Like many, I enjoy trying out different distros as time permits. Testing can range from taking a look at live ISO, installing in a VM or, if I like it enough, installing it on a laptop for some period of time.
I had seen a couple of references to arcolinux so I decided to give it a look.
I started by reviewing
the website their 4 websites. The sites are confusingly interlinked and the written information is mostly redundant instead driving you to a series of youtube video explanations and tutorials. Additionally, they have several versions with names like arcolinux, arcvolinuxd and arcolinuxb. After reviewing the material I found this infographic which seems to explain the theory behind the arcolinux phases.
phase 1 involves installing arcolinux from the iso(or running it live). arcolinux is an ~2GB iso that includes xfce, openbox and i3. I am not a tiling wm guy but both the xfce and openbox have a matching dark theme which is quite nice. Here is a screenshot from my desktop.
The xfce DE has the same plank setup as the open box it is just hidden because I opened the whisker menu for the screenshot.
The arcolinuxd version of the distro, which consists of a ~1G iso, is used to a base to install the DE of your choice by cloning a git repository and running a series of scripts. The "d" stands for desktop.
phase 2 involves taking arcolinuxd and using to install one of the default DEs included in arcolinux
phase 3 is the same as phase 2 except using a different DE
phase 4 refers to the arcolinuxb version which is where you build your own personalized ISO which includes only the packages you want. The process for this is to clone one of the git repos for arcolinuxb, edit a text file which contains a package list and run a script which installs and runs
phase 5 is just installing arch using a guide which is basically the same as the arch wiki with a little more instruction in some places.
I couldn't find any reference to phase 6 except for the above image but one could guess what it involves.
Putting aside the documentation/information the distro itself worked fine in my initial testing. It is basically arch with an installer and an extra repo. What is in that repo is mostly a lot of settings, theming and scripts. Theming is consistent across gtk and qt apps. There is a bevy of applications pre-installed. Lots of prebuilt conkys. A plethora of nice looking wallpapers and it is running variety by default.
It seems like it is still early and it will be interesting to see where it goes over time. I think it shows promise and would love to see the websites get cleaned-up.