Reviews which are opinions

Surprised you've had trouble with Devuan/XFCE, I've been using it since it was released, & have checked out the next version without any trouble, on various machines, too.

How about SparkyLinux, a distro that:
  • has an ISO which refuses to cooperate with Ventoy
  • asks for the password only to launch Calamares
  • leaves "automatic log-in" option check-enabled when submitting the regular user details, this is a big fat 1415
  • takes a really long time to "Remove 4 packages."
  • when the user asks "dkpg" to purge "transmission-gtk" it installs "transmission-qt", something I have never seen before with any distro... oh yeah that time on another Debian-based thing it pulled in GNOME web browser after I asked Firefox out of my face. Had to also purge that "transmission-qt" that it installed and lied about it.
  • has a terminal which is bright white background and when one tries to use Nano for the first time, some of the text cannot be read, in particular whatever is within single-quotation marks. With that horrible "Manurrrrrrrrrrrrrre-space" too.
  • asks for password TWICE to set the time anyhow because this cannot get the time zone correctly. If I change manually the time, it gets changed for Windows and for another Linux OS I boot into. Very irritating.

Why don't they fix it instead of begging for money on their site? Pluma crashes after I make adjustments in its preferences and then I create and save a document. The mouse and touchpad settings has this dialog box which is too tall on my laptop screen and no "X" on the top-right corner. In fact, many windows aren't given any right-hand-side decorations. These people similarly messed up their KDE version so I want nothing to do with that one, willing to tolerate only MATE at this point. (I don't have to worry about window decorations on Debian MATE "Bullseye".)

The desktop menu is on the plus side; I used to deeply wish Fedora could have something similar. This menu is somewhat confusing to navigate at first but it has a search box. A closer look reveals they have somehow combined the "old GNOME" combination of "Places", "Applications" and "Favorites" into a menu instead of putting them on the panel as separate entries.

The installed theme sucks, too Windows10 for my taste. I mean, I accept light background but not so bright I can't even see the sun. This is with the bottom panel having dark grey background. Sadly one has to know how to change the themes or just choose "Menta" or another theme the distro-builders didn't create which is easier on the eyes. Disabled the compositor.

I couldn't find the ridiculous extra panel on MATE, but it was a head-shaking thing I found on KDE. Why not use the "plasmoid" there? Obviously they used Plank or other program on LXQt and XFCE.

I should clarify this is SparkyLinux v7.0 "Orion Belt", based on Debian "Bookworm" and with MATE desktop environment I've been discussing. The upgrade, including Linux kernel went down without problems.

I want to like this distro but too many things are going on which turn me off, and this is actually the fifth time I install and take the trouble with this particular distribution and desktop environment. Once I chose the ISO based on "Bullseye" and in the middle of installing it just coughed into the TTY spitting out "squashfs" seek errors like crazy. In another time it failed to build the "initramfs" so I likened it to siduction and vowed I would never again install in "Testing" mode. Ended up breaking that promise but became annoyed instead by the visual lack of consideration, by the niggles not experienced on any other Debian-based system and by their begging on their site which causes people to review this with that reminder most of all. I don't care if you're rich, just tell us how it went for you, I'm telling you here how it went for me.

EDIT: Here because I don't want to keep bumping this topic for silly reasons. One more thing about Sparky Linux which I think should be fixed. In the log-in screen, the user's password entry field reveals the figures of the password as they are typed in, but not after. A casual snoop would be able to see the final figure as the account's owner is pressing ENTER or clicking "Confirm" with the mouse. I prefer for none of the figures to be shown. IINM Zephix also has this flaw. Pardus used to have a log-in manager as lame as this but was fixed for their match of Debian v11.6 or so.
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On #39, with the raspi firmware issue with the kernel from 6.1.0-9 to 6.1.0-10 -

Debian have been aware of this issue for some time now, but have bumped the severity of the reported bug, and hope to have all remedied by or before the release of the 12,1 Bookworm.

I will be writing more about this as developments unfold, in a separate thread.

This as an FYI for The Viewers.


4MLinux doesn't boot, what a shame. Distrowatch offers a link to an ISO which might not be the right one, if you're hoping to use "dd" terminal command. Must go to Sourceforge and hunt down the "hybrid.iso" instead.

For those of you who have guessed correctly I dislike Linux Mint, I did try it yesterday. The same as last year: after I installed Wine and did "winecfg" the thing was so slow I had to order power down. Before that it wasn't much better Ubuntu Cinnamon just getting around. I guess Linux Mint doesn't like my equipment.

Don't like the mouse cursor theme it comes with. But let's give credit where it's due. No Snaps, no interference with my wanting to use "apt". But it does stay at 98% and 99% a really long time during repository search, why? Again this might just be my computer is getting too old to run "today's" distros.

I made one more test with Sparky Linux but must have grabbed the wrong ISO for "stable", I'm sure I clicked that link on their website. Should have just gone over to Sourceforge. Be forewarned their "Seven Sisters" is like siduction -- based on "Trixie". Want nothing to do with Debian if it's not "stable". Yet I'm running into some issues with "Bookworm" that I cannot select that as daily driver. Because Manjaro MATE and KDE acted up on me lately, especially very loooong boot times and whatnot, I have discarded them temporarily. But I could bring either of them back in the future.
Maybe I should get a new computer, or just accept the latest releases. In the case of Devuan, I was unwilling to go with "Daedalus". I wanted to see if I could get a nifty KDE desktop out of them. Devuan and Gnuinos put out new ISO's around 12 September, for "Chimaera" and "Daedalus". I applaud Devuan for making the "Chimaera" ISO's widely available, while it's near impossible to get Debian "Bullseye" straight from the latter organization. I tried from Wayback Machine but download is too slow to be tolerable.

Unwisely I first chose Gnuinos. Normally those people offer Openbox and XFCE. But for some reason they had a desktop ISO of nearly 4GiB which looked to me like relabelled Devuan at first. It installed without problems. I made two attempts. First I tried with "sysvinit" startup system before log-in. At the very first time I try to start the system, it goes into a loop looking for firmware that isn't there. I had to hold down the power button of my computer to turn it off to get another try. Then I went with the "recovery mode" option in GRUB menu. I love to tell you precisely how I broke through, past "press (ENTER) to continue" prompt, but I got the log-in screen which is very austere compared to what I became accustomed to seeing with Debian, Manjaro and many others. It failed to come up with ALSA. It sucked. I was unable to boot "normally".

On the second attempt with Gnuinos KDE, I tried with "runit". I was able to get into the desktop log-in without resistance. Still no ALSA but I was going to try to find a solution for it online. I was able to configure a fair amount. Then I noticed something really strange after I opened Dolphin. The sidebar section that lists the partitions did not list them in volume labels. Everything read like "26.2GiB Hard Disk". Many partitions usually hidden on other systems were shown, such as the "recovery" and "auxiliary" partitions used by Windows, the ESP and probably even the "swap". Of course the "Windows C: drive" was there and the three Linux installations which on my computer are Spiral Linux KDE "Bullseye", Debian MATE "Bookworm" and Slackware v15.0 KDE 32-bit. I was able to install Wine, but I decided to reboot afterward, planning to check more things out, and then looking for help online. I did not run "winecfg"! This was for Wine v5.0.3 which was what I expected entirely on Debian "Bullseye" and anything that claims to be compatible.

I restart the system and once again it goes into the firmware search loop. On all the "tty" that I open and try to log into the desktop. Gave up on it. Decided to get Devuan which I figured is much more mature.

Indeed, everything went very well with Devuan, with "runit" instead of "systemd". Had sound, no weirdness with Dolphin or anything else. In fact, I did the system update and got the same Linux kernel as "Bullseye" right now, the revision "25" up from "9". But Wine is not in their repositories. I don't know how to do the GPG thing to see if I could at least borrow a bit from Gnuinos repositories. I guess cannot get the Debian ones because a couple of packages request "systemd" and I have seen this on MX Linux because I tried to update on that system without the MX-specific repositories. Without Wine I don't dance with the penguin, sorry. What a shame. Although I hate Devuan I was planning to keep this installation. As I've said, I don't want anything else which is Debian "Bookworm" or compatible. I have enough of it and it's less impressive and slower than what is compatible with the previous version of Debian. But this is on an ageing computer with 4GB RAM.
4GB ram! - I am running Devuan Daedelus XFCE on a 2GB 1.2GHz dual core HP T520 thin client machine! :)
Arch for me. I have x4 laptops, three run LMDE (which in my experience runs best on older hardware) but Arch which I use on the most powerful of the systems is an absolute pleasure to use, once you gain some know how. I find its a little more buggy on and off, than Mint but in my experience, more configurable and easier to fix when things go wrong.
I had to use "urpmi.addmedia" and other things that should never be considered by somebody green about Linux. When there was any progress displayed, it was downloading at the epic speed of 50 kilobits per second or less. It took several minutes, and it included a "synthesis" of "non-free" repository from last year. (shake head) This was just for "core" and "non-free" components, before I could move on to "tainted".
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VERSION: v21.2 "Wildflower"
BASED ON: Debian

I deeply resent the "popularity" of this Linux distribution. But I have to admit it is good somewhere. I'm sorry I cannot download and install the latest ISO, and with XFCE. Purposely I picked Debian "Bullseye" base which means "Wildflower" v21.2 (even though the Linux kernel loading message said "v21.3"), and I've had it for a month so far. This is with Fluxbox.

I could never understand all the hate for "systemd", since I have at least 10 other Debians with it, all with desktop environments and most of them could boot faster than this distro. I have one Debian XFCE "Bullseye" which jumps compared to this one. Even another one with KDE but must enjoy that one longer LOL. This MX Linux boots fast each time in the first three tries or so right after freshly installed. Then it begins to slow down considerably. So don't install this on pluggable media like I did.

Acknowledge a fault that I installed MX Linux to one place, then backed it up with Clonezilla, then restored the operating system to a different external disk. But I have reinstalled this same MX Linux v21.2 "Wildflower" and updated to the "latest" status equivalent to Debian "Bullseye" v11.8. Sadly this still boots very slowly and cannot be compared to my installations of Debian with KDE and XFCE... yes with "systemd". With the same base. Kept totally offline after three or four events using "apt" each penguin.

It looks very good. But I pulled down Conky and did other things to simplify the look a bit. I wish I could make the mouse cursor larger. MX Linux in this case is better than Spiral Linux with Budgie and Cinnamon with a couple of Windows applications I use. For some reason on those other ones, I get a small, flabby mouse pointer that is difficult to see. Fluxbox was a PITA with some settings, such as its decision to classify an instance of XFCE4 Terminal so it never has to center it. I fought a bit with "synclient", but I have had problems with use of the touchpad a few times. MX Linux wins with having a setting to use "libinput" or not. I choose not to; otherwise I will have to use a valuable USB port for a wireless mouse. It's because I intensely dislike the tendency about scrolling anyhow with touchpad. I would be forced to reconsider only if I were using a Macbook or some other computer without buttons below the sensitive finger area. This distro also allows setting "Ubuntu mode" in file manager, to bypass entering the password to access a partition of an internal disk.

In case of reinstalling the operating system, only having to back up the whole "/home/(user)/.fluxbox" directory is a real time saver. Because I had spent a couple of hours making minor adjustments here and there to make it just right. However my setup looks largely like the "stock" for "Wildflower".

If you must install to an external disk because you don't want to risk your ageing mechanical hard disk, it is recommendable to allow the installer to partition the whole disk. This distribution is not for people who expect schemes they see on other operating systems they might not have been successful installing, such as VanillaOS. I don't know if this even supports encrypted volumes and/or with LLVM, like Debian Installer seems to. Could probably change the main partition format from "ext4" to "btrfs" and employ the system snapshots. I didn't choose a separate "/home" directory, so your results might vary on that. I chose to install on a 32GB Sandisk. The installer created three partitions: head was 256MiB ESP, tail was 1.5GiB "swap". The "swap" might be too small for my computer which has 4GB RAM but I'm not worried about it.

The "desktop menu" called Application Finder is clunky to use. It's not really a menu, because one has to double-click a highlighted entry or press [ENTER] to launch it. Some of the MX Apps rely on Yad which could be distracting to somebody new to Linux straight out of Windows, and expects many options in a single dialog, instead of one dialog after another with few controls. The Docker has a mind of its own sometimes. Could configure a "button" on the Docker: if a "dot-desktop" file doesn't work, one might have to try running a full path for a program. Especially a Windows application through Wine.

I have to still figure out some things like changing the screen brightness because I cannot count on "xbacklight" and the result of the "xrandr" trick is not the same as being able to use the brightness buttons on other distros.

I have tried a "re-MX" with XFCE by a Japanese engineer which was downloaded from Sourceforge. Had the input method choice going and everything. I didn't like it after three days because it refused to set the system time correctly, even with NTP sync. I was never comfortable with XFCE on this distro; plain-vanilla Debian is much better and takes less RAM after startup is done. This MX Linux is quite good, with "htop" run from XFCE4 Terminal the RAM usage isn't much more than 400MiB. Pardus "Yirmibir" (not the new one) is also better than this distro with that desktop. One more thing: on this installation I have, I wanted to keep XFCE things v4.16 but they got upgraded. I was forced to enable the MX-specific repositories because it refused to let me install Wine otherwise, kept complaining about "systemd" dependencies.

Oh almost forgot to indicate something that bit me with the reinstallation. Before doing anything with "apt" on this distro, after a new successful installation, please go to the MX Tools and find "Locales". In the dialog having to do with rebuilding locales, choose only the ones that you need. Because there are like 50 of them selected. Because I didn't follow my own advice here, during system update it sat there for over 10 minutes rebuilding a locale for every English- and Spanish-speaking nation that exists, as well as a bunch of European and Asian languages.
Manjaro MATE demonstrates how the non-official "community" editions could vary from one another, and could reveal omissions. For example, the MATE screensaver is omitted. Therefore the screen suddenly goes black after five minutes of the user's lack of response toward HID. This is one of a few things that eventually chased me out of MX Linux with Fluxbox and others without full-featured desktops. Trying to adjust things only with "gsettings" doesn't work, I've found.

Another serious issue with this distro-desktop combination is the windows of many applications could be resized only by grabbing the window titlebar. This is a killer for somebody very used to taking the bottom-right-hand corner instead. Caja and MATE Terminal in particular behave in this way. I have Ardour v8.1 installed and for some reason, it starts with a window a bit wider than my laptop screen, off maximize mode. I have installed Manjaro MATE two other times before and the window manager never behaved half this weird.

I have Mozilla Firefox installed directly from Arch Linux/Manjaro repositories. I have tried to update today, "pacman" claims it's already at the latest release. I don't have any extensions that block videos or anything like that. However I cannot access "archive-dot-org" with this combination. I could do that on Spiral Linux "Bullseye" KDE for example, which has two-week-old Firefox AppImage.

Finally that distro is becoming moody about installing certain Windows programs which are ten years or older, and combining it with "recent" software. While it runs without hitches on Debian "Bookworm" and whatever is a bit behind.

(I have MX Linux "Wildflower" backed up, need to find a better disk for it because it kept booting very slowly. I want to keep it.)

I have Kubuntu "Jammy Jellyfish" with v5.15 "generic" kernel. It claims to have GLIBC v2.35 but a few programs requesting it at minimum don't work, for example Bforartists v4; the AppImage seg-faults. Must use the release of that program happening in January, compiled with GLIBC v2.28 or get Blender instead. Must refer to Blender's documentation anyway.

On that distro, and maybe other Ubuntu flavors, there is a small issue where an AppImage has to be installed to get more functionality than getting the same exact application version/release from "apt". Maybe because the authors of the distro expect the user to only use Snaps... Not really a Snaps hater but I have to avoid any potential hole which makes like Windows Update, putting on telemetry and is generally buggy and CPU- and memory-greedy.

As I've hinted elsewhere on this site, I tried the latest KDE Neon from the download link provided on Distrowatch which is this one:

At least the live mode starts with X11 and not Wayland, although with KDE Plasma v5.27.10. This year Calamares has been really petty. This happened to me with Debian live ISO's as well: refuses to allow the user to dictate what file system would be the "root" partition, and what is the size of the "swap", if "Erase disk" option is chosen. On my system it wanted 8GiB "swap". When I tried to force the partition sizes I wanted, say with 3GiB "swap" instead the installer rejected that "swap". I was forced to give up. Q4OS is much better and the user could opt for one of the Desktop Profiles to get more applications without worrying about Snaps. In case the user is interested in another distro based on Ubuntu as close to Kubuntu and KDE Neon as possible, could try the poorly-named "Br OS".
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I wrote the post just above and totally forgot that I was supposed to write about yet another distro.

This is about Nutyx. I have tried it before earlier this year, shortly after they announced they will have rolling releases because the distro creator received some help for it. One attractive thing is it offers a wide variety of desktops, also JWM and Openbox, and even CDE which was reviewed on Distrowatch. I have tried XFCE but couldn't give me Wifi capability. Then I tried KDE which was better but with some functionality missing from the system preferences such as the ability to disable the compositor, because I dislike window transparency.

A few days ago, after I noticed another release being put forth, I tried again but with Budgie desktop. Surprisingly the live ISO mode is with X11 not with Wayland. It is a pleasant surprise for me but some people might not be impressed and might have to go ask on the forum how to get Wayland session. The desktop looks nice, like my Spiral Linux Budgie installation but with green accent. (I would like to know how to get out of the "Numix" red accent.) Nutyx has a package manager called "cards", more or less like "slapt-get" on Salix and Slackel, rather simple to use. But it is not for slow Internet connections. There is a GUI front-end to it called FLCards but I don't advise using it.

There aren't many applications with an ISO of 1.7GiB, but I should have gone a bit further testing it. The panel is at the bottom looking as much as possible like in XFCE (EndeavourOS also configures this way). Note that the file manager is GNOME Files, and the terminal is XTerm. This XTerm is somewhat buggy about scrolling and entering stuff at the bottom-most line. There is no Wallstreet, so might have to install that to have a slideshow for wallpapers. Choose the wallpaper from the system settings that is like the one on GNOME, not Budgie Control Panel. Otherwise things go as in any other Linux OS with Budgie.

It seems that one must use Flatpaks to get by on Nutyx. Because "" is being requested to run AppImages. I'm disappointed that after almost a year this library is still not provided "out of the box". The "cards" way provides fewer applications and alternative choices than the "popular" distros. Installation isn't really for beginners neither but it's rather simple. I remembered how it was on KDE and XFCE months ago. Before running the live ISO into the installer, the user should set up the target disk for an ESP at least 512MiB, and the "root" partition which is "ext4" file system. The installer doesn't care as well about "swap". The installer asks where to put the EFI files, and where to install the system, then it goes copying files into the "root" directory. Not much else is requested except which keyboard and which time zone to use.

After the Nutyx system is installed to an external disk, the user will have to boot to some other operating system to edit the "/etc/fstab" so that the newly-installed system is pointed in the right direction. For example, if the live ISO came from "/dev/sdb" and the target disk is on "/dev/sdc", and both have to be plugged in, the operating system is going to expect to boot from "/dev/sdc" which is not right. It should be changed so it boots from "/dev/sdb" if it's going to be the only disk plugged in. The Nutyx system does not recognize UUID's out of GPT device format.

On this distro, if the user wants Wine, he/she will have to pretend it's Slackware: figure out how to download the required 32-bit and 64-bit libraries and download and compile the Wine source code. Because the distro is based on Linux From Scratch, it might not matter a lot which set of libraries as long as it's from the "linux-x86-64-gnu" gang. However I wouldn't advise trying to import a DEB or RPM.

EDIT: GNOME Files for Nutyx Budgie does not have "Ubuntu" mode to mount internal disk partitions, must enter the password first like with Debian and the majority of other Linux OS's.
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Yesterday I decided to try one more time with a distro that offended me in the past, which should get a better name... but this is just an opinion. Previously I checked out PCLinuxOS with XFCE but the system settings misbehaved a bit. Who wants a full-featured desktop with 12 workspaces and keystrokes to switch back and forth among them? The keyboard settings window resisted stiffly my trying to unset the keystrokes. This happened to me on PeppermintOS as well.

Anyway I downloaded the PCLinuxOS minimal ISO with KDE from 08.2023. Installation was a breeze, but one thing worried me: after I entered the details for what I thought was the regular user's account, a message box appears: "THIS WILL BE FOR THE ROOT ACCOUNT." LOL what? A member of their forums brags on signature that there is no such thing as "sudo" on this distribution. That's why it was worrying.

The KDE desktop was set higher than 100 DPI and, like MATE version I tried first but refused to install successfully, everything is in boldface. Either this distro is run by people over 65 years old going blind, or they have 4K screens and are inconsiderate and should know better about people with older, smaller equipment. Although I corrected that flaw, the desktop in places sometimes felt it was too large for my laptop screen.

Frustration began setting in the moment I open Konsole and want to run the system update. apt-get didn't work, kept complaining about file lock. Doesn't recognize other verbs from other RPM-based distributions like dnf and yum. Eventually I decided to reject this distro because I don't like installing, updating and removing only from a GUI program. Even on Salix and Slackel I could bypass GSlapt for slapt-get, and on Redcore, it's possible to use Sisyphus on the command line although I had to be shown after I had given up on it.

The thing is, Synaptics Package Manager might work well in this case but I would like to be able to do the same thing on the terminal. The lack of "sudo" was a hinderance to me in this case. I was able to do things in Mageia from the terminal although it wasn't much better than waiting for dnf to get ready on Fedora, OpenSUSE or ROSA. I had to absolutely avoid the GUI options for Mageia and ROSA, while I must accept that on PCLinuxOS. (scratch head)

This PCLinuxOS is a distrubution I cannot recommend to newbies at all. Many people like it, but most of them if only could get settled by it quickly like I almost did, and the forums of course have to be "there".

As a side note, there was a topic in their forums going on about the "revival" of Solus. It was diverted into discussion about PCLinuxOS offered unofficially with Budgie and Cinnamon. (Because both derrive from GNOME and it's well known GNOME has a lot of dependencies of "systemd". In fact, to make sure Budgie worked on Solus, that operating system carries "systemd".) Sadly the Budgie version is no longer available, that interested me. I was going to try Ultramarine "flagship" but that requires at least 32GiB for the main partition with "btrfs", which I cannot afford right now.

PCLinuxOS with Budgie, that would have been something.
Distro to review: EndeavourOS

I should have done this earlier. Generally, this is one of the best distributions around. For a person still trying to feel his/her way around Linux, this distro is probably as close to Arch Linux as one could get. Almost error-prone.

However I have to admit it was better during 2022. Boy was I ignorant during that time, installing this with XFCE and ditching it at least four times because I didn't like the name of the archer goddess they used for the release. Now I'm screaming to have that again. I have installed this distro like 20 times, no joking although I could laugh about it now.

This is very important. The installer program is Calamares. At one point, it asks the user which boot system he/she prefers, GRUB or "systemd-boot". In any case, it insists on an ESP of 1GiB. This is required by "systemd-boot" because many more files are copied to the ESP than the EFI file, likely the ones which are supposed to be on /boot. For the main partition, the user is given the choice between "ext4" and "btrfs". The installer also has a section of which set of programs to install. The first and the last options should not be unchecked for any reason! I don't know why they could even be accessed. The user could decide if he/she wants a web browser pre-installed or not. The user could also decide if he/she would go with the bleeding-edge Linux kernel from Arch Linux, or with the LTS v6.1 series kernel. The user could also ask for other things to be installed such as Wine, office suite, graphics editor or stuff about music and for screen-sharing. The operating system has always installed on my computer with X11 visual protocol. Therefore I don't know what to tell you about Wayland, probably that is handled by a log-in session.

EndeavourOS comes with its own suite for welcoming people to the distro, to be able to do system updates "painlessly" and to install popular applications. The "Welcome" app has buttons to click to easily access EndeavourOS forums, Arch Linux official site and other places, and to figure out the fastest mirrors. The job which has to do with choosing application install has to use Yad dialog maker, it works but it's not as slick as one comes to expect from eg. KDE Plasma Discover. Usually while online a notification comes up saying there are these packages to update. Clicking on the window then opens the EndeavourOS-only application that handles that duty, which requires entering the user's password. It doesn't require dropping to a terminal, and therefore inexperienced Linux users need not worry about this. The "sales pitch" is "terminal-centric" but it is possible for a beginner to use this distribution as long as he/she is alert.

This distribution does not come with Pamac. Do not be fooled by other people whining about it and saying things which are not true, and they insult other distros in the process. If one wants Pamac on this system, he/she must install it. I'm not sure now if it comes with yay, the extender of pacman which makes it a bit easier to take stuff from the Arch Linux User Repository (AUR).

This whole thread is full of opinions, and therefore I offer one more from my own experience. I have needed only one thing from the AUR: Brave Browser. On EndeavourOS, ArcoLinux and Manjaro. But that was many months ago. What I advise is to please make an effort to check if a program is in the standard Arch Linux repositories. If not, if at all possible, obtain the source code and compile it yourself. The AUR has an awful lot of stuff marked in red and the "rating" system is highly subjective. Taking from that repository is like using car parts which could void your warranty -- this is actually the position taken in the standard forum of main Arch Linux website. It's better to try to compile it yourself by using everything officially supported, and then seek help when it doesn't work or for what is missing. It's a jungle out there. This is not an exaggeration.

I could almost say I tried every desktop offered by EndeavourOS. I have even witnessed it with "i3" window manager but didn't like it, it wasn't like Archbang. The "i3" community edition of Manjaro probably would have been better too, but I liked the look of the terminal with "Terminess" Nerd font and dark green background I couldn't mimic and I couldn't get anywhere else. For about six months I tolerated EndeavourOS with LXQt. It made me hate that so-called desktop. I'm sorry but many things about it made me uncomfortable. There are bad habits I developed using file managers which makes me dash away from PCManFM. However only on this distro-desktop combination I found a setting that I deeply wish at least Thunar supported. The right to disable the smooth scroll animation while going up and down in a detailed file list.

I had EndeavourOS with GNOME v43 and liked it somewhat, was surprised by its elegance although it could be attributed with my being with Fedora 35 for three months. Then the forced desktop v44 upgrade happened and I was forced to abandon it. Because it required an extension, it appears, so it remembered application windows maximized as they were started. I couldn't get the application trick working from Firefox, which was frustrating and I was unwilling to install Chromium or anything based on it.

I used the distro with MATE, which looks great in dark mode. But I have found an even better alternative which is the one I actually have at this time and will talk about it in a bit. XFCE was always OK, but in "Cassini" and later it started occupying more RAM. However "Galileo" release is not different from Debian "Bookworm" in memory consumption right after successful log-in. The "Arc" theme styling might not be to everyone's taste, makes Nemo and Thunar look like racoons. Finally I used KDE Plasma edition for a few months. The second trial ended because I began having problems with the disk I installed it to, was taking longer and longer to boot but because the disk was a lemon. Right at "Cassini" release I switched desktops from XFCE for the first time to KDE, and this first trial was quite good to be honest. I should have gone much further using it; for a while I was updating it more often than using it.

I'm forced to split up this post.
Continued: EndeavourOS

Last but never least, I have installed EndeavourOS with Budgie desktop. I have done so twice. In the first time, during the summer last year, I successfully installed it. This was to leave me open-mouthed shocked because I seriously thought I got another desktop. Panel at the bottom? Clock on right-hand side?! Launchers next to the menu on left-hand side? What really is this, XFCE? Could I get this look almost from GNOME with an extension? I'm sorry to say I didn't do anything else at that point but to scratch it off. Note that this happened before I took a closer look at screenshots provided by the Solus project... the "main" one did have the panel at the bottom! I admit I was taken up by other talk that Budgie was supposed to be a "bettered, hypered" GNOME.

My attempts to install Fedora 38 or later, and last of all Ultramarine (which could deceive somebody into thinking it's Solus flagship instead) pushed me into making a second attempt with EndeavourOS. It helps I have had Spiral Linux with the same desktop. LOL I put the panel at the top and clock at center to save my sanity a bit. The EndeavourOS setup with "Arc" theme looks good to a limit, but I dislike the appearance of the large window titlebar especially for GNOME Terminal. The distro comes with Nemo instead of GNOME Files. There is no calculator which is a shocking omission!

I like to be consistent with the installed Linux OS's that I have about the mouse cursor. Sadly anything with Budgie and GNOME resist my efforts. I can't do better than a cursor which is too small for me to see sometimes. I would like "Adwaita" or "DMZ", in 32 points. Especially when I use one of my favorite Windows programs under Wine, the cursor changes its theme, becomes much thinner and harder to see, which was OK in the 1990's. Another configuration item, but in Spiral Linux was to change the accent color of "Numix" theme. In the least I would have to load about a hundred image files into GIMP and turn the red into another color, for the radio button and check box controls.

I agree to put some pressure on Debian powers-that-be to make Budgie one of the officially supported desktops for their big ISO at least. Maybe at the expense of Cinnamon and/or GNOME Flashback. For the moment one has to settle for Spiral Linux. My first brush with Budgie was the Ubuntu flavor. I thought it was horrible and slow. Cinnamon version was better.

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