Unlike Manjaro which bundles updates together here and there for big releases, EndeavourOS sticks very closely to Arch Linux directly. The idea is to give users who know somewhat how Linux works to get an easy way to install Arch and it certainly does the job nicely. They do also add in a few small extras like themes, a couple helper applications and things like that - nothing huge but it does make a difference.
They also provide a new eos-apps-info application, which lists all of their own applications that allows you to get a manual for each with clear instructions on exactly what they do. There's a bunch of new community wallpapers but the biggest change is to the Calamares installer.
The new ISO-Next from EndeavourOS pulls lots of improvements to the install experience which the team say "brings us to a higher level and we are confident to say that this ISO is a milestone step towards our future". Under the hood the installer went through a huge amount of changes to give a "significant" speed increase when installing. They did this by throwing out their previous way of building the system for the new ISO which "resulted in an installer that is fast, light, easy to maintain, easy to add new features in and a hugely improved user experience".
Some of the changes include:
- When using auto partitioning in the installer, BTRFS now can be chosen with the possibility to create a file system with a subvolume scheme. Needless to say that EXT4 will still be an option to choose from in the auto partition.
- Now, the wifi setting used in the live environment will be automatically installed during installation, so there’s no need to re-enter your password on a new install.
- When chosen a DE or WM that uses LightDM, the settings of LightDM have been improved to prevent a black screen at boot with certain hardware systems. Now LightDM will wait until the GPU and GPU settings are completely initialized before starting up. GDM and SDDM didn’t have this issue.
- The boot process on the initial boot is more failproof, thanks to improvements the Arch team made on the archiso.
- The installation process doesn’t fetch packages from GitHub anymore but fetches them from our repository, to prevent failed installs from users in countries where GitHub is blocked or failing due to personal security settings like firewalls etc.
- Another improvement to prevent failed installations is the hugely improved mirrorlist handling that minimizes the use of bad mirrors.
- Calamares has an improved and better design that makes it easier for the user to deselect the packages they don’t need in the selected DE.
- When chosen XFCE4 or i3wm in the online installer, we now offer the possibility to select or deselect the EndeavourOS theming. For the offline XFCE4 install, the EndeavourOS theme will still be installed.
- The Linux-lts kernel can now be chosen as an option in Calamares.
- With the help of our moderators, we have successfully implemented the option to use parallel downloads, introduced with Pacman 6, to choose during install which decreases the installation time by a landslide. The installation time is already incredibly fast by default compared to the previous ISO, but for people who have a fast and reliable internet speed, choosing parallel downloads can be a lightning-fast installation experience.