How many problems to expect with Testing Branch?

Well, maybe this is not the right place to put my question but I was not sure where to put it. Maybe “Not technical questions” but my question it’s however a technical question. Sorry if I’m making a mistake.
Even if the survey about testing branch updates has not many answers, it reports always a high percentage of people without problems.
So, my question is: is it worth to stay in the stable brach or, maybe, I could change branch without many problems?
What’s your opinion?
Thank you to everyone.

I would say it depends on yourself.

In the end it depends more on the hardware you use, the level of customization you apply or want to apply, the applications you use and your expectations you hold for your operating system.

Even as developer I have very few problems I have not caused myself.

As a team member I am expected to use unstable branch and participate in the overall assessment of quality.

Even so I have very, very few issues - on unstable branch - I never run on testing but I expect it to be as good as unstable.

Most issues on stable branch on updates are caused by not understanding the system, a heavy customization - which turns out incompatible with new system package level.


As far as my experience, i do not have more issue with testing branch in comparison to stable one.
I could even say that, for instance, switching to KDE6 has been smoother in testing, but that’s just a feeling.


No, I think it’s good.

However, your question will go right next to “How long is a piece of strong”.

So yes, problems happen - most of my problems are related to Plasma and the settings… Plasma 5.2x had some dodgy moments where it was genuinely terrible…

During those times, the system held back longer - to maintain more stability… and quite a few folks held back and jumped off Testing and Unstable to avoid it.

However, there is the question of software outside the repos, especially AUR packages which are updated to fit in with Arch.

I found that I had to live without those for a while… and with Testing it’s a shorter ‘while’ than with Stable.

The upshot is that Manjaro is generally very good at avoiding catastrophes, but they cannot account for every USER, with every variation of theme or preferences… and there’s the story.

With experience reading the forums, you’ll be amazed at how many ‘problems’ just disappear when you create a fresh User account to test your theories… and the rest are related more with hardware.

The answer is - check your snapshot/backup strategy, install checkrebuild so that when stuff does fail, you can get pointed at things which might need rebuilding…

Just suck it and see :wink: I think Testing is my favourite spot for KDE Plasma, though I haven’t tried Unstable so my opinion isn’t definitive.


You can change back the branch if it won’t work. If you are dependent on a system that works immediately at nearly all times, then you should stay on “stable”. You may have to correct something sometimes. I had a small problem 3 times in 8 years, but it could always be fixed in a quarter of an hour. However, I only have a few customizations and therefore perhaps only a few problems, 2 times nvidia, 1 time office. Now it’s up to you.


As many wrote, it really mainly depends on your knowledge and equipment.
I have not met any special problems for a long time, although I have been on an unstable branch, not to mention the test. Well, maybe once I had to independently rewrite the contents of the ICU package, because not all software has been updated at the same time, some still required version 74, and some are already 75, which can be easily solved if you understand what was the matter.
You can always change the branch and roll back the packages to the previous versions, if there are problems, you can additionally connect the system’s snapshot if your file system allows this.

Why not just try ?

  • Make a timeshift snapshot, additionally save your private data (external). This should have been done already, when acting smart.
  • Switching Branches - Manjaro

it reports always a high percentage of people without problems.

This is misleading. A good number of testing users are more advanced, have a well maintained system
and mostly well sorted packages. If you recognize yourself in it, then have fun.

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I too have questions about the gap between testing and the stable version.
I would like people who write detailed reports on the stable version to use the testing version.
I moved to testing after spending two years on the stable version, partly to shorten the AUR lag, and have never encountered any major problems.
I probably should report more detailed issues, but I am tolerant of small problems.

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I had been watching the success rate of testing updates when Plasma 6 was in the mix. The day I saw it was 92% success after a testing branch update, I switched from stable to testing. I was aware of wayland problems I could expect and kept to x11 with only minor glitches. So, I consider the switch relatively pain free and successful.

To switch from stable to testing use this command:

sudo pacman-mirrors -aS testing

To switch back to stable replace the word testing with stable.

I choose to use testing in a VM. Used unstable before but life has changed and I haven’t enough time to update regularly.

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Currently using testing ~2 years and it is as stable as I need it to be. I am using gnome with as few extensions as possible & mostly GTK applications and do not experience structural problems or have any regrets. Requirement (but this go’s for stable to): read announcements, maintain system, update regularly & responsible AUR usage.

Testing branch I can handle at the moment, clean up my mess, fix my mistakes and keep rolling.

I do feel that using a linux distribution one makes a deal that “voor wat, hoort wat” (that loosely translates to “give a little, take a little”). I take and spend time/accept risk with witch I help the project to give in a faster better stronger way :wink:

What would motivate a potential user of the testing branch to switch?
It all comes down to what one is able to give and if that is acceptable.

If switching to testing for reasons like faster updates of being closer to upstream arch and less AUR issues, unstable seems more suitable.

I skipped the whole discussion to give you my opinion. People report less issues on Testing because there are less people using Testing branch. Also, people using Testing branch tend to stay aware of all the changes each update brings, all the new bugs and issues that could come with a new package, they maintain properly their system (see the Maintenance page of the WIKI, especilly the part about .pacnew files), they follow development and understand better how everything work because they invest more time in it.

People on Stable tend to click the update button when it shines and come to the forum afterward because they have an issue coming from their lack of [[[chose one of the above quality of people on Testing branch]]].

You could be good on Testing branch, just come to the announcement thread to read every post made here, wait for more experienced user to apply the update first to detect critical issue if any, and you should be good to go.


And the award for best quote of the day goes to :wink: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::grin:

An opinion without context; never fails to amuse.
… almost forgot the happy face :upside_down_face:

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I don’t need to read your replies to give my opinion on such a thread.


Ha! I actually just read a Disqus comment on article where someone said they read the comments before the article… :facepalm:

However, that does not apply at all here. I understand why @omano

Why? Because it’s obvious the OP created the thread in fear. There’s nothing to be afraid of. @omano answered the question because he knew how to answer it. Mind you, he could have rolled his eyes and moved on. However, he didn’t and spent the time to respond.

In this day an age of rampant fear mongering where humans are paralyzed in fear of making any decision without asking others how they should think and feel, I am compelled to share these quotes:

Think for yourself, or others will think for you without thinking of you.

– Henry David Thoreau

…let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself

– Franklin D. Roosevelt, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

– Frank Herbert, Dune

While we’re at it… why not quote a man who stood up and spoke the truth in the face of tyranny to conquer this world plague of fear and lies…

For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence: on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly-knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised.

– John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961


Tell us how you really feel, jack. :sweat_smile:

Wholesale invasion using a state apparatus = Righteous

Guerillas responding to this invasion = The tyranny ?

Its probably more an issue of delivery and word choice than anything else. Not to mention it being hypocritical on its face circa the Bay of Pigs debacle etc. But even as a simple freudian slip its still … amusing … for someone to contrsuct a whole diatribe around some shadowy international force - while lauding invasions as the alternative. The fact that its also presented by someone at the head of arguably the nation with the largest global reach is just an extra cherry.

If you only responded to dissect that quote, then you’re purposely missing the point. I know you better than that. :wink:

Q: How many problems to expect with Testing Branch?
A: As many as can reasonably be found.

This too is without the benefit of context.

I switched from Stable to Testing 3 or so weeks ago, mainly because the amdonly-mesa-git packages in the AUR would no longer build against Stable branch. It was a major change, because it also meant that I would be moving from Plasma 5 to Plasma 6 at the same time.

My verdict on switching to Testing: I was worried about nothing. Apart from a couple of Plasma5=>Plasma6 issues caused by some remnants of kf5 still on my system, and my forgetting to change my custom SDDM screen back to Breeze beforehand, everything went smoothly.

I now have less dependency issues with the few AUR packages that I use, and everything else has been as stable as Stable branch (so far).

The one thing that I would recommend is that, if on Testing branch, as well as keeping an eye on Testing announcements topics, one should also keep an eye on Unstable announcements topics, as being forewarned of any potential issues will reduce the chance of something going wrong when doing updates.