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With a little Mass Effect

First impressions of Antergos installation

I recently made a switch from the safety and comfort of the Debian based Linux distributions to Antergos, based off Arch Linux.

So how did this come to be?

One of the amazing things about Linux is the fact that there is always something new out there to learn. A new package manager, a different desktop environment, a different philosophy, a completely different ethos.

While you never quite start from scratch, there can be a significant learning curve when approaching a new distribution, and particularly when you enter a radically different paradigm. 

I had been interested in Arch Linux for quite some time, both by way of reputation and from reviews I had read and watched. At the same time, I felt that the challenge would be steep and I was not sure I would be up to up basically building an entire system from scratch.

At the same time, the idea of a rolling release seemed appealing to me, and I wanted to broaden my horizons.

The solution eventually found it’s way to me, in the form of Antergos. This is a spin off distribution of Arch, mostly in the shape of a nice and very user friendly installer, along with some basic default applications to let you hit the ground running.

Upon booting from a USB stick, I was greeted with a simple, easy installer that let you configure my locale settings and pick from one of several desktop options.
While I was slightly dismayed at the lack of KDE, I had been meaning to try out Gnome 3 for quite some time.

About half an hour later, everything was done, I rebooted the system and was greeted by a Gnome desktop. To my great pleasure, everything worked out of the box on my Dell laptop. Wireless worked great, all the special multimedia keys worked, Steam loaded fine, the desktop was quick and responsive, and it was a breeze to add a few additional applications with the Pacman tool.

With a little Mass Effect

With a little Mass Effect

While Arch tends towards being a command line heavy distro, Antergos ships with PacmanXG, which, while not as polished as the Ubuntu software center or Muon, is extremely functional and full featured.
I am reminded of the type of multi-function administration tool that YAST is, and I think it will fill many of the same types of roles.

After witnessing the desktop in action, our two remaining computers were likely switched to the distribution, since I felt it would be easier to administer a single distribution in our household.

In future articles, we will go into more depth with specifics of the desktop, and particularly a newcomers experiences with Gnome3 and the PacmanXG tool.

We are looking for aspiring bloggers and journalists for The Mukt. If you are interested, apply now!

If you want to test Antergos for yourself, it will also run in a live environment, and was extremely quick when used in this fashion. Some live installs, from my past experience, can be a little sluggish, but I felt no such limitations here.

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Ivan Sorensen

I'm a 34 year old Dane, transplanted to the west coast of the United States. I've been living the Linux dream for 10 years. I like gaming, heavy metal and cats. Maybe the cats like heavy metal too.

3 Comments

  1. Just curious, not at all trying to start an argument, I promise…if you were curious about Arch, why not just go full throttle and install Arch? It is really satisfying, even if the install is a little tricky, when you are all done and have a smokin fast OS that you pretty much built yourself. And it would have been easy to get your KDE fix as well.That said, Gnome 3 is nice, even if a little buggy. I have a sweet Arch install running XFCE in a virtual box inside Mint16, and with half the resources, it’s nearly twice as fast as Mint. When I get some spare time, planning to go full Arch on this beast. Also planning a new build with my 12yo daughter, gonna roll up a nice Arch with E17 (she really like Enlightenment and it runs great on Arch) and have her do all the Terminal action. Great way to learn Linux!

    • What if.. at some point you run out of ‘fixing stuff’ time?

      • Lol…funny you should ask! Have been doing a lot of “fixing stuff” lately. Hence the late reply.
        Just got this bad boy going, Arch-Linux, with a fullblown KDE and some extra goodies. Tried Cinnamon, XFCE, and E18 (which is not ready for prime-time yet, IMO). Found none of them were quite what I wanted as far as flexibility and eye-candy. So I revisited KDE, and am finding that I like it quite a bit.

        And honestly, I spend more time “breaking stuff” than “fixing stuff”! If you don’t break your desktop at least once a week, you’re doin it wrong! LOL.
        I enjoy tinkering and customizing, editing scripts, etc. My computer is my hobby, so I always make time for it. And getting the kids into it is a great opportunity to spend time with them doing something we all enjoy, Linuxing. When the youngest asked me to build her a machine, she made one cast-iron demand…no Windows!

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