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I don’t consider myself a linux “expert” either. I can figure out what I’m doing.

I don’t really think anyone considers themselves a Linux expert. Maybe Linus but that’s it! That’s why I said you guys are “more than competent” ha ha.

it’s probably the most beginner-friendly distro if you’re going with a bare-bones, “deep end” experience.

Yes. This is true… with the POSSIBLE exception of #! (CrunchBang). And a lot of that is thanks to Pacman and the AUR/Package Build System. Beautiful tools. It is right where it needs to be, striking the perfect balance between minimalism and utility.

I would love to try Gentoo, Slackware and some of the BSDs. But… I’ll probably never leave the Arch ecosystem completely.

BTW @Erik, there’s nothing on any of these distros that you can’t get/do with Ubuntu. Nothing at all. You can change anything you want with a bit of effort. Literally anything.

The only MAJOR differences between distros are the package manager (how you install stuff) and the frequency with which they update. The rest comes down to a bunch of user-land cruft and the community.