I am thinking of switching distros after being using Linux Mint 17 for a couple of months, I want to move into an OS with a more steep learning curve. What would you recommend? I am planning on using this new OS alongside Windows 7 on my Toshiba laptop, if that information is of any use.
I've been wanting to try Arch Linux for some time but I am not sure whether it is worth it.
I also have one question about the partitions I already have for my current Mint install, should I just format them and then install whatever new distro I end up choosing? Or is there more to it than that?
Any recommendation is appreciated, thank you for your time.
Take a look at Manjaro Linux
OR - if you really want to learn the hard way look into Slackware Linux
Is Arch worth the learning curve?
And thanks on the Manjaro recommendation
Arch is definitely worth the learning curve. One thing you might find odd is that there is no software center, at least not that I have found in my two days of using an Arch based distro. Yaourt will become your new best friend.
I might migrate to Arch or something Arch-based. And addressing the partitions part, is it just that straightforward?
With any distro change, check the distro specific documentation if you're unfamiliar with it.
archlinux.org is the place to start.
There isn't really a learning curve with Arch linux anymore. There was a time when this was not the case, but Arch is incredibly easy to set up - it has been like this for the last four years.
Partitioning is the standard per use case scenario as usual. You can have as many or as little as you require.
Standard noob partition scheme is /rootfs /home and the optional swap partition at the end of the drive if you require one.
If you're unsure about anything just ask, as there are many Arch users on this forum.
Install Antergos or Manjaro and get a feel for the way things work in Arch. Then later on if you feel up to it, do a complete Arch build.
+1 There are easier ways than a base Arch install.
@necroman.psycho There is an automated Arch installer called Evo/Lution which scrapes the latest stable builds so it's fairly up-to-date.
I have tried it for shits and giggles and can confirm that it works okay. It will setup things most noobs will miss.
Like thirdmortal says, the learning curve isn't that steep. If this is the first time you're installing it, you might want to have access to the online documentation (you can always print it beforehand if you don't have another computer).
Using the CLI installer on Manjaro is also a very easy way to learn how to install Arch. With a normal Arch install you need to do the exact same things that the CLI installer asks you, but you also type the commands instead of having a menu do that for you.
And Manjaro is a great distribution, very user friendly, with great support for the proprietary drivers, try that first and then switch to Arch if you feel so inclined.
Thanks a lot for all of your input. I will read on both the documentations and features on Manjaro and Arch to see which one I will use.
The other distro I would seriously look into is Sabayon Linux - its based on Gentoo
big +1 in that,
Since it is based on Gentoo you can use portage (Gentoo's package manager to build source code) CLI only btw
There is Rigo wich is a very nice and easy package manager, that has one of my Favorite GUIs.
Since it is a rolling release like Gentoo and Arch you always have the latest and greatest software.
On the KDE and Gnome versions it has a steam box mode that the only UI is steam.
Drivers are good to go out of the box.
This is one of the beat distros for Linux gaming
It has all the tools of an advance distro but it is very beginner friendly.
Also it has its own packages for proprietary stuff like Chrome, Skype, and Spotify so you don't have to screw with it.
The only con's I have for it is that Samba has to be turned on manually and the new installer's partitioning tool could be better.
Sabayon looks great, but after using a few distrobutions Debian testing is one of the best. No bloat what so ever. I can't install base Arch unfortunately as I'm visually impaired. Fedora is also great as the implementation of Gnome is ingenious however KDE when modded seems to me to give you the most choice however Gnome still has the best magnification support now with Wayland. Debian is still probably my favorite as if you need a program in testing or unstable, you can more easily compile it and vice versa for the other two branches. Gaming is do the point with steam where I would say any distribution. No OS is necessarily the best for enthusiasts but more so is dependent upon your roots in Linux. I'm good with Yum and Apt, but Pacman and Portage still is something I need to get used to.