→Source-based: update according to https://www.archlinux.org/news/phasing-out-i686-support/
== Source-based ==
Source-based distributions are highly portable, giving the advantage of controlling and compiling the entire OS and applications for a particular machine architecture and usage scheme, with the disadvantage of the time-consuming nature of source compilation. The Arch base and all packages are compiled for i686
and x86_64 architectures, offering a potential performance boost over i486/i586 binary distributions, with the added advantage of expedient installation.
=== CRUX ===
* Both ship with ports-like systems, and, like *BSD, both provide a base environment to build upon.
* Arch features pacman, which handles binary system package management and works seamlessly with the [[Arch Build System]]. CRUX uses a community contributed system called ''prt-get'', which, in combination with its own ports system, handles dependency resolution, but builds all packages from source (though the CRUX base installation is binary).
officially supports x86_64 and i686 only, whereas CRUX officially offers only x86_64.
* Arch uses a rolling-release system and features a large array of binary package repositories as well as the [[Arch User Repository]]. CRUX provides a more slimmed-down officially supported ports system in addition to a comparatively modest community repository.
* LFS, (or Linux From Scratch) exists simply as documentation. The book instructs the user on obtaining the source code for a minimal base package set for a functional GNU/Linux system, and how to manually compile, patch and configure it from scratch. LFS is as minimal as it gets, and offers an excellent and educational process of building and customizing a base system.
* LFS provides no online repositories; sources are manually obtained, compiled and installed with ''make''. (Several manual methods of package management exist, and are mentioned in LFS Hints).
* Arch provides these very same packages, plus [[systemd]], a few extra tools and the powerful [[pacman]] package manager as its base system, already compiled for
i686/x86_64. Along with the minimal Arch base system, the Arch community and developers provide and maintain many thousands of binary packages installable via pacman as well as [[PKGBUILD]] build scripts for use with the [[Arch Build System]]. Arch also includes the [[makepkg]] tool for expediently building or customizing ''.pkg.tar.xz'' packages, readily installable by pacman.
* Judd Vinet built Arch from scratch, and then wrote pacman in C. Historically, Arch was sometimes humorously described simply as "Linux, with a nice package manager."
* Both Arch Linux and Gentoo Linux are rolling release systems, making packages available to the distribution a short time after they are released upstream.
* The Gentoo packages and base system are built directly from source code according to user-specified ''USE flags''. Arch provides a ports-like system for building packages from source, though the Arch base system is designed to be installed as pre-built
i686/x86_64 binary. This generally makes Arch quicker to build and update, and allows Gentoo to be more systemically customizable.* Arch supports i686 and x86_64 while Gentoo officially supports x86 (i486/i686), x86_64, PPC/PPC64, SPARC, Alpha, ARM, MIPS, HPPA, S/390 and Itanium architectures.
* Gentoo's official package and system management tools tend to be rather more complex and "powerful" than those provided by Arch, and certain features which are at the very heart of Gentoo ''([https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Handbook:X86/Working/USE USE flags], [https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Handbook:X86/Working/Portage#Terminology SLOTs], etc.)'' do not have any direct Arch Linux equivalent. Some of that is due to the fact that Arch is primarily a binary distro, but differences in [[Arch Linux#Principles|design philosophy]] also play a big role, with Arch taking a more principled stance in favor of architectural simplicity and avoiding over-engineering.
* Because both the Gentoo and Arch installations only include a base system, both are considered to be highly customizable. If comfortable with [[systemd]], Gentoo users will also generally feel at ease with most other aspects of Arch.