Distrowatch Top 5 Distributions Review: EndeavourOS
Continuing on with our review of the Top 5 distributions listed on the popular site Distrowatch, is the #2 according to the rankings (based on hits to the Distrowatch page for the OS, not based on downloads), EndeavourOS.
You can check out the review of #1, MX Linux, here.
For those unfamiliar with the distro, it’s about as close to vanilla Arch Linux as you can get, without installing Arch itself. Rather than using separate repositories like Manjaro for example, EndeavourOS uses the Arch repos, and includes very few packages of their own. There are some, yes, a few handy utilities or extra packages such as the amazingly awesome yay command line utility for package installation from both Arch repos and the AUR in an easy to use wrapper, but I would say that EndeavourOS installs 99% pure Arch Linux.
EndeavourOS can be installed either offline or online from the same ISO. The offline installation comes with a customized Xfce desktop that actually looks really nice in my eyes, and is well organized and designed, or you can use the online installation option and choose your environment of choice during the installation process. Your options are:
- KDE Plasma
There are also community Editions available through the installer on the same ISO that support other desktop environments during installation, so unless you use some pretty obscure environment, good chance your favourite will be available.
For this installation and review I opted for KDE Plasma.
- Ryzen 5 3500X
- 16GB DDR4 3000Mhz
- NVIDIA GTX 1660 Super
- System installed on a SATA SSD
The EndeavourOS installation from a live-usb that I created was extremely simple. The Calamares installation utility found in numerous other distributions is the one used here, and it makes installations such a breeze...It took less than five minutes to install, and there was not a single hiccup or issue. It really doesn’t get much easier than this.
Included Software and Features
EndeavourOS is not quite as minimal as Arch Linux, but it’s definitely more minimal than many other distributions. I had to manually install an office suite for example, but it did come with VLC, Elisa music player, Dragon Player video player, XSane scanner utility, and a handful of default KDE utilities included. If you want a distribution that has a hundred different programs and utilities out-of-the-box, you're not going to like EndeavourOS, but for those of you who prefer a minimalistic system you can install only what you want on, this should be quite fine for most.
EndeavourOS flies. Like, if it were possible for it to open applications before you even clicked them, I am certain that it would...KDE has become super lightweight in recent times, but also having a minimalistic system without a lot of bloat really makes a huge difference. With four browser tabs open to various sites, LibreOffice Writer open and my three monitors going, I was bouncing between 0.9%-1.5% CPU and 2.3GB RAM used.
It's no secret to anyone who has read my distro reviews in the past that I love Arch and Arch based systems...and EndeavourOS is no exception. If you love Arch, and you want Arch with a nice graphical installer, easy desktop environment choosing and installation, minimal bloat, and a great and friendly community, give EndeavourOS a try; I highly doubt you will be disappointed. Frankly, I have used EndeavourOS multiple times in the past, and I always come back to it unless I need an Ubuntu system or something else for some specific reason. I used to use Manjaro a lot, but EndeavourOS took my #1 spot when it came to Arch based systems. But, with that said, Manjaro and other systems are absolutely awesome too, and have some perks that EndeavourOS does not; but I'll save that for the Manjaro review coming in the near future.
Have you used EndeavourOS? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments!Advertisement