Top 5 best Arch-based linux distributions [2023]

Top 5 Arch Based Distributions

In this article, we’ve curated the best Arch Linux 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 it can be a bit too cumbersome to configure and install Arch Linux from the command line.

Thus, to make our lives a bit easier, we should rather take a look at the top Arch Linux distros in 2023, which would be easier to install and operate for beginner users as well as advanced users and save us a lot of time.

The Arch-Based Linux 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 and since the operating system is rolling release, you also have to fix the system if any update breaks something.

But, 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. EndeavourOS


EndeavourOS is another rolling release Linux distribution based on Arch Linux and is considered as the successor of the once-popular Antergos project. This minimal Linux distribution based on Arch is very close to Vanilla Arch and uses the official Arch repositories. It has been increasing in its popularity and ranks #5 on Distro Watch.

It is a favorite among Arch Enthusiast as it is surprisingly fast and stable along with being a really lightweight distribution, 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.

This OS is preferred even by both the experienced Linux users and the Linux enthusiasts, since you can get the minimal Arch Linux experience without having to go through the cumbersome installation. If you are new to Linux world and want to explore about Arch, then this distribution might be the right starting point for you!

2. Manjaro Linux

Manjaro Linux

Manjaro Linux is a lightweight and 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 set up. 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. They also ship with a graphical package manager (Pamac), which can be useful for people who do not want to use the Terminal to install any application. AUR (Arch User Repository) support is also built into the Pamac store, which can be helpful for fetching software from the Arch User Repository. Manjaro also provides a user-friendly kernel manager from where you can easily install multiple kernel versions (for example an LTS Linux kernel) as a backup if any update breaks something on the system.

3. Garuda Linux

Garuda Linux
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 out of Cyberpunk

Garuda Gamer GUI
Garuda Gamer GUI

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.

4. ArcoLinux


Unlike traditional Arch-based Linux 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 including XFCE, i3 window manager and Openbox window manager 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 its policy to educate its users about Linux.

5. RebornOS


RebornOS is a very powerful Arch Linux-based 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. Not only that, but it has its own customized version of Cnchi graphical installer. RebornOS makes it easy for newbies to use a system without facing the horrors of it. It ranks at #67 on Distro Watch and is increasingly becoming more popular every day.

Conclusion: Which Arch Linux based distribution to choose?

Arch-based distributions provide an easy gateway for novice users to dive into the amazing work environment of Arch. This distribution helps a lot in learning and acquiring Linux skills, by troubleshooting the issues which arise occasionally in the OS. The rolling release model of Arch keeps the OS up-to-date with the development cycle of all the packages and, along with the AUR, these are considered as huge benefits of Arch Linux. The Arch Community and the ArchWiki are an excellent resource for anyone looking to learn, regardless of the OS they use.

Distributions based on Arch Linux 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 excellent distributions based on Arch like ArchLabs Linux, Archman Linux, Chakra, Artix Linux, Blackarch Linux, Bluestar Linux etc and each has its own features, and we highly encourage you to try out the various flavors to find their perfect fit!

Also, if you feel comfortable enough in the environment of an Arch based distro, you should eventually give the original Arch distro a try at least in a Virtual machine to see if you can manage the installation procedure. We have also created a simple guide from which you can get started.