Having just played around with Arch a little bit, the thing about it that impresses me the most about it is the AUR. With a tool like Yaourt, you can really easily install bleeding-edge software, some of which is from git, and it automatically compiles and installs it for you. Is there something like this for Ubuntu? I know about PPAs, but I don't really think they're an equivalent.
Edit: here's why I don't really think PPAs are the same as the AUR:
- PPAs have compiled packages, while the AUR features both compiled packages and source packages, along with scripts for compiling them on any platform. This means that a PPA has to be maintained by someone who builds them, whereas with the AUR, uncompiled packages can be built on the user end.
- Since PPAs are specific to the Ubuntu release, many PPAs are out of date. The packages would still work if the PPA maintainers would just update their PPAs to the latest version of Ubuntu, but often they go stale. Sometimes I've had to hack a PPA so that I can keep using the same package that worked in a previous release.
- Many PPAs don't build properly, even though the projects are more or less stable. I'm thinking of FinalTerm, which mostly works, but the Ubuntu PPA almost never has passing builds, so it's impossible to install on Ubuntu without manually compiling.
- PPAs don't seem have a rating system where users can vouch for working package repositories. I think this kind of consensus is very useful towards avoiding malware and/or non-working packages.
- There are tons of AUR packages that come directly from GitHub, so installing a package like
something-gitwill usually give you the latest package straight from GitHub. PPAs aren't updated dynamically like this, and so packages there are typically very out-of-date.