I’ve been using Linux EndeavourOS (the latest version, “Atlantis neo”) for a few days now, and I love it!
I mainly use Ubuntu and Kubuntu, but I recently enjoyed Manjaro, an Arch-based distro. I still haven’t tried to install the pure Arch distribution, but I learned about EndeavourOS, an Arch-based distro, which is pure Arch. For sure, it’s more Arch than Manjaro since EndeavourOS uses the Arch repositories, plus a small EndeavourOS repository. On the contrary, Manjaro heavily relies on its independent repositories (which also contain software packages not provided by Arch). So, they’re both rolling releases, but EndeavourOS is Arch but with a much simpler installation procedure.
I’ll first briefly recap the installation procedure and then do a short review.
The installation starts with an XFCE desktop and a dialog where you can set a few things, including the screen resolution in case you need to:
Now it’s time to connect to the Internet, e.g., with a WIFI (the setting will be remembered in the final installation so that you will not have to re-enter the WIFI username and password).
Then, we can start the installer:
I prefer to choose “Online” so that I can select a different desktop environment (I don’t use XFCE, which is the only choice if you perform the “Offline” method):
One of the exciting aspects of the EndeavourOS installation process is that it automatically shows a terminal with the log. This terminal can be helpful to debug possible installation problems.
The installer is Calamares, which you might already know if you used Manjaro.
I’m going to show only the interesting parts of the installation.
The partitioning already found the main SSD drive.
Since I have a few Linux installations already on this computer, I choose to replace one of them with EndeavourOS.
In particular, I select the Manjaro Linux (21.2rc) checkbox to replace that installation (see the “Current:” and the “After:” parts):
Since I chose the “Online” installer, I can now select the software to install. Note the printing support software:
I also decide to install both KDE and GNOME (maybe I’ll blog in the future about the coexistence of the two desktop environments). That’s another exciting feature of EndeavourOS: it lets you install as many desktop environments as you want right during the installation. Other distributions typically only provide ISOs for specific desktop environments (the so-called “spins”).
If you expand the nodes in the tree, you can see the installed software for each DE. I can anticipate that for both KDE and GNOME, the installed programs are not so many.
Time for looking at the summary, and then we’re good to start the installation, which takes only a few minutes on my computer.
As I have already anticipated, I’m enjoying this distribution so far.
I mainly use the KDE Plasma desktop. Plasma looks like it is very close to vanilla Plasma in this distribution. It does not come with many preinstalled KDE software, but all the necessary KDE applications are there.
I had to install a few additional KDE applications I like to have. The corresponding packages are plasma-systemmonitor, kdeplasma-addons (for other task switchers), and kcalc.
Of course, pacman is already installed, but you also have yay already installed.
Since I like the GUI front-end pamac, I had to install that manually:
yay -S pamac-all
Remember that, besides an EndeavourOS repository, everything else comes from the official Arch repositories.
EndeavourOS ships with the latest Linux kernel 5.15, and on my computers, it works like a charm.
The “Welcome” application automatically appears when you log in, and it provides a few helpful buttons: for updating the mirrors, the packages, and configuring package cache cleaning:
For updating the software packages, yay will start in a terminal window. Indeed, EndeavourOS defines itself as a “terminal-centric distro.”
Speaking about software updates, you get a system tray notification when they are available:
But unfortunately, clicking on that does not do anything: you have to update the software manually (e.g., by using the above-mentioned “Welcome” app).
Another minor defect (if I have to find defects) is the empty icon on the panel: it refers to the KDE “Discover” application, which is not installed by default. That is confusing, and probably the installation should have taken care of not putting it there by default.
Besides that, I enjoy the KDE Plasma experience provided by EndeavourOS.
Concerning GNOME, again, the installed software is minimal, but you get the essential software, including Gnome Tweaks. No specific GNOME extensions are provided, but you can install them yourself. In the end, it’s vanilla GNOME.
All in all, I guess I’ll be using EndeavourOS as my daily driver in the next few days!
I hope you try EndeavourOS yourself and enjoy it as much as I do 🙂