3 Months of all day work in Manjaro+bspwm after 10 years of 🍏- Loving rant

I’m a full time full stack Ruby&JS dev. After 10 years on a various Macs I decided to build my perfect work-from-home setup - I’m using bspwm installed via architect. My last real linux desktop experience was back in 2009, so frustrating that I bought a mac immediately.

The Good

  • I love manjaro and I’m staying.
  • I’ve got twice the hardware power for half the money of my iMac. I’m even outperforming a Mac Pro for triple the $
  • Tiled window managers are the future
  • a lot works out of the box, soooo much more than back in the day
  • dual monitors work really well
  • team AMD GPU and CPU
  • sound works out of the box
  • mics works out of the box
  • webcams work out of the box
  • wifi isn’t an issue any more
  • the programming stack works perfectly, but that’s expected, it’s already entirely unix based. Node, Ruby, VSCode, SSH, Docker, Python are working flawlessly
  • pen tablet works (out of the box-ish), good selection on drawing software too
  • online meetings and screensharing works out of the box. Meet, Zoom, Teams and slack just work fine.
  • pacman, yay and snap. Life is much easier than in the make&make install days
  • ricing is fun

The Bad

  • the forum attitude of rtfm and use the search is sooo bad. I found a really sad post this week ending with Solved by using Windows
  • installation took a total of 12 attempts to get it right. Luckily the manjaro-architect guys fixed the bspwm installer for me twice. But it’s still a hassle to install. Why is EFI still a struggle?
  • I’m using the workman keyboard layout - anything non standard is a massive hassle. Being used to Macos&BetterTouchTool it takes seconds to permanently map keys, shortcuts and gestures globally and per app. This takes days in linux. xmodmap sucks and xkb needs so much studying - this isn’t knowledge I’m keen to have now. Try swapping over copy&paste globally - almost impossible
  • The things that are working out of the box start showing flaws:
  • the mouse needs solaar to remind manjaro of pointer and scroll speed about once a week after it’s reset to ultra-slow.
  • monitors get assigned different numbers after waking up/rebooting
  • sound crackles, cuts out - power saving fighting spotify and pulse. And I’m the loser.
  • Changing the default browser is such a hassle - I really didn’t want to learn and specify each different mime type and in xdg-open
  • I don’t trust linux to boot tomorrow - getting snapper + btrfs up and running was doable, but quite the hassle. A whole day of learning for a damn backup that is actually restorable? Have you seen apples timemachine?
  • Everything takes sooo much time. Fixes take hours, bigger things take days to setup. I really dont’ want to learn every config file syntax, cli option, about kernels and packages. And undoing all the suggested solutions that didn’t work.
  • Nobody cleans the outdated crap in their forums up. Google with prompty you with dozens of “solutions” that might have worked in 2012 on KUbuntu.
  • sometimes there’s only that one app that can do that vital thing. And it’s in java.
  • Disney+ has a crap resolution compared to win or mac.

The ugly

  • Manjaros default option to a wiff of a problem is “Let’s not boot. Just to be safe! No workday for you!”.
    “Oh you added an empty, unused partition. Let’s not boot - I don’t like that fstab I generated. And I won’t tell you that file is the issu.”
    pacman -Syyu - “well let’s not boot - I don’t like that unrelated and unnecessary kernel module being missing. And I’m not going to tell you which one!”
    “I brought you to the point of frustration that you tried even the craziest suggestion from this forum? Well you shouldn’t change that config file - so I’m not booting.”
  • The Unix Principle is like the useless call-center support when you’re internet isn’t working. Each thingy doing one thing, but well. Just one look at the man file and every thingy has a dozen responsibilities. And what is one thing for me - like making restorable backups, a clipboard manager, changing settings - translates into half a dozen tech thingies. And nobody is responsible. Every little thingy is playing “Not it!”, shifting blame elsewhere. The lack of high-level solutions is really scary.

No, the modern linux is far from unix.
Example, you boot with systemd, you listen with pulseaduio, both are extremely anti unix and that is OK :slight_smile: If users and world would required Unix they would install something like OpenBSD.

And all of your ugly and bad points are no biggies, you’ll get use to how things are.
You were just used to a different thing.

:slight_smile: glad you’re staying with Gnu/linux in general the more users it have the more the ecosystem matures.

  • Changing the default browser is such a hassle - I really didn’t want to learn and specify each different mime type and in xdg-open

This isn’t the case in KDE, it’s very simple. It must be specific to bspwm, which I’ve never used.

1 Like

You decided to go the full CUSTOM way with Manjaro Architect, you build your own system, and complain it is not up to what you would expect and that things are hard, and other, to my opinion, non sense.

Pre built ISO with renowned Desktop Environment would probably have been the better option for someone who comes back to Linux 10 to 15 years later after bad experience…

Just my two cents.

Not going full arguing on each of your bad or ugly things, as this is completely subjective (or wrong) to say the least.



I’ll happily plead guilty as charged; although most of the time I will provide a reference or two.

Look at it this way:

$PKG doesn’t work properly for you, but it works just fine for me. We don’t have one hardware item in common (with the exception that Ohms are Ohms, no matter where the resistor is used). Why do you expect me to look/read wikis, bug reports, project pages, etc. to discover that, because of the type of DIMM used in your computer, you need to add a specific kernel command-line to make $PKG work?

Yeah…nope, not doing it.

Spot on. :clap:

This .sig pretty well sums that up:

“UNIX is simple and coherent…” - Dennis Ritchie; “GNU’s Not UNIX” - Richard Stallman


On that note, I don’t see any productive discussion from here.