• A few general newbee questions (no tech support request)


    Hello everyone,
    Although I’ve been using openSuse for quite a while, I’m not an expert- not even an intermediate. openSuse is about to release V15.0 in a few days, and when that happens I want to switch to a different distro instead of upgrading suse.

    Here are my questions:

    1. I’ve heard Arch is the most challenging “experts-only” distro, and Antergos is based on Arch. Does this mean I’ll have serious problems if I switch to Antergos? Like I said, I’m a complete noob.

    2. I use an external sound card (openSuse detects it as CM108 Audio Controller). Will this be supported by default? I also have a functioning internal audio controller on this Dell laptop. OpenSuse allows me to “Switch” between the cards by clicking on the speaker icon in system tray. Will this feature be available?

    3. Programs I use most often: Firefox, Google Chrome, SMPlayer, HandBrake, Ktorrent, Thunderbird, Xtreme Download Manager, TeamViewer, LibreOffice, VLC, Xfce4-screenshooter, and Amarok. Are all these available for Antergos (KDE version)?

    4. Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5500, WiFi Intel AC3160. Will these be supported out of the box?

    5. Is BtrFS available? OpenSuse has this thing called “Snapper” which creates automatic snapshots (sort of like Windows’ System Restore) and allows to quickly go back to a previous date in case of trouble. Is such a thing available?

    6. I’ve never used anything other than openSuse stable (and Windows of course, but not dual boot- Windows is used in my office laptop, and Linux exclusively on my home laptop). Since this is a rolling release like openSuse Tumbleweed, can this be used as a regular desktop OS? In other words, is it stable enough to be used as a main OS? Like I said, I won’t be dual-booting.

    There’s still about a month left till openSuse 15 releases, so there’s still about a month left for me to make up my mind on which distro to choose. I am really interested in Antergos, and as of now it’s my first choice (good reviews everywhere)- but I’m still doubting my ability to handle an Arch based system. If you think Antergos will be too difficult for me, please suggest an alternative (other than openSuse and Ubuntu).

    Thank you.

    1. The simple answer is no. I am more or less a noob, and I’ve been using Antergos as my daily driver for a few months now, without any serious problems, and the few I’ve had has been easy to solve.

    2. Can’t help you with this one.

    3. I can answer for Firefox, Google Chrome, LibreOffice, and VLC. As for the others I use similar programs, but i do think so. You can always check the Arch repo & AUR if you’re looking for something.

    4. Se answer #2

    5. There are Back Uo tools, yes.

    6. If you keep from experimenting the bleeep out of your set up, as I did in my previous vanilla Arch install, the answer is yes. In comparison to Arch, Antergos is very low maintenance, and virtually trouble free as long as you update your system.

    The only hick ups that I havn’t solved (yet, I got a life) are two minor KDE bugs, but I guess you’re familiar with those coming from Suse.

  • Thanks for the reassurance,
    I’m downloading Antergos.
    Will install in Virtualbox, and report back if i run into problems I cannot fix.
    I’ll also try a live mode testdrive (if it’s allowed in Antergos) to check if the system plays well with my hardware.
    ✌

  • @hawkeyepears

    Absolutely, try virtualbox and especially a live usb/dvd run for your wifi card. If it’s detected live, you’re usually good to go regardless of the DE of your choice.

    As Antergos is a rolling release and follows upstream Arch, there’s always a change of a glitch here or there. That said, it’s generally pretty rare and often would be just a minor technicality. You can always select and use the LTS kernel, which may give you an extra piece of mind.

    It’s a great distro, you won’t be disappointed. The DE’s are pretty vanilla OOTB, but that can be a benefit if you like to polish to your own specs.

    Hope it helps!

    GM

  • @hawkeyepears

    @hawkeyepears said in A few general newbee questions (no tech support request):

    Hello everyone,
    Although I’ve been using openSuse for quite a while, I’m not an expert- not even an intermediate. openSuse is about to release V15.0 in a few days, and when that happens I want to switch to a different distro instead of upgrading suse.

    Here are my questions:

    1. I’ve heard Arch is the most challenging “experts-only” distro, and Antergos is based on Arch. Does this mean I’ll have serious problems if I switch to Antergos? Like I said, I’m a complete noob.

    This is the only question I feel I can answer fully, so I’ll be detailed here. Arch is an “experts only” distro for two reasons. One is that the installation procedure is commandline-only, which can be challenging for newcomers. Two is that the system has been built up so that it is transparent, and easy to maintain, but it is not very hand-holdy, so to speak.

    There are no fancy schmancy graphical package and driver manager tools, etc. System maintainance is mainly left to the user.

    There are also lots of memes out there that unfairly portray Arch as a very unstable distributions. I have used both Antergos and vanilla Arch for a long time and I can tell you, this is not the case.

    In fact, even for vanilla Arch, once the initial configuration has been done, which, admittedly, can be lengthy and difficult, I have found it ‘justwerks’. Every time you install a package from the official repos (AUR can be trickier), it works without an issue.

    Updates are usually a nonissue. The precautions I can advise is to update frequently, but only when you don’t have anything mission-critical to do. So for example, if you need to hand in a paper in two hours that you are still writing, and you see there is a kernel+nvidia drivers+xorg+systemd+glibc update (essentially the most critical system components lol), then please wait until you are done with your paper :P .

    However, I think in my about ~2 years with Arch, I have only encountered one somewhat serious issue. Also, if there is a breakage, do not imagine that means your system will completely get fubar. For example, if you use the proprietary nvidia drivers on an optimus laptop, and you get a kernel and/or driver update, and next time your X won’t start, it doesn’t mean your entire system went all fucked up. Log in via command line and remove the nvidia drivers (and in case of optimus, also change the display manager scripts to stop xrandr from outputting - this won’t be as mysterious as this sounds, as if you want PRIME functionality, you had to do this yourself in the first place), and chances are you’ll be able to boot your system. This is just an example.

    In short, you don’t need to be scared, I have found Arch to be surprisingly reliable.

    Few more points would be to regularily check the Arch Linux website (also the Antergos site, but Arch’s should be priority, because the two distros use the absolute same repositories) to see if there is anything that requires manual intervention. This will be extremely rare. However do this before updating :) .

    1. I use an external sound card (openSuse detects it as CM108 Audio Controller). Will this be supported by default? I also have a functioning internal audio controller on this Dell laptop. OpenSuse allows me to “Switch” between the cards by clicking on the speaker icon in system tray. Will this feature be available?

    Can’t help here, sorry.

    1. Programs I use most often: Firefox, Google Chrome, SMPlayer, HandBrake, Ktorrent, Thunderbird, Xtreme Download Manager, TeamViewer, LibreOffice, VLC, Xfce4-screenshooter, and Amarok. Are all these available for Antergos (KDE version)?

    In short, yes. Arch’s main repos are already quite featureful, and the AUR allows insanely good access to pretty much anything that’s on Linux. It is very wise to be quite careful with the AUR though.

    1. Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5500, WiFi Intel AC3160. Will these be supported out of the box?

    Not completely sure about your wireless adapter, but Intel stuff are generally well-supported, so this is a tentative yes.

    1. Is BtrFS available? OpenSuse has this thing called “Snapper” which creates automatic snapshots (sort of like Windows’ System Restore) and allows to quickly go back to a previous date in case of trouble. Is such a thing available?

    Not sure how well Arch supports btrfs, afaik it is quite experimental even on Suse. However there are backup tools available.

    1. I’ve never used anything other than openSuse stable (and Windows of course, but not dual boot- Windows is used in my office laptop, and Linux exclusively on my home laptop). Since this is a rolling release like openSuse Tumbleweed, can this be used as a regular desktop OS? In other words, is it stable enough to be used as a main OS? Like I said, I won’t be dual-booting.

    Yes.

    Also, Arch, along with Solus, has surprisingly good gaming support. There is a native runtime for Steam for example, and the nvidia drivers are always adjusted to the current kernel (tumbleweed doesn’t do that afaik, so using proprietary nvidia graphics is, to my knowledge, a pain in the buttcheeks for that distro). I have used Antergos/Anarchy/vanilla Arch as a desktop OS for about 2 years without issues. I was more satisfied with it than Ubuntu. Also, it is my opinion that for a personal desktop OS, rolling release distros are superior. Who wants massively outdated software, unless all you care about is maintaining a server?

    Basically, once you go rolling, you won’t go back, trust me.

    There’s still about a month left till openSuse 15 releases, so there’s still about a month left for me to make up my mind on which distro to choose. I am really interested in Antergos, and as of now it’s my first choice (good reviews everywhere)- but I’m still doubting my ability to handle an Arch based system. If you think Antergos will be too difficult for me, please suggest an alternative (other than openSuse and Ubuntu).

    I don’t think it will be too difficult, but Solus is an excellent choice of a desktop OS. It is a conservatively rolling distro with some very elegant solutions, and rock solid stability.

    However Solus doesn’t support KDE natively. There are compiled KDE packages in the repos, and there is also a testing install ISO available for Patreon supporters, but KDE will only be officially supported in Solus 4, which should be out soon, but is already quite delayed (was supposed to be out for christmas lol).

  • @ulrich said in A few general newbee questions (no tech support request):

    Intel AC3160
    https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=189103
    https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=213935

    So support can not be given fully on arch based system, but may this is solved as both posts are more then one year old.

    intel give a driver for linux:
    https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000005511/network-and-i-o/wireless-networking.html

    and this sumup shows a device with this chipset working without issue:
    https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Dell_Inspiron_11_3000_(3162)#Wireless

  • @hawkeyepears said in A few general newbee questions (no tech support request):

    Here are my questions:

    1. I’ve heard Arch is the most challenging “experts-only” distro, and Antergos is based on Arch. Does this mean I’ll have serious problems if I switch to Antergos? Like I said, I’m a complete noob.

    I would argue the most challenging “experts-only” distro would be Gentoo. After all on Gentoo, you have to build every piece of software from source since there are no bianaries. In 2015 I decided I was done with windows for good and went through every distro I could find based on articles on distrowatch. For arch based distros I started with manjaro, then antergos, before switching to arch for about six months. As long as you take the time to do your research, arch is not as dificult as people make it sound. And all three are a hundred times better than tumbleweed which I also used. I eventually had a problem that bodied my system, and, since I was reinstalling anyway, decided to switch back to antergos, because, a, numix frost dark theme, b, pacmac being so convienient, cnchi, and, the forums being beginner friendly though I never used them. I have happily used Antergos since and see no reason to switch back.

    1. I use an external sound card (openSuse detects it as CM108 Audio Controller). Will this be supported by default? I also have a functioning internal audio controller on this Dell laptop. OpenSuse allows me to “Switch” between the cards by clicking on the speaker icon in system tray. Will this feature be available?

    If it has a driver it will be in the tray, at least it is on GNOME, not sure about kde, can’t stand it.

    1. Programs I use most often: Firefox, Google Chrome, SMPlayer, HandBrake, Ktorrent, Thunderbird, Xtreme Download Manager, TeamViewer, LibreOffice, VLC, Xfce4-screenshooter, and Amarok. Are all these available for Antergos (KDE version)?

    If it exists for linux between the normal repo and the AUR, the arch user repository which users upload their software to be built from on your system, it exists on Arch, as well as Antergos. The only distro with as good software support like I said earlier would be gentoo and it’s user friendly version Sabyon, though I could never get Sabyon to install. Manjaro also has access to the AUR, but, they have their own more conservitive repo and their is decididly more band holding.

    By the way, I have never had a problem using the AUR. Not on antergos anyway, yauort on arch used to throw errors like going out of style, but, pacmac the AUR solution just works. Sometimes you just have to remove a file or explicitly install a different version of a program than the one pacmac picks for you. A lot simpler than it sounds.

    1. Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5500, WiFi Intel AC3160. Will these be supported out of the box?

    Can’t say for certain, but, let me say arch and all of it’s derivitives I have never had a problem with drivers. As a matter of fact, tumbleweed gave me hell with my graphics driver as I recall.

    1. Is BtrFS available? OpenSuse has this thing called “Snapper” which creates automatic snapshots (sort of like Windows’ System Restore) and allows to quickly go back to a previous date in case of trouble. Is such a thing available?

    Btrfs is availible at install and even if it wasn’t the package is availible from arch so you would just need to install it.

    1. I’ve never used anything other than openSuse stable (and Windows of course, but not dual boot- Windows is used in my office laptop, and Linux exclusively on my home laptop). Since this is a rolling release like openSuse Tumbleweed, can this be used as a regular desktop OS? In other words, is it stable enough to be used as a main OS? Like I said, I won’t be dual-booting.

    I dual boot antergos and windows on my laptop and desktop and have for sometime. That said I rarely if ever sign into windows, the last time being six months ago. So short answer, yes. I also run antergos as a base for the penetration testing distro black arch on a virtual machine. So I guess you can call me a fan.

    There’s still about a month left till openSuse 15 releases, so there’s still about a month left for me to make up my mind on which distro to choose. I am really interested in Antergos, and as of now it’s my first choice (good reviews everywhere)- but I’m still doubting my ability to handle an Arch based system. If you think Antergos will be too difficult for me, please suggest an alternative (other than openSuse and Ubuntu).

    Thank you.

    As I said I have tried everything from mageia, to korrora, to manjaro, to pclinuxos, Ubuntu its derivites and mint, to I can’t remember what all. I find it just works and arch documentation works for antergos, and with arch being the best documented version of linux out there, you really can’t go wrong. Yes I’m biased, but, for good reason. It simply works, it is pretty, at least GNOME is😜 and it has the AUR and pacmac.what more could you want?

    Just update as said above often. I do daily when I have net. Ask questions here, but, before you do on an arch forum search or they will eat you alive. That’s really it. Good luck.

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