Arch Linux is the distribution of choice for many Gnome users out there and this is happening for a good reason.
This popular distribution is powerful, very well documented, with a big helpful and participating community around it, and maybe the most complete package collections, but most of all Arch is a rolling distribution and this version is one of the regular “snapshots” of the current distro, so here is another great chance to take the step into the Arch world!
There aren’t any fundamental changes compared to the previous release, as this version brings mostly minor bug fixes, cleanups and package updates of course.
Gnome is the obvious choice for those of you who want a modern, beautiful and fast desktop environment to fit your new cool and always up-to-date distribution, but unfortunately Gnome is not installed by default in Arch, and the whole installation process is frightening and somewhat repulsive for many people out there. Thankfully, scripts like this one are available to make things easier helping you install and configure Arch Linux faster and easier than ever!
Boo hoo I am still afraid of that scripts and stuff. Can I have the rolling power of Arch with Gnome pre-installed?
Yes you can!
The first alternative Arch-based choice is Bridge Linux. It comes in many flavors that also include Gnome in 32 and 64 bit, and also some pre-installed applications. Bridge Linux latest version came out this summer and the people behind it are working on a new release that will be ready very soon.
Manjaro Linux is a desktop-oriented, user-friendly distribution based on Arch Linux. Some of its more pronounced features include an intuitive installation process, automatic hardware detection, special Bash scripts for managing graphics drivers, and extra desktop configuration options. One of Manjaro’s three flavors is Gnome and is available in version 0.8 in 32 and 64 bit.
Parabola is an effort aiming to provide a free-as-in-freedom Arch Linux optimized for the i686 and x86-64 architectures. Parabola GNU/Linux is listed by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) as a fully free software distribution. Latest release came out last month and is available for both 32 and 64 bit architectures.
KahelOS desktop edition comes with pre-configured GNOME as the default desktop environment, GNOME Office productivity suite, Epiphany web browser, GIMP image manipulation program, and other popular GTK+ and GNOME applications. Like Arch Linux, KahelOS maintains a rolling-release model of updating software packages using its parent’s repositories. The distribution comes in the form of a live DVD which includes a graphical installation program.