EndeavourOS: A Lightweight Arch Linux Based Distro


If you are looking to try out an Arch Linux based distribution, then EndeavourOS can be a good choice. It is a lightweight, rolling release distribution that makes it easy for users that are new to Arch Linux based environment.

Installing EndeavourOS:

Download the EndeavourOS ISO image from here. Then, create a bootable USB drive and boot up from it. You can directly use the dd command to do that in Linux. In Windows, use Rufus or Balena Etcher to do so.

On first boot-up, choose the default setting to look at the live environment.

EndeavourOS live USB boot-up

There will be a welcome screen with different choices. To install it, click on Start the Installer.

running the EndeavourOS installer

EndeavourOS uses Calamares for installation. This is a popular installer usually found in Arch Linux based distributions. Compared to Arch Linux, the installation of EndeavourOS is a lot easier as it is fully graphical.

Types of installation methods:

Before the installation begins, there will be two ways to go about it:

  • Offline: If you want to run the setup without getting online, then choose the Offline mode. This will install a complete Xfce based environment.
  • Online: To connect to the Internet and install using other desktop environments, you would need to choose the Online mode.

types of installation types in EndeavourOS

Nine different environments are available to choose from Xfce, Budgie, KDE Plasma, MATE, LXQt, Deepin, GNOME, Cinnamon, and i3. (This article uses the Online mode of installation with Xfce as the desktop environment.)

The installation screens will be familiar if you have installed other distros like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and so on. Choose the language to begin the installation.

EndeavourOS installer

Then, choose the keyboard layout and the time zone.

selecting keyboard type and layout

For disk partitioning, EndeavourOS offers options like erasing the full disk or manually setting up the partitions.

disk partitioning options during EndeavourOS installation

If the full disk option is chosen, you can choose to either have swap space enabled with or without hibernation or disable it.

enabling or disabling swap during EndeavourOS installation

You can also enable encryption while setting up the disk partitions from here. Click Next to continue.

A list of available desktop environments and other system packages will be listed to select and install.

choosing which desktop environment to install during online installation of EndeavourOS

This only happens in the Online mode which is what was selected. Choose as needed and click on Next.

Then, enter the user details on the next screen. You can also assign the same password for administrator rights from here.

creating a user during EndeavourOS installation

Review and finalize installation choices:

A final confirmation screen will be displayed listing the various system choices before the installation starts. You can go back and change settings if needed. If all is as needed, click on Install.

review and finalize installation settings for EndeavourOS

The installation of EndeavourOS will take a while. Wait for it to complete.

EndeavourOS installation in progress

If all goes well, the installation completed screen will be displayed. Select Restart now and click on Done.

EndeavourOS installation completed

After a restart, you can now login to the shiny new install of EndeavourOS.

Using EndeavourOS:

Once logged in, the desktop layout will be that of the desktop environment that was selected. This example uses the Xfce layout.

EndeavourOS login screen
Thunar is the default file manager.

Thunar file manager in EndeavourOS

Also, on logging in, to make the first use easier there will be a Welcome menu. This consists of different options like General Info which will launch EndeavourOS support forums and other webpages. The Tips section is for getting to know how to use EndeavourOS better. The After Install section is for updating the system, updating mirrors, and configuring various display settings.

different options in welcome screen of EndeavourOS

EndeavourOS also comes with its own mirror manager Reflector Simple which can be accessed from the System menu.

Reflector Simple tool for managing EndeavourOS mirrors

Through this, you can change the mirror location, change the maximum number of mirrors, and so on.

choosing EndeavourOS mirrors using Reflector Simple

Default apps:

EndeavourOS comes with a bunch of useful apps already installed. This again will depend on the desktop environment that was selected, Xfce in this example.

Accessories: Lightweight text editors like Leafpad and Mousepad are installed by default.

default installed accessories in EndeavourOS

Internet: Firefox is the default browser. You can install other browsers either from the Welcome screen or from the Terminal.

Graphics: Ristretto Image Viewer is the default image viewing tool along with XSane for scanning.

graphics tools in EndeavourOS

Multimedia: Parole Media Player is the default multimedia player.

Multimedia tools in EndeavourOS

Office: Orage Calendar, Orage Globaltime, and ePDF Viewer are the default installed apps.

Office apps in EndeavourOS

Ways to install other apps:

The Add More Apps in the Welcome screen is to install other commonly used programs that are not installed by default. These include LibreOffice, Chromium browser, Firewall, and so on.

adding other apps in EndeavourOS using the Welcome screen

Also, you can browse AUR (Arch Linux User Repository) and search for packages before installing them. AUR has many packages that aren’t officially supported by Arch Linux but you can still download and install them.

So EndeavourOS comes with its package manager – yay for that. It is in addition to pacman which is what Arch Linux based distros use to install and manage packages from the Terminal.

Using pacman and yay to install apps:

Pacman:

To install packages directly from the Terminal using pacman, use the -S parameter and the package name:

pacman -S packagename

installing packages in EndeavourOS using pacman

You can also directly update the system with the -Syu parameters through pacman.

yay:

Its syntax is similar to pacman. To install a package, use the -S parameter followed by the package name:

yay -S packagename

installing packages in EndeavourOS using yay

To search for a package before installing it:

yay packagename

searching for packages using yay in EndeavourOS

To know more information about a package, use the -Si parameters:

yay -Si packagename

finding information about packages using yay in EndeavourOS

This is a lightweight Arch Linux based distro with a variety of desktop environments to choose from.

EndeavourOS with different apps opened

If you want to try an Arch Linux distro for the first time, then EndeavourOS as a lightweight distro can be useful. Even better if you have used some earlier such distros and have familiarity with the Arch Linux environment.

All done.


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