Manjaro 18.1 - Oct 5 and Oct 12

Up next is Manjaro. According to their website:

Manjaro 18.1.0 Release Announcement

You are free to pick any of the editions depending on your desktop of choice. Or pick one for each week if you’d like to cover more ground. Please add your tips, experiences and other thoughts here so we all can benefit.

My findings to date.

Installation of Manjaro 18.1 KDE was simple and straight forward. During the initial boot screen you are able to select things like time zone, language, keyboard layout and whether to use free and open source video drivers or proprietary. They oddly call these non-free which might cause some confusion to new users. You might then question what are new users doing installing Manajro. Never the less - I do believe proprietary would be better than non-free.

Using the Calamares installer I chose where to place the EFI boot loader and what partition I wanted to use. No drama no fuss. During installation I was presented with the choice of Office Suits or none. Installation completed - rebooted and presented with a fine Plasma desktop.

Typical Manjaro theming which for me, is very pleasing to the eye.

A quick

sudo pacman -Syyu

and the system was updated. Rebooted and all came back online with no fuss. You can of course also use Pamac to do the updates - the is the GUI updater and Software installation program all in one easy to use package. For those who wish to you can also enable AUR support with all the additional packages this brings to the table. Please ensure you read up on the AUR to understand what it is you are preparing to use.

I proceeded to install all the usual tools I required. Once fully completed I rebooted one last time and the system was ready for me to use. Time from start to finish - no more that 40 mins. (This does not include downloading the ISO and burning it to your installation media of choice)

There have been no dramas, whatsoever during this first week of use and I see no reason to believe there will be any during the following weeks to come.

People will warn you of the dangers of using an Arch based distribution - reporting many breakages, requiring heavy maintenance. This is not my experience of Manjaro and I guess Arch in general - It has grown up considerably in recent years and has proven, to me at least, no more problematic than say Fedora or openSUSE - both of which run very well.

There are a number of very nice little utilities that I like about Manjaro. Once such tool being the Manjaro Settings Manager. From here you can very easily change Kernels. Choosing to stay on the current version offered. In this case it was 5.2.11-1 or going back to the LTS 4.19.69-1 - or if you choose to be adventurous picking a 5.3 Release Candidate offering.

In closing, I could very easily see myself using Manjaro KDE version full time as a daily driver.

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Just for theheck of it I installed the Xfce version of Manjaro 18.1 - it was dead simple on my HP EliteBook 8470p (14" 1600x768 screen, 8GB RAM). It was quick, problem free and all my normal applications installed fine.

I’ve had a Manjaro 18 on another machine since April or May I think. I assume it’s rolled to the same versions as in the 18.1 but I don’t know if there are new apps or features in 18.1 that won’t be rolled.

I did change the theme options to the dark versions - nice.

I’ve tried a selection activities and everything worked, but it’s too early to sure. Still, I installed SimleScreenRecorder (I’m still fairly new to using that) and did a quick look vid https://youtu.be/IEshxK9K8nY - excuse the thunder in the background, the coughing and all the pauses and ummms).

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I bought a new computer only a few weeks ago, and since I wanted a functioning Arch-based distro out of the box I opted for the Manjaro Architect install instead of EndeavourOS (I love Endeavour but I wanted to play with my new toy ASAP). So basically I have been running 18.1 Xfce since then (testing branch even, kernels 5.3 with 4.19 as backup) and as usual not a single issue. But then I tend to stay on very standard hardware. No threadrippers, no “one month old GPUs” (NVIDIA proprietary drivers) So, to borrow other people’s slogans, Manjaro just works. As usual.

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Is it just my install or has anyone else found a suprising lack og updates for Manjaro 18.1 since installing it? My installs of Arco and Endeavour have both had several updates in that time. Is this just Manjaro batching them in their slow rolling fashion, are they busy with other things, or should I try different repos?

That’s normal for Manjaro.

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Thanks @Ken.F - I was starting to worry that my pamac and pacman were looking at some defunct repositories. If this is the “Manjaro way” I’ll stop worrying

I switched from vanilla Arch to Manjaro about a year ago and I didn’t get any updates for two weeks. I thought for sure I had the repos messed up.

Updates are listed here: https://forum.manjaro.org/c/announcements

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I really like Manjaro. I am currently using Cinnamon edition on my laptop and it runs great. I put both my parents on Manjaro Mate earlier this year and I have not heard of any issues (I do the updates for them). I was on Mate but there were little things that got on my nerves that I do not notice in Cinnamon. The XFCE edition is quite good as well, I am just not a huge XFCE fan.
One issue I have had when installing is Calamares will not set the bootable flag. I use legacy bios and MBR, in the past I used to partition everything /, /home separate but on my most recent installs I do not do this. I think I had the same issue in Endeavor too. Its easily fixable by booting the live ISO, start up gparted and set the flag, then reboot. Its nice you don’t have to do a full install to fix it. I will say this bug would make it considerably more frustrating for a new linux user to get past.
My system also was not syncing to a NTP server by default, so the time was always off even after setting the correct timezone. I fixed this myself but for a new user this would be complicated.
Support for Flatpak and snap is good, I think these are game changers for linux. instead of having to choose a distro based on its software archive, you can just download from the app stores.
Manjaro has access to AUR, I try and get an app from the main repo, then a flatpak or snap, then the AUR as a last resort.
I have been using the command line to do all my installs and updates, so I cannot comment on the stability of the system using the GUI tools.
I will likely test the KDE edition this week on another laptop.
I had some issues trying to install on a X120e, but i suspect it has to do with that hardware than it does the distro.

I do not see changing from Manjaro as a daily driver anytime soon.
Thinkpad T540p
i5-4300M
16GB RAM
500GB Samsung SSD EVO 860

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Pamac is a very good GUI for installing software and updates from the repos and AUR. You can also install gnome-software in Cinnamon if you want a GUI store for flatpaks.

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I do wish they would offer yay as a choice in pamac but otherwise I agree.

@EricAdams I have yay on Manjaro 18.1, I used pamac to install it from the AUR (as I’m just playing with this install I thought I’d risk the AUR).

I used yay to install a couple of things and it worked just fine.

I completely agree, I was able to install yay from pacman.

Sorry for the confusion. I wasn’t saying you couldn’t install yay. I was thinking of Octopi that used to be included with the KDE version where you could select the AUR backend and the options available were not recommended by Arch. I notice that pamac is included even on the KDE edition so no longer a concern I suppose.

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I think I’ve played with Manjaro 18.1 as much as I’m going to. I will keep using it occasionally until such time as I want the partition it’s on for trying something else.

My approach when trying distros is NOT to try and poke in all corners and test everything, but to try it out as a distro for me, to do the things I do. Your criteria, your needs may vary and include things I don’t do.

This means I tend to go for the Xfce desktop version if available, or to install Xfce from the repositories if there isn’t an Xfce version and it’s not a selection during the install. I have and do periodically try other DEs but always come back to Xfce as it works just fine for me, it’s a tool to do a job, maybe not the prettiest tool, but who worrys about if their hammer is a pretty hammer?

The install : Easy, fast, efficient - I had no problems, I ended up with a usable system with a good Xfce panel layout. I did tweak the panel, adding and rearranging things to my normal layout so things were where I wanted them.

Software : Decent selection - Not everything I want is installed automatically, it never is. And yes, there’s software I will never use installed, (I can’t remember the last time I used any of LibreOffice), but who cares? I refuse to worry about the disk space taken up by it these days. I’m not a fan of minimal installs and then installing just what you want to use as long as there isn’t excessive bloat (your view of excessive may vary, but that’s fine).

I’ve, if not mastered at least got the hang of, using pacman and pamac on Arch based distros so was able to easily install the packages that I want and use, (I have script for it which makes life much easier as I try different distros).

In Use : It’s Linux - By which I mean it has the applications I’m used to, they work the way they do on other Linux distros. Once in an application what the distro is doesn’t really matter. Being Arch based the applications may be later versions than those on Debian based distros but that is not usually a problem, certainly I had no problems

Software Updates : Slow Rolling - While being Arch based it doesn’t seem to roll quite as fast as the other Arch based distros I have inatalled, (ArcoLinux and EndeavourOS), in that while they have had several updates in the same time I’ve had Manjaro 18.1 installed, Manjaro has had relatively few and is a couple of kernel versions behind those others. It’s not a problem, I still think Manjaro is a rolling release, but a “slow rolling” rolling release.

My Conclusion : Nice, Usable Linux Distro - All-in-all, I like Manjaro, I could live with it as a daily driver (if say I worked somewhere where it was the corporate desktop). It’s a very attractive distro, the default wallpapers and themes work well and are colourful but without looking out of place if it was in an office setting. It goes without saying that the software available is good, with a wide selection to choose from. I’ve had the previous Manjaro 18 on a different laptop for several months now with no problems following updates, so I’d say that was decently stable and I’d expect 18.1 to be no different.

Of the Arch based distros I’ve tried (not that many) I think Manjaro is the one that I might, just might, consider giving to a tech savvy Linux noob who wanted/needed to learn Linux. Most people I think would be better off with the usual candidates, (are they all Debian/Ubuntu based?), but I don’t think it would be totally beyond an intelligent, tech savvy, noob who accepted they’d be having to learn some new tricks

Now me, I like it, I can use it, but I’m back off to MX-19, and if I had to use an Arch base my 1st port of call would be ArcoLinux.

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To echo you @TerryL, I installed Manjaro a while ago on Metal and yesterday in a VM as I’m away without that PC and you said everything I would / will say on Saturday’s BDLL Euro. I’ve not played much with vanilla Arch at all but had a month with EndeavourOS for Distrohoppers Digest in August, and was impressed with it. Manjaro is the Linux Mint of Arch in my book (that is the best compliment I can give). It works out of the box, I added the few packages that I use that are not installed by default, and I have a fully usable stable system. As Rocco is always asking, can anyone find a bad Linux out there these day’s? :joy:

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If you look around, and try enough distros I’m sure you can… I’m not looking that hard and I stay with either established distros or ones recommended by people I trust

You should have some updates available today. I had 480 of them.

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Hmmm, I didn’t earlier in the day when I checked, on ArcoLinux though there were quite a lot, and on this EndeavourOS there were quite a few. Was this to mitigate the recent changes that Arch announced about what they were dropping from the Base repositories (or whatever it was)?

I shall shut this machine down and get the one with Manjaro out again and check for new updates, thanks for the heads up.

I don’t think so. It was just a bunch of package updates for me. The biggest thing I noticed was the new software categories in Pamac.