Over the years, Arch Linux has had the misfortune of being maligned as one of the more challenging modern Linux distributions. That’s a shame, because Arch Linux is one of the most solid distributions you’ll find. Nonetheless, new users finding their way over to the official Arch Linux installation guide may choose to return to the likes of Ubuntu or Linux Mint. Now, however, there are other options, due to the release of some very user-friendly takes on the Arch Linux distribution, including Antergos.
According to the official website, the purpose of Antergos is:
…to provide a modern, elegant, and powerful operating system based on one of the best Linux distributions available, Arch Linux. Users need not be linux experts nor developers in order to use Antergos. From long-time linux users to linux users of only a few months, Antergos is for everyone.
After giving Antergos a thorough kick of the tires, I have to say, the developers have done a remarkable job in making Arch Linux accessible to the masses. There’s not one thing in the way of preventing the average user from getting the most out of this distribution. In fact, there are a couple of tricks up the old Antergos sleeve that other distros might want to note.
Let me explain.
The bulk of the installation is really nothing new. It’s incredibly simple (as we have come to know and love with most Linux distributions), and it’s about as streamlined as an operating system installation can get. During the installation, however, the user is given a couple of very interesting choices (one of which takes me back about 15 years). The first choice (the one that hearkens back to the earlier days of Linux), gives the user a choice of which desktop environment they’d like to use. The choices are (Figure 1) Base (console only), Cinnamon, GNOME, KDE, MATE, Openbox, and Xfce).