“So, Arch Linux, one of the main reasons, there’s a couple, but the main reason is the rolling updates of Arch allows us to have more rapid development for SteamOS 3.0,” says Yang. “We were making a bunch of updates and changes to specifically make sure that things work well for Steam deck, and Arch just ended up being a better choice for them.”
I’ve not seen Arch being used in devices/embedded much yet – other than I have been running Arch on rPI and Odroid-C2 devices here – works great.
One thing to consider is Arch does not provide granular packing like OE (and to a lesser extent Debian), where
-dev,-doc, etc. packages are separate. With Arch, everything is included in the base package. Perhaps with flash devices being so large, and the OS taking proportionally less and less percent of the flash space, the size of the OS no longer matters. In the past, distributing a 30MB update image was better than a 150MB image (less chance of file corruption, download problems in the field, etc). However, as network bandwidth continues to increase across the board, this will likely change as well.
In the past, I’ve avoided package based OS updates for Embedded Linux devices. In my experience, it is much more reliable to simply update the entire disk image using something like the Yoe updater. My experience updating my Arch workstations has been pretty good. However, once a year or so I run into a package conflict that requires a small amount of manual intervention. It seems this will always be a potential problem with a package based system like Arch. Still need to look at NixOS …