Linux distribution EndeavorOS 2020.09.20: Lots of model maintenance and support for ARM

The new version of the Arch-based distribution comes up with a lot of fine-tuning and is also available for computers with an ARM CPU.

 Linux distribution EndeavorOS 2020.09.20: a lot of model maintenance and support for ARM

A few days ago, the developers of EndeavorOS released the new version 2020.09.20 of the Linux distribution, which includes a lot of model maintenance. In parallel, they also introduced “EndeavourOS ARM” on its feet: The distribution now also runs on computers with an ARM CPU for the first time. The double burden during the release cycle was almost as intense an experience as the release of the first EndeavorOS version last year, according to the release announcement.

EndeavourOS is the unofficial successor to the one released in May 2019 Discontinued Antergos Linux – an Arch-based distribution that offered an easy and quick way to install a pre-configured Arch Linux. EndeavorOS also uses the Arch Linux repositories, supplemented by its own package directory. The latter adds a handful of its own programs to the system. A graphical installer ultimately sets up a minimalistic Arch Linux on the hard drive of the target system.

Especially the internal tools have received a lot of attention from the EndeavorOS developers during the current release cycle. This is noticeable right away during installation: If you install EndeavorOS on a system with an Nvidia graphics card, you will now receive the latest drivers again, which also support new cards. The installer comes with a new, Endeavor-specific adapted version of Archiso for creating modified ISO images for installation.

In the past, the tray icon that informed users about updates caused a lot of confusion. Up until the current EndeavorOS version, it also displayed messages for Arch itself – often promoting updates that were already outdated in EndeavorOS. In the future, the icon will only report updates for EndeavorOS.

The developers have also eliminated another source of confusion: “GNOME Software” and “Plasma Discover” have flown out of the standard installation. Too many users assumed these were the official package management tools from the EndeavorOS developers. In fact, both tools are generic and have nothing to do with the distribution.

The developers have the welcome dialog after system start heavily revised. It is now available in additional languages, makes it easier to change the screen resolution with a mouse click and offers direct access to the system’s update functions. Users who do not want to be confronted with a dialog immediately after the system start can also switch it off.

In addition, EndeavorOS has gone through the usual model maintenance. Linux 5.8.10 is almost up to date, Firefox with version 80.0.1 is also almost up to date (Firefox 81, which was released a few days ago, would be up to date) and many other packages in new versions also found their way from Arch Linux to EndeavorOS . Desktop environments such as KDE or GNOME and the window manager i3 are all up to date.

Nvidia’s CPU Developers who buy ARM don’t like it for everyone – many had identified ARM as a sensible competing architecture in order to reduce dependence on Intel. However, the EndeavorOS developers continue to rely on the ARM architecture: Version 2020.09.20 was also released for the first time in a version for systems with an ARM processor.

The system is of course based on the ARM version of Arch Linux and is installed in two steps: First, Archlinux ARM itself lands on the disk. A script then adjusts the system to meet EndeavorOS specifications. The fully installed system then no longer differs from EndeavorOS on x64 systems. The developers have tested their product on the Odroid systems N2, N2+, XU4 and the Raspberry Pi 4b. The distribution should also work on a Pinebook Pro, Pine64 or Rock64 board. However, the developers note that the performance is not good on this hardware.

More details can be found in the release announcement for EndeavorOS 2020.09.20 and EndeavorOS ARM. In addition, the developers have dedicated their own website to the new ARM variant.

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