The Arch Way is a document that has been around for some time. It defines the core Archlinux philosophy - what makes us tick.

Here is my take on that document. My version of what we provide the user.

In short, the Arch Way is about simplicity and giving control to the user. Keeping things simple, and agile.

Arch is lightweight and simple, like clay - able to be molded by the user as they choose.

Arch is not a distribution made for "user friendliness". It is a distribution designed to be a platform - a "base" for the user to do what they want. This means that we don't try to force a user's hand into our way of doing things, with our configuration tools, and our ideas. It should be about their ideas.

It is important who controls the system here: the user. Developers suggest things, and push in certain directions, but let the user do as they wish.

Arch is a base for anyone to make into whatever they see fit. Arch is a tool.

Use it well

Furthermore, the driving philosophy behind Arch is provided in this document. Here, again, is my take on this (really just reworded).

  • Keep It Simple, Stupid: A simple design is usually the most elegant (See also Occam's Razor)

  • 'Simple' is defined from a technical standpoint, not a usability standpoint. It is better to be technically elegant with a higher learning curve, than to be easy to use, and technically crap.

  • Relying on complex tools to manage and build your system is going to hurt the end users. Maintenance and upgrading should be an active process, not a passive one.

  • "If you try to hide the complexity of the system, you'll end up with a more complex system". Layers of abstraction that serve to hide internals are never a good thing. Instead, the internals should be designed in a way such that they NEED no hiding.

  • We can't help you. Yes this is a philosophical point. Every Arch user is expected to be able to help themselves - to be able to look up information, configuration files, bugs, etc. You're expected to be able to do a little research when you have a problem. Teach a man to fish, and all that.

  • We are, above all, a community oriented distro. Contributions and effort from the end users should never be discouraged.

  • Unlike other distros, Arch is not primarily concerned about the user. The user is important, sure, but most important are simplicity and elegance. The user is important as long as it does not interfere with these doctrines.

  • "It is what you make it" -- Judd Vinet

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