Apricity OS: Arch Linux for Mom

Apricity OS is a beautiful distro. It’s a fork of Arch Linux, but unlike Arch Linux, comes with a plethora of programs. If you want a system that you can hit the ground running with (and probably give to the less technologically inclined), and you value aesthetically pleasing interfaces, then Apricity is for you (or Mom).

Apricity’s overall design is pleasing to the eye. The color scheme is really nice – the darks are dark enough to be darks (but not overly dark), and the lights are…appropriately light. The icons and UI are bundled with the distro itself, and the wallpapers come from various other distros as well. Apricity comes with several fonts to choose from, and Tweak-Tools enables changing entire themes across the system. There’s no end to customization options.

An odd quirk I’ve noticed is that in the mouse options, the colors of the slider of the double-click-speed option seems to be going the other way than tradition states. The images below make sense of this.

Apricity Sliders 1

Odd sliders here….

Yup. Cheese.

More odd sliders!

Notice how on the top, the volume starts from 0 (the left), and the color/active part of the slider expands to the right. However, the image on the bottom (the mouse settings in question) seem to be going the other way – originating from the right.

It comes with a set of programs that mimic the functionality of other programs that would be found on the average Windows user’s device. Libreoffice is the office suite. Inkscape and GIMP are the image editors. A calculator, calendar, image viewer, and terminal are included. An interesting addition to Apricity not found in Arch is the option to view packages from various repos.

Apricity Package GUI

The GUI for package management. Interesting.

Their decision to use a completely filled green box to represent the installed state of a package is…interesting. A blue box would fit the scheme better. Want to install an item? DOUBLE click the empty box. Then commit changes. A list of changes appears for you to confirm, followed by an authentication prompt, and then the install screen.

Also of note would be the “caffeine” option in the notification bar – THIS is something I’ve always wanted in Windows, honestly. Toggle it on to disable screensaver/sleep modes when doing a task that does not keep the computer awake, and then toggle it off to re-enable screensavers/sleep modes. The lock screen is clean and simple, and the login screen is right underneath. User switching at this point results in black flashes, something that the ordinary end-user would most likely be confused/concerned about. The pause button in the quick options does not seem to offer a way out of a black screen. As with other GNOME desktops, dragging a window to the side of the screen will resize it to half the screen size on that side, dragging the window to the notification bar at the top will resize it to the screen, and multiple desktops are available to spread your work over.

Interested? The official site (and download) is here. According to their site, Apricity does not support 32 bit machines, so ensure your computer is up to the task before wiping. Installing Apricity on a clean drive? You’ll get GRUB with a custom-ish UI, with Apricity auto-launching after a couple of seconds. Boot times from cold starts (in a virtual machine) is around 20 seconds, including the several-second wait at GRUB. Shutdown offers you a sixty-second window to cancel, and only took me about four seconds to totally turn off.

Installing Apricity was about as difficult as walking in a park, and much more user-friendly than the standard command line of Arch. Questions were asked about time zones, keyboard layout, and other essentials, and then the installation of the OS itself was acceptably quick enough given its size.

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