Parch Linux: A Simple Arch-Based Distribution for All

3 min


We review Parch Linux, based on Arch Linux and relatively new in the distribution space.

There are few Arch-based distributions, giving you an “easy to install and use feel”. There are not many customizations, just vanilla Arch without any bloats. Probably a few little customizations. Endeavour OS is such a distribution.

Meet Parch Linux, a new distribution which was unveiled in November 2023 last year, brings you a stock Arch Linux with minimal customizations.

We ran it via virtual machines, and here’s what we found.

Parch Linux Review

Parch Linux Xfce 4.18 Desktop
Parch Linux Xfce 4.18 Desktop

Parch Linux comes with four desktop variants. You get Xfce, GNOME, KDE Plasma and Cinnamon desktop. The team offers separate ISO files for each (download link at the end of this page). All the ISO files are within 2 GB.

The LIVE medium boots are fine and give you a nice welcome screen to get ahead with the installation. Parch Linux uses the Calamares installer, which is customized to give you a modern feel.

The installation went smoothly.

Look and feel

We used the Xfce desktop version for this review. After the first boot, you get a nice & clean desktop. For the Xfce edition, the default panel is on the left. This edition is customized with the GTK3 theme “nordic-bluish-accent”, which is complemented with Papirus-dark icons.

The KDE Plasma and GNOME editions also look similar to their stock version. The KDE Plasma has the default panel at the bottom with a standard application menu. The GNOME edition has the usual top bar with workspaces and docks.

However, the Cinnamon edition is a little more customized with the centre-aligned panel icons, which gives a unique look. I think offering Cinnamon with Arch Linux as an option is one of the key highlights of this distribution.

Parch Linux Cinnamon Edition
Parch Linux Cinnamon Edition
Parch Linux GNOME Edition
Parch Linux GNOME Edition
Parch Linux KDE Plasma edition
Parch Linux KDE Plasma edition

Applications

Parch Linux does not bring any applications or scripts on its own. All the pre-loaded applications are from the respective desktop environments. For example, for the Xfce edition, the application list includes Thunar file manager, Xfce terminal, Mousepad text editor, etc.

However, the following additional open-source applications are included by default. This takes care of all the necessary use cases.

  • btop++
  • GParted partition editor
  • KeePassX password manager
  • lftp

The Firefox browser is installed. However, LibreOffice is not included by default, which you can install just using a command if you wish to.

The only thing which is missing and can be a problem is the lack of application to install/remove software in the Xfce edition. The GNOME and KDE editions have their respective application, which are Software and Discover.

That said, the team may consider including Pamac or any other GUI package manager for Arch Linux.

Performance

The performance is impressive. It is Arch Linux, which is generally very fast on any hardware. Parch Linux takes around 760 MB of RAM and uses a minimal CPU when idle.

It uses 4.4 GB of disk space for the default installation.

Parch Linux Performance
Parch Linux Performance

Wrapping Up

To conclude the Parch Linux review, I must say it is an impressive distribution for beginners with easy installation with Calamares. Four leading desktop offerings are also a plus point. In a word, it is a simple distribution without much noise. I think it’s a perfect distro to be used as a base to build your own Arch Linux box.

You can download Parch Linux on the official website.


Arindam

Creator and author of debugpoint.com. Connect with me via Telegram, 𝕏 (Twitter), or send us an email.
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