Arch Linux, packaged in style

Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

Arch and AUR

The entire repository of Arch Linux – including the Arch User Repository (AUR) – is available. You can unlock the latter in software management if needed. The graphical front end Pamac lets you run updates for the entire system and install individual packages (Figure 5); in a terminal, you can use Pacman [6], as is typical for Arch users.

Figure 5: The choice of packages is essentially comparable to Arch Linux, with an additional repository that provides packages optimized for Apricity OS.

Besides the branches Core , Extra , Community , and Multilib , you will see an additional repository called Apricity-Core , where you can find the distribution-specific packages. The distribution, like Arch Linux, follows the rolling release principle: Once installed, you can update the system consistently without reinstalling.

Back to Basics

A special feature for Internet workers and frequent web surfers is found in the dock behind the second icon from the left, which reveals the name Ice on mouseover. This site-specific browser (SSB) [7] allows you to start frequently used sites on the web as a separate browser instance using icons from the dock or the desktop (Figure 6).

Figure 6: You can keep services you use often on the web in the Ice browser, which calls up a single window with the relevant site without further control elements.

This approach is particularly suitable for email and cloud applications like Nextcloud or Dropbox, as well as Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, and similar services. Ice works with Google Chrome, Chromium, and Firefox.

When creating an entry, assign a name to the instance, define the associated URL, and select a section of the menu where you want to place the application. You can either select an icon yourself or use the site's favicon, which you put in the dock or on the desktop from the menu for quick access.

The distribution provides another special feature: its own build system, Freezedry [8], which allows you to create and download individual system configurations on the Apricity website with simply structured TOML configuration files [9] that may include other desktop environments and themes, along with a different selection of packages. If you want, you can pass on your individual composition to others for download [10].


Apricity OS is more than just a simple distribution with a good-looking design: It is also ideally suited for beginners, and even experienced users will find it pleasant to use, although it strays far from the paths beaten by the ubiquitous Ubuntu derivatives.

The distro, which excels in its visual arrangement, did not show any weaknesses in the test in terms of its functionality, even under intensive use – not a result you see too often. The developers have done an exemplary job with the balancing act between Arch Linux as a geeks' distro and a system consistently appropriate for entry-level users. The successful repertoire of packages covers all the important areas of use for a desktop computer, and Apricity's further aim is to provide an environment for productive work on the web and in the cloud.

It makes sense for Apricity to be restricted to the Gnome and Cinnamon desktops. As you can tell from the adjustments made, the developers are intimately familiar with the GTK foundation; this contributes significantly to the rounded appearance. The project retains some of the specific advantages of Gnome, such as the choice to work by mouse or touch and the successful adaptation to high-resolution HDPI displays.

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