Antergos is a rolling release Linux distribution based on Arch Linux. It is developed with simplicity in mind. It provides a fully configured system with defaults that make it usable right out of the box. Antergos is designed for all users from experts and developers to newbies. It is pretty impressive what the developers of distro have made. Let’s check it out.
The Live Install Image comes in about 1.7GB and allows you to try a fully functional Antergos environment without making any changes to the current state of your system. When you are ready, you can create a permanent place for Antergos on your system using our GUI installer. You can also go for a minimal ISO which comes in about 635MB which is great for those who want to go right ahead and install Antergos. You can download the iso image and then go ahead and burn it on a CD/DVD or write it to a USB thumb drive.
As far as Linux Installers go, Antergos’ Cnchi installer is amongst the easiest. If you go with the minimal ISO, bootup takes you directly to the Cnchi installer. From the Live media, you can start the Cnchi installer or from the Applications menu on the left of the desktop.
Even for the Live ISO which comes in about 1.7GB, you will still require an internet connection. Cnchi will check for updates and the installer will make sure your computer meets all the requirements for installation. And then you will specify your language, location, time zone, and keyboards.
Antergos allows you the freedom to select your desktop during installation. Your options include Cinnamon, Gnome, KDE, Mate, Openbox, and XFCE.
Cinnamon is a Linux desktop which provides advanced, innovative features and a traditional desktop user experience which will make users feel right at home and comfortable out of the box.
GNOME 3 is also a modern and elegant desktop environment. With GNOME’s activities overview, you can easily get to all your tasks easily.
KDE’s Plasma Desktop provides a modern and familiar desktop environment. You have all the tools required to be productive out of the box.
MATE is intuitive, attractive and lightweight. It also provides a more traditional desktop experience and is also very suitable for old computers and those with lower-end hardware.
Openbox is not a full desktop environment per se, but it provides a highly configurable window manager. It is very minimalistic in appearance and yet very flexible. It is the most lightweight desktop environment provided by Antergos but it is not recommended for newbies.
XFCE is a very popular Linux desktop environment. It aims to be fast and low on system resources while remaining visually appealing and user-friendly. It is also suitable for use on older computers and those with lower-end hardware specifications.
You also have the option of installing just the Antergos base system will provide a command-line only system without any graphical interface. After installation, you can customize Antergos by installing packaged with the command-line package manager.
The second thing is to make feature selection for your choice of the desktop. You can choose between Chromium Web Browser and Mozilla Firefox Web Browser or have both.. You can choose to have flash plugins installed, proprietary graphic drivers for AMD or Nvidia, Bluetooth support, kernel version, LibreOffice, SSH Service, Steam with PlayOnLinux, support for Arch User Repository (AUR) and others.
You can install Antergos on your entire drive or specify your partition table and mount points. There is also a link to the online support page for dual booting Antergos with Microsoft Windows.
Finally, you will be presented with your choices for confirmation before your they are written to disk.
Depending on the speed of your internet, it may take some time for the installer to get the latest packages and install. Also, a lighter desktop like Openbox will install faster than say Cinnamon or KDE as those would require more packages to download and install. Selecting more features like LibreOffice and more will require more data and time.
The major thing that you are going to notice with Antergos is the icons set. Atntergos includes some exclusive desktop and icon themes designed from the developers at the Numix Project.
Antergos ships with a pretty slim selection of applications. Chromium and/or Firefox, music, and video apps, Pidgin, LibreOffice, Steam, PlayOnLinux and a few others.
There is also a very basic Add/Remove software app (Pamac) which allows you to add applications, repositories and install updates.
Antergos is Arch, so you get all the customizations that Arch allows. Also, depending on the desktop environment that you decide to go with, you get the associated customization that it comes with. With the Gnome 3 desktop, for instance, you get some extensions installed by default such as Dash to dock.
Arch Linux has never been a distro for Linux newbies. The installation is something for only advanced users. But with Antergos, all the hassle of setting up Arch is taken away and replaced with a pretty straightforward and easy to use installer. Cnchi is one of two key things about Antergos, allowing Linux newbies to easily install Arch and set up a desktop with a very easy to use GUI based installer. The second is the Numix connection. The numix desktop and icon themes make Antergos quite beautiful, refined and tasteful in behavior and style. If you are interested in Arch but find the installation intimidating, you should definitely check out Antergos.
Mohd Sohail is a web developer and a Linux sysAdmin. He also loves to write how-to articles, applications reviews and loves to use new Linux distributions.