customize the system however they prefer while maintaining its integrity. As such, it has a minimalist foundational base that permits users to choose the packages they want to install. This is why it is very popular among professional Linux users and developers.

As a matter of fact, Arch Linux is known for promoting “The Arch Way.” The Arch Linux vs. Ubuntu distribution follows this set of principles. They include:

  • Simplicity. The OS aims to offer a straightforward and minimal-base system. It rarely comes with unnecessary additions or modifications, and packages are only split when compelling advantages exist. Users configure a large part of the system from the shell and a text editor since GUI configuration utilities are not officially offered.
  • Modernity. Arch tries to maintain its latest stable release versions, provided there are ways to avoid systemic package breakage reasonably. The OS is founded on a rolling-release system, allowing for one-time installation with ongoing updates. It embraces the latest GNU/Linux features, such as software RAID, LVM2, modern file systems, and the latest available kernels.
  • Pragmatism. Rather than being ideological, Arch is a pragmatic distro. Its principles are only meant to be practical guidelines. Design decisions happen through developer consensus on a case-by-case basis. As such, popular opinion and politics are shunned for evidence-based technical analysis.
  • User-centrality. Arch Linux has always remained and will always be user-centric rather than user-friendly, as is typical with most other Linux distros. Rather than trying to appeal to a wider user base, this OS aims to fulfill the needs of its contributors. Its main target is a skilled Linux user or someone with a DIY attitude who can study the documentation and solve their issues.
  • Versatility. Arch is a general-purpose distro. After installation, the only thing offered is a command-line environment. Users are encouraged to build a custom system using the system’s high-quality packages offered in its official repositories. This option is more flexible compared to tearing out unwanted and unneeded packages.

Ubuntu Philosophy

Ubuntu primarily targets Linux users who want a hassle-free, pre-configured system. This is why it comes with many preloaded packages, from music players to email clients and productivity suites. One downside is that you may have a computer full of programs you may never need or use.

As the company’s slogan, “Linux for human beings,” implies, Ubuntu is all about user-friendliness. Users get an ideal desktop experience without ever worrying about setting it up. It is presented how the company feels it would suit most users. As a result, this OS is one of the most popular distros among Linux beginners.

Ubuntu is also known for its strong focus on community-driven development. A large and diverse community of testers, developers, and enthusiasts worldwide contribute to its development process. Due to this large pool of contributions and feedback, the OS is polished and well-supported.

Arch Linux vs Ubuntu: Performance and Customization

Arch Linux and Ubuntu have distinct customization aspects and different levels of performance. There are several aspects to note, depending on whether you want lightning-fast efficiency or need a personalized Linux experience. Below is how Arch Linux vs Ubuntu performance varies.

Arch Linux Performance and Customization

Multimedia professionals and developers commonly use Arch. This is because, as a lightweight distro, Arch requires fewer resources to run optimally compared to most other operating systems. Furthermore, the Arch User Repository (AUR) has a huge number of tools that you can use to benchmark internet performance, processing speed, and hard disk management, among other aspects.

Regarding customization, Arch Linux is designed to give you complete control. For this reason, it comes with unique personalization features and capabilities to encourage you to customize your needs. You can personalize everything from the configuration’s starting point, modify the desktop’s settings and environment, and even control package installation.

Below are some of Arch Linux vs. Ubuntu key performance and efficiency aspects:

  • Lightweight base system. After installation, Arch provides a minimal base system, resulting in a lightweight initial setup. There is reduced resource usage and faster boot times because minimalism ensures that only the vital components are integrated.
  • Swift and efficient installer. The text-based Arch-Linux installer ensures that the system setup is quick. However, it may have a steeper learning curve, especially for inexperienced users. You may require additional effort and research to bond with the system thoroughly.
  • Rolling release updates. This model ensures that users get the latest security patches and software updates. Therefore, from the beginning, you always have a relatively up-to-date system.
  • Package management. Pacman, which is Arch’s package manager, is fast and efficient. It allows for quick and easy software installation from the system’s official repositories. You can also get additional software options from the AUR.
  • Minimal customizations. Arch does not come with a default desktop manager, excessive customizations, or pre-configured settings. Users start with a clean slate, building their preferred system from scratch.
  • Snappy and responsive experience. Due to its optimized software and minimal overhead, Arch Linux delivers a snappy and responsive user experience. Launching applications, managing Windows, and multitasking all feel smooth and efficient.

Ubuntu Performance and Customization

Ubuntu is known for its user-friendly experience and steady performance. Below is an evaluation of Ubuntu vs Arch Linux’s out-of-the-box performance:

  • Ease of installation. Ubuntu has a pretty straightforward installation process, which is one of the reasons why it is accessible to users of all experience levels. The installer discovers the hardware automatically and proceeds to set up the drivers. This ensures a seamless installation process.
  • Boot time. Ubuntu has a reasonable boot time, as the OS swiftly gets to the desktop environment or login screen after being started.
  • Resource management. Resource efficiency is one of the key goals of Ubuntu, as the software suits a broad range of hardware configurations. Its efficient disk, memory, and CPU management lead to seamless multitasking and low resource usage when idle.
  • Desktop environment. GNOME, the basic desktop environment in Ubuntu OS, has an appealing and practical user interface and is well-integrated. Due to the polished desktop experience, interactions with the OS seem effortless and responsive.
  • Package management. Ubuntu uses the APT (Advanced Package Tool) package management system for maximum reliability and efficiency. The Software Center has an easy-to-use graphical interface to simplify installing and updating programs.

Arch Linux vs Ubuntu: Security and Reliability

Topnotch security and reliability are paramount in a modern computing environment. Below is a detailed discussion of Ubuntu vs Arch Linux concerning how secure and reliable the two systems are.

Arch Linux Security Features

When it arrives out-of-the-box, an Arch Linux system is just a terminal with a basic command line interface. It lacks web servers, applications, or files that would cause a network vulnerability.

Arch also does a great job when it comes to enforcing security within the system. For instance, it forces you to start reading The Arch Wiki and conduct manual configurations. Therefore, whenever you install new programs or web servers, the system will force you to configure them to get them up and running manually. This ensures that you make informed security choices.

Furthermore, Arch is a rolling release distro that receives updates continually. You never have to worry about version upgrades, as your system will always have the latest security patches.

The system is also reliable and stable, with the AUR that offers extensive software packages for development. However, you must maintain it to ensure that updates and customizations do not cause breakdowns.

Ubuntu Security Features

Ubuntu has a vast array of security and protection systems to thwart the threat of virus attacks and malware. Its built-in security features include Mandatory Access Control via AppArmor, filesystem capabilities, UEFI secure boot, and Full disk encryption.

Ubuntu uses Long-Term Support (LTS) versions to manage its update release schedules. An LTS version typically gets minor updates for five years or longer. However, the system also has non-LTS versions, updated every nine months or so, with a new release provided every six months.

The non-LTS mode is particularly great when you need the latest packages/updates, with each upgrade having potentially significant changes. If you do not prefer experience-breaking changes with each update, it would be best to go for the LTS version. This updated format helps to ensure that you always get the most stable and secure releases.

Arch Linux vs Ubuntu: Community and Documentation

Like most Linux distros, Arch Linux and Ubuntu have ardent fans and communities that enhance their success, growth, and sustainability. They improve knowledge sharing and collaboration, act as support frameworks, and ease access to documentation and resources.

Arch Linux Community and Support

Arch Linux has a strong and active community comprising developers, techies, and other Linux experts. Users can seek help, share knowledge, and engage with each other within the following platforms:

  • Arc Linux forums. The official Arch Linux forums are the central hub for sharing solutions, troubleshooting, and discussions about the system. Users can participate in conversations, ask questions, or seek assistance on various aspects of the OS.
  • IRC channels. Arch maintains several IRC channels on networks like Freenode, where users can chat with each other and ask for help or share tips.
  • Subreddit. Arch’s community has an active and resourceful Subreddit where users chat, share experiences, or seek assistance.
  • Mailing lists. Users can also converse and seek help on Arch Linux’s mailing lists.

The Arch Wiki is a popular and comprehensive documentation where users can find almost every detail about Arch Linux. This includes detailed guides and tutorials to explanations on various topics, including installation, troubleshooting, best practices, and software management.

Ubuntu Community and Support

Ubuntu’s popularity and user-friendliness are partly due to its robust and active community and extensive documentation. Plenty of resources for newbies and experts alike make using the OS a breeze.

The main support platform offered by Ubuntu are:

  • Ubuntu forums. Users can chat, ask questions, and seek help on various technical issues on Ubuntu forums. These forums cover numerous topics, from software recommendations to installations.
  • Ask Ubuntu. This is a dedicated Q&A platform where users can pose questions, share solutions, and engage in various discussions related to Ubuntu. Those looking for answers can get them here in a user-friendly way.
  • Subreddit. From sharing experiences to availing news and enhancing discussions on Ubuntu-related matters, the Ubuntu Subreddit is a valuable resource. It is community-driven to enhance friendly interactions.
  • IRC channels. Ubuntu maintains several IRC channels to help users chat in real-time with other users and developers and get swift help and support.

Ubuntu also maintains comprehensive documentation and resources with official guides and tutorials. These include the following:

  • Official documentation. Ubuntu’s official documentation covers various topics, including installation, system administration, and security. It offers best practices, explanations, and step-by-step guides.
  • Community Help Wiki. This platform is a community-contributed resource that offers tutorials, guides, and solutions to common problems. The Community Help Wiki is a collaborative effort to share knowledge to support users.
  • Support and troubleshooting. This documentation is designed to help users to resolve the common issues encountered when setting up and using the system.
  • Official manuals. This form of documentation is a handy offline reference that provides comprehensive details about various aspects of Ubuntu.

Arch Linux vs Ubuntu: Compatibility and Use Cases

Compatibility determines how well the two Linux distros support your computing devices and software. This includes wireless adapters, graphics cards, processors, and the various applications you frequently use. Below is a detailed discussion of the compatibility of Arch Linux vs Ubuntu for developers.

Arch Linux Compatibility

When comparing Arch Linux vs Ubuntu, Arch Linux is not extensively tested to verify its compatibility with a wide range of hardware. Arch is known for its “bleeding-edge” approach, providing the latest software package versions. This implies that the distro always has updated support and drivers for the latest computing devices. However, this could introduce occasional compatibility issues for hardware that may not have been tested well.

Arch Linux generally supports 64-bit x86 processors but without official ARM support. When you have issues with hardware compatibility, you mostly have to handle it on your own, as the system lacks a proactive approach. However, you can refer to the official Linux documentation and support network for solutions.

Arch Linux OS is generally an excellent fit for individuals well-versed with Linux/GNU systems or adept at using a command-line interface. Programmers and other techies who love this system need a system they have total control over.

Arch is also great for smaller enterprises and companies requiring a lightweight, customizable OS with minimal installation. However, inexperienced users may lack most of the quality-of-life features they are used to elsewhere.

Ubuntu Compatibility

Ubuntu is a renowned distro that is targeted at desktops of all kinds. For this reason, all its versions are extensively tested for hardware compatibility before they are released. It’s safe to say that this OS offers superb hardware compatibility out of the box. While it may lack all the latest software and driver versions, it prioritizes stability and reliability. It can offer official support for even some of the smallest computing platforms, such as Raspberry Pi.

Ubuntu’s strong focus on user-friendliness also extends to hardware setup. It aims to offer automatic hardware detection and configuration during installation. This gives users a seamless experience, as one never has to conduct complex configurations. The OS proactively identifies and highlights the appropriate kernel modules and drivers when resolving hardware issues.

Furthermore, Ubuntu’s official repositories also offer a wide range of software programs tested and known to work together seamlessly. The Software Center has a user-friendly interface that assists in discovering, installing, and managing software smoothly.

Due to its superb hardware and software compatibility, Ubuntu is a popular choice among home users and small businesses. These users require a reliable and user-friendly Linux distribution that is easy to install and use.

RedSwitches: Bridging the Gap Between Arch Linux and Ubuntu

At RedSwitches, we offer reliable and secure server hosting solutions to help you take your operations to the next level. We can help you evaluate your current and future server deployment needs to identify the Linux OS that best suits you.

Whatever your choice, RedSwitches is ready to host your business operations, with hosting plans designed for each use case. Our bare metal servers are compatible with Arch Linux vs Ubuntu, and we offer swift provisioning and free server management.

Furthermore, we are familiar with numerous architecting applications, from file storage to crypto and enterprise hosting. Let our experienced engineers guide you as you pick between Arch Linux vs Ubuntu server.


When you compare Ubuntu vs Arch Linux, they both seem similar. They are both free and open-source Linux distros, each with a huge fan base. However, the two have several major differences that could significantly influence their performance and user experience.

As one of the most popular distros for programmers, Arch Linux is ideal for experienced users. Its users largely value its technical and functional aspects and often want to take control of every part of the OS. These users want the latest and most up-to-date attributes rather than stability, and their workflow requires enhanced customization.

Ubuntu users care about Arch Linux vs Ubuntu performance, stability, compatibility, diverse applications, and use. It is particularly great for Linux beginners who do not know how to customize the OS. The system readily offers a user-friendly and straightforward graphical environment where they can handle their workflow seamlessly.

While Arch Linux guarantees freedom and flexibility, Ubuntu offers security, stability, and release quality. Arch also has a smaller community that is strongly encouraged, while Ubuntu has a relatively large community. Ultimately, the choice between Arch Linux vs Ubuntu server OS is subjective and depends on your specific project requirements and preferences.


Q-1) Is Arch Linux better than Ubuntu?

When comparing Arch Linux vs Ubuntu, check their unique strengths and make a choice depending on your priorities and needs. Arch Linux is better if you are after customization and the latest software. However, if you value ease of use and stability, go for Ubuntu.

Q-2) Why use Arch Linux instead of Ubuntu?

Use Arch Linux instead of Ubuntu if you want to remain in total control of the system, want the latest updates, and are experienced with Linux.

Q-3) Is Arch Linux the same as Ubuntu?

No. Arch Linux vs. Ubuntu are different Linux distributions with distinct philosophies, package management, and communities.

Q-4) Is Arch Linux heavy?

No. Arch Linux is popular for its minimalistic and lightweight design.

Q-5) Is Arch Linux powerful?

Yes. Arch Linux is one of the most powerful Linux distributions since it is customizable and has access to the latest software.

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