(Just warning you, this post turned out to be a huge wall of text that took several hours to write, so I’m sorry in advance! There is a TL;DR at the end)
Good afternoon, everyone! I’ve found out about EndeavourOS a while ago, and recently took interest in it and have been observing it and its community lately. I’ve heard the EOS community is nice and welcoming, so I’ve decided to try to participate in it. c:
I’ve been interested in Linux for quite some time, and wanted to switch to it ever since Windows 7 was End-of-Life’d and I wasn’t terribly fond of switching to 10. Unfortunately, when I had to switch to 10 back in March 2021, my attempt to switch to Linux (I had chosen to dual-boot W10 with Manjaro at the time) backfired horribly as I did not understand partitions and broke my entire installations, and because I was very inexperienced at the time, I decided I was too dumb to ever understand Linux and reluctantly backed away and reinstalled Windows 10 to stick with it.
Nevertheless, as time passed and I grew increasingly frustrated and skeptical of Windows 10, and especially when Windows 11 was announced (which, though I think it looks pretty, worsens the issues I have with 10 and I don’t even know if my mobo has TPM 2.0), I decided to look into switching into Linux again - and, this time, making sure to extensively research about how Linux and its installation work, so I’d be able to actually understand what’s going on and how to pull off my basic computer needs. And, after a long time of researching, reading documents (and the Arch Wiki and ProtonDB), watching various LInux tutorials in YouTube
(as well as asking loads of questions on /r/linux4noobs on Reddit), I am happy to say that I finally took the courage to switch to Linux for real (and no dual-booting this time!) since November 2nd, and I’ve managed to adapt quite well to the Linux ecosystem with Linux Mint’s friendly and forgiving UI guiding me through the hard parts ^-^
However, although Mint has worked rather well for me and I love how newbie-friendly it is, I’ve been getting frustrated and disappointed with it lately - specifically, its (and Debian’s) repositories are quite old and missing a lot of things that often were available in places like the AUR, and there have been several moments where I wanted to install a program that either wasn’t in the Mint repos (and required me to either compile it from source or start adding external PPAs and creating a frankenstein), or it had dependencies that themselves weren’t in the repos, or the repos only had a very outdated version that was not compatible with the program in question. I also have been frustrated with Cinnamon due to its filesystem having issues displaying image previews, and it having compositing baked as a hard-dependency to that DE (which kills my game performance because I’m stuck with an old Nvidia GPU), but that’s more of a DE issue than a Mint one.
These issues have pushed me to take an interest in switching to a Rolling-Release, Bleeding-Edge distro instead of sticking with Mint, as I’d like to be able to reliably get more up-to-date repositories, packages and dependencies that can give me better features and reliably work with current programs that depend on them, as well as not having to reinstall my OS with every new release like Point-Release distros do. In addition, I was also interested in being able to set up my OS the way I wanted, as although I like how Mint came with several programs pre-installed to serve as convenience, I didn’t like that I often wasn’t aware of what was already installed and what wasn’t, and the fact that Mint’s repos are so outdated also makes it a bit more grating to me. Plus, I wanna have whatever DE I want OOTB. Based on all those things, I figured that the distro best-suited for me would be Arch due to letting me set it up the way I wanted and having a wide, up-to-date repository and the AUR making things convenient.
But, despite all that, I wasn’t too keen on using Arch; I’m not very fond of using CLI installers as I feel it’s very easy for a clumsy person like me to accidentally break it or get overwhelming, plus the Arch community is pretty infamous for being really elitistic and unfriendly to new users. I wanted something Arch-like that would walk me through its installation in an easy way, but also give me the same powers and freedom that Arch would. Manjaro is popular for being “the easy Arch”, but I heard a lot about it being unstable due to using a different repository and holding back packages causing AUR packages to break, plus pamac DDoSing the AUR
(and its installer breaking on me before made me unkeen to use it again), so I’m not interested in using it again. Meanwhile, EndeavourOS so far seems like it ticks all the boxes for things I’m looking for, and it made me feel rather enamored with it from what I’ve seen - it just looks like the ideal distro for what I need.
That said… I’m worried that, precisely because it’s still vanilla Arch besides the installer and shipping with Yay, it may be too much for someone like me to handle. I mean, I don’t think I’m a Linux newbie anymore – I’ve been happily using Linux Mint for nearly a month, and on top of having extensively researched it before switching, I’ve gained enough experience to generally understand how things work, plus I like using the terminal for doing stuff like installing packages and zipping files, as well as running basic debug commands like inxi – but I’m still not sure if 1 month of experience with a beginner Linux distro is enough to carry me through EndeavourOS (especially since I still often prefer using a GUI in most cases, plus I don’t know if Debian knowledge carries over well to Arch), and the first week of me having switched to Linux cold-turkey and being overwhelmed by everything and trying to get stuff to actually work was such a terrifying and stressful experience (though rewarding after I finally got it to work) that I don’t know if I can go through it all over again.
So… ultimately, TL;DR - I guess I mostly wanted to ask, how difficult would it be for someone like me to adapt to EndeavourOS? Is it considered a “hard” distro like Arch is, or is it more of an “intermediate” one? Is my ~1 month experience with Linux Mint and my casual-but-shallow finagling with the Terminal sufficient to carry me through or at the very least serve as a good starting point for EOS, or is it not enough to handle such a more complicated and involved distro?
(Please do keep in mind that, although I want something more customizable and bleeding-edge and am okay with and even expecting to do manual configuration through the terminal to install and setup some programs, I also want something that “just works” without dealing with breakage all the time, so please do let me know how EOS fares on that front, too. Also, don’t worry about anything Nvidia related – I only plan to switch to EOS when I get a new AMD GPU I’ve been planning to get for a while now, 'cause I’m tired of dealing with Nvidia bullshit :p)