Hi. I think the underlying message is simple. If you want relative stability in a Linux distribution which uses a rolling release model, you must be prepared to update it regularly (maybe weekly) and attend to issues as they happen.
As evidenced by your comments above, this does not describe your working environment. You clearly will not perform the necessary updates until something breaks; this reactionary approach is not conducive to achieving this stable environment you say you want. Period.
A rolling release distribution; Manjaro; is not for you.
I suggest the standard release model of a distribution such as Debian would be best suited for your usage. Debian is rock solid, and has the greatest availability of applications within the Linux ecosystem.
We’d be sorry to see you go, but, at the end of the day it comes down to the age-old adage: ‘The right tool for the job’.
It doesn’t. And I fully understand your concerns, albeit that I would add that a laptop in and of itself, by virtue of its hardware, is unsuitable as a workstation. I would recommend a desktop machine — and if you have the money, even one that qualifies as a professional workstation, with ECC RAM.
But the bottom line is either way that Manjaro is not the right distribution for your needs, nor for that matter, any other rolling-release distribution. Rolling-release means being on the cutting edge — if not bleeding edge — and this in turn means frequent updates. Even the Stable branch of Manjaro sees about two to three major updates per month.
And being Arch-based, Manjaro is high-maintenance, from package updates over merging .pacnew files — which you have apparently not done either — over to actively monitoring the forum, and in particular, the Announcements threads. Every bundled update comes with a dedicated announcement thread that details all the changes, the gotchas, and how to deal with them, all in the first two posts of the thread.
All of the above is — understandably — why Manjaro and other Arch-based distributions are not the right choice for your use case. Now, there used to be a distribution called Scientific Linux, which was put together by the people at CERN and Fermilab, and which was (initially) based upon CentOS, the “free beer” version of RedHat Linux. But it was discontinued in favor of CentOS proper, which in turn has now been discontinued — or at least, as a more settled and stable version — since RedHat was taken over by IBM. CentOS is now called CentOS Stream, and it now sits somewhere in between the stable (and commercial-only) RedHat, and the cutting-edge Fedora.
There is however an alternative, called AlmaLinux. It is rock-solid, and it is what CERN and Fermilab themselves are using now.
Another option — as others have said — would be to go with Debian, which also has a very good reputation in terms of stability. Even Debian Testing is relatively stable for normal production use — it’s what Ubuntu and Mint are based upon, although I would personally recommend against Ubuntu because of its insistence on using Snaps instead of integrated packages.
No one is making fun of you. You asked for help, so you are receiving it.
It seems you had expectations without fully understanding what you were getting into installing Manjaro. That’s fine, we all do things like that and then learn from the experience. You’d be better off using a point release like Fedora or Debian from what you’ve explained about your workflow.
Thanks to everyone for the concern and for the help. I do scientific computing, so it’s not a server grade stability, yet I require the system to work for months, because otherwise I keep on losing stuff (yes, I’m a messy person in general, it applies to everything I do).
I like Manjaro, I have Mint on my smaller laptop and I’m not a fan. It was stable forever, true, but the moment I needed to install something, it managed to brick itself and required a full reinstall. Very not fun experience.
I’m sorry I bothered you with something that was already mentioned in the Forum but I hadn’t updated for so long that it never crossed my mind that my problem is trivial. And I didn’t notice it when I checked quickly trough the forum. I promise next time, I’ll check out the mentioned thread before asking. For now, updating every 3-6 months works for me. It requires 2 days of debugging but usually it’s fine in the end. So again, thank you for the help, I didn’t expect to fix the problem so quickly and everyone was very helpful.