Arch Linux is a great Linux distribution but infamously complicated to install. EndeavorOS provides the closest thing to an installation simple Arch, without the pain Let’s see how it differs and how to install it.
Arch Linux and EndeavourOS
ArchLinux it is famous for being something of its own, done in its own way. Most distributions are based on other distributions. Ubuntu is based on Debian, Manjaro is based on Arch, and Fedora is based on RedHat Linux.
Arch Linux is not based on anything. It was built from scratch using the Linux kernel, GNU utilities, its own package manager, etc. Arch Linux allows the user to decide exactly what they want to include or leave out of their operating system and applications. It is the polar opposite of swelling. It’s the slimmest Linux you can get.
Including only what you want results in a light and fast operating system . Why install things that won’t help you, just to take up disk space? The fewer moving parts, the better. But the granularity of the installation process is off-putting, if not downright intimidating, for many users. It is not for newbies.
Ironically, one of the driving principles behind Arch Linux is KISS. Keep it sweet and simple though, I know people who have been through weeks trying to get Arch Linux fully functional and stable on a laptop. You learn a lot installing, maintaining, and repairing Arch, but many users don’t come to Linux for that. They want “it just works.”
Distributions like Manjaro They try to bridge the gap. Manjaro is based on Arch, uses the same package manager as Arch Linux, and uses a rolling release model. There is no big update once or twice a year with Arch Linux, it is continually updated as applications and OS patches become available. Manjaro also does this, but with a delay in the patch deployment process. The delay gives developers time to fix any bugs that have been spotted in Arch Linux updates.
Manjaro is based on Arch but it is not Arch Linux. If you really want to run Arch Linux but can’t afford or understand installing Arch Linux, what can you do? That is where EndeavourOS springs into action. EndeavorOS delivers as close to plain-vanilla arch as you can get, without hand-assembling Arch Linux the hard way.
EndeavorOS uses the well-known Calamares installer. It asks you a series of questions (what’s your keyboard layout, what desktop environment do you want, what time zone are you in) and installs Arch Linux the way you want. Within 30-40 minutes you have a fully functional Arch Linux installation, with some EndeavorOS-specific management tools on top.
This puts Arch Linux within everyone’s reach.
How to install EndeavourOS
Download the EndeavourOS Installation ISO and burn it to a DVD or believe a bootable USB drive .
Boot your computer from the installation media. You will see a menu. Tellingly, the title of the menu is “Arch Linux.” If you have a recent NVIDIA graphics card, select the second option; otherwise select the higher option. The top option also supports NVIDIA, but the second option includes proprietary drivers for the latest cards.
Your computer will boot into the EndeavourOS live environment. In the “Welcome” dialog, select the “Launch Installer” button.
EndeavourOS has two types of installations. The online version, which obviously requires internet connectivity, allows you to choose your desktop environment. The offline method does not require Internet connectivity, but does not allow you to choose between desktop environments. Just install the xfce desktop environment .
While the installation is running, a terminal window will display either the installation log or the server log.
pacmanArch Linux installation package manager. The terminal window is located behind the main installation screens. You won’t see it unless you bring it to the front with Alt + Tab. For most people, it doesn’t matter which of the two checkboxes is selected. I thought it would be interesting to see the
pacmanlog, so that’s what I selected.
Installing online offers the most options and will be the best option unless you’re stuck somewhere without internet access. Click the “Online” button.
The information gathering portion of the installation begins. The first step allows you to select your language from a dropdown menu.
Select your language and click “Next” to continue.
Click on the map to select your time zone and location. Click “Next” to continue.
Choose your keyboard layout and other features, then click “Next.”
You can manually partition your drives or let EndeavorOS choose the defaults. We were wiping the entire disk and letting EndeavorOS decide on the partition, so we selected the “Erase Disk” radio button.
Select the “Swap (without hibernation)” option, and select “Btrfs” as the file system. You can also choose not to to exchange , swap to a file, or swap and hibernate. The file system options they are “ext4” or “Btrfs”. Click “Next” when you have chosen.
The next screen allows you to choose your desktop environment and a few other options. Make sure the first check box is selected. If you want to have a long-term support kernel installed, as well as the latest kernel version, select the second checkbox.
Choose your desktop environment. The options are:
- Xfce-4 desktop
- KDE desktop
- gnome desktop
- i3 window manager
- Matte Desktop
- Cinnamon desk
- budgie desk
- LXQT Desk
Not sure which one to choose? Our guide to Linux desktop environments covers some of the options here.
If you want printing support, and you probably want to, select the “Print Support” checkbox. If you need accessibility tools or HP printing and scanning support, select those options. Click “Next” when you are ready to continue.
On the next screen, provide details about yourself, choose a name for your computer, and set a password. Make sure “Log me in automatically without asking for a password” no this selected. It’s usually more convenient to use the same password for the root account, so select the final checkbox. Click “Next” to continue.
You are shown a summary of what you have requested. To go ahead and make the changes and install EndeavorOS, click the “Install” button.
You have the opportunity to go back or continue.
If you click the “Install Now” button, the processes of partitioning the hard drive and copying files begin.
The progress bar may pause for a moment here and there, but sit back and it will move again when it’s ready. You can use the Alt + Tab key combination to bring the terminal window to the front if you want to check that something is going on behind the scenes. On one install, the progress bar paused at 14% for quite some time, then jumped to 39% and continued from there.
When the installation is complete, select the “Reboot Now” checkbox and click the “Done” button.
You will reboot into an EndeavorOS-themed Arch Linux.
EndeavourOS, first boot
When you start EndeavorOS, you will see the welcome application.
This app makes it easy for a newcomer to do some of the things they normally want to do after a fresh linux installation , such as checking for updates and updating the contents of package manager mirrors.
Endeavor follows the Arch Linux principle of giving you a stripped-down, functional system. It’s like a new house. You have to decorate and furnish it as you like. The version EndeavourOS GNOME-40 It came with the Tweaks app installed. Using Tweaks, the main GNOME Settings application and the GNOME Extension Manager, you can configure your desktop to your liking.
Then all you need to do is decide which apps you’d like to install. The welcome app has a tabbed interface. Some of the buttons and tabs provide information, some of them will perform actions. The “Add More Apps” tab allows you to easily install some popular apps, such as the LibreOffice office productivity suite, the chrome browser and a firewall .
Applications are installed from the official Arch Linux repository, or from the AUR, Arch’s community-managed user repository. There is also an EndeavorOS repository, but it is only used for EndeavorOS specific apps like the welcome app and some related resources.
life to the limit
EndeavorOS is the easiest way to get a state-of-the-art installation of Arch Linux on your hardware. The Calamares installer makes it as easy as installing Ubuntu. So everyone should jump to EndeavourOS?
Not quite. Any continuous release model can introduce instabilities. With Arch Linux, instabilities and other software regressions are always addressed in a very short time and new patches are deployed in about a day. But in the meantime, you might experience some operational issues. Those who choose to use Arch Linux need to make an informed decision and understand this. The avant-garde is not a place for the faint-hearted.
That’s why Arch-based distributions like Manjaro are a step back from the edge. They have a safety net delay between launching new updates and publishing those updates to users. They are held long enough for important traps to be detected and resolved.
But, if you understand the risks and benefits of using an Arch-based distro, or if you want to play around with Arch Linux on a non-critical computer, EndeavorOS is the easiest way to get a 99.9% Arch Linux install. and running without tears.