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:
- 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 :) .
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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).
Probably because the DE itself is based on Gnome and Gala, so I guess that worked better. I dunno the exact reasoning though, but it doesn’t concern me, because as I said, the GTK-Qt integration is really great there.
Why they chose to use such an inflexible CSD on their native apps - now that’s a better question. Still, while it does bother me, I’m not gonna stop using the DE because of that, as I love nearly everything about it otherwise.
EDIT: Oh, btw, totally unrelated, but you asked why the calendar is called 27. It isn’t. It’s called Deepin Calendar (at least the .desktop file is - the actual application is called dde-calendar). I don’t know where that 27 thing comes from, but the Gnome Calendar’s icon is also a calendar that displays 27.
I’m not trying to convince you to use Deepin. Aside from your burning hatred, based on what you said what you want, it seemed like a good fit, that’s it.
I was only trying to convince you to help yourself and offer solutions, but have it your way. Your only option then, aside from Windows (where I still don’t see the solution for dark theme) is to wait until Budgie gets ported to Qt.
You can set the color manually in many Deepin apps. I think the file manager is an exception so you’re stuck with white there - but using the Deepin apps as a measuring stick is wrong, because they don’t follow the system theming at all (and I’ve said this before).
It would be more prudent to ditch the native Deepin apps and use another file manager/terminal/system monitor. Deepin theming is good otherwise. It is so far the only desktop I have used that uses GTK for theming and Lyx and other Qt apps don’t look like potatoes OOTB.
But the point isn’t Deepin. The point is that if Plasma gets both the GTK and Qt theming right, you can set the same up wherever you wish, and apps should behave the same then. Do it in Deepin, do it in Gnome with Dash-to-Panel + Arc Menu, do it in Cinnamon, do it in Budgie, do it in XFCE with Compiz, whatever.
No offense mate but I think at this point you are driven more by hatred for GTK/Gnome than reason. Even on Plasma you probably used GTK-based apps and it seems there wasn’t a problem. Even if you mainly used Qt apps, you still had FF, LO and the rest, right, which use GTK theming. And you can keep using Qt apps in a GTK-based desktop - they tend to behave better than vice versa.
So if you actually want to solve your problem while staying on Linux, you’ll have to use a GTK-based desktop with the understanding that with some effort you can implement the exact same theming you had in Plasma.
Or alternatively try fix Plasma. Did you report bugs? Did you ask for help in some KDE forum? And I still recommend to try out some other distro, as I said, not for end-use, but to see if you still have the issues. It is helpful for bugfixing to know if this is the result of some botched Arch implementation, or a result of a generally botched KDE implementation. I am not trying to convince you to jump ship from Arch, it just helps localizing the problem.
And if you don’t want to solve this on Linux, it is also fine, move to W10. But as I said, I don’t think there is dark theme on W10, is there (genuine question)?
It’s just… I find this whole issue incredulous because clearly there are lots and lots of people using GTK desktops with dark themes, who, magically, are able to use their systems.
Talking about GTK3 theming: It currently might work more or less, but what if the GTK/Gnome devs decide to turn every theming api upside down with the next release? They have been doing this constantly since GTK3.0 was available, probably just to ensure no 3rd party theme “Taints” their “brand identity”. This makes GTK3 and all desktops that use it an absolute no-go for me.
Sorry, saw this edit late. As far as I remember the GTK 3 API has been stabilized recently. So you probably don’t have to worry about this - at least until GTK 4.
I just checked the package manager and in this case you are right - it seems the Antergos repos only contain metapackages for Plasma and the standard Antergos settings. I guess the standard Antergos settings were causing problems for me back then.
However, for some other desktops - especially Cinnamon, the Antergos repos contain many desktop environment packages as well. I made the mistake of assuming the same for Plasma (since as I said, I had very strange issues with Plasma on Antergos).
So feel free to disregard what I said about Plasma here, however you might want to try some other distro that is big on Plasma. Maybe KDE Neon or OpenSUSE Tumbleweed. Not neseccarily for end-use, just to see if it works or not.
Also, while I am not here to question your views and preferences, but if applications such as Firefox or Libreoffice are not misbehaving for your on Plasma, they shouldn’t misbehave on Deepin either. Basically - there are external Qt4 and Qt5 config suites (https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Uniform_look_for_Qt_and_GTK_applications) which you can use in any desktop - but Deepin does it automatically. I also find this odd because I think neither FF or LO are based on GTK, but they use GTK theming schemes, not Qt. Now, Plasma sets up GTK themes as well (you can modify it, but I think by default it is Breeze), and these apps should follow it.
So I don’t see what stops you from setting up the same GTK theme in other desktops as Plasma does for you when you use it, if you understand what I mean. Essentially - it is impossible for apps to behave nicely with dark themes in Plasma but not elsewhere. Maybe they need a manual slap on the wrist, but it is doable.
But that’s the point, the reason you get Deepin recced so much is because it doesn’t aim for “touchscreen usage” and doesn’t have much theming issues. Or rather, you can take out of “touchscreen mode” with no more than 4-5 mouse clicks (two to turn the dock into a panel, maybe one to open the launcher and two to turn it into W7 start menu).
Also, in my experience, Cinnamon works fine as well, and it is as traditional as you can get. GTK apps will respond well to GTK theming and if you hate the Gnome CSD, use the MATE forks (Atril, Pluma etc.) which don’t use it.
The remaining problems are Firefox and Libreoffice. You can use addons for Firefox and if LO misbehaves, you can force theming in the settings. I’d tell you how exactly, but I don’t remember -
Furthermore, do you have issues with Plasma outside Antergos as well? Because Antergos’ Plasma implementation always behaved odd for me (it has been a while since I tried it though, I am running your hated Deepin now).
If you didn’t try Plasma outside Antergos, it might be prudent to do a clean install without any DEs, then comment out the Antergos repos in /etc/pacman.conf and then do
sudo pacman -Syyu sudo pacman -S xorg xorg-apps sudo pacman -S networkmanager sudo pacman -S plasma kde-applications sudo systemctl enable NetworkManager sudo systemctl enable sddm
Then reboot and see if you still have issues. In my experience, pure Arch Plasma behaved much better than Antergos Plasma.
Since the last reply was 8 days ago I dunno if this is still going on, and I really don’t know what you’re doing, but I never had any issues you describe.
I used Plasma 5 a lot with the proprietary Nvidia drivers and I never had any of the issues you describe - it was rock solid. The only problem I had is the DPI was fucked by default but here’s my Xsetup:
#!/bin/bash xrandr --setprovideroutputsource modesetting NVIDIA-0 xrandr --auto xrandr --dpi 96
The last line fixed that. But I guess, your problem wasn’t this.
Also I have extensively used Gnome, Cinnamon and Budgie (did you try that one) with dark and darker versions of Adapta, Materia, Arc, Vertex and I never had any significant issues regarding usability . Some minor ones maybe (which, especially in Firefox can be fixed with addons), but nothing that prevented use. Also did you ever try using a “darker” variant? Plus I had similar minor issues in Plasma as well with dark themes, so I don’t understand the GTK hate.
Furthermore, about “smartphone UIs”, have you ever tried installing Dash To Panel, Topicons Plus and Arc Menu on Gnome 3? What you get will function precisely like the Windows UI. No need to use the app drawer or the activities overview - but you still can if you want to.
Plus, you said that you tried Deepin, but based on your posts, I don’t think you even bothered to look up the options. So here’s the thing - if you right-click on the dock and choose Mode -> Efficient Mode, you’ll get a taskbar that looks and behaves exactly like Windows including always-visible clock and systray and all that. Then, if you go into the hated smartphone-like launcher and click that icon thingy in the top right corner, you’ll get a non-full screen menu, which is still grid-based. Then, if you click that “list” icon in the top left corner, you’ll get a list-based menu.
Here’s the accompanying screenshot: https://i.imgur.com/m0qmXLB.png
So what exactly is smartphone-y about this?
Moreover, Deepin has an excellent GTK-Qt integration - basically GTK and Qt apps will look and behave indistinguishable. The only downer is that the native Deepin apps use their own CSD, so if you want visual consistency (the usability remains nontheless), you should be using the standard Deepin theme (which has a “dark” variant if you so please). Or ditch the native apps, which also works.
To be honest, I don’t understand what you want. You seem to love the W10 UI so much, but it is a disaster. It doesn’t have theming issues that much, because it is impossible to theme. But guess what, I don’t think there is a dark theme at all to it (so if you are fine with using light themes then why don’t use a light GTK theme?), there is occasional visual inconsistency, the start menu is extremely weak unless you want to rely on the tiles (which is smartphone-y bullshit - as you put it), the search functionality that was excellent in W7 and W8 is useless and finds all kinds of irrelevant crap, and all in all the OS is mighty unstable in both sense of the word. So what is it you want?
I am honest - if you want W10-styled UI without theming problems, either try working with the KDE people to find a fix for your issue, or use Gnome with Dash-To-Panel and Arc Menu or use Deepin with the understanding that you can actually configure its UI to behave pretty much exactly like Windows.