Continuing our review of the Top 5 distros listed on the popular Distrowatch site, is # 2 according to the rankings (based on visits to the Distrowatch page for the operating system, not based on downloads), EndeavorOS.
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 it gets, without installing Arch itself. Rather than using separate repositories like Manjaro for example, EndeavorOS uses Arch repositories and includes very few packages. There are, yes, a few handy utilities or additional packages such as the Incredibly Awesome Yay Command line utility for installing packages from Arch repositories and AUR in an easy to use wrapper, but I would say EndeavorOS installs 99% pure Arch Linux.
EndeavorOS can be installed offline or online from the same ISO. The offline install comes with a custom Xfce desktop that looks really good to me, and is well organized and designed, or you can use the online install option and choose your environment. choice during the installation process. Your options are:
- KDE Plasma
- Deep in
There are also community editions available through installer on the same ISO that support other desktop environments during installation, so unless you are using a fairly obscure environment there are high chances that your favorite is available.
For this installation and review, I opted for KDE Plasma.
- Ryzen 5 3500X
- 16 GB DDR4 3000Mhz
- NVIDIA GTX 1660 Super
- System installed on a SATA SSD
Installing EndeavorOS from a live-usb I created was extremely easy. The Calamares installer utility that you find in many other distributions is the one used here, and it makes the installations so easy … The installation took less than five minutes and there was no problem or problem. It really doesn’t get any easier than that.
Software and features included
EndeavorOS isn’t as minimal as Arch Linux, but it’s definitely more minimal than many other distros. I had to manually install an office suite for example, but it came with VLC, Elisa music player, Dragon Player video player, XSane scanner utility, and a handful of default KDE utilities included. If you want a distro that has a hundred different programs and utilities out of the box, you won’t like EndeavorOS, but for those of you who prefer a minimalist system, you can only install what you want, that should be good enough for most.
EndeavorOS flies. For example, if it was possible to open apps before you even clicked them I’m sure it would … KDE has gotten super lightweight lately, but also have a minimalist system without a lot of bloat really makes a huge difference. With four browser tabs open on various sites, LibreOffice Writer open, and my three monitors running, I bounced between 0.9% and 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 EndeavorOS is no exception. If you love Arch and want Arch with a nice graphical installer, easy desktop choice and installation, minimal overhead, and a great, friendly community, try EndeavorOS; I very much doubt you will be disappointed. Frankly, I have used EndeavorOS a few times in the past, and I always come back to it unless I need an Ubuntu or whatever system for some specific reason. I used Manjaro a lot, but EndeavorOS took my first place when it comes to Arch-based systems. But, that said, Manjaro and other systems are also absolutely awesome and have advantages that EndeavorOS does not; but I will save this for the upcoming Manjaro review in the near future.
Have you used EndeavorOS? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!