Confessions of a DistroHopper

First let me clarify that I have two installations (one desktop, one server) of EndeavourOS, so I don’t refer to that. I like EOS and the community for sure.

However, I am driven to check out any innovation in DEs across different distros, so I typically have at least seven distros on my desktop at all times. Most of them are permanent guests and I occasionally flip over there and use them for at least a few hours. I have one or two partitions that I flip back and forth as the fancy arises. I’ve tried to make some permanent, but I find that even though I kind of like them, I simply can’t abide them on my hard drive (this makes no sense, really), for various reasons (like they cause my grub-updates to take far too long). I feel so fickle!
Can anyone relate, or am I just truly the oddball?


Yes, you are!
:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :sweat_smile: :beers:


I test about 100 distros/year so I know what you mean.

The difference is that I do most of that in VMs.

My laptop has a bunch of distros because I wanted to test if I could install a bunch of different distros in a single btrfs filesystem with systemd-boot. At one point I had as many as 7.

The reality is that booting that many distros on a single machine is more of a pain than it is worth for me. Everytime you boot into a different one you need to update it since there is a good chance it hasn’t been updated in a while.


hah I confess (also) that I’m one of those person that LOVES updates (probably why I love arch based). I have Fiber Internet these days and it goes so fast that it’s not a problem. I try to update at least every two weeks to all partitions though.

It’s a little oddball but the world is full of oddballs. Not long after I discovered Linux I set up a desktop machine multibooting 10 different distros–on the metal–no virtualbox! It started out as an experiment just to see if I could, but then I couldn’t bring myself to end it. I kept the thing going for months, happily hopping to a different distro daily, sometimes even hourly. If I saw a shiny new distro on YouTube or Distrowatch, I’d blow out a partition and install it. It was fun and I learned a lot in a hurry. MX eventually rose to the top of the heap and moderated my distro hopping fever. EOS seems to have cured me completely. No relapse for 13 months!



Unless you plan to seriously use a distro, bare metal installs are kind of a waste of time.

A lot easier to have your primary host OS and do all your distro testing from within that.

QEMU + KVM + libvirt guest VMs performs much better than virtualbox too, almost laughably so, the effort to learn this is well worth it.


I prefer real installs…I haven’t had the best experience with virtual environments. Though I can understand your point.


I use no end of DVDs from Linux Format - the last one I checked out was ZorinOS-16 which is very professional. Of course I also use flash drives - sometimes permanently as with Tails+Tor for many years.
As with Tails+Tor you can forget you are running from a stick as it so fast.
I have read that VM’s have issues whereas the above once installed are “same as” they were on the stick or DVD. My confession :innocent:

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Then you are doing it wrong.


That is always possible.

For me my desktop usually keeps the same distro for several years until I get a wild hair and decide to replace it for something else. Like for instance at the moment it has Garuda gaming on it mostly because that distro makes non-steam games easy to play without even having to use lutris. My laptop on the other hand gets used as a distro whore if you will, anytime I want to try another distro out. Though I find my self less and less wanting to veir to far away from vanilla arch. A few weeks or so ago I wanted to try pop_os because I was curious about the cosmic desktop but then quickly got pissed off by the fact that I needed to go looking for PPAs and stuff for apps I use so instead of doing another arch install from scratch I decided I would just make the switch to EOS with KDE and have been enjoying it quite a bit. I really like that it automatically does most of the stuff I would have normally done my self for me saving hours and hours of settup.


I don’t bother too much myself, pretty settled here with EOS/Arch.

I just fire up a VM if I’m ever curious about a distro but my distro hopping days are behind me


I am starting to get that way for the most part, especially after this last time, I was kinda mad at my self for blasting away my arch install I had put hours and hours into tweaking just because I was curious about another distro. Then again, it is what led me to install EOS and appreciate all that you guys do to make it to where I don’t have to spend hours making it the way I had my arch install setup. I will stand by my opinion that everyone who wants to run an arch distro should do install it at least once, though.

That can easily be a matter of frustration. Though I hear you and I agree you have a point. Of course, using their new install script, it’s actually easy…though I will assume you might mean the old method with pure commands and no scripts?

wait so arch has its own official install script now? When did this happen? I installed it like 3 months ago on my laptop following the wiki and there was no mention of this. I know there are 3rd party ones like anarchy and stuff like that, but never knew about an official one. But yes I meant the command method just because it teaches you a bit about how the system works and teaches a little bit about the command line.

It was first included in the April 2021 ISO. Since it was announced/released on April 1 (April Fool’s Day), many assumed it was a joke.


I actually just tried it for the first time a week or two ago. It’s quite simple, but everything was very straight forward questions, it was nice and simple and I ended up with a working system.

I still like archfi a lot more.


I still like The Arch Way™ of installation best.


Yeah, I am watching a video of it now. I am just shocked they made such a thing, more than anything. I have never tried archfi. I have tried anarchy and the old architect one from several years back and liked those fine but to see an official installer is just shocking to me because it was always my understanding those were frowned upon.

Arch used to have an installer. The maintainer abandoned it, and no one picked it up. It was officially deprecated in 2012.