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Some thoughts on switching from Ubuntu to Antergos for Linux gaming

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I did it, I jumped ship from Ubuntu to Antergos and I honestly can’t see myself going back. Here’s some thoughts on that.

Why I switched
There’s many reasons for my switch, but the main one has been stability. Ubuntu has been getting more problem-filled with every new release for me so I had enough. Not only that, but due to it being dependent on GNOME packages, stuff was being stripped away too and it’s just a mess now. Some applications have normal title-bars, some have GNOME’s new styling with everything sodding hidden and it’s just all mashed together.

Audacity would constantly screw up and just skip over audio while trying to record or playback, or just flat out not work.

Multiple games wouldn’t give me audio until I killed PulseAudio and reloaded it or did other trickery. It was becoming a nuisance, especially when I want to livestream and “oh sorry guys, let me fix my audio, fuc…”.

It seems Ubuntu has a lot of problems with their setup of PulseAudio. I don’t know what they’re doing to it, but they’re murdering the poor thing.

Antergos, I choose you!
If Antergos is anything, it’s like walking in heavy rain without a coat and — suddenly the clouds part and the almighty sun is shining down on you to make everything better. Something like this essentially (thanks Samsai):
I’m definitely probably not overselling it — okay maybe a little.

I adore the Arch User Repository (AUR) and have found it so incredibly useful for multiple applications I use on a daily basis, especially when those same applications on Ubuntu could be out of date for weeks and months. The brand new Minecraft launcher was in it the day it was release by the official developers, the app is in it, everything I need is right there and tested by tons of people. It’s essentially a far better PPA-like system. It’s easier to understand too, thanks to a much clearer layout on the actual website.

Just don't outright trust everything on the AUR, make sure you read a few comments before installing a random package. I'm sure you're all smart enough to know to do that anyway.

Getting used to KDE after being on GNOME or GNOME-like desktops for many years has been a challenge by itself, but wow, it’s actually a lot nicer. Things aren’t hidden away where I don’t expect them to be, if I want something it’s usually right where I would expect it in a proper menu.

There was two “gotchas” I had to sort out. I couldn’t figure out why OBS Studio wouldn’t pick up any video, so eventually I tested gaming and games ran at 5 FPS. Turns out that installing the nvidia drivers didn’t come with the 32bit libs as a dependency. So, if you do decide to check out Antergos with Nvidia, make sure “lib32-nvidia-libgl” is installed too. This took me a good day to figure out too, as I didn’t think to test games until the next day and that made me realize it was a driver issue.

The second was that one day I booted up to a black screen with a cursor, as the system booted so fast that LightDM didn't load (Arch Wiki entry). I had to edit "/etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf" to include:

I also learnt about bash aliases thanks to being on Arch, so instead of running something I can never remember like “Yuarty -sYusudaadasdas” to update, I have it setup so I just run “upall” in terminal and it updates everything for me — glorious! It’s easy to do as well, simply edit:
Add at the bottom:
alias upall='yaourt -Syua'
You can substitute “yaourt -Syua” for anything, like “apt-get update && apt-get upgrade” for Debian/Ubuntu and so on.
And then save it.

Lastly, enjoy a shot of my KDE Antergos dual-desktop:

Seriously, you should give Antergos a try. It’s Arch, but a more tame Arch since it has a live-media option and you can pick what desktop you want from the installer. This was a key selling point for me, and the installer was a breeze too. Article taken from
Tags: Editorial
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About the author -
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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Hori 19 Jan, 2017
I began my Linux journey with Ubuntu. After 6 months I switched to Antergos (I didn't have any real reason to but I had to reinstall and I just chose to see what other distros are like)... I thought my eyes opened when I switched to Linux from Windows... but I was wrong. Arch is amazing! I still use it after almost 2 years and I still love it like day 1.

I started with Antergos but then I switched to bare-bones Arch. No real reason except that I don't really use the Antergos repository, even even when I did, it was only for the Numix-Square icons but I switched to Circle.

Now when it comes to gaming... Arch has both advantages and disadvantages over Ubuntu. Some games work better and offer a few more frames, because of the up-to-date libraries and fewer services in the background (but that depends on each user's configuration). Some games have trouble working and require a few tweaks, again, because of the up-to-date libraries (some games only work with older versions). Steam kinda solves this with the Steam Runtime but that if not perfect and can be a problem itself (especially when you use Nvidia OPTIMUS on laptops).

Anyway, overall I still prefer Arch. Yes, it can cause many problems for games especially, but once you fix them, they remain fixed, and work flawlessly, offering you the performance benefits of a more lightweight system and up-to-date libraries.

Once configured, Arch runs, looks and feels awesomely. But for people who don't want to configure stuff, then Ubuntu might be better.

NOTE: You don't *have* to configure so much stuff. But it's certainly more than Ubuntu.
lelouch 19 Jan, 2017
Quoting: MegazellI've been on Ubuntu Mate for about 2 years now. Left Linux Mint on my main gaming rig. I use Lubuntu on some of my older rigs and machines. I've not had any issues with Pulse Audio or the like. Were you are on Ubuntu or some derivative? I've found Ubuntu problematic for me in the past. The DE does not help me get to what I need to go and there are many lib files I had to install to game properly.

I have questions for Antergos users:

* How are installs from GOG library?
* Is Vsync automatically dealt with like on Ubuntu Mate?
These 2 questions have nothing to do with wether using ubuntu or any other distro - it's still linux. It's about the version of kernel, software, xorg/X11/wayland, mesa ... you use.

Last edited by lelouch on 19 January 2017 at 12:53 pm UTC
Liam Dawe 19 Jan, 2017
Quoting: GuestWould it be a good option for people new to Linux?
I'm torn on it, it depends on how good their general PC skills are. The installer isn't quite as straightforward.

For now, personally, I will still recommend Ubuntu for people to start with, especially as it's the distro that gets the main support for gaming.
demencia89 19 Jan, 2017
Quoting: PirateSkogenCan Antergos dualboot safely with Windows 10 on a UEFI system? I currently dual boot Ubuntu 16.04 with Windows 10 on my main gaming desktop. I would be willing to give Antergos a try, but I need to know that it can install easily and work with a Windows 10 dualboot situation. Ubuntu handles this situation very well but not all distros do.

Yes it can. Out of the box. In my case right after installing Antergos, the menu wasn't on grub, just had to run:
# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
Liam Dawe 19 Jan, 2017
Quoting: MegazellI have questions for Antergos users:

* How are installs from GOG library?
* Is Vsync automatically dealt with like on Ubuntu Mate?
GOG games install like any other distribution, as they use their own installer based on Mojo Setup.

As for VSYNC, no, since you pick the desktop environment at install it's up to you to enable little bits like that for whatever DE you pick.
Ads20000 19 Jan, 2017
The big problem with rolling is the potential dependency hell/lack of stability. On most modern operating systems (Chromium OS is an exception, I think?), the 'core' OS is updated at a slower rate than the applications on top of them. One reason is that if an application depends on a certain shared dependency and that dependency is updated and changed, the application could break/behave differently to what the app author intended - and non-technical users don't want that to happen. Targeting Windows as an app/program developer is easy enough since there's only a certain number of releases to ensure your software works on and it's worth the time to test because there's so many users. Same for macOS, probably Android etc. With traditional desktop Linux distributions it's not the same, there's many different distributions all with different versions and an app developer has to make packages or hope packages are made for all of them and hope their program behaves well with the packages the distribution has bundled as dependencies.

The new Snappy/Flatpak/AppImage formats resolve the problem. App developers can bundle dependencies, thus they can depend on specific versions if necessary, or depend on the core system which has been tested as a unit rather than releasing updates for random libraries as they come in - if they happen to be OK with the core system's dependency versions. There's a cost to the size of applications, but given people have big hard drives and fast Internet these days, that's not really so much of a problem. I think the new Snappy/Flatpak/AppImage approach is a much better way to get stable, up-to-date applications and system than rolling releases are.

Edit: Just seen an example of why the rolling release system has problems, the first news article on the Antergos site is this: 'Updating to the latest version of the webkit2gtk package breaks the login screen (for users of lightdm-webkit2-greeter). We are currently investigating the issue.' When updating core OS libraries it can break programs that depend on it (in this case, another core OS feature, the login screen), as I was arguing, and I don't think these can be adequately tested in the very short period rolling releases give for testing the updates. Perhaps the testing period could be longer, but then you'd just be having a cadence release system with more frequent releases. Mark Shuttleworth did ask (when the rolling release idea was hot in the Ubuntu community) whether interim releases could be sped up to be monthly or even weekly - which is probably a better approach than pure rolling, but not as good as Snappy/Flatpak/AppImage.

Last edited by Ads20000 on 19 January 2017 at 2:04 pm UTC
STiAT 19 Jan, 2017
Quoting: lelouch
Quoting: natewardawgManjaro. It blends stability with bleeding edge, doesn't break as often as the more pure Arch(s)
I don't like this false claim that "pure Arch(s)" break more often - or even ever break. It's just not true!

Maybe users still remember GTK2/3 applications crashing due to the Qt theming engines platform plugin once Qt 5.7 was released in Arch.

This is NOT a system crash, but it's still unfortunate enough for users.

Manjaro held the packages and updates back several weeks until there was a solution / fix for this. Arch / Antergos released them, and users had issues.

Nothing wrong with Arch though, somebody needs to test things, and distros like Manjaro can perfectly well judge updates just looking at Arch and how they deal with the issues (since they usually find solutions pretty fast) ;-). That's the risk of being really bleeding edge vs the release system Manjaro uses.

Last edited by STiAT on 19 January 2017 at 2:19 pm UTC
Swiftpaw 19 Jan, 2017
Last time I tried it the installer was buggy and failed to install.
pedrojmartm 19 Jan, 2017
how much did they paid to you for that article?
Liam Dawe 19 Jan, 2017
Quoting: pedrojmartmhow much did they paid to you for that article?
Is that a serious question? Haha, nothing, obviously.
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