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The Linux distribution I was most thankful for in 2020 - EndeavourOS

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How do you know when someone uses Arch Linux? They will tell you. Welcome to an article telling you about how I use Arch Linux, well sort of anyway. It's a running joke in the Linux community and now one I am very much a part of.

Over the many years I've used Linux since discovering it properly about 17 years ago, I've seen many distributions rise and fall. With that in mind, I've obviously used quite a lot of different distributions. Like many people, early on in my Linux life I was a "distro hopper", someone who can't sit still and has to keep trying everything out. Moving between the likes of Mandrake (before it was Mandriva), Fedora Core (the original Fedora name), openSUSE and eventually feeling quite at home when discovering Ubuntu.

A long time later, i wanted to be a bit more bleeding-edge and have all the latest bells and whistles so I settled on Antergos. It was based upon Arch Linux but gave you a nice installer, which eventually died like many distributions before it. Manjaro was an option too, which I used for a while (two times, years apart) but I found it to be too unstable for my liking due to the way they bundle updates, and they've made a lot of…odd decisions lately that I felt pushed me away from them.

So what to do? I felt a bit stuck. Ubuntu was too safe, not particularly exciting and I didn't want another normal distro. I was told some tales of EndeavourOS, a fresh distribution that is the successor to Antergos. Giving an easy to use installer, with plenty of desktop environments to pick and unlike Manjaro, they are right up close to Arch Linux on the packaging with EndeavourOS sticking to Arch upstream but they have a few of their own extras. This was exactly what I wanted, Arch Linux but easy to install and get going.

Pictured above - EndeavourOS plus the MATE desktop. It's not fancy, and the MATE desktop isn't full of bling but that's why I like it. For the most part: it stays out of my way, it's highly configurable when I want it to be and it's easy to use.

Here's the thing. EndeavourOS is absolutely not something I will recommend to new users, or to even reasonably confident Linux users because for most I still recommend other distributions talked about in this previous article. Why? You really do have to setup a lot yourself, sometimes annoyingly so and there are problems at times with Arch being so fresh with packages.

The most annoying issue so far was a bug in the Arch packaging of libcairo, which caused the demo of APICO and all Paradox Interactive titles that used their launcher to fail to launch from Steam with the normal Steam Linux Runtime. The issues were reported (#1 - #2), then to the libcairo developers too (here) and in less than 24 hours the fix was committed. Part of why I love open source and Linux so much at times, because finding issues is often nothing more than running something in terminal to see and then you can go and report it and help get it fixed. Issues like that are why I never suggest people go and use the likes of Arch Linux (or anything based on it) since the updates continually roll in and breakages can and will happen but you find them before other distributions do so it all balances out. 

That said, EndeavourOS has actually been great. Surprisingly so too. It's now my /home on Linux and I continue to learn more about Linux every day when going a little out of my usual comfort zone with it.

If you're after something that's constantly up to date but easy to setup and you know what you're doing, EndeavourOS is the tip of the day.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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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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I tried EndeavourOS, and it's too close to vanilla Arch for me (I don't like spending a long time to install packages); I prefer the so-called "bloated" Manjaro. All the benefits of Arch with the ease of Ubuntu.
What are peoples' opinion on Garuda vs EndeavourOS?
scaine 6 Jan
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Quoting: dibz
Quoting: scaineCertainly, Mint's biggest problem is the lack of an upgrade path. You basically have to re-install every two years, simple as that. Hardly ideal. But otherwise, it's amazing. So why am I constantly on the lookout for another distro...?

Oh? The upgrade path typically "opens" shortly after new releases, and they appear as a menu item in the update manager. The update manager does not, however, alert you about this; I believe that's intentional as the Mint camp typically, as well as any sane person would, tell a person not to do a major upgrade unless they had an actual reason to. It's fair to say I probably only knew about this because I subscribe to their rss feed on their homepage, and when they announce new releases, they also announce upgrade instructions typically; I doubt I'd be aware of the details otherwise. It's a few clicks to do and is pretty similar to just doing a normal update. All that being the case, if you don't mind doing new installs, keep doing them IMHO. Any OS, Windows and OSX included, tends to appreciate a fresh start once in a while. I've used the upgrade method for the last few major versions.

That said, for a long, long, time I've only made two data partitions for my installs -- home, and everything else, so if/when I ever need to do the nuclear option and actually reinstall it takes maybe twenty minutes combined; including picking out whatever software selection post install. Pretty much all my settings/icons/themes are in my home directory anyway, so even a fresh install takes very little time -- but I still haven't had to in a long time now. Not to make this about Windows, but honestly, whenever I have to do a full windows install it tends to be an all day affair in comparison; I'm not sure when it happened, but I tell ya, setting up Linux sure became far easier then windows at some point.

That's really interesting. I only use about 3 or 4 PPAs (Mesa, Wine, Chrome/Dropbox and OBS), but I've found the Mint upgrade to be a real train wreck. It refused to upgrade unless I downgraded all my packages first, which took ages. Then finally upgraded, then I had to restore all my PPAs, and so on. It was painful stuff. To be fair, Ubuntu isn't hugely better - but it automates a lot of the process for you.

But just look at these instructions... holy cow. https://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/2
3zekiel 6 Jan
Quoting: scaine
QuoteUbuntu was too safe, not particularly exciting and I didn't want another normal distro

Isn't this weird? I can really relate to it, but I don't really understand what drives it. It's the fundamental force behind distro-hopping I think.

I'm mostly settled on Mint, but there's still an itch that there might be something better out there. Certainly, Mint's biggest problem is the lack of an upgrade path. You basically have to re-install every two years, simple as that. Hardly ideal. But otherwise, it's amazing. So why am I constantly on the lookout for another distro...?

I think it's also that after having distro hoped a little, you find that no distro fits 100% of what you want. After a bit more than 15 years hoping around, I have settled on Fedora for the base... But use half a dozen VMs, guess that's the final stage of hoping. It is actually quite a nice way to use your computer, but needs quite a bit of RAM. Right now I personnaly have a virtual Fedora Silverblue - mostly to try, it is very fun btw -, Centos stream (for all these crap which require 10 years old packets but still have not completely outdated experience) and deepin (because... because ?)running in parallel ... + My Fedora host of course (used for steam and co directly)
14 6 Jan
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Quoting: oldrocker99I tried EndeavourOS, and it's too close to vanilla Arch for me (I don't like spending a long time to install packages);
Not arguing your preferences here, but how are the Manjaro updates faster than Arch? I use both systems and I always use the same `sudo pacman -Syu` for each. I think Manjaro has fewer mirrors too. Maybe you mean the frequency of updates? That is completely controlled by the user. Just not sure what would be slower.

EDIT: Oh, I think I understand now that you mean the default packages that come with Manjaro versus vanilla Arch where you have to find them all and install them yourself... so the getting-up-and-running aspect of installing the system, not maintenance like I was thinking.


Last edited by 14 on 6 January 2021 at 7:17 pm UTC
Nanobang 6 Jan
I want something that's kept well up to date yet stable as hell. Up until recently, that was Ubuntu (Xubuntu, specifically), but with 20.04 I'd began having odd graphical and audio problems that I couldn't get to the bottom of.

I installed Pop at the end of last week and have been beavering away at making it more comfortable for me. Before I installed it, I spent some time with Manjaro and Mint, both XFCE (really, my favourite desktop) and even less time with Endeavour and KDE Neon. All had pluses and minuses, but Pop had a certain panache that really got to me --- surprising, really, given my preference for XFCE.

I like that Pop has kernel 5.8, and that Steam and Nvidia integration are solid. Best of all, though, Pop made it possible for me to install XFCE's superior clipboard manager, (clipman) and notes plug-in into my non-XFCE desktop. I actually left Ubuntu Mate behind because I couldn't live without zen-like clipman.

link


Last edited by Nanobang on 7 January 2021 at 1:30 pm UTC
Waiting for Debian 11 this year, I use this distro as my main OS as it's easy to create an offline repo and it's rock solid (got a bunch of offline systems all over the house so its handy).

My current good old Debian 9 base is showing its' age. Many programs work fine and I even have a bleeding edge kernel, Mesa and Wine however there are a few odd cases where a software refuses to compile from source.

I'll probably try an Arch based setup on my laptop.
denyasis 7 Jan
I've landed on opensuse Tumbleweed. The reason. YAST. I've never seen anything like it when I was in the debs or heard of anything like it anywhere else. I would have expected something like it to appear in other distros, but maybe I just missed the news (I last used Ubuntu in 2007)

For me openSuse TW is fresh enough that I'm running the latest packages pretty fast, bit not so new that I get the obvious bugs. I'd date say I think it updates a little faster than Debian testing, or already feel that way.

I also like it because it is mature. The defaults make sense and most things work out of the box. In the 2 years I've run OpenSuse TW, I think I've only had 1 breakage and on top of that they've anticipated that possibilty and mitigated it with a snapshot system to roll back the system in case of a bad update.

I think I'm going to stay on this one for a little while
seamoose 7 Jan
Quoting: Avehicle7887Waiting for Debian 11 this year, I use this distro as my main OS as it's easy to create an offline repo and it's rock solid (got a bunch of offline systems all over the house so its handy).

My current good old Debian 9 base is showing its' age. Many programs work fine and I even have a bleeding edge kernel, Mesa and Wine however there are a few odd cases where a software refuses to compile from source.

Amen! Been using Debian on my main machine since the 90s!

You should really upgrade to buster (Debian 10) though...


Last edited by seamoose on 7 January 2021 at 4:02 am UTC
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Quoting: oldrocker99I tried EndeavourOS, and it's too close to vanilla Arch for me (I don't like spending a long time to install packages); I prefer the so-called "bloated" Manjaro. All the benefits of Arch with the ease of Ubuntu.

That was also my experience with EndeavourOS. When I installed it, I realised all the stuff that Manjaro does right out-from-the-box, and didn't want to spend time "copying" this behaviour in EndeavourOS.
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