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Antergos 2014.05.26 review – Cinnamon, GNOME 3 and KDE desktops

This article is a review of the latest edition of Antergos – Antergos 2014.05.26, a desktop distribution based on Arch Linux. Like Manjaro, another Arch Linux-based desktop distribution, it is a relatively young distribution, and like its parent distribution, is a rolling release distribution.

A rolling release distribution is an install-once-update-forever distribution. That is, once a system is installed, there’s no need to reinstall when a new version is released.

The Antergos installer offers a choice of six desktop environments – Cinnamon, GNOME 3, KDE, MATE, Openbox and Xfce. This review features materials from test installations of the Cinnamon, GNOME 3, and KDE desktops.

Antergos Installer Antergos is one of those distributions that gives you easy access to a text-based (command-line) installer, besides a graphical installer. When you first boot the Live ISO image, you are presented the three options shown in this screenshot. I’ve never bothered to use the command-line installer, because I don’t see the point of it. But the graphical installer is still a work in progress, designed to look and feel just like the Ubuntu Desktop installer.
Antergos boot options

The disk partitioning options are similar to the ones available on Ubuntu’s installer. Full disk encryption and LVM, the Linux Logical Volume Manager, are supported. An option not offered on Ubuntu’s installer lets you set up a /home directory on a separate partition or Logical Volume, if LVM is used.
Antergos Cnchi disk partition type

And the manual partitioning features have a similar look to Ubuntu’s.
Antergos Cnchi advanced partition tool

The only real difference is that it does not support the creation of encrypted disk partitions
Antergos Cnchi file systems

This screenshot shows the desktop environments supported by the distribution. The default is GNOME 3, with a default GNOME Shell. And that also is the desktop environment for the Live system.
Antergos Cnchi desktop options

And this shows a partial list of services that could be enabled or disabled during installation. Ufw firewall application is one of them.
Antergos Cnchi services

This screenshot shows the default rules for the firewall. In general the installer works, even on computers with UEFI firmware. See how to Dual-boot Windows 7 and Antergos on a PC with 2 HDDs and UEFI firmware. The only drawback is the inability to create manual encrypted partitions. For that, you may have to use the CLI installer.
Antergos Cnchi firewall

The Desktop Environments: The desktop environments that I tested sport a custom login screen, with a background that changes on each boot. For each desktop environment, the login process is a 3-step affair, as shown in this gallery, which is made up of images taken from an installation of the GNOME 3 desktop.

And talking about the GNOME 3 desktop, it features GNOME 3.12.2, with a default GNOME Shell.
Antergos GNOME 3 GNOME Shell

Click on any image of this gallery to view other aspects of Antergos GNOME 3 desktop.

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