[HowTo] Updating Manjaro as safely as possible

The golden rule — which nobody follows, of course — when using a rolling-release distribution…:

  • Always apply the bundled updates by way of the command line in a tty while completely logged out of your graphical environment, so that no shared libraries will be in use that will be overwritten by the update process. The safest way even would be to cleanly reboot your system first before applying any updates, and to then switch to a tty and run the update process from there without logging into your graphical interface at all.

Then, there are two additional golden rules specific to all Arch-based distributions…:

  • Always update the packages from the official repositories first, and update the AUR stuff, the Snaps, the FlatPaks and the AppImages afterwards.

  • Never interrupt the update process. You can interrupt the download of the packages — for instance if your mirror is too slow and you want to run pacman-mirrors first in order to switch to a faster mirror — but once the actual updating has begun and the downloaded packages have begun replacing the installed ones, you have to let it finish, or else you will render your system unbootable.

And lastly, the golden rule that applies to all distributions…:

  • Thou shalt make backups on another storage medium than the one thine system is installed on. (Note: timeshift snapshots on btrfs are not backups! If your drive fails, then you still lose everything.)