Having installed Antergos Linux as described in here I proceeded to play around with the distro, to discover how well would the distribution fare in daily usage.

First impressions

After rebooting the machine I was introduced to a beautiful screen to log in. The first thing that graved my attention was that besides the usual options to shutdown the machine, select desktop environment, etc; there was also an option to select the background wallpaper of the login screen (the offer of wallpapers to choose from was wide enough and the wallpapers themselves quite beautiful).

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I had chosen Xfce as my desktop environment, and the first thing I did was to check which software I had available: I found the typical applications that one expects to find in Xfce like Thunar (archive manager), Parole (media player), and also an audio player, a text editor, a pdf viewer, etc.

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The basic stuff was all there but it was a very minimalist selection, I had Chromium available because I had chosen to add it during the installation process, but there was no office tools, for example, no software for image editing, etc. Actually I prefer it this way; I found more comfortable to have just a set of the most common applications and add the ones I need, than finding myself in a system bloated with applications that I am never going to use.

So the next thing to do was open the software manager and find some extra software.

Installing software

Installing software using the pamac-manager is fast and easy: the user only needs to  look for the software he wants to install, select it, click apply, and pamac-manager installs the selected software with its dependencies.

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As I remarked in the previous post, one of the advantages that Antergos Linux has over other distributions is that is based in a solid, well established distribution: namely Arch Linux.

Being Arch Linux an active distribution with an active and enthusiastic community means among other things that Antergos Linux is going to be provided with a wide selection of software straight from the repositories (specially if the user has added the AUR repository).

Therefore I found in the repositories not only the Firefox Browser which is quite common in any distro, but also the Opera browser which is less common.

When it comes to office software besides LibreOffice (with dictionaries for many languages, and translations packages), I found other suites like Calligra, and word/excel alternatives like Abiword, Gnumeric, etc.

The multimedia selection was also quite satisfactory: I installed VLC, and Audacity, and noticed also software like MPlayer, PiTiVi, etc. For image viewing and editing besides the ever-present GIMP I found I could install also Pinta, DigiKam, RawTherapee, Darktable…

In other words: the end user has a high amount of possibilities of finding the software he is looking for in the repositories. And for those rare cases where that is no the case he is surely going to find a package for an alternative software with a similar functionality.

Multimedia

The system out of the box could play YouTube without problem. Also I used my newly installed VLC player to play some audio files: once again all worked flawlessly.

Antergos for Software developers and IT people

The average user can find a wide selection of software to install from the official repositories, and when it comes to more specific software,and concretely to software used by IT people: virtualization, databases, servers, IDEs, monitoring software, etc., I found the repositories equally well provided.

As database I could choose between relational databases like MySQL, Percona, MariaDB, and NoSQL databases like MongoDB, and CouchDB; Nginx joined to Apache, and Lighthttpd in the web servers category. And when it comes to development there were varios IDEs available (among them Eclipse, the version for Java development, and the version with the plugins necessaries for PHP development). Of course PHP, Openjdk, python, npm, and Node.JS where also packaged in the repositories.

Documentation

Antergos Wiki has a large number of articles regarding installation, configuration, and usage of Antergos Wiki. Users interested in given Antergos Linux a try, but wishing to keep its current operative system installed may find the articles addressing dual booting (with Windows and MAC) interesting. As usual we find a section dedicated to explain how to install AMD proprietary driver. And for gamers there is a guide on how to install Steam.

Antergos Linux has also a number of active forums to support users.

If we add to that the information already available in the Arch Wiki, and forums we found ourselves with a perfectly documented system, with a big and active community.

Conclusion

Antergos Linux builds on Arch to offer an easy, and attractive of the box ready to use system. It keeps all the good points of Arch, but adds to it by offering tools like the installer, or configured desktop environments that allow to quickly setup an usable system.

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