PacmanXG Pacman package manager

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

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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

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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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15 Responses

  1. I disagree with the preset folders. Not including them is a feature, not a bad thing. I don’t want someone else trying to tell me what folders to use, I have my own naming convention. I delete such folders in any Linux distribution I install and make my own.

    As for the takeoff menu, absolutely not. It looks horrible and takes up an ENTIRE screen of real estate, and it takes longer to get to an application than Kickoff does. This is your personal preference, not something that should be done by default. I can tell you from experience that if this was default in any distribution, it would result in user outcry.

  2. I’m a chakra user and i’m happy they don’t have a preset of folders in home. It was always the first thing i removed to make my own folders,just like Ista above.

    Cups i think i something most will need but isn’t hard to do if you follow the wiki.

    I hope the stay close to stock kde, mostly you customize it to your own needs and that is for every user different. I rather put things in i need than remove things i don’t need.

    And i want to compliment the dev people of chakra they are always ready to answer question in there forum/irc and stay always friendly. That was something i missed on a few other distro’s and one of the main reasons i stick to chakra.

  3. I’m surprised you didn’t include full-disk encryption in your list of suggested features for the next edition of Chakra. 🙂

    Your reviews and especially your tutorials are excellent, and really helped me in my move to Linux earlier this year. Two things I’d like to see you cover:

    -How to implement full-disk encryption on a dual-boot laptop. (I keep my data is on a separate NTFS partition so I can access it from both OSs — I still need Win7 for some of my work.)

    -Your take on the Enlightenment/E17 desktop environment. Bodhi Linux seems to be the most popular distro built around it.

    Thanks, Finid!

  4. just checked out chakra and was impressed with the live cd. im new to the arch branch so was very interesting. like the fact that xbmc is built into the packages as i have been trying to find a distro that will run this flawlessly.

  5. I don’t like the fact that it’s impossible to install the boot loader on the boot partition itself (you can only install it onto the MBR) …

  6. I don’t think the lack of pre-populated home directories is a drawback at all. Unlike the distro reviewer, the typical user wants to migrate existing directories for other computers / partitions to their new one. One of the first things I do with any new Linux install is delete any directories under /home/myname and copy over my existing home directory structure. From my perspective leaving the home directory empty is a feature.

  7. I think you mean “Chakra Linux.” Nobody calls it GNU/Linux except Richard Stallman and other people who want to give the FSF an inappropriately large amount of the credit for developing the Linux operating system.

    1. Why must you expose your ignorance about the history of Linux or GNU/Linux in public?

      GNU software and the Linux kernel are like the left and right hands on the same body.

      Study some more, wise guy.

  8. Thanks for taking the time to do this review. Explanation for the qupzilla as bundle too. All bundled browser include the flashplugin (which ofc cannot be included in a GTK2 free ISO), since many user like to keep their system GTK2 free, it was requested that at least one Qt browser was available with flash bundled-in too.
    Chakra –as noted in a comment of a previous review, and explained in the welcome-plasmoid– never intended to make all the decisions for the user. I’ll quote the goal of Chakra:
    “The Chakra Project is dedicated to providing a pure KDE/Qt desktop operating system that is simple and transparent. The LiveCD is an important tool and key to the user’s first impression, while the half-rolling release model ensures cutting edge features with solid system stability and long life. Simplicity is great for users new to Linux, but simple doesn’t mean that you won’t have to learn anything. Getting the most from Chakra requires a certain level of competency and is more focused toward KISS-minded users who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. However, if you are willing to learn and put in a little effort, Chakra is an excellent distribution to start with. It requires a minimum of distro-specific knowledge, and it’s bare-bones install is rock-solid and easy to manipulate. There is also a wonderful Beginner’s Guide available in the wiki, helping to guide you through the process of learning to use Chakra, KDE, and thus Linux, from the beginning.”
    This applies to any settings, folders, firewall, security, the tools are available, it is the users choice how to use them.

      1. Because a bundled browser+flash is self contained and to use flash in a browser installed normaly you would have to install gtk2 as a dependency to flash wich beats the whole point of a gtk+ free distro

  9. I must say, Chakra Linux is really getting my pumped up. It seems a realy polished, well thought, well implemented OS. IMHO, i think there are some shortcomings, besisdes the ones mentioned on this very detailed review,like the lack of a dedicated email and chat applications. I recommend Kontact an telepathy, because they are kde native. The security features should be all on by default, tomoyo included… even if there is a tutorial on their wiki, using the terminal isn’t the most intuitive way to configure the os, for some users. I’m really glad to see this OS with such great potential continuing to release new native applications and bundles with each release to pleaase everyone taste… it is really the way to go. On a final note, would like to, if possible, contribute to this project… i don’t have much experience with things like this, but seeing this OS growing so fast (congratulations on your 6th place of most rapidly growing projects!) and with so much potential, i really feel like contributing, even a little, to make this a great distro. Very well done! best pof luck!

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