Hi All, few questions about Manjaro

I'm new here, thought I would introduce myself and ask a couple of general questions about Manjaro. Please be gentle with me :grinning:

I am fairly new to Linux, a novice. Came over from Windows, because I hated all of that tracking and 'phone home' junk, them 'owning' the OS you had bought and you are just 'renting' it ... well I am sure you all know what I mean.

Anyway, I am currently using Mint, and it is a good OS don't get me wrong. But I installed 17.3 Rosa. They are up to 19.3 (not sure of the 'codename') and so I am running into a lot of limitations now with new versions of software, etc.

I hate having to do clean new reinstalls which everyone advises over 'upgrading' the OS over in the Mint forums. Have read it goes fine for some, a nightmare for others. That was one of the good things about Windows, you just did the updates and could go for years on the current version - and I have to admit going to a new version is handled pretty smoothly by them.

So then I heard about rolling-releases like Manjaro. So I was checking out the site, reading up about it. I had read that in Linux, rolling releases in general can be a pain with a lot of breakage and having to fix things, etc. But on the Manjaro site, it states that a lot of effort is put into avoiding this breakage, as much as possible anyway.

So I am thinking if I am going to have back everything up and do a new install anyway, maybe I should try out Manjaro. But I am old and although I used to be pretty good on a command line and getting around in an OS (started out in DOS) and I used to be pretty interested in 'messing around' with software and learning new stuff, now I am more interested in it just working so I can do my thing and have one less thing to worry about.

So I was wondering if I could get some opinions about whether you folks think Manjaro would be a good fit for me, or if I should just stick to a 'stable release' type distro (probably stick with Mint but might go to Ubuntu). Thanks, sorry I got so long winded.


Coming from Mint, you will have a bit of a learning curve with Manjaro. If you want something that doesn't require exploration and experimentation I would stick with something Debian-based(Ubuntu/Mint/MX/etc/etc) as those will all be fairly familiar.


If this is the case, a stable release distro will be better for you. Using Manjaro, you should be reading the announcement post before running your update in case there is something you need to do to update. It's rare that something comes up, but it is possible.

For example, there was a python update issue in this last update:


I imagine a rolling release distro might occasionally involve a bit more user interaction than you're expressing interest in. That's the nature of rolling releases. That said, I have found both Manjaro and its parent distro Arch to be remarkably trouble-free for the 4+ years that I've been using them; there have been some minor issues, but they were easy to correct. I've personally never had a problem that resulted in a failure to boot or any type of file/data corruption.

You might want to take a bit of time to look through the Manjaro Stable release threads under the Announcements category; the first post always has a poll that reflects how many people are reporting issues vs no issues, and by reading through the posts you can get a feel for what types of actions are required to correct various problems that may arise.


FWIW, I have had no problems upgrading-in-place (not reinstalling) Debian through its past 4 point releases, with the exception of losing a few icons on my taskbar a couple of times.


If this is your actual main priority, I'd say go for something like Debian Buster, or Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

That way, you'll miss all the fun, but you've got your trusty old OS going with minimal worries.

I went through a drawn-out thought process much like the one you seem to be in, and decided on Manjaro on the main livingroom computer, to keep up with all the fun(!!), and LTS-variants on the rest, which are home servers and peripheral computers in the garage and the basement workshop, computers that needs to be ''set and forget''.

Both Debian Buster and Ubuntu 18-LTS offers ''minimal'' or ''server'' iso's. Those are good to achieve some of the speed of Manjaro, if you put XFCE4 on top of them. In Ubuntu's case, you'll enjoy LTS until something like the middle of 2013. If you wait until the next Ubuntu LTS, which is scheduled to be released in April, you'll have another 5 years of LTS - which means security updates and OS basic updates and most likely no worries, just ''set-and-forget'' for another five years.

If you go with Ubuntu 18_LTS, you download the minimal iso, go through the install without selecting anything but the base, and from the base login you do this:

sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg xserver-xorg-core xfonts-base xinit x11-xserver-utils
sudo apt-get install xfwm4 xfce4-panel xfce4-settings xfce4-session xfce4-terminal xfdesktop4
sudo apt-get install lightdm lightdm-gtk-greeter
sudo apt-get install thunar xfce4-power-manager
sudo apt-get install xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin xfce4-pulseaudio-plugin
sudo apt-get install gvfs gvfs-backends policykit-1-gnome thunar-volman
sudo apt-get install synaptic
(-and, if you want a GUI for updating: sudo apt-get install update-notifier)
(-and, if you just want just one terminal: sudo apt-get purge --auto-remove gnome-terminal)
sudo reboot

Then you'll end up on a minimal, speedy, Ubuntu LTS Xfce4 desktop, and you can go from there.

(-for example sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras, which is the codecs and microsoft fonts you need for full web and local playback experience. The MS fonts will complain in the software updater about needing more downloads, can be safely ignored, google it for an explanation)

If you choose Debian Buster, I'd add (from a root login):

-apt-get install sudo
-sudo usermod -a -G sudo ''username''
-reboot (''systemctl reboot'')

and then
-sudo apt-get install nano

...just to be able to edit stuff from the terminal, stuff like unfree repositories (sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list)


Oh I'm sorry everyone, I think I perhaps unintentionally threw everyone a bit off by putting in that comment about just wanting it to work and not being interested in learning more about Linux and software and such.

What I should have said is that unlike in my youth when I loved to spend hours exploring the OS or features of a program or such, I do not want to spend days trying to get a problem fixed.

And of course I am realistic, as one has to be about things related to computers and software. By that I mean that even running Mint, I would occasionally have a problem (being a noob it was often something I did wrong) and would have to go to the forums and post, and you don't get a response instantly - people have lives and other things to do, and sometimes it takes a bit of time to get an answer back.

You folks are a great example. Very friendly and helpful, with someone who is just 'exploring their options' and hasn't even put the OS on their system and become 'part of the club'. All I had to do was wait a bit of time for people to get a chance to read my post and you have been very kind and helpful. Not to single anyone out, you have all been great to answer/contribute, but take Porbeagle as an example - taking the time to tell me some great information of how to set Ubuntu up to be 'lean and mean' like you all have said (and I have heard) that Manjaro is. That was just great. I also considered OpenSUSE as another possible rolling-release by the way.

So I didn't mean I am not fine with things like checking out warnings or release notes, or looking up fixes for myself if I can find it on a forum or with a search and what not. I am sorry I didn't make myself more clear above, my apologies. I am fine with doing some reading and work, seeking help, etc. I just meant that I do not want to become a slave to fixing an OS more than getting some quality time out of using it :grinning:

It sounds like from a couple of the posts that Manjaro might be a good fit. As I understand it, nothing really breaks the install totally for the most part, and I can deal with reading warnings and such before doing something, doing searches, posting if I can't find an answer and things like that.

It sounds like maybe I should put Manjaro on the system as a dual boot (you can do that with 2 Linux distros right?) and just check it out. And go ahead and do a backup then upgrade my Mint for now. Thanks for your answers, and I would really love to see any more comments anyone cares to make about Manjaro and getting started off in it, it sounds like a great distro and I can tell the community has some nice helpful people in it. Sorry for getting long winded again, I guess I need to work on that :grinning: Anyway, thanks again for all your posts and input.


Well, now that we have a little better perspective on where you're coming from - and I realize I may be saying this prematurely - welcome aboard! I think you'll enjoy your stay.

You can indeed do that.


Thanks for confirming that tardy :slight_smile: I am guessing that when I go to actually do a dual boot putting Manjaro on, it's live disk should help me through the dual-boot setup. Speaking of which, if Manjaro has a live-disc maybe I should use that to check out Manjaro and see if I like it as well as I think I would.

I used to love doing bat files in DOS when I was younger, played a text based game where I had to learn a scripting language (similar to BASIC) for it's helper even up into 'middle age', etc. I was fascinated with scripting/coding, etc and still am somewhat.

I started to add more but then I remembered this is an OS support forum, not a discussion forum :rofl:

Anyway, thanks again for all the replies and as I said earlier if anyone has anything interesting to add about Manjaro would love to see it.

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You could also consider installing it in a virtual machine for a few weeks. That way you can run through a couple of update cycles with nothing lost if something goes wrong and see how you feel about it.


Thanks 10yearslate, that is an excellent suggestion! I have never used a VM, but I believe I can figure out how to work it fairly easily.

I wanted to quote your post or some of it, but I can't seem to figure out how to do quoting from previous posts on this forum, it is a bit different from any forum I have come across.

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Simply highlight the text like so and the option will pop up :slight_smile:


Wow, once you find out how it works, that is one of the easiest ways of quoting I can remember seeing on a forum!

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Here's some basic how to's on running Manjaro in virtual box and on virtual box in general:

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Thank you very much 10yearslate! I like how quoting works on here, just had to try it out :laughing:

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LOL, updating from Windows 7 to 10 ■■■■■■■ my computer -- that's how I ended up moving to Linux, and I've never looked back.

By the way, Mint was the distro I started from, too, but I quickly grew out of it and started distrohopping. Now I'm 2 years on Manjaro, having gone from Xfce to KDE to i3, which I absolutely adore. In fact, the more I use my Manjaro i3, the more flaws I notice in other operating systems :thinking: Like, the developers at my work always complaining about their Apple Macbooks freezing, having black screens or network connectivity problems, or even breaking their setups after OS updates :rofl:


LOL, yes Windows 7 to Win10 was the reason I switched as well. I was reading all of these horror stories about how 10 was tracking you, phoning home, doing all kinds of stuff in the background, etc. I really liked Windows 7 and I was fighting to keep it from making the switch, installing programs in 7 to keep it from making that switch. They got desperate to make you switch, started sneaking it into the updates and stuff. They finally wore me down :rofl: (NOT).

It was sad too, I liked 7, if I can get away with saying that on a Linux forum :laughing:. But they were ending support, and I just got tired of all of hoops to jump through and privacy invasion and such. I had tried Mandrake years ago (think it was renamed Mandriva, and then forked into Mangiea or something?) and I had liked it but it was a bit beyond my capabilities at the time, you still had to be very tech savvy back in the late 90's to run Linux.

Anyway, I made the jump to Linux and I really like it. There are a few things I miss, but I suppose I could run 7 under a VM to get access to whatever won't work under WINE. And now I am thinking about making this jump from Mint to Manjaro like you did, it is a very interesting distro and I like the idea of it being always up to date and not having to do a fresh install every couple of years as I mentioned in my OP.

Guess I am just going to have to take 10yearslate's advice and run Manjaro in a VM for a while and see if I like it as well as I think I will :grin:

P.S. I have another system that I was thinking about putting Qubes on, it is another fascinating Distro, if you could call it that. But as many people have said, that one is definitely not for the noob or faint of heart, so I hesitate :rofl:

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Before install

During Install

  • Use a stable DE. I prefer XFCE because it is super stable and less breaking parts IMO due to slow release cycles and good for customising. But this is subjective to your tastes and use-cases.
  • Use LTS kernels. Manjaro let's you switch kernels easily which would be new for you after coming from Mint. So always use LTS kernels. Read about Manjaro kernels :point_right: https://wiki.manjaro.org/index.php/Manjaro_Kernels

I find a stable, less breaking DE and LTS kernel solves a lot of problems.

Post installation

@Steve007 - Remember, Manjaro is based on Arch Linux and hence has a learning curve. Even though Manjaro developers try to make things super smooth and tries to make it break less, Manjaro is not foolproof. But we do have an amazing community. All you have to do is do your part on reading and best practices etc and the community will always be there to help. :slightly_smiling_face:

PS: I have been using Manjaro for 3+ years but haven't broken my system. I configure, don't play with it much. I use it to do things like you hope to. So hope you find my learnings useful. AGAIN, THESE ARE MY EXPERIENCES AND LEARNINGS. IT WILL BE SUBJECTIVE BASED ON HOW YOU MAINTAIN THE SYSTEM.

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Screw all of that other advice. Quit pansy-assing around and install it. That's the only way you'll really get started. :smiley:



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