How often to update Manjaro on stable branch and installing only from the main repo

How often should I update Manjaro if I use the stable branch and install packages only from the main repo?

I want to go by a set schedule (if that’s OK), e.g. the 1st of each month, so it becomes a habit.

I don’t want to do it more often than I have to.

My usage:

  • I tend to make many virtual machines so that each is dedicated to one purpose (e.g. only for banking). I project five Manjaro machines (one of them the “pure” machine in which I do nothing but update so if any other breaks I could clone from it).
  • I don’t need to be on the “cutting edge.”
  • I am not all that concerned about “zero day” risk. I never had a problem.
  • I will only install from the main repo and only “regular” stuff at that: open-vm-tools, mc, meld, tigervnc, yt-dlp, gajim, qmmp, smplayer. The list is meant to show how “regular” my packages are. The fanciest thing I ever do would be to create OpenWrt firmware for my router.


I now realize the whole question was based on a misunderstanding of how updating works for the stable branch Manjaro.

I was thinking on a Ubuntu model, where you get notified on each package that can be updated (e.g. when you log into a terminal session). I did not want daily reminders of updates.

But since the stable branch Manjaro updates packages in batches, which come out every 2 to 6 weeks, I will just have update notice turned on and do an “update” whenever one comes out.

It’s entirely your responsibility when you actually update your system…
You could also choose to never update after the install…

They have no set period when they push updates to the repos AFAIK…
Just keep in mind that you need to install ALL updates available for your install when you actually do update, else you risk leaving your system in an unstable state…

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When ever you feel like it.

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Never update? That can’t be an option. Eventually (for example) my Firefox would be so outdated that Websites would refuse to send contents to it. I am asking about sound practice, not the limit of what is possible. But thanks on installing all udpates.

Really? I seem to have read about letting things slide so badly that eventually you cannot update even if you wanted to, or too infrequent updates not going smoothly. I am looking for an optimum between too much work (updating five machines every week) vs. neglect.

Sound practice is daily…


I only run unstable version of Manjaro. Things breaking is my thing.

But yeah. Just keep it updated daily. would be the wise thing.


Whenever they become available and you have the bandwidth/time/energy to do so.
Functionally anything out of date is akin to broken and out of support.

That said … its still your device and your system. You can do what you like.
It is best not to let updates go so long that you are many updates behind, possibly miss certain updates that later ones assume exist, and so on.
The longer you wait the more likelihood of needing to get your hands dirty or even breakage (if we sidestep very specific instances when maybe there is a bad push that is reverted an hour later).
And that said … I have had machines that I updated ~ 1 year later successfully.
(an old netbook gathering dust in a closet … just for fun)

Back to your original query … if you want to check/update every … 1st and 15th of the month you should be rather dandy.

Just remember that if you intend to add new packages, build things, install from the aur, etc, you will want to update prior to doing so as well.


I think @cscs has covered the main points:

This can happen and has happened to me with a system left to go too stale. It’s generally fixable though, if you know what you’re doing.

I’ve seen this plenty of times. I tend to wait a couple of days before I actually do the update as I’ve seen a raft of updates come in (seen via Octopi Notifier; that’s actually all I use Octopi for) only to see the count drop shortly thereafter. Then I wait a little longer. after updating (using Pacman via CLI) and checking everything is OK at my end, then I’ll update my mate’s machine.

True also for installing software from the repos. If you do so, you’ll find that it will either fail, or (in the case of Pamac) will want to do a system upgrade as part of the process.

I’d settle for a few days after a major raft of updates, i.e. every couple of weeks, but it’s really up to you.


Here’s an easy habit for you:

  1. Wait for a notification that you have updates.
  2. Read the first couple posts on the update thread, listen to if they have anything important to say.
  3. Press update.

Unless you turned them off, you will always receive notifications of updates. On stable branch, these will be pretty infrequent (2-6 weeks). Anything outside of a main stable update will just be a couple packages, and is a very useful hotfix so you will want to get those when they show up.


I would also advise snooping around the Forum from time to time and peeking at the Branches, otherwise I do that myself.

I have some questions on what an “update” means in this context.

  1. Does it mean an update that shows up as an entry here?
  1. When I search for “pamac”, click “ADD/Remove Software” (I am on Xfce), and go to Preferences, I see “Check for updates” with an on/off button. When this is on, the checking is (a) for “updates” in our sense (i.e. those listed in “Stable Updates”)? Or will it check (b) for new versions of individual packages even when these together did not become an entry in “Stable Update”? (If the latter, I would get more frequent notifications in the system tray than I find posts on “Stable Update.”)

Anyway I believe there are at least two senses of “update” being used here because there are folks who report (recommend) updating “daily.” That cannot be the same as the “infrequent” updates.

Stable updates are only released as a batch, save hotfixes that might possibly arise for something like a browser vulnerability.
The only addendum to this would be third party software which is outside the repos - the Aur being an example.


Then, barring a hotfix, a check for update after my doing a stable update until the next one comes will always return zero things to update?

I got thrown off because in Ubuntu every time I logged in I was shown something like, “3 updates can be applied immediately.”

Now I don’t understand those good folks who update daily. Maybe they are on the unstable branch?

Just remember, snaps and Flatpaks are not from the Manjaro repositories and recieve their updates :100: independently.

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We like to live dangerously.

(Use pamac-tray and always install all available updates as soon as possible.)

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yeah over here on unstable updates can come daily … or even multiple times a day sometimes. :slight_smile:


Yeah, my bad. It is a bit confusing to refer to both as updates. There are large-scale updates (Stable updates), and there are the individual package updates. Individual packages are updated in both cases, but the Stable updates come out in a wave while the rest are hotfixes as needed. There are two different notification systems: one will tell you that a stable update has occurred and give you a link to the thread, the other will tell you there are individual package updates. Both notifications will appear in the case of a Stable update, but only the second will appear in the case of hotfixes.

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