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Switching from Linux Mint to an Arch-based Distro - Part 2: The Shortlist

I decided to switch from Linux Mint to an Arch-based distro. I compiled my shortlist of distros I want to have a closer look at mainly from recommendations by friends and colleagues and which seem to meet my requirements:

  • stable: I use my notebook everyday for development, so it must just work reliably and I don't want to spend much time fixing issues.
  • btrfs: Since many years I've been using btrfs for both root and home partition (sub volumes in fact) and I'm really happy. btrfs has very handy features, first of all volumne snapshots (see next point also), compression and copy on write.
  • automated system snapshots: #linuxmint has the very nice Timeshift tool included and at the (very few) occasions where an automated updated (or I) did crash something, I could simply boot into an previous snapshot within seconds and without needing to copy backups around. I really don't want to miss this!
  • flexible: I like to have a very tailored work environment, so tweaking should be possible
  • documentation and community: As I never did use Arch Linux before, I'm pretty sure I need some help to get along from time to time. And good documentation is an important aspect.

The Candidates

Mainly based on the recommendations from friends and colleagues, I came up with this short list of arch-based distributions, I want to have a closer look at:

  • Manjaro has been recommended to me by several people. It seems to be well integrated and I like the idea that their repo is a bit better tested than the original Arch repo, where I heared that it's a bit too cutting-edge sometimes... I need a system that is reliable as possible as I use it every day for development and I just don't want to invest time in fixing issues. A while ago I did a test install of Manjaro on my previous notebook and this worked well out of the box. For my test I downloaded manjaro-kde-22.1.0.
  • EndeavourOS seems interesting, because it offers quite a lot of flexibility. I like the idea that you can choose your primary desktop environment during installation, but also add others you want to give a try. And also configure the packages you want to install. For my test I downloaded the EndeavourOS_Cassini_Nova-03-2023_R1.iso
  • Garuda Linux might not be as popular as the other two. I think I found it while looking for some btrfs tool. As I want a smooth btrfs experience, I decided to try this as well and downloaded garuda-dr460nized-linux-zen-230501.iso.

So, let's see how I get along with them.

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