To Pamac or Not to Pamac.....that is the question

As you all know, The EOS project purposely does not include Pamac, and I think encourages the use of pacman or yay directly in terminal. Even though Pamac is easily available from the AUR, I have not installed it and am perfectly happy just using pacman (or yay) to install the software that I want. I guess that’s because I already know what software I want, and don’t browse very much now. I can see a benefit to using Pamac, Octopi, or some other type of catalog/menu type system if I’m new to opensource and searching for a type of software, but don’t know the name. After reading a recent distrowatch reader supplied review that complained about his/her inability to install new software in EOS (apparently didn’t read the wiki or struggled using pacman), it caused me to wonder how many out there in Endeavour-Land use Pamac or not, and why.

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I usually have it installed to browse for stuff but search the aur and/or package page directly more often than I open it anyway.
I like the idea but I don’t like the loss of info/control. I like seeing what is being done and the infor/error messages. Easy to spot and copy etc.

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I use pamac extensively to browse installed packages or search for new software. I also use it for system updates notifications. I find it is a neat tool that makes my life easier. When I’m not very sure what I’m looking for, pamac usually helps big time. Sure I use the console now and then for various operations especially for what I know to be more complex builds (like android studio or phpstorm) so I can debug the process in case something would go wrong. I sometimes use pamac to do updates, if the list of available updates seems not to be problematic. It’s fast and I get minimal workflow interruption this way.

I’d very much vote for including pamac preinstalled in EOS if there were a poll regarding this. It gives a new user a complete OS. Of course you can do a lot by console already, but then by this rationing you could also skip including any GUI apps and only provide a terminal. Any mainstream user-centric distro you install will give you a GUI tool to handle packages. I guess this creates expectations on part of the users to also find such a tool in their newly installed EOS system. I was never a read-the-manual type of person. Rather I would dive right into a new OS or DE and learn by immersion as I go along. Missing basic tools like this would break this approach. I’d imagine some users leaving EOS because of thinking to themselves that this is a half-baked OS with missing basic tools.

Even having a menu item called Install Software that would open up a text file explaining that EOS recommends terminal use for package managing but that a GUI tool can be installed if wished (with a quick explanation on how to do it) would be a much better approach than not having anything.

EDIT: typos: I wrote pacman instead of pamac all over the place. It’s been corrected now

Trivia: did I mention that in Manjaro pamac has integrated Snap support in addition to AUR?

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The way my system is currently set up, which as I mentioned before is without pamac, it has been extremely stable. My EOS stability has frankly come as a surprise to me. Coming from Debian Stable, I was expecting a bumpy ride in comparison. It has actually been quite smooth sailing thus far. Since pamac is not in the official Arch software repository, but rather in the AUR, I was concerned (probably unfounded) that I might be introducing some instabillity. Currently I’m kind of in the “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” train of thought.

When I first landed in Arch is was via Antergos. I’ve come a long way in the last 2 years of using Arch(Antergos/Endeavour/Manjaro), but I imagine I would’ve also been put off myself as a new user if Antergos would’ve had lacked pamac. To me this means that Arch will teach you everything in time, no need to make things harder than necessary.

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I always end up installing pamac but never ever install or update thru it.
For me it’s a search engine for packages (combining searches for the repos and the AUR in one search) and update notifyer.

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I installed pamac-aur-git. I use it to search for programs the name(s) of which I do not know. For example, just this morning, I searched for SACD programs and found what I was looking for - but I installed the programs via the Terminal using yay. I never install via pamac-aur-git.

I think that some program through which we can search for programs the name(s) f which we might not know should be included in EndeavourOS. At least, in the Welcome screen the information that such programs (pamac-aur-git, octopi, etc.) are available and can be used for discovering new programs. That would be for the benefit of newcomers to Arch-based systems who might not know that such options are available.

That’s my opinion anyway.

Lawrence

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I disagree for the simple fact that there were so many ppl coming into the IRC Antergos channel/forums complaining about stuff breaking because they used pamac since day one. Ppl are lazy and that’s fine (I’m lazy too) but they totally miss the whole pacnew thing and/or things that break. Sometimes manual labor is required and you don’t learn that very well with pamac. This distro should imo be for ppl who asks questions and want to learn and not those who should install Ubuntu and call it a day.

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I guess I may be one of the few on the other side of the preinstall fence. I don’t have pamac installed, would not vote to have it preinstalled, but like the idea of it being available in the AUR if I or anyone wants it. I came to EOS because it was as close to Arch as you can get, with a useful installer. EndeavourOS was and is not a YAM (yet another Manjaro). That’s not to say anything bad about Manjaro. It’s a great OS and I would not hesitate recommending it to a newbie that wants a lot of preinstalled apps. It comes down to a philosophical difference. I like a lean system with a plethora of options that encourages learning vs a bloated preinstall system to attract newbies.

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I guess if I’d have perceived the danger to be as bad as you say I would also not recommend using it. But I never have had my system broken because of pacman. For the most part of the last two years I’ve been using it exclusively to manage packages (except maybe for updates for which I have a neat alias using pacman). Only in the last few months have I started to use the terminal more, but only because i discovered yay is so flexible.

I tend to fall on the same side as @CMarch, only he said it better than I probably could. I experimented installing pure Arch, “the Arch way”, and through that experience learned quite a bit, and still have plenty more to learn. But if I was able to get everything in a pure Arch install just the way I want it, it would be exactly like my current EOS system.

EndeavourOS has provided a softer landing for me into the Arch world, while kicking away just the right amount of crutches to help me learn. Could be that (for me) Pamac is one of those crutches.

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I have installed the Arch way several times and I have better things to do. Hence Manjaro, Antergos and now EndeavourOS.

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This.

I have been using Pamac a couple of years now, in Manjaro and on a few Arch installs.
I use it for updates and searches.

Never failed on me.

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i also have pamac-aur-git installed, probably because i got used to it when still on manjaro. it comes in handy when searching for new tools, sort and browse installed software/dependencies or even have a quick glimpse on orphans as well.

i prefer to do system updates with pacman, but often installed new software via pamac right away and it never let me down in years. it is a indeed a very basic tool with a clean interface and having it included in eos would definitely be worth a thought, in my opinion.

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I typically prefer to do things the way the developers originally intend, hence I prefer to start with vanilla this or that. Kind of like the old adage (at least in the US), “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” When I used Manjaro, I used pamac because that’s what they recommended. I did try pamac on EOS a few weeks ago, but decided in the end that I actually prefer eos-update-notifier once I got it working the way I like. I, too, am on the “prerfer to not preinstall pamac” side, just because that isn’t what the EOS developers intended (as far as I understand what I read on the wiki). It is very unfortunate that people complain about distro X not doing what distro Y does. It artificially creates a negative reputation for distro X. But then again, there will never come a time when everyone is happy. Someone will always complain about something, whether accurate and deserved or not. :man_shrugging:

EDIT: As for software discovery, I usually search for what I’m looking for on the internet, find the application that seems like it will suit my needs, then search for it with yay. Software “stores” have never been useful to me. :man_shrugging:

@nate are you speaking about something like this for those who would like to use Pamac as searching packages in between ?

ajout_pamac

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Well, if you see pamac there and know what it is it means you don’t need to have it there :slight_smile: Also I guess you would only have software that is approved by the EOS-team on that page (like recommended software). Which in this case it would not be because EOS-team does not recommend using pamac.

I was thinking of something more like this:

But on second thought I don’t think that’s appropriate for people who are not interested in this feature.

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90% of the time I already know the name of the package and just want the correct name for installation, OR I want to compare dependencies between packages. Pamac also takes the description directly from the Arch package search.

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Precisely this!