Warning: This is an article with a longer read time
Every once in a while I read and receive messages or emails on why we are called Endeavour or the question if this French word means the same as the English word endeavor.
To start with the last question for the non-English speakers, it is an English word but spelt in British-English. So Endeavor, the North-American spelling, and Endeavour are the same words in meaning and pronunciation.
Now I have cleared that one up, we arrive on the why we are called like that. Well, the origin of the story isn’t that romantic as you might think.
You see, when I started to switch from Ubuntu-based distros to Arch-based ones, My first attempt was Manjaro. Although initially, I was a happy user, (I liked the out-of-the-box experience and the community), every time a big update came, my system broke.
Each time the community handed out the solution but after the fifth update broke, I was done with it.
I returned to my last Ubuntu-based distro called Voyager (because I liked the name) and I intended to stay there. Until I came across a distro review of Antergos and I started to look for more reviews on Youtube on this distro.
After visiting the website and having a very positive experience in a VM, I decided to install it on bare metal, with still a cautious mind, but the distro shipped Pamac, so what could go wrong?.
The first update after my install on bare metal, broke Pamac and it also needed a manual intervention, so my courage and enthusiasm disappeared instantly, but I decided to give it at least 30 days, so I carried on and followed the instructions. As green as I was, it didn’t work, so I reluctantly created an account on the forum, afraid that I was going to be burnt down. At that time I thought a forum was filled with members that prayed on newbies, ready to attack behind a false name.
By the way, I did have an account on Manjaro but that felt different because of the nature of the distro.
I received fast responses from two members telling me I had to use the terminal temporary because of an upstream bug in Pamac and that I made a typo in the manual intervention.
I was pleasantly surprised by the reactions and by the online names of these two members that looked like real names.
It has been a long time, so I forgot their names. But I do remember the one called himself Fernando with something and the other one was called… Joe with something added ?!? (@fernandomaroto @joekamprad )
Anyway, the community and especially those two guys kept me on Antergos and after two weeks, I noticed the distro, in a nice way, already sucked me in, ears deep. Which made me think that another name should be more appropriate for this distro or even for Arch, just to be more clear and in my ears, the word had a certain ring to it and I explain why later on…
Space shuttle inspired?
When Antergos announced they were at the end of their run and I just put out the question if the community would like to continue the community spirit on another forum, I didn’t foresee that I would be the main drive to start a project like that up.
When Joe and Fernando sent me a pm that it would be a great thing to continue the distro, instead of just creating a forum, and they would ask @manuel to join to make this happen, I was caught by surprise.
I’d never done a thing like that and my knowledge didn’t go further than sudo pacman -Syu and sudo nano, so why should I start up an entire distro?
I naively thought that someone would stand up after my question saying, I can create a forum, let’s do it! but instead I got, Yeah, you create the forum, we create the distro! So, I was adamant that I was going to say no to this plan.
The next day, I already received several emails, the first one I read was from Manuel, answering Fernando and Joe that most of the issues can be tackled with “some little scripts” which he happened to have already somewhere in a secret digital draw, so when are we starting?
Honestly, I saw the perfect way to get out of this, so I said that they obviously knew what they were talking about, so I would be standing in their way.
But when they told me they didn’t have any experience at all and it would be fun to jump in as a bunch of rookies to explore and learn during this adventure with me as the frontman of the project, my brain went into a mush state for two minutes and before I knew it I said okay, let’s do it.
On the Antegos forum, I announced the project and asked the community for help to give the distro a name. I did give the project a codename and that name brought a reaction in the community of rockets being prepared to launch…
The real inspiration
I always was a fan of the British detective series Inspector Morse that ran from the mid-eighties to the late nineties.
Nobody knew his first name until in a later season he revealed his first name, which he wasn’t fond of. His parents were Quakers and he didn’t have a warm relationship with them and in hindsight, his first name did describe this odd relationship they had with him.
Years later the series got a spin-off that is the prequel to the original series, situated in the sixties when Morse was a young police officer, and it carries his first name.
I always loved that word, because, in Dutch, we don’t have a single word that does the meaning justice, we describe it in a couple of words. So, years before the project was created, I named my Antergos machine Endeavour.
Before I made the announcement, the team also opted for some names and when I submitted mine, the guys weren’t a fan of it, in particular one member.
It was too difficult to pronounce, it didn’t have anything to do with the distro, because it was a space ship and the name wouldn’t stick around making the distro destined to be a failure from the start.
The original team included a member that had a different vision for the project and he rejected every single name we or the community came up with, but he couldn’t come up with a catchy one either. Since he was going to create the website and the logo, we trusted his vision.
I in the meantime had contacted a service provider which offered me a deal that included a server with guaranteed service, a domain name, email accounts and customer service reachable by phone for a very attractive deal, only that offer was going to expire and I needed a name to claim the domain name and couldn’t submit it afterwards.
Being close to the deadline of the offer and we still had no name or logo, my patience ran out. The community more or less embraced the name Endeavour by making wallpapers of space shuttles, penguins in an astronaut suit and launching rockets.
So I explained that the meaning of the name couldn’t be more appropriate on our adventure and it also described the nature of the OS. The current team also saw the pressing matter of the deal that was almost expiring and seeing the fast adoption the community was showing, they agreed on the name.
So, after talking to the original designer and having no name yet, we decided to go our own way and I signed the server offer with EndeavourOS as the domain name.
A note to the translators, this is not an official article, so you don’t have to translate it.