Easiest to use rolling distro?

What would people say is the easiest to use rolling style distro?

I’m currently an Ubuntu user, and it’s perfectly fine for me. I don’t need any real proper technical knowledge and am happy doing sudo apt update, sudo apt upgrade every so often to update the system. But I don’t really care for having to maintain the nitty gritty bits.

I’m currently on 20.04, and ideally I’d be happy to update to the latest Ubuntu version each time it’s released, but without having to download an ISO each time. So kind of like a rolling release, but just simple updating procedure without having to do a clean install each time.

Is there anything like that out there? I don’t feel like I’m advanced enough for something like arch. And open suse sounds like it might require quite a bit of configuring manually? So not sure if there’s a “Rolling Ubuntu” type distro out there?

Thanks in advance.

1 Like

I’ve had really good luck with Endeavour. It’s an Arch distro with a graphical installer. It’s been running for a year on my desktop without issue. It’s been the most reliable OS I’ve run even through some hardware failures and cloning it from an SSD to an nvme SSD. It’s been much more stable than any Debian or Ubuntu distro TBH. That’s just my experience though.

2 Likes

Yes, Rolling Rhino is what it is called. Martin Whimpres came up with a script or something that transitions the repos over to the development branch. It is unofficial as heck though.

Solus linux is semi rolling

Manjaro is based on Arch without all the manual configuring.

Endeavor is effectively Arch without the manual configuration.

There’s always Debian testing or unstable as well.

I had a pretty good time on Debian Sid for about 6 months, it’s surprisingly reliable.

One of the reasons I move to Fedora was a better compromise between faster updates and reliability, it’s a pretty good combo if you don’t need absolute bleeding edge.

I use EndeavorOS now and used Antergos before it ended. As haroldnews said above it is Arch with a graphical installer.
I’m by no means a Linux pro, I’d consider myself an average OS user, but I’ve gotten along quite fine with these. They get you up and running with a good balance between stock and ‘the stuff you’d want’.
And you have the added bonus of all of Arch and Manjaro, not to mention EndeavorOS, documentation if things go wrong or you want to do something additional.

1 Like

Manjaro’s rolling release isnt as fast Arch but I find it really good at not breaking stuff during each update.

1 Like

Thanks all. I’ve done a bit of looking around and I think maybe fedora will be a good choice for me. It seems to allow updates without a complete reinstall, and looks to be relatively straight forward to use. Maybe a bit more maintenance required than Ubuntu but hopefully nothing I can’t handle!

1 Like

For the past 6? months i’ve had Fedora run an unattended auto-update twice daily for both apps and security. Thus far it’s been flawless.

There isn’t many qirks but here’s the advice I needed:

If a package is missing from the standard repos (like mpv) it may be in the RPM Fusion repos which need to be added.

https://rpmfusion.org/Configuration

Freedom software but incompatible license with standard repo:

sudo dnf install https://mirrors.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm

Non-freedom software:

sudo dnf install https://mirrors.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm
3 Likes

That’s great, thanks for the advice!

If you’re looking to just keep an updated system then you should consider Pop!OS. It can be updated from the immediately past release to the next release. The last couple of updates on my Lemur laptop using the system updater in settings have not had any problems.

1 Like

I’ll throw MX Linux into the mix. Very easy to use and they include some very useful custom tools.

Personally, I’m currently using Solus Linux and also find it very easy to use.

2 Likes

EndeavourOS, although only on it for a month, I didn’t have any issues. The AUR is a great resource and building packages from it was pretty easy. If I was going Arch I would go back to EndeavourOS. I have found my home on Fedora though, but running Cinnamon as my desktop environment. There is a spin that comes with Cinnamon instead of GNOME (Fedora Workstation). However, I came from workstation and just installed Cinnamon, I didn’t go to the spin. If I ever have to wipe and redo I would try from the spin instead. Fedora has been great so far.

The easiest to use rolling distro? That might be Debian Sid or possibly Clear Linux OS.

Debian Sid is basically like perpetually running the most current possible version of Ubuntu. Like, if you’re somebody who constantly upgrades Ubuntu at the first drop of a new version, I recommend trying out Debian Sid.

EndeavourOS is a great way to easily jump into Arch Linux without reading the docs. Although I feel like that would be more of an intermediate user experience. openSUSE Tumbleweed is at this level too, I think.

Yeah I’d say my answer to your question of which is the easiest to use rolling distro is Debian Sid.

1 Like

I’m using Manjaro on one of my laptops & media server… I love it.

Though you have to reinstall as per their instructions when a new major release comes out, unlike Ubuntu, Fedora and Debian where the upgrade is supported.

I am all in with @PatPlusLinux regarding sid albeit Debian unstable (does not deserve that name) is not a classic rolling distro because of the freeze. But it is true you will always run a very recent or future “Ubuntu” package base without the “Canonical stuff”.

Debian sid still is totally underrated by many users, even the most experienced.

1 Like

Also a side note about picking a distro. Best and Easiest can be very subjective although technically there may be ‘the one’. You’ve received a number of good options so my suggestion is just pick one and go with it.
In my case, as a non power/non linux experienced user, I picked mine a number of years ago and it does what I need so I stuck with it. It is now ‘Easiest’ for me because I know where to go and put time in over the years to understand what I need to understand to accomplish my goals.

Just to update. I went with Fedora 34. Thanks for the suggestions. So far it’s great, not too different to Ubuntu really but actually feels a bit snappier, maybe that’s to do with Gnome 40?

The only weird thing so far, is I am using a cursor theme which on certain programs is ignored. Not sure why though. The Extensions app does it, and the Calibre app did it until I realised it was using an older rpm version. When I changed it to flatpak it used my cursor theme.

But other than that it’s been plain sailing so far. Hopefully when it comes to Fedora 35 it updates nice and smoothly too!

2 Likes

Stay with Ubuntu, a rolling release does not always give you the most up-to-date software. My Ubuntu VMs 18.04 and 20.04 yesterday and today updated Firefox to release 91, while Fedora 34 updated the Firefox release this morning to 90.0.2. I have a few times per year problems with the updates of rolling releases and I never have problems with Ubuntu or one of the distros based on Ubuntu like Pop!_OS or Linux Mint.

Rolling releases are faster with kernel upgrades, most rolling releases are on 5.13 now. And Ubuntu LTS is on 5.11. Ubuntu’s development edition for 21.10 is currently on 5.13 too. If you don’t have the absolute latest hardware those latest kernels have no advantage,

You don’t have to download Ubuntu ISO each time, just enable the upgrade to the new release. Start Software & Updates and select the Updates tab. Select which type of update you prefer (LTS, All or None) and you will be prompted for the upgrade as soon as the upgrade is available.
You can also start the upgrade manually with the following command: “sudo do-release-upgrade”.
See also: Upgrade - Introduction | Ubuntu

1 Like

@jackjack5 good to hear you’ve already decided on a new distribution to try out. I’ve personally ran Solus for a few years with much joy, which would only be improved with Flathub in addition to the distro packages (it didn’t back then). I’m also running it currently on my laptop, but I want to give Alpine Linux a serious go.

Another suggestion you could try out is OpenSUSE Tumbleweed, which is actually designed to be a rolling release. OpenSUSE was the first distribution to use Btrfs and snapper to have atomic snapshots you can rollback to in case an update borked your system.

@BertN45 it is true you can upgrade (even graphically) with Ubuntu, however what most enthusiastic LTS users don’t even know (I didn’t for years) is that users running the LTS version won’t be prompted for upgrade until the first Point-release (1-2 months after the initial release). This is because some bugs slip through the cracks with the initial release which usually gets fixed before the upgrade prompt. Just a heads up about Ubuntu upgrade policy :sunglasses::+1:

I’m trying out OpenSuse Tumbleweed. I went with the network install ISO and chose KDE Plasma but you can select a different desktop of course. I have been on Fedora for 4 years without any major issues but ran into an issue after tinkering with Bedrock Linux (I will make a post on DLN about that). So I went to OpenSuse to see what the hype is about and so far, while I did have to tweak some not so friendly things, overall it’s very user friendly and completely rolling with snapshots to rollback to. I have had to adapt my brain a little with things like requiring my root password to change network settings on my systray but that’s not an issue for me to get used to.

As with Fedora, on OpenSuse you might want to install additional repositories to get stuff like codecs such as h264 so that DRM videos work on sites like Twitch (it was kind of confusing what packages I needed install to be honest). If you want the user friendlyness of something like Linux Mint, I don’t think Fedora or OpenSuse compare. If you want a rolling distro though with traditional mindsets and package availability, Fedora and OpenSuse are the top choices I think.

I don’t like Solus much because the package database is artificially limited so you won’t find things like Apache webserver in there if you decide you want to experiment with web development (at least that’s what I was told on a Solus forum post a few years back). All in all, if you are not afraid to learn a few little things and adapt here and there, I suggest trying both Fedora and OpenSuse for a month each. I am going to try keeping OpenSuse for 6 months as I think that is the bare minimum amount of time for me to really evaluate a distro day to day.

1 Like