If you use Ubuntu for example you're based on a version. You get only security fixes to keep that system still working. Every half year you get a new install media which uses a new branch of the operationg system. Long-time supported releases by Ubuntu getting a longer support over years. 12.04 is such a release. You'll get updates for this release till 2017. If you install the newer version 12.10 you only get support till 2014. Now you think what the heck? I can keep 12.04 longer than the newer version?
Let's talk a little about Frugalware
. Hmm, never heard of that one ?!? Well, it is a mashup of Slackware and Archlinux. It uses the Slackway but has pacman as management. To quote their wiki:
We have a current and a stable branch. The current branch is updated daily, and we update our stable branch around every 6 months.
This is an odd approach. So they are a rolling release only in the current branch which they update almost daily but in stable you're stuck for 6 months. When you update you have to read their manual. Here is the current Upgrade Section
for 1.6 to 1.7.
To sum this up we have to talk a little about Chakra, my old project. Chakras approach was to fork Archlinux. We only used their PKGBUILDs and updated them when we thought it would fit. This is the do-it-yourself or Linux from Scratch way. I used a snapshot from Archs PKGBUILDs and their binaries. Installed a basic system and compiled all packages I took with that system. After the first bootstrap I compiled all packages once more from the Chakra stack. After I had the basic packages compiled I created a new repository and build a simple LiveCD out of it. So we had only the Packages needed for a basic KDE system.Chakra Phoix
was born. Chakra was in a bad shape
that time. It took me only one month to finish Jan's work
I started with him the last three months in secret. So since May Chakra was no longer a distrolet. In 2011 we had again issues. Our basic system was to old. We had the latest kernel and KDE on top of an old system. Some Developers wanted to change some. There was an on and off all the time. In January 2012
I managed to get Chakra on a Cover Disk. This I also managed with paldo in October 2012
, even wrote the article for the magazine. Since February everybody was bashing each other over this and that. I left the project for good in April.
Which brings me to Manjaro. Yes, I - the bad boy - will "fuck up" another distro. Push it to the top of Distrowatch Ranking-List, give it some Cover Stories. Oops, I did that
already ... and smash it later just to move on ... For real?
Manjaro has three stages. Unstable, Testing and Stable. We are a rolling release, which means you get all updates soon or later.
Carl wrote it already to our blog
However, Manjaro uses a Rolling Release Development Model, whereby rather than being replaced, the same core system will instead be continually updated and upgraded. As such, it is not – nor will it ever be – necessary to re-install a later release of Manjaro in order to enjoy the very latest and most up-to-date system possible. By virtue of keeping an existing installation updated, it is already the latest release.
We update our Unstable-Branch almost daily. You can follow that on our Package Mailing List
. We are sorry that we just managed it to archive our emails since December. It is a really busy list, btw. What does it mean exactly? As you might already know: Archlinux updates and builds their packages in a Staging Repository, then moves those packages to testing. They also build in testing and often in stable. WTF. Yep, they build everywhere. And often you break your system just by typing sudo pacman -Syu
So we don't need another Arch. Yes, we are not Archlinux
. We just use their binary packages. Wait a minute. Now you're using binary packages? Don't you need to provide all sources you use for your binaries? Well, yes and no. Platform (core), extra, community and multilib are exact copies of their packages. We just sync them to our servers. Arch provides PKGBUILDs for all those packages. In basis, basis-multilib and addon you find our packages. Our source code you can find here
So we sync with Arch-Stable almost daily in Manjaro-Unstable. There we find the regressions and stuff breaking your system. With the package manjaro-system
for example we fix those file-conflicts and other stuff to get you a simple smooth update every time. It took us some time so our first really known-to-the-public release has some issues
getting it to the latest state. There our good documentation kicks in. After we solved the issues in Manjaro-Unstable we move those packages to our Testing branch. Wait a minute! You move them? Yep, we move them. We only build in Unstable. Every developer uses Manjaro-Unstable, since we love to break and fix our systems
- Brave might even join us in Unstable
With testing we have a wider userbase testing those packages. Everybody is welcome to switch to Testing
by the way. The more the better! There we build all our Manjaro Pre-Releases
of our install medias. Those snapshots might include some radical changes to tease you guys
Some might get into the final release, some not.All install-medias are snapshots of our current Manjaro Repositories based on the branch they are built with.
Since we are in an early development state we almost release a new install media each weekend. Argg! This confuses me now!!! What the heck! Why are you doing this. - Well, each slight change changes the whole thing. Some releases are to test certan things which might break some stuff. Stable install medias we release every two months, or so. Depending how long the current install media doesn't create issues with upgrading.
So, after all packages got tested and those "unneeded" install medias work as they should, we move those packages to our stable repositories which 90% of you guys uses. If we think there is a need for a new install media there will be a new release. In the future those release cycles will be wider. We might release every quarter, even half a year if our medias would be as good as we intend them to be.
Which brings us to our editions. We focused on our XFCE release. Roland, Guillaume used that desktop as their default DE. Since I came from a KDE and Gnome background we added KDE and Gnome. Guillaume loved Cinnamon, so we had a Cinnamon/Gnome Edition soon. Manjaro used Archiso. I was the creator or ChakraISO (Chakra-Live) and modified it to ManjaroISO, a simple platform to create every edition you might think of. Each release uses a basic system and puts the DE on top of it.
So our Net-Edition is that basic system. It includes all drivers, our installer and a basic Manjaro system you can start with. An Edition puts the desktop and basic applications on top of it. Our universal installer detects those extra overlays and installs them properly. So it is your choice what flavour of Manjaro you want to install. In the end you have the same basic system, just with other package combinations. Either you use our pre-configured install medias or use our Net-Edition go get your own hands a little dirty
During each development cylce we find issues and change the basic package sets, so they fit best to each purpose. Every release might differ slightly. GDM for example creates issues so we dropped it. In 0.8.2 it worked - in 0.8.3 not. Even Gnome-Shell made troubles so we dropped it too. This might change in a later state, but we want Manjaro to be as smooth as possible.
Hope this isn't to much information for you guys and helps you a little what Manjaro is and stands for.Manjaro - Enjoy the simplicy!