Considering Moving to Ubuntu

Warning: This is a long rant / story into the void, that may seem like it served no large purpose by the end. Read at your own risk.

I’m at a crossroads folks. My journey into Arch Linux began with Manjaro. After the maintainers created issues in package repos that temporarily broke it for practically every user, and it happened more than once, and I’m pretty sure some other considerable messup happened as well, I started looking for alternatives. I like Arch Linux. I like the AUR a lot. I love the Arch Wiki.

I came across EndeavourOS, and I loved the vision for a minimally-configured but functional Arch distribution. My experience has been pretty good from the start. It’s been a stable experience, and I really like the way it is configured.

Over the years, Arch Linux, and especially EOS, has taught me A LOT more about Linux. It has been a great learning experience. I have solved many many problems and built up my chops and understanding of the Linux OS and how to wrangle it, customize it, and solve problems. I really appreciate that, and I still do.

EOS gave me a great foundation to start working out how I really want to configure my systems. I’ve built up many layers of things customized to my liking. A highly customized AwesomeWM desktop environment, system tweaks for music production and gaming, tweaks for software and web development, and the list goes on and on. My habit of heavily extensive documentation (using a customized Obsidian as my note taking app) allowed me to record all my learnings and the process of getting things the way I want. I recently put in a lot of work I had long been putting off to configure almost all the most important pieces of my environment and system in Ansible. I also have become quite fond of ZFS, and figured out a working procedure to install EOS with ZFS on root. It’s been working quite well, and through multiple iterations, I have learned a lot about how booting Linux works. Now, I have been able to get 4 different systems into consistent configurations thanks to all my documented procedures and Ansible.

But now, here is the crossroads. After rebuilding my main gaming PC that has laid dormant for a long while, everything went fairly smoothly. But lately I have been encountering a few more snags and difficult-to-debug here and there. And most of all, gaming on this setup has become less reliable. There are quite a few games that either: used to work, and I can no longer get working, like Halo: Infinite; or say they should work on ProtonDB, with or without tweaks, yet I can’t seem to get them working. It seems like on Ubuntu, people generally have a lot less fighting to get some of these things working smoothly.

I’m about to put in a lot of work to really refine my music production and make it reproducible with Ansible. But I have to ask myself: am I really committed enough to Arch Linux to invest more time into these systems despite the increasing number of small issues? Do I expect these systems to be stable in the long-term and not require occasional reworks or significant changes? I’m starting to think maybe not. And I’m starting to think that I may have gotten most of the value I can from Arch Linux and EOS. If I go back to Ubuntu now with the knowledge and experience I have gained, I think I can tweak and customize it really to my liking, but have a much easier and stable experience. It is, after all, the “default” Linux distribution that gets the most attention and support across the board.

Unfortunately, I will have to rework a lot of my Ansible code to make it compatible with Ubuntu. That’s not ideal, especially since I recently put so much work into it, but mostly it will be adjusting for differing package names. The structure of the Ansible code was one of the hardest things to figure out how to do well, and I don’t think that will need to change very much.

I will also sorely miss the AUR. I’m not looking forward to finding out how many packages and tweaks will require manual procedures because they will no longer be available as packages.

I’m not sure why I bother with making this post / rant. Maybe someone more experienced with Ubuntu has some thoughts about my concerns with it. Or perhaps some of you could convince me that moving to Ubuntu might be a mistake based on my goals and wants.

I feel a little somber to be leaving EOS behind, but the more I think about it, the more I convince myself that I’m ready to go back to mainstream Linux, albeit with my own customizations. But hey, I have a Steam Deck, which is based on Arch, so I will still have a little bit of Arch in my life still. I’m not sure I can justify maintaining any Arch Linux installations anymore though, after I finish transitioning to Ubuntu.

I’ll just reiterate that I greatly appreciate all that Arch has taught me, the Arch community, and the EOS community.


Maybe go NobaraOS or Garuda instead?

Ubuntu these days is just too corporate and not focused on what makes Linux, well Linux. Forced updates, literal ads in your terminal, a package manager that deletes everything to install Steam, old packages that often hurt gaming more than help it, Canonical forcing the latest shit on you, etc.

There’s a reason SteamOS tried Debian for “stability”, then switched to Arch. Because to the Debian devs, stability means ancient, which is the opposite of gaming.


However, bear in mind Arch is a moving target. Debian is fossilized. Very different, use what fits you best.


You will have some problems with Ubuntu too and you will not get the benefits of the latest improvements.

Your issue is probably some missing knowledge or wrong setup. I can run everything that protondb shows as playable. If you have questions you can ask, I can help, unless it’s nvidia :nauseated_face: related.

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My 2 cents:

I believe you are certainly better off with a more static Linux distro. I mean “static” in the sense of “less frequent changes” with less probability to break.

The question is: How static must it be so that you are happy? If you do not want to go for a niche distro you only have a few choices.

Ubuntu: Not my world. The Ubuntu company is doing some weird stuff in my opinion (e.g. snapd). I would not recommend ubuntu to anybody.

Debian Stable: The most static of all distros. But also the distro with the oldest application versions.

Debian Testing: This is good! You could give it a try. Dont be concerned about the term “Testing”. It is very robust.

Linux Mint LMDE: This is Linux Mint build on debian and not on Ubuntu. Also not bad.

Fedora: This is what I would try if I would want to move away from EndeavourOS/Arch. I have it running in a vmware for years. And it works fine. And it has a very big community and a very big software repo.


Exactly, Ubuntu is never the best choice nowadays.


Use whatever you think is best, but I would recommend a vm or test machine first either way. Create a copy of your ansible setup with whatever changes you need to make it work with whatever distro you want to move to.

From there see how much work it will be to get things how you like them in the vm first. Once you have it how you like it. Play with it for a while and see if you truly like it better. If not try something else. Finally, make a system back up in case you ever want to come back.

I remember going through a similar phase after trying manjaro, fedora and opensuse tumbleweed. For me Manjaro just never worked. I later found out that was because of how they do their packaging.

I didn’t have any problems with openSUSE Tumbleweed on the technical side and I honestly liked it a lot, but ultimately the lack of packages kinda got to me. However, I had learned by this point that I absolutely wanted a rolling release distro.
Fedora was really cool, but the most important piece of software for me is the desktop environment and I use KDE which moves too fast for Fedora’s releases. I was also still pretty new to linux and getting access to niche packages that solved the issue of missing functionality on linux was a problem on Fedora. This is a problem that the AUR solves. My final problem with Fedora was how it felt like KDE was a second class citizen. This was back during Fedora 31. They didn’t have packages such kwallet-pam preinstalled which caused the infamous plasma constantly asks for your password problem, but they did preinstall like two or three different broswers and whole slew of redundant applications.

Next up was Arch or something based on it. I’ll admit that I broke it a couple of times and it was at this point I considered moving back to Ubuntu or something based on it like KDE Neon, but then when I started looking into what I would have to do in order to get it how I wanted it. Including things such as updating various drivers, setting up a bunch of ppa’s, and while like you said

The problem that I ran into is that although Ubuntu is supported, they are often times just dropping a random deb file on you. They don’t get updated with the system and just like ppa’s they can actively prevent you from being able to do system upgrades because they haven’t been updated.

In the end I gave endeavourOS one more shot after having learned more about linux and have been with it ever since.

Out of curiousity, what does your gaming setup look like. You mentioned

This is just my anecdotale expeirence, but for me things have become even more stable in this scenario. The problem is I don’t play a whole lot of games. Palworld, Baldur’s Gate 3, Combat Masters, and a bunch of pc games that are no longer being updated. I have never had to use heroic launcher or any other kind of third party launcher for the stuff that I play.

I didn’t type all of this to convince you whether or not to stay or to go. I just wanted to tell you about my journey in the hopes that it might be of some use. I think ultimately you have to decide whether or not you want a rolling release distro or a point release distro.

Point releases are more stable in the sense that they don’t change much for long periods of time. My favorite description of them is “The bugs you have today are the bugs you will have tomorrow”.

  • For me though I know that I do not want to deal with updating from one version to the next ever again.

  • I want an easy way to create packages for my system that I can keep up to date. Something like the AUR/PKGBUILDS. The opensuse build system while really cool and definitely better than Ubuntu PPA’s and Fedora’s COPR’s still fell short of the ease of use of a PKGBUILD.

  • While I don’t have to have the absolute latest version of every piece of software. It turned out that there were quite a few pieces of software that I do want to be up to date and that number kept growing over the years which was another issue I had with Fedora which is often mentioned in online circles as being a good mix between up to date and stable. Flatpak has solved some of those problems, but has in turn introduced some new ones, so I still prefer system packages wherever possible.


Are you against containers ? If not, distros don’t really matter, one can run debian and for most of his need use distrobox/flatpak.

I switched from Ubuntu to EndeavourOS because setting up some applications and playing games was much more difficult on Ubuntu.
I do get more small issues on EOS but for bigger issues I can either actually find solutions or ask questions and sometimes even get replies, which didn’t work out for me on Ubuntu.


So u been having problems with games, i mean trying to use ubuntu is worth a try but… I’d start by switching between steam runtime and native modes,and changing proton versions.

There’s no guarantee it’ll be any easier on ubuntu. If anything I think it could easily be harder because custom software like say proton-ge is harder to install there, and you may end up more reliant on flatpaks and appimages which just screws everything up by being weirdly different from normally installed packages.

there’s also the matter of basic arch pain avoidance, like using the lts kernel


Depends on what your priority is, I suppose.

If gaming is your highest priority and you want the best support: Windows 11.

In my experience Gaming in Linux just works. 60% times of the time. It’s highly dependent on what games you are playing.

Your game broke on Arch? It is likely that it will broke to in the next Distro. There is no guarantee.

In Windows 11? if there are problems it is almost guaranteed somebody else also having the same issue and raising the issue.

But if you’re just gaming casually, a little bit of Halo a bit other game etc, I recommend something like NobaraOS. Maybe.

My gaming rig is currently running Windows 11. I just press turn on pc, open steam and run the game. No checking protondb or scowering dead forum to find solutions that may or may not works.

I just play the damn game.

Most of the games are made for windows…CMIIR Proton, Wine & other workarounds are still considered “workarounds” for linux.
Despite 30 years of Wine (1st release 1993) it is still not good enough.
I don’t play games but I’ve tried other Windows specific programs on wine, wine-tricks, playonlinux and it was never the same experience as windows. Many programs crash randomly & I had to search workarounds for them.
I think here the main issue is windows programs not linux distributions. Honestly I don’t expect them to be perfect on linux ever…

Arch & other rolling release based distro users like customization…from your post it looks you customized a lot & you love doing it. As @d-air1 suggested to try on vm or test machine first to get initial impression on the distro you choose. Personally I like LinuxMint as their support forum is as good as EOS.

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Yes, containers have their own weird issues. It’s not the year of containers yet, unless you want to fiddle with them endlessly.

Your best bet is using steam-native and proton-ge from the AUR. For me everything works with little or no tinkering. Only things that are problematic are really new games and multiplayer games with some nasty anticheat.

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Wow, lots of great feedback. Thanks so much for everyone who read through my long-winded post. I’ll need some time to respond to all of these.

Why recommend those in particular?

No Nvidia, I’m all AMD now. Maybe I’ll take you up on that, but if I get into game debugging, I’ll create a different thread.

That’s sounds interesting. After some more thought, getting stuck behind on package versions due to OS package releases lagging behind sounds like something that will annoy me. This sounds like they keep things moving a little faster?

That’s also an interesting recommendation. Any additional commentary on how it compares to the EOS experience and why you’d recommend it?

Since I manage my entire DE, I would probably install without a DE at all. That might end up not being a problem for me.

I’m using both of those T_T

It sounds like some people have less issues when using the Flatpak version of Steam, so it’s worth trying out to see if it’s better. Though I like to steer clear of AppImage-type installations.

Steam Native, Proton-GE (I try multiple Proton version and tweaks mentioned on ProtonDB). I haven’t really done too much else in terms of customizing the system for gaming; I’ve been trying out Feral Gamemode sometimes, but not committed to it across the board. I don’t really bother with any third-party launchers or game platforms besides Steam these days. :man_shrugging: Eventually I might, but it’s not a priority. It’s mainly a couple select games that used to not have issues, that now have issues (I’m looking at Halo: Infinite, which I’ve been itching to play again… To be fair, it did have a couple graphical and UI quirks back when I did have it working). Maybe I need to develop some more debugging skills for Proton-usage. Some of the commentary here makes me think that gaming on Ubuntu might not necessarily be the silver bullet I was hoping for.

For server applications and development? Of course not. For my OS, if that’s what you mean, yes. I want my OS to be running on bare metal. If you mean running specific applications in containers, I’m not quite sure what that looks like for desktop graphical applications.

I know, but I made the jump from Windows to Linux and I refuse to go back, EVER. I would rather not be able to play certain games than go back to Windows.

Another mention for Nobara. It’s looking more intriguing.

Thanks again to everyone who took some time to reply. I was feeling a quite demotivated, but I have a few things to try now. If I decide I still want to get away from Arch, I’ll be testing out a couple of these OSes on a different laptop or in a VM. I have been reminded that point releases might be a large frustration for me.

If anyone can point to resources for how to effectively debug issues with Proton, that might be a great help. I do not mind getting a little deep into debugging to get past some of these issues. Typically once I get past an initial problem with a game, and it launches, I don’t really have any other problems or need to change it in the future.


Garuda is similar to Endeavour, Arch-based distro with a gaming focused .iso available.
Nobara is a Fedora-based distro that is focused on gaming, built by same guy that does the GE proton and wine versions.


Fedora is well thought through. They are not making stupid, isolated deecisions like Ubuntu, but they are setting trends. Probably also because Red Hat is in the background.

And if you are willing to use the gnome desktop (as I do) you are getting a state-of-the-art distro. It also offers Plasma and otehr desktops. But gnome is the lighthouse desktop.

And the software repository for fedora is big. You will most likely not miss anything. And the app versions are usually very recent.

And, last but not least, Fedora has a huge community and lots of very good documentation for almost any aspect of Linux is available.


good naming, a bit offending but it’s so fitting :sauropod:


@elektrik Also i do indeed say yes to switch to a fixed release Distro could cause less trouble.
B U T it is very hard to switch Arch with such.
I was a Debian user for a long time, but after getting into arch i never was able to stay longer on another non rolling distro without the AUR and without the ease of pacman


That’s a big fear of mine. Stability is nice, and I’ve gotten slightly frustrated at a system being slightly hard to update if it gets too far out of date with rolling updates. But I like Pacman and AUR a lot.

Since Garuda is still Arch based, I think I will definitely consider trying that out sometime. But I’ll see if I am able to solve a couple things with a little more effort on EOS. It sounds like I should have been defaulting to Steam Runtime for the best experience, but I have been mostly using Steam Native.

I have a dedicated system for our gaming and I encountered similar issues to you @elektrik under EOS, with various games that had been working flawlessly, no longer working.

I wanted to avoid fuss with that system, so I went down the path of different distros, as you’re considering although I went Pop! OS, which is still Ubuntu based.

To my surprise, I had even more issues running games, and importantly, there was less I could do about fixing it. It didn’t make things easier, it made them harder.

Under EOS, we have control to fix as needed. I don’t think I fully appreciated that until this exercise.

What also became more appararent and I’m not sure this has been touched on yet here, is that while Arch is a bleeding-edge distro, the games themselves are also a moving target, sometimes even more so.

Take EA/Origin for example. My EA games were working flawlessly, until EA updated it’s loader. This was an issue that affects all Linux users, not just EOS! For months I couldn’t get those games working and had pretty much written them off. However, a recent update to Proton_GE and presto, they’re working again. Sometimes, it just takes a bit of patience.