In this article, we’ve curated the best Arch based distros that we absolutely adore! Arch Linux is one of the most popular Linux distributions out there, giving you full control over your system. However, sometimes configuring Arch can be a bit too cumbersome to configure and install vanilla Arch. Thus to make our lives a bit easier, we would take a look at the top Arch Based Distros of 2021 in this module.
The Arch Based Distros That We LOVE!
Being Linux geeks, Arch has been very close to heart as a Linux distro. But that may not be the case for everyone. It is difficult to get started, and unlike Debian, Arch doesn’t do everything for you. You have to manage your own dependencies and ensure the right packages are installed. While there’s one MAJOR benefit to using Arch – absolute minimalism! So without any further delay, let’s get started with the best Arch-based distros!
1. Manjaro Linux
Manjaro Linux is one of the most popular Arch-based distros out there, ranking at #2 on Distro Watch. Unlike Arch, Manjaro uses a customized Calamares installer which makes it very easy to setup. Manjaro comes in 3 official flavors: XFCE, GNOME and KDE Plasma (see best desktop environments), while community releases also include Awesome, i3, Bspwn, Budgie and other editions. Manjaro also comes with great hardware support. In fact, MHWD is one of the reasons why people prefer it. Manjaro maintains its own official repositories hence it is not quite bleeding edge like Arch but that is a price it pays for stability.
EndeavourOS is the successor of the once-popular Antergos project. EndeavourOS is very close to true Arch and uses the same repositories. It has been increasing in it’s popularity and ranks #5 on Distro Watch. It is a favorite among Arch Enthusiast as it is surprisingly fast and stable, all the while maintaining the customizability and minimalism of Arch. It too comes with a Calamares Installer and the ISO image has XFCE as the default DE but if you are going for an online installation, you can choose from a vast Array of Desktop Environments and Window Managers.
3. Garuda Linux
Garuda Linux is probably one of the coolest looking Linux Distros out there, and even though it comes with many Desktop Environments and Window Managers, the most popular one is the KDE Dr460nized version which looks like something straight outta Cyberpunk!
Garuda also comes with a Calamares installer which makes the installation process very smooth. Another fact which distinguishes Garuda from other Linux Distributions is that by default, it ships with a BTRFS Filesystem instead of the usual EXT4, which allows for features like systems snapshots and checksums. The Garuda Gamer GUI also facilitates gaming on Linux which is a major boon of the Distro. It ranks #14 on Distro Watch.
Unlike traditional Arch based distros, ArcoLinux focuses on educating new users through Linux while also retaining the functionalities of a daily driver. ArcoLinux comes in 3 flavors : ArcoLinux, ArcoLinuxB and ArcoLinuxD. ArcoLinux comes with the primary 3 DEs and a bunch of utilitarian apps. ArcoLinuxD is a more minimal system that doesn’t include any DEs or WMs and focuses on the Linux learning curve. ArcoLinuxB lets you chose your DE, themes, icons, application, etc, and build the ISO.
ArcoLinux ranks #31 on Distro Watch. ArcoLinux also provides a lot of video tutorials in alignment with it’s policy to educate it’s users about Linux
RebornOS is a very powerful Arch-based Linux distribution that comes with over 10 Desktops and 30 Optional Features. It has its own repositories and Reborn Updates and Maintenance Tool allows you to rollback packages to any given date. It also provides a lot of Graphical Support to make it easier for the new users, sparing them the horrors of the command line. It has its own customized version of Cnchi graphical installer. RebornOS makes it easy for newbies to use an Arch Based system without facing the horrors of it. It ranks at #67 on Distro Watch and is increasingly becoming more popular every day.
Arch based distros are gradually gaining ground among the casual Linux users and distributions like Manjaro and RebornOS allow newbies to navigate the Arch Environment in comfort. On the other hand, EndeavourOS and ArcoLinux give us a closer experience to true Arch. It is to be noted that there are tons of other really good distributions based on Arch like Arch Labs, Archman, Chakra, Artix, etc and each has it’s own features and we highly encourage you to try out the various flavors to find their perfect fit!