What are good GUI options for a newbie?

Hi everyone,

I’m new to Endeavour OS, coming from Manjaro. I’ve read about why the distro does not have a default GUI for software center and I understand their decision pretty well.

Coming from Manjaro and being quite a casual Linux user and being a rookie with the terminal, GUI for software manager are quite important to me.

So, I’ve tried to read about what the community is using for this purpose and I’m conflicted on what to do. As I said, I’m used to pamac (thanks to Manjaro) but I’ve read that people don’t recommend it for this distro.

So I thought it could be better to ask nicely the community about what they think a casual user like me at the moment (many things I read were a year or more old so IDK how things evolved).

What GUI would work well to organize software (given that I’d use it when I’m confused with the terminal and usually to have a glimpse at what software I installed and might not want anymore [which happen frequently when you’re a newbie and are testing what works for you but have trouble remembering what you did installed exactly).

Thanks a lot !

If I have to be fully honest, I would encourage to take your time in exploring the ‘terminal centric’ experience. It’s far less scary than you actually think, and several times more powerful than you can imagine. I used Manjaro in work environment for several years, and am fully aware of flaws and perks: probably the weakest point is actually pamac, as it tends to desync so often from the keyrings/repositories that you end up messing packages in a unrecoverable way.


pacseek is the only thing other than a terminal I’d recommend.

Otherwise if you’re just searching for programs, I like the Arch and AUR web pages.


OK, I’m going to go out on a limb here. You could install pamac for searching the repo for the correct names of packages, but then try:

yay -S <package_name>

Yay is preinstalled.

Btw, welcome to the :enos: forum @Corbalte

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Just a tip: you should get into the habit of documenting everything you do with the system and the software. This can save your ass in case of emergency.

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There are only 3 gui package managers that can properly install packages.

  • pamac
  • octopi
  • bauh

Try the all and see which you prefer. pamac is fine when it works but sometimes it is broken since it targets the Manjaro repos.


I would just throw out there the one caveat - pamac is not really a bad option - AS LONG AS you only use it to search for packages and don’t actually use it to for updating/installing anything. If it’s used for actual package management, it’s an absolute no go. But, there begs the question - why bother if you have pacseek and the repos/AUR in a website to search anyways?


what about using Discover? Is it good for seeking packages without installing?

I have heard that Discover, as well as other DE-specific app centers, are really not recommended for actual package management on Arch based distros. Do you know why not? o:

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Discover is perfectly fine for searching Arch packages and managing flatpak. I actually used Discover for Flatpak updates until I ditched flatpak due to disk space constrains.

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Thank you all for those answers !

I think having a sort packages inventory that I use for having a quick look at what I’ve installed and what I can install,without actually using the GUI for installing (Yay will do fine) is a good idea.

I’ll try those options and see what seems to work best for me. So my last question is if there is a GUI package manager aimed at simply showing what you have/ could have/ And only displaying those informations and not letting you install. I know it might seem silly since any could do if I use it like that, but I like the idea of the app working this exact way to force me to use the terminal and avoid the temptation (and also because I don’t really like the idea of having an app whose main function I don’t actually use but that more of a vide thing I guess) . Some people mentioned Discover, can it be used this way ?

Thank you all so much again !

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You’ll quickly get used to the terminal way. I dare say that it is much simpler and much more lucid, than a GUI.

In the beginning, I was much confused by software GUI installers. Often they just list an app, and you can get any random version of it, gtk or qt, it seemed. And you get no idea about dependencies.

The terminal is really much simpler.

An example, that could have saved me a week of trouble-shooting.

Say you want to install Timeshift, and be able to boot from a snapshot. You then go to the Arch package search page, and have a look at the timeshift package. There you will see that it has “optional” dependencies, to add functionality. If you want to be able to boot from a snapshot, you just install the Timeshift package along with that optional dependency.

The same goes for all apps. When you look it up, you’ll see what versions there are, gtk or qt or git (“beta”), and much other stuff.

On Debian, Synaptic was just too confusing. The terminal and the package search pages makes it very, very clear what your options are and what you need. You’ll also be able to pick apps that will not pull down an enormous amount of dependencies, like the half of Gnome of KDE.

Just ask on the forum, and you’ll quickly rely on the terminal like a pro.

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You’ll have to get used to using the command line sooner or later, though, because EndeavorOS is consciously a terminal-centric distribution.

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hmm, but pebcak said this about using Discover on Arch-based distors earlier… quoting:

The issue is that it uses packagekit as backend for installing and updating packages which obfuscate the process and this might lead to issues on Arch (-based) systems where in some cases user intervention is necessary.

they said that gnome-software on GNOME is not recommended either, just like anything which uses packagekit, like apper as well.
then they suggested just using flatpak update to manage flatpaks instead

nah, Discover definitely has “Install” button.
which probably shouldn’t be used anyway, the reason why is explained by another kind user whose words I quoted in my comment above this one

For managing Flatpak apps you could use Discover if you wish.
The command line tool flatpak can also be used.
See: flatpak --help

What is not recommended is to use any GUI package manager which uses packagekit for managing the repo packages. However, they are fine for “window shopping”.

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There’s more than one way to do many things in Linux.

We use the terminal here. That’s a core part of EOS. We’re going to help you and suggest terminal things first.

If you really want an awesome GUI package managers - Fedora 37 WS is fantastic as is the Pop shop on PopOS.

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You might want to take a look at pacfinder which is in the AUR so you’d need yay or paru to install it or else git clone it from the creator’s github site.
It won’t do any installing for you but tells you all about what you have already in a more user-friendly way than pacman.

If you want a rapid explanation of how it works and what it can do see Brodie Robertson’s youtube page.

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Flatpak has no relationship with PackageKit.

If you are running a gtk based DE (gnome, cinnamon, xfce, etc…) I would try “pamac-classic”.
It is small, fast and reliable!
It won´t work properly with KDE or LXQT and does not support flatpaks or snaps

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No, it works nicely.
You can install it!

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