Endeavor or Manjaro?

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by shmu26, Sep 8, 2020.

  1. shmu26

    shmu26 Registered Member

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    I want to run KDE on Arch. I have tried Manjaro but not Endeavor (or the defunct Antegros), and I am hesitant to go with straight Arch. So AFAIK, my choices are Manjaro and Endeavor.
    My hardware is i7 9th gen with integrated graphics, so I am not worried about buggy NVIDIA updates, and I have an older HP printer supported by most distros.
    What are your thoughts about Endeavor? How is the forum experience? Does Endeavor maintain the OS beyond the installation stage, or do you become straight Arch from the first login, or what?
     
  2. FastGame

    FastGame Registered Member

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    EndeavorOS is an easy installer for Arch with some added tools. After the install you will be running Arch from Arch repo's along with what ever the Endeavor team adds to their repo. EndeavorOS default desktop is XFCE and it has their customization, the other DE's will be vanilla Arch. I use EndeavorOS KDE and converted 4 year old Antergos over to EndeavorOS, both have been trouble free for me.

    The forum is one of the best up there with MX Linux for friendliness and help. With the bump in the road (shake up) Manjaro went through some of the best Manjaro people are at EndeavorOS forum, everyone providing help for those in need.

    If you are not interested in installing Arch the Arch way and using their forum then EndeavorOS is the way to go IMHO. Give the live DVD a try and lurk the forum.
     
  3. shmu26

    shmu26 Registered Member

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    Thanks.
    Case in point: About a year ago, VirtualBox released a new version that did not yet have Extension pack support for the latest linux kernel. Manjaro held off on updating VirtualBox until this issue was resolved.
    What happens in a case like this with Endeavor/Arch? Do you get the latest and greatest even if it doesn't work?
    I am just trying to guess about worst case scenarios.

    Another question: how much difference is there between vanilla KDE and, let's say, Kubuntu or MX-KDE or Manjaro KDE? I am simply asking from ignorance, as I never played for more than a few minutes with vanilla KDE.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2020
  4. vasa1

    vasa1 Registered Member

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    Maybe do a couple of dry runs in a VM first? The last time I looked at Manjaro, it came with quite a bit of extra software.
     
  5. FastGame

    FastGame Registered Member

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    I don't know about VirtualBox because I don't use it but I do know that Endeavor people have it installed in VM. As for the KDE ? MX-KDE would be an older version (Debian buster) KDE/Plasma 5.14.5 vs Arch 5.19.5, MX customizations & MX tools. Arch vanilla KDE would be like KDE neon, default KDE from the factory, you tweak and add software the way you want.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2020
  6. Gringo95

    Gringo95 Registered Member

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    If the OP wants to run on an Arch base I’m not sure why other systems should be mentioned here at all but just in case Debian is a consideration then Q4OS (base + options), Neptune and SolydK (ex Linux Mint Debian) are worth a look. Then of course there’s Solus or even Gentoo based such as Calculate and Redcore. For Arch though there’s the new but well received Garuda or well established Bluestar to consider. As ever with Linux there’s too much choice for everything.
     
  7. shmu26

    shmu26 Registered Member

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    OP here -- I installed Endeavor with the themed Xfce desktop (faster install because it's all on the installation media already).
    I was thoroughly underimpressed by the desktop experience, but I decided not to judge an Arch launchpad by looks alone.
    Then I accepted the pop-up offer to configure my mirrors, which sounded like a good idea to me and I appreciated the offer. But it responded sluggishly, took too many steps, and didn't remember my choices very well, even after a couple tries. So, no go.

    I am writing this from my new Manjaro installation.

    I guess my main goal was to have newly updated software without a hassle, for things like LibreOffice and VirtualBox, where updates sometimes actually make a difference. It worked out well regarding LibreOffice, as LibreOffice-fresh is in the Manjaro repo, supplying you with the latest and greatest.

    But Manjaro is not yet officially offering the latest version of Virtualbox -- albeit a newer version than Ubuntu or MX offers -- due to an issue with the latest linux kernel, which Manjaro is using. So in this case, an older kernel enables you, paradoxically, to use newer software.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2020
  8. shmu26

    shmu26 Registered Member

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    I gave EndeavorOS a second chance and I am starting to like it.
    The mirror issue that I complained about last year was a misunderstanding on my part. It works as expected.
    And it could be that the theming is better now, but anyway, I switched to Plasma so it's not an issue.
    Once you are up and running, it is basically Arch, for better or for worse, with the big difference being that the EOS forum is patient and supportive.
     
  9. dogbite

    dogbite Registered Member

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    MX21-KDE beta 1 is out (based on Debian Bullseye), though. For testing in a VM it can be a wise choice, just expect some bugs.
     
  10. summerheat

    summerheat Registered Member

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    I haven't tried EndeveourOS for a while. The last time I tried in in a VM it was not bad.

    But remember: Whichever Arch Linux fork you're running - as a rolling distro it needs some maintenance! It's not difficult but I'm not quite sure how those forks are handling it.

    I'm referring particularly to the following aspects:

    1. The mirrors should be regularly updated as not all of them are reliable. I strongly suggest to use reflector to always have an updated list of reliable and fast mirrors.
    2. You should regularly clean the package cache to make sure that your disk doesn't fill up.
    3. You should always check for .pacnew files (=changed configuration files for packages) and manage them with pacdiff.
    4. Before updating you should check the Arch Linux homepage for news if for specific packages a manual intervention is necessary (this occurs only rarely but still ...).

    Again, it's not difficult - but it should be done to keep Arch reliable. I've a small update script in which all the necessary steps are (semi-)automatically applied.

    And the most important thing: Never ever perform partial updates! And if you install a new package, don't execute sudo pacman -S package but sudo pacman -Syu package.
     
  11. shmu26

    shmu26 Registered Member

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    EndeavourOS has handy tools for dealing with the points you mentioned. The truth is that I have since migrated my system from EOS to pure Arch, which is doable. EOS does not install very many packages and you can remove the theming too if you wish without much trouble. You can migrate both directions, actually.
    Regarding how to perform updates, yay is installed by default on EOS, so if you just type yay in terminal it checks all repos -- EOS, Arch and AUR.
     
  12. summerheat

    summerheat Registered Member

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    I'm using paru which is actually a rewrite of yay in Rust with some minor enhancements. I mainly prefer it because its author, morganamilo, is one of the pacman maintainers - this suggests that he knows what he's doing to keep paru pacman-compliant.

    FWIW, this is the script which I use to update Arch (I actually added it as an alias to my .bashrc). It contains the most important system maintenance measures.
    Code:
    #!/bin/bash
    
    UPDATE(){
    sudo reflector --verbose --country Germany --country France --country Czechia --country Denmark --country Sweden --country Netherlands --country Switzerland --protocol https --latest 20 --score 10 --sort score --ipv4 --save /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist
        
            sudo pacman -Syu
            paru -Sua
        
            # https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Pacman/Pacnew_and_Pacsave#Locating_.pac*_files :
            sudo updatedb && locate --existing --regex "\.pac(new|save)$" > ~/pacnew.log
        
            # https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Pacman#Cleaning_the_package_cache :
            sudo paccache -ruk0 && sudo paccache -rvk2
        
            # https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Pacman/Tips_and_tricks#Listing_packages :
            pacman -Qqn > pkglist.txt
            pacman -Qqm > pkglist-foreign.txt
               
                          
          if [ -s ~/pacnew.log ]
    
          then
      
          echo
    
          echo "ATTENTION! .pacnew and/or .pacsave files available:"
      
          cat ~/pacnew.log
      
          # https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Users_and_groups#Group_management
          # Warning: Arch Linux defaults of the files are created as .pacnew files by new releases of the filesystem package.
          # Unless Pacman outputs related messages for action, these .pacnew files can, and should, be disregarded/removed.
          FILE1=/etc/group.pacnew
          FILE2=/etc/shadow.pacnew
           if [ -f $FILE1 ]; then
            echo "The file '$FILE1' exists. Do NOT merge!!!"
           fi
           if [ -f $FILE2 ]; then
            echo "The file '$FILE2' exists. Do NOT merge!!!"
           fi
    
          fi
      
          echo
      
          # Check for applications/services which need to be restarted:
          sudo tracer -a
      
          echo
      
         # https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/System_maintenance#Restart_or_reboot_after_upgrades
          sudo checkservices
          }
      
    FILE="/tmp/news.txt"
    paru -Pw 2>&1 | tee $FILE
    STRING="no new news"
    
     if ! grep -q "$STRING" "$FILE"; then
        read -n 1 -p "Continue? [Any key/N(o)]" ANSWER
     
      if [ "$ANSWER" == "N" ]
        then
     
        echo
        echo "  *** Update aborted ***"
     
        else
     
        echo "Update continued"
        UPDATE
      fi
     
      else
     
      UPDATE
     
     fi
    
    I've defined a function called UPDATE which contains the commands to update the mirrorlist, update the system and perform the mentioned system management measures. The logic is simple: paru -Pw (or yay -Pw if you prefer) checks for news on the Arch homepage. If there is none, UPDATE is called. If there is new news, you can press "N" to abort the update process in those rare cases when a manual intervention is required before performing the update. Otherwise, press any key to continue which again calls UPDATE.

    Notes:
    • Needless to say that the arguments for reflector should be changed according to your geolocation and your needs.
    • The paru STRING should be changed according to your language.
    • I'm aware that checkservices (which is contained in the archlinux-contrib package) overlaps to some extent with tracer and the .pacnew/.pacsave code earlier.
    • You may wonder why I'm using pacman -Syu and not paru -Syu (as I'm using paru anyhow). The simple reason is that I added
      Code:
       user  ALL=NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/pacman -Syu,\ 
      /usr/bin/reflector --verbose --country Germany --country France --country Czechia --country Denmark --country Sweden --country Netherlands --country Switzerland --protocol https --latest 20 --score 10 --sort score --ipv4 --save /etc/p
      acman.d/mirrorlist, /usr/bin/powerpill -Syu, /usr/bin/updatedb, /usr/bin/paccache -ruk0, /usr/bin/paccache -rvk2, /usr/bin/tracer -a, /usr/bin/checkservices
      at the bottom of /etc/sudoers (replace user with your actual user name!). Which means that for the whole update process there is no need to enter my password. Unfortunately this doesn't work with paru -Syu - it always presents the sudo prompt unless I'm missing something.

      Suggestions to improve the script are highly welcome.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2021
  13. vasa1

    vasa1 Registered Member

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    I used
    Code:
    w3m -dump https://www.archlinux.org/news/ | grep -A1 Published && sudo pacman -Syu
    to see what the latest entry was.
     
  14. summerheat

    summerheat Registered Member

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    Thanks, good to know! However, this shows only the header of the latest news and not the news itself (contrary to paru). I didn't try if that would be possible with w3m somehow since paru does the job well and I'm using it as an AUR helper anyway.
     
  15. vasa1

    vasa1 Registered Member

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    True! My brief experience with Arch gave me the impression that the latest news changes somewhat infrequently especially regarding updates requiring user intervention. So when I did notice any change, I'd Ctrl+C and read the full news to see how/if it affected me. (Now I'm back to the quiet life with Kubuntu 20.04 :D )
     
  16. summerheat

    summerheat Registered Member

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    Yes, updates which require manual intervention are rare. But with paru I can read the news immediately and then continue (or abort if necessary) the update process. Rather convenient. ;)

    Life with Arch is also quiet - I miss the thrill of the release upgrades :argh:
     
  17. summerheat

    summerheat Registered Member

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    Btw, have you ever tried Kubuntu Rolling? See here for more details. I've been testing it in a VM for a couple of weeks, and so far no problems. That doesn't mean that I'm going to abandon Arch Linux, though.
     
  18. vasa1

    vasa1 Registered Member

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    Yes, I read about it. (Wimpy's a one-man army!) But I'm not going to try :D My foray into Arch (with the Sway WM) and openSUSE Tumbleweed was a response to the lockdown. I also learned the basics of Vim at that time.

    My impression is that many KDE developers use Tumbleweed (fully rolling) or KDE neon (just the KDE bits rolling with a buntu stable base).
     
  19. summerheat

    summerheat Registered Member

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    Yes, but that's no problem, IMO. The script needs to be used just once to change the repos in a daily image to the devel series.

    That's probably true. Although the KDE maintenance in Arch is excellent.

    And regarding Tumbleweed: I tried it in a VM and was not impressed. The installation is very fat, and updates to new package versions often take rather long (due to them using snapshots instead of continuously updating single packages as Arch does it). I noticed that e.g. for the kernel and for Firefox - a new version of the latter (with security fixes) had been out for 2 weeks but had not yet been available in Tumbleweed. Strange for a rolling distro.
     
  20. shmu26

    shmu26 Registered Member

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    My KDE Plasma desktop on Arch seems to have a big memory leak. Plasmashell starts out humbly but rises to a RAM usage of 1.3 Gb or more for no apparent reason. If I kill it and restart it, it goes back down to about 175 Mb, and then starts creeping up again.
    I have the same problem on Kubuntu 21.04, but to a much smaller extent.
     
  21. vasa1

    vasa1 Registered Member

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    Do you have a lot of widgets? I've read reports of some widgets leaking RAM.
     
  22. shmu26

    shmu26 Registered Member

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    I don't, but I run Windows 10 in VirtualBox, and I think that's the source of the problem. I have a similar issue when running my VM on a Windows 10 host: the memory usage of "Desktop Windows Manager" on the host machine steadily rises.
     
  23. summerheat

    summerheat Registered Member

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    On my Arch system top | grep plasmashell shows:

    Code:
    3554884 237536 131308
    Here the first number is VIRT (=virtual memory), the second is RES (=resident memory) and the third is SHR (=shared memory).

    This article on fedoramagazine.org explains it nicely (for the Gnome shell, though):

    So this means that plasmashell on my system uses 237 MB actual (resident) memory (after running for about 2 hours).

    However, ksysguard actually reports a smaller memory consumption:
    So the interesting question is to which number you are referring with 1.3 GB? VIRT or RES?
     
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