If you want the Linux-circa-2004 experience back, just try Linux on ARM!

* everything compiles slowly
* distro-hopping to find better hardware support
* oops, you need proprietary drivers for that
* forum posts hold the authoritative documentation *and* code for your distro


@brion Hey I didn't realize the similarities until now! That means I can hope for much better support in the future, I guess. Yay!

@brion @hirojin okay now tell me how the X support is. Do I get to hand edit config files?

@james I managed to bork a system by changing desktop login managers and had to log in from recovery to re-configure it back. Does that count? :D

@brion Don't forget trying a lot of compiler flags to get a few more FPS out of the quake engine :D

@brion bonus: download random binaries from random websites on the Internet put there by random people to run on your hardware like it‘s 1996!

@brion the good ole days of isapnp and printer drivers.. the nostalgia!

@brion Well my experience with running gentoo (with musl) on my BananaPi was fine, except for most recipes being non-stabilized it's the same as running on a bit slow x86.
I think *BSDs are fine too, tbh most distros sucks at portability and actual stability.

@brion I used the Raspberry Pi 3 as an actual desktop two years ago. At least the uniform platform made hardware support more easier.

@brion this just sounds like my experience with every type of BSD
@brion except replace "oops, you need proprietary drivers for that" with "oops, no drivers exist for that"


Or simply forget about Arm SBC and move to Arm64 servers. Just work with any sane distro and your account is much lighter as they cost insane money ;D

@brion I've always argued that ARM needed to deliver a coherent developer platform on laptop. Laptop is where development happens and in turn drives what cloud you push it too. But ARM blew it some years ago, and if you do the maths on watts/core for an AMD EPYC I suspect ARM have now missed the bus entirely thanks to the Intel / AMD fight forcing real competition in the x86 space. AMD also need to sort their laptop story out to get more cloud traction though IMHO.

@brion At the date of this post, Archlinux Arm documentation, for some device, Debian wiki, (you are welcome to contribute in both), and some other already have some wiki pages about installing Linux ARM. A good rule, as on any platform, from z80 to RISC-V, if you don't want to develop driver yourself, is to verify availibility and state of drivers before buying hardware. You can still develop driver for new hardware for lot of architectures/systems if you want , lot of people would be happy ^^.
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