The noobest of the noob questions, desktop vs distro (take 2)

Dammit. Accidentally pressed the create topic button before I was done. Sorry everyone. Let’s try this again.

When I first installed EOS I could not get i3 to work. I won’t go into details about why (I honestly don’t know) or how I got it to work, but basically I eneded up with KDE+i3 for the first week or so. Eventually I figured it out and switched to i3 only.

But…using KDE made me wonder; what exactly comes along with a distro if so much of what made the experience what it was came from the desktop environment? Is it the stuff under the hood, like the daemons and such? If so, what makes it different from another arch based distros? What makes EOS, EOS?

I realize that this is a super basic knowledge question, but I’m pretty new to Linux and my searches for this question have turned up a bunch of unsatisfactory and/or confusing answers, often just leading to more questions.

Others are free to correct me, but I think you’re fairly accurate here. You can use your computer without a DE/WM, of course, but assuming you have one installed I think you can look at it as being the chassi of a car whereas the operating system is everything under the hood.

What differs between distros depends on what distros you compare, of course. Something like Endeavour is Arch-based, which is a rolling release distro and quite popular as a base. What this means is that updates are released in bits and far more frequent than something that is based on distros like Debian (Ubuntu, Linux Mint etc) which function similar to Windows in that versions are released as major updates once in a while.

As I said above, EOS is arch-based and what makes Endeavour different from pure Arch is primarily the Endeavour applications, and how you install it. If you wanted a pure Arch installation you’d need either a script or a set of manual commands without a GUI, and you’d need a lot of experience with Linux to know how to do so and what applications you’d need to have your system function (pure Arch is very barebones). Endeavour makes this process simple by offering a GUI installer in the form of Calamares, and all the necessary packages to make your system function are installed without you having to find them on your own.

I’m sure I missed something, so take what I said with a bit of salt. Perhaps one of the devs will chime in, but if not, I’m sure you’d find some more information if you searched the forum. Last but not least, this about us article is worth a read.


Arch is Honda making the parts. i3 is like building your own car from their parts in whatever combination you want. KDE is showing up at the dealer, being given the keys and driving away in an already built NSX.

Endeavour would be like taking that same NSX, and adding the stereo and whatever post purchase tweaks to make it EXACTLY as we want it to be.


This is kind of what I was wondering about. What exactly are the Endeavour applications? Are there apps that are designed specifically for EOS? I think what screwed me up was installing KDE. This thing came with so many apps that it was impossible to determine what came from KDE and what came from EOS.

I realize that the answer to that question is probably in the link you shared. I just felt I owed you a response, and I just got the kiddo to bed and finally sat down to my computer. Definitely going to look that over now.

As I mentioned above, I guess what I’m wondering is what tweaks and ‘metaphorical sound system’ comes along with our custom car prior to us adding our own customizations?

Kinda dig that you used custom Hondas as your example. I had 4 different dumped Civic hatchback’s in my younger years. I’m gonna build one from the ground up once I get a place with some tinkering space.

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As a rough guide, a lot of the KDE Plasma applications begin with a K in the menu, it’s their signature. A lot of the EOS applications will have the EndeavourOS icon next to the app name. The other stuff, well that’s generally 3rd party like, for example, Firefox.

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  1. Your own system is built from Arch already for you by the team here. . .

  2. Anything that comes from the Endeavour repos.

I do love myself some Hondas. I’ve built a car or two in my time. I revert a lot of things to cars.


Car analogies can often be a good way to explain other concepts!


You can list all packages added by EndeavourOS (as compared to Arch) with a terminal command

pacman -Sl endeavouros

Many of these apps should work in most Arch derivatives, but some are meant only for EndeavourOS. Most of the apps originate from EndeavourOS, and some are taken as-is (or slightly modified) from the AUR.

The most visible EndeavourOS app is welcome which greets you first when installing and also at the first boot. You can disable welcome too, although I’d keep it at least for a while because it contains useful tools and information to help you get started with EndeavourOS.

With eos-apps-info you’ll see more information about the apps of EndeavourOS.


Oh cool, thank you. This is exactly what I was looking for.

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