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Phantom Linux is simply Arch, themed and with slightly customized settings. Thus, we abide to the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle. Simplicity is a main principle Phantom Linux to achieve.

Simplicity is defined as without unnecessary additions or modifications. Software is shipped as released by the original developers (upstream) with minimal distribution-specific (downstream) changes. Patches not accepted by upstream are avoided. Phantom Linux even avoids to have its own repositories as much as possible, to prevent unnecessary forks.

The next goal is bleeding-edge. We found that having older software, or LTS (Long Term Support) distributions, does not ensure stability. Usually, Arch like distributions are discouraged for production environments, as the newest packages may introduce bugs and issues that can break the system. Therefore, each update may pose a risk. However, we found that in reality having the newest patches, packages, supported hardware, largely outsets the cons. Moreover, software developers seldom code for older environments and libraries. Soon or later with LTS systems you will find out that you cannot install a package just because it is too new and requires some libraries that are incompatible with your system. All this does not happen with Phantom Linux.

One may wonder, why Arch? Because it is user centered and has an easy packaging system. Anyone can write a build files in a few lines. Try to do the same with a .deb or an .rpm package! Pacman, Arch's package manager, made it to other operating systems also. In Microsoft Windows™, it is at the core of the MSYS2 project, which allows Linux applications to be compiled and run natively in this environment. Even the build files are similar. Therefore, Arch is the most ubiquitous system up to date, and we see it as the future in the Linux world.

Now, the historical issue with the adoption of Linux by a wider audience was that there is little hardware support, there are too many desktop environments, too many distributions, and that Linux is only for geeks. There is not a standard. While we can say that almost all issues are not actual any longer, it is true that there are many desktop environments and the newcomer may feel confused. Nowadays, Linux is a mature operating system. It does not support every hardware, nor is it supposed to do so (but just in case, compare it with a Mac™), but you can do almost anything without a command prompt. To smooth out the transition from other operating systems, we created Phantom Linux, so that one can find exactly his familiar environment. Without the effort required to switch to a new system, one can concentrate in replacing proprietary closed software with its open source equivalent. An example of such a change could be switching from Microsoft Office™ to LibreOffice. Not everything works the same, so some adaptions in the workflow are needed, but they are usually minimal. And if one wants to still use Microsoft Office™, he can. Phantom Linux is about freedom, compatibility, power, modernity, versatility.

With Phantom Linux, one can install Arch the Arch way - there are many tutorials online that guide you through a console installation - or the Phantom Linux way, which is entirely graphical.

It was chosen to keep Phantom Linux as a minimal but full-featured system in line with any other major operating system. Therefore, additional packages such as office suites, etc., are not offered during installation. Phantom Linux can be installed offline and requires no internet connection. It is up to the user to update and install whatever other packages he needs. An App Center is provided that offers the most comprehensive collection of software and keeps the system update.

Finally, Phantom Linux can be run from a liveDVD, a USB stick, or installed, alone or together with other OSes.

philosophy.txt · Last modified: 2021/10/17 07:02 by phantom