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Antergos Linux 2013.05.12 review

Desirable features missing from Antergos: Though Cnchi is point-and-click easy to use, it does not have support for LVM, the Linux Logical Volume Manager, RAID, full disk encryption, and boot loader password protection. Those are features I think a graphical installer on a modern operating system should have.

Most people will not care for or need to configure LVM or RAID, but disk encryption, and boot loader password protection, key aspects of the physical security profile of any system, play a very important role in the overall security posture of the system. Talking about security, a default installation of Antergos has no graphical firewall management application installed. IPTables, the command-line management application, is installed but no rules are configured.

CUPS, the printer management application, is not even installed. And that’s a repeating theme on Antergos, regardless of the desktop environment in use. It’s either something is not installed or if installed, it’s not configured or not configured correctly. In the Xfce edition, even the audio mixer had to be added to the panel manually.

So even though the project’s website states that “Antergos comes with everything you need,” and that the “default configuration gives you a ready-to-use system,” so that all you need to do is “reboot your computer and enjoy,” I find that the system is anything but truly ready to use out of the box. Yes, some parts just work, but other parts that should also just work require manual intervention.

Antergos default settings not configured quite right: The stated goal of the developers is to provide a desktop distribution that is “easy to use and very customizable.” All Linux distributions are easy to customize, and for most people, easy to use. So the project’s objective sets a very low bar.

I’ve seen this in many other distributions, so this is not unique to Antergos, but why is Gedit (a simple text editor) the default Calendar application on the Cinnamon desktop? That it is not unique to this distribution tells me that it is a default “factory setting.” But this is the type of default configuration that should be done right, before distribution developers make a new release available for download.
Antergos Cinnamon Settings

And this shows the removable storage options in a default installation of the Xfce desktop. For a better default user experience, I think some of the options shown here should be enabled out of the box.
Antergos Xfce default Settings Arch Linux

The default desktop theme of Antergos comes with a beautiful desktop background, but on the Cinnamon desktop, the background is a blank (dark). And there are no pre-loaded background images to choose from.
Antergos Linux Cinnamon desktop

On the Razor-qt desktop, one thing that didn’t make sense to me is that the KDE Control Center is accessible from the Razor-qt Configuration Center. This image shows the Razor-qt Configuration Center. Clicking the KDE System Settings icon will load the full KDE System Settings.
Antergos Linux Razor-qt Settings

This is the KDE System Settings windows with all the modules you’ll find on any KDE desktop.
Antergos Linux Razor-qt KDE Settings

Bugs in the system: In the course of testing this distribution, using all four desktop environments supported by the installer, I experienced just two buggy applications. And they are both modules in the control centers of the Cinnamon and GNOME 3 desktop environments.

In Cinnamon, the control center (System Settings) crashed every time I clicked on the Display icon.
Antergos Linux Cinnamon Settings

In GNOME 3, it crashed every time I clicked on the Details icon. In either case, there was no feedback from the system regarding the crash.
Antergos Linux GNOME Shell settings

To sum:, Antergos is a nice distribution, and the developers have obviously put a lot of effort into, but now, they have to take it to the next level and provide a desktop distribution that you can just install, “reboot your computer and enjoy.”

Resources: You may download 32- or 64-bit installation images of Antergos 2013.05.12 from here.

Screen Shots: Here are some screen shots from all four desktop environments I installed for testing.

GNOME 3 desktop showing installed applications.
Antergos Linux GNOME Shell apps

The Cinnamon desktop showing the menu.
Antergos Linux Cinnamon desktop menu

The Xfce desktop.
Antergos Linux Xfce Arch Linux

The Xfce desktop showing the menu.
Antergos Linux Xfce menu Arch Linux

The Razor-qt desktop.
Antergos Linux RazorQt Linux desktop

This screen shot is that of Hotot, a microblogging client for Twitter and Identica.
Antergos Linux Hotot microblogging twitter identica

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