“Arch-based.” “Intermediate.” “Terminal-centric.” “Non-LTS Kernel.”
All of these phrases seem intended to scare away Linux novices, yet I’m having a great time with EndeavourOS. This is my third distro, after Pop! and Zorin. I switched because someone recommended I try a distro which uses the most recent kernel, to try and fix a video-acceleration problem (still not fixed, unfortunately). I was expecting it to take some work, but I’ve found that Endeavour is actually much more “out-of-the-box” functional than those distros which actually advertise themselves as super user-friendly. Some things which didn’t work on Zorin, like bluetooth and file search, worked smoothly with Endeavour. Setup was painless: the chores I did have to do were mostly the same ones I needed to do on those other distros. Honestly, it wasn’t any more tedious to set up than Windows.
I realize now that I shouldn’t try to set up linux so that it’s super-reliable, because things WILL break. Rather, it’s important to make yourself as receptive as possible to linux experts who can fix the problems. Since it seems the best linux contributors use Arch, that means I should use Arch. There’s actually not anything special about arch that I particularly like; it’s just that it comes with the privilage of lots of great user-made resources. The AUR is a treasure, and one of the earlier signs that Arch might be a good idea is that non-Arch-related discussions constantly cite the Arch wiki.
Seriously, shout-out to the Arch wiki: the Arch forum may be toxic as all get-out, but the wiki actually is very approachably written.
Another thing that makes Endeavour great is the bundling of KDE Plasma. I understand that, in theory, I can use pretty much any desktop with any distro, but, as a novice, that’s intimidating. Plasma is practically all I could ask for in a desktop environment, and the whole thing (Endeavour + the newer kernels + plasma) is more stable than those “user friendly” distros I tried before.
I’m genuinely confused by the “terminal-centric” label that comes with Endeavour. What exactly is limited to the terminal? System updates? Package management? I think that’s kinda it. Yet even the official Endeavour tutorials seem downright apologetic about requiring the terminal sometimes. Maybe I’ve short-circuit this aspect of the OS just by using KDE Plasma, which is pretty comprehensive in its desktop features, but I feel like my terminal usage has been completely reasonable. It’s not that I don’t use the terminal, it’s that the things I use it for are seldom Endeavour-specific.
In summary: Endeavour (with KDE Plasma) seems like a completely reasonable distro for linux novices. Maybe team Endeavour should pat itself on the back, and not worry too much about maintaining the good-Arch-hard-Arch clout.