I had a thought last week when playing some games on my EndeavourOS install: Since I don’t have many games installed and I’m not heavily invested in eOS, could I take a big dive into trying my hand at installing Arch Linux on my gaming PC? Technically, eOS is an Arch distro so it can’t be that hard, right?

I took some time last Friday, during a slow work day, and actually did it . . . twice! It was a great learning experience and I wound up with a solid system, only installing the things I need and nothing I don’t. I’m very happy that my system is under my control and customized how I want it.

Here are some problems that I ran into and how I fixed them during the install process:

  • The first go around, I totally forgot to make a partition for EFI. No wonder Grub wouldn’t install!
  • I also had an issue installing Grub with EFI to the proper location, but re-doing the same steps seemed to have fixed it. Not sure what happened here.
  • In order to use Timeshift and have snapshots with BTRFS, you have to create subvolumes like “@” and “@home”. I still don’t understand why but I’ll research that later. This is actually the cause of the second install lol.
  • I had too many moments where “Oh crap, I forgot to install X”. Let’s say I have a good list of packages that I need now in my notes.

One interesting thing to note is that by installing a lean Arch install is that this is the first KDE experience that I’ve ever had where it is fast and solid. I’ve tried other distros with KDE and it has always been a terrible experience on the same hardware. And even though KDE isn’t as light as XFCE, I’m honestly impressed with KDE and will probably stick with it.

There are two valuable lessons to learn from this experiment: 1) Don’t be afraid to give things a try because they might wind up being awesome. 2) TAKE NOTES

I have always been a little scared of installing Arch on my gaming PC because I was afraid of either updates (rolling release, frequent updates) or that I would have something else to have to manage. Sure, an update could come through and break my system, but I’m not so worried now. Also, Arch is not bad at all in my option. If you take notes on everything that you do and write down the exact commands used, you can rebuild your system with ease. If I had to rebuild my system right now, I could be back up and running within 30 minutes with all packages installed and all customization done.

I still want to combine my notes into a bash script for easy deployment later. I also want to make sure that I can backup or automate some things in KDE like my options and customizations.

EndeavourOS is a great OS and I would still be on it, but this experiment was totally worth it. Arch has been rock solid so far and I plan on sticking with it for the foreseeable future.

This is day 13 of #100DaysToOffload