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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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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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46 comments
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NoSt 7 Jan
I really loved Antergos, and it was a pity they had to abandon it.
After finally trying EndeavourOS this year, though, I can say that it's currently one of my favourite Linux distributions for advanced users (along with Fedora).
I use it with Xfce as desktop environment, and generally I'm very happy. The only problem is HiDPI support. To the credit of Xfce team it got a lot better this year, but it's still not as seamless as in GNOME: there are some things you have to tweak yourself.
Sar 7 Jan
Been using EndeavourOS for months now, since the Manjaro Devs decided to go off the deep end and destroy their community...

Haven't looked back. Endeavour has been excellent. Solid as a rock, stable AF, and very configurable.

Using the default XFCE edition, and I love it.

Gotta thank the Manjaro Devs for being complete asshats, because I wouldn't have tried Endeavour otherwise!
Meztli 7 Jan
used endevour as my daily driver before its quite good, but now im on solus because arch package are to bleeding edge for me.
Grimfist 7 Jan
Quoting: Sar....since the Manjaro Devs decided to go off the deep end and destroy their community...
...
Gotta thank the Manjaro Devs for being complete asshats, because I wouldn't have tried Endeavour otherwise!
I am curious what you mean by that? I use Manjaro as my daily driver for over 3 years now and try to stay up-to-date with what happens in Manjaro space, but cannot think of something that would justify such harsh words. Would you mind to elaborate?
theghost 7 Jan
Quoting: Pit
Quoting: theghostI really liked and used Antergos a long time. I would really like to use EndeavorOS as successor but unfortunately they replaced the installer of Antergos with Calamares. But Calamares offers no option to encrypt your hard drive in combination with an unencrypted boot. The only two distributions which offer this are Ubuntu and Fedora. So I will stick with them.
It's possible in openSUSE, too (with custom partitioning). And Tumbleweed is a really great choice if you are looking for a quite up-to-date but still rock-solid rolling release....

As for EndeavorOS - never heard of it So the article is greatly appreciated, I'll have a look at it at some point!

Sounds like I have to tinker with Tumbleweed again :)
Pit 7 Jan
Quoting: theghostSounds like I have to tinker with Tumbleweed again :)

Absolutely! Like others said here, it's one of the largely underrated distros (underrated mostly from people that had issues with SUSE some 20 years ago... )
There's basically only one thing you have to remember, that is add the packman-essentials repo to get the non-free multimedia stuff. Apart from that it is rock-solid. That especially includes zypper, the package manager. I still have to hit a dependency situation it isn't able to handle, and I have machines with 15-20 different repositories active.
But I should stop here, as this is a thread about EndeavourOS
Quoting: Sojiro84Eventually I also needed a new home because of some of the stuff that happened at Manjaro.

I didn't wanted a normal distro and I liked arch so EndeavourOS it was!

I definitely needed to adjust my arch install script a lot. Manjaro come with a lot of stuff by default that I needed and liked and wasn't in the base Arch+Cinnamon package.

But, after many test runs in VirtualBox and adjusting my install script, my system is now always quickly up and running with all the packages I need, program settings are restored and the same goes for my Cinnamon settings and my system is basically almost the same as it was in Manjaro!

Ummm, you and the author (Liam) both mentioned things happening recently with Manjaro. I've been running Manjaro-KDE for several years on a couple of workstations, and I'm not aware of anything going on... What's been happening?


Last edited by inlinuxdude on 7 January 2021 at 3:48 pm UTC
dibz 7 Jan
Quoting: scaineThat'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

You're not kidding about holy cow there, wow. Looks extremely verbose, and almost all of it seems to be about taking backups and such. That's also...not quite the right instructions, they should probably be more clear about that...

https://linuxmint-user-guide.readthedocs.io/en/latest/upgrade-to-mint-20.html

I guess I was wrong about it being in upgrade manager, could've sworn it was. Uses the "mintupgrade" tool. I've taken backups like the doc suggests, but I've never bothered to downgrade any PPAs or anything; but then I don't use any PPAs that would interfere with system packages to begin with (that's "looking for trouble"). I will say this though, if you use any PPAs for newer graphics drivers it would be wise to downgrade and remove _that_ PPA in advance.
tuubi 7 Jan
Quoting: dibz
Quoting: scaineThat'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

You're not kidding about holy cow there, wow. Looks extremely verbose, and almost all of it seems to be about taking backups and such. That's also...not quite the right instructions, they should probably be more clear about that...

https://linuxmint-user-guide.readthedocs.io/en/latest/upgrade-to-mint-20.html

I guess I was wrong about it being in upgrade manager, could've sworn it was. Uses the "mintupgrade" tool. I've taken backups like the doc suggests, but I've never bothered to downgrade any PPAs or anything; but then I don't use any PPAs that would interfere with system packages to begin with (that's "looking for trouble"). I will say this though, if you use any PPAs for newer graphics drivers it would be wise to downgrade and remove _that_ PPA in advance.

The instructions do look scary, but even my wife had no trouble using the upgrade tool, and she's no power user. But I did help her find good sources for her graphics software afterwards.

Personally I use every upgrade as an opportunity to do some system maintenance and clearing of inevitable cruft. An hour every couple of years is hardly a lot of effort.
inkhey 7 Jan
I'm a bit impressed by people who have enough time to power user linux distro like archlinux.

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.

I'll probably try an Arch based setup on my laptop.

Debian user too, but i'm on the "almost-rolling" side. I do use stable (buster) almost everywhere : laptop, server except on my main desktop where i have decided i can lose a bit of time on upkeep with a debian sid (unstable). Despite unstable is said unstable… it is very stable from my point of view, it's not really a rolling but it's not as "outdated" as stable, for me it's look like a good balance: just need to be a bit more careful during update.
What i do really like in debian sid, is that i don't have this kind of big update which change too much things in the system and cause potential lots of issues at the same time, on debian sid, it's look to me that the system don't change much after each update, it's less stressful.
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