In today's edition of the Privacy Cookbook I want to go back to Linux and its distros.
I have gotten a lot of feedback about the previous Linux recommendation and why I didn't mention Arch. Well, I did mention Manjaro though, which is based on Arch, and is an easy to use, beginner friendly, very commercialized version with a super friendly interface and it has a great community.
That said, it is just not as close to vanilla Arch as it could be! For example, Arch always has the newest kernel, while Manjaro let you chose the kernel and usually plays it safe!
But, and bear with me here, I will have an Arch setup ready for you here! We started this entire chapter with Linux for beginners, so let me add Arch (almost vanilla) with an equally easy setup and an awesome community.
EndeavourOS is an easy to set up almost vanilla Arch. EndeavourOS has way less bloat vs Manjaro or pretty much any other distro. It was created after the Antergos project ended in May 2019 and is not just a fork of the former. Parts of the Antergos community, who were already actively involved in the project, got together and started EndeavourOS which launched under the new name in June 2019.
The idea of EndeavourOS was to
“have Arch installed with an easy to use installer and a friendly, helpful community to fall back on during the journey to master the system”.
And that is pretty much what it is! Even if EndeavourOS is an terminal-centric distro and just like Arch is a "do-it yourself" GNU/Linux distribution, it is hassle-free and super user friendly even during the installation. Which is especially good for beginners and even 'long time but not so advanced users' of Linux find it a big assistance.
EndeavourOS comes with the Calameres installer and you can install it easily via an ISO and memory-stick images. To do so check the official site
I usually use Etcher as it is really easy to create a bootable USB stick.
Now it gets interesting, you have two ways to install EndeavourOS, the first is an offline installer, which is a fully themed XFCE. The installation is extremely fast and basically does it all for you.
The second option is an online installer, which offers you not just XFCE but you can also choose from Mate, LXQt, i3-wm, Cinnamon, Plasma, Gnome, Budgie and Deepin (the last one is not recommended as it is still in beta and not yet 100% stable)
So basically you can chose between the entire sexiness of GUI's Linux offers. Well, most of them at least! Of course you can change GUI on any Linux distro but this 'out of the box' during installation is pretty cool.
EndeavourOS ISO also allows you to chose between open source graphics driver and Nvidia proprietary drivers to boot on systems that come with dedicated NVIDIA graphic cards.
As I said, this is all pretty much self explanatory until you hit swap! The default option is No Swap. Now as a beginner you might be lost at that point. You can use Linux with No Swap, but on balance you probably need Swap, except if you really have a lot of RAM.
Now we have that out of the way...but then we hit Swap (with no Hibernate) or Swap (with Hibernate). Again, you probably do not need Hibernate except when you plan to fully hibernate on an Laptop. Everything else is straight forward and should install your system in no time.
After the installation EndeavourOS greets you with a bunch of notification balloons, as it uses kalu (Keeping Arch Linux Up-to-date). It checks in on packages which need to be updated like Arch Linux News, AUR packages etc.
Now after installation you wont find many packages, unlike other distros which have LibreOffice and other apps pre-installed, EndeavourOS gives you vanilla Arch, in other words you pick the applications you would like to use.
Now EndeavourOS claims it's a terminal-centric distro with a bunch of GUI tools including a 'Selecting Arch Mirror' tool, which makes it super easy to chose the mirror next to your location, or switching if you need to.
The EndeavourOS Log Tool, which allows you to easily troubleshoot and debug as it monitors your logs. This might be something you never use, but can come in handy if you have some questions in forums or other support sites as they mostly ask you for log files to fix and troubleshoot your system.
The community is super helpful as well and they even say:
“Stupid questions simply don’t exist with us, we’re happy to help you through your system and the terminal commands from beginning to end in a friendly manner.”
The Bottom Line
EndeavourOS is probably the best solution for jumping into Arch, you get the best Arch has to offer with an simple installer.
The bleeding-edge nature of any Arch Linux-based distribution, including the newest kernels and access to the AUR, will make for excellent hardware compatibility.
said someone who knows there shit!
Give it a shot! if you are still on the hunt for the best Linux distro, EndeavourOS won't disappoint!
Stay safe, stay secure!
The Privacy Advocate