As team of distro-hoppers (and Arch Linux enthusiasts in particular) we have been spending a lot of this year hopping between three of our favourite distros: Manjaro, OBRevenge, and the new kid on the block - ArchLabs.
Having discovered ArchLabs from a number of great YouTubers including Sudo Reboot and Linux Quest - we were hooked almost immediately with the amazing level of polish and attention to detail evident throughout ever aspect of the distribution. Using Erik Dubois' modern and beautiful Sardi icon set as a design reference, every element of ArchLabs ties back to performance, usability, and just plain gorgeous design.
And man is this distro fast!
The customised Openbox Window Manager (along with Tint2 for the panels) feels every bit a complete desktop environment that intermediate Linux users will love tweaking and adjusting to their taste. Along with OBRevenge this is Openbox done right - and is a very welcoming and finely tuned interface that focuses on productivity and speed without weighing the experience down with unneeded extras.
Having always been fans of the beautiful and minimal debian-based distro, Bunsenlabs, Erik Dubois and team have taken a queue from the CrunchBang-inspired distro and made it their own - with all the benefits of a full Arch base at its core.
In a way, it's the best of both worlds - and the results are stunning.
And things are set to get even more exciting with the upcoming release of ArchLabs 5.0 (codenamed R2-D2).
Not only will the major new update include a slew of new Conky themes, icons, 78 new Terminal (Termite) themes, new wallpapers and even Tint2 panel updates - but perhaps the most exciting news is the inclusion of one of our favourite tiling window managers, i3-gaps (!) alongside Openbox.
ArchLabs users can now switch effortlessly between an i3 and an Openbox experience - all designed with that lovely and intuitive ArchLabs flair. For distro and DE-hoppers like us, that's pretty much a dream come true.
With the official release of ArchLabs 5.0 R2-D2 planned for midnight tonight (Friday 12:00 UTC), we expect to be up pretty late tonight ! But if you can't wait, head on over to their site and try out the latest version (appropriately codenamed 'Yoda') available now.
Station X is now pre-loading ArchLabs on all our machines - and will have preloads of ArchLabs Version 5.0 available from Friday 6th June.
So why not grab a lovely new Spitfire to go along with this stellar new distro! Sorry, had to make a shameless plug there...
Bravo to Erik Dubois and the entire ArchLabs Team for creating a truly ground-breaking new distro, and for making it even better with a dual window manager setup (i3 + Openbox = LOVE), amazing design, and super-fast performance.
If you like Arch, you will simply LOVE this!