I know that this doesn't completely relate to Manjaro itself, but I have a bit of an issue I have been struggling with for a while relating to Linux as a whole.
Anyways, here is the issue. I have a Dell XPS 9570 which works great with Manjaro XFCE. All of the hardware works great (and PROPERLY) out of the box if I boot the live ISO with the Nvidia driver and add a boot parameter. I also have access to all of the software I want through Flatpaks as well, which is a really nice touch.
There is one issue I have with Manjaro: the packaging.Before I continue, most of this is inherently Arch Linux related and none of it can really be fixed by any Arch distribution. I don't always use my laptop since I have a main desktop that works fine when I'm at home (obviously, it runs Manjaro). Therefore, I really only utilize my laptop to work or play games when I'm on the go or I cannot use my desktop for some reason. So, this definitely does not go well with an OS that is constantly updating. Even if I have a decent connection (which is very rare at my school, in a hotel, etc), there's always the chance something goes wrong and I wouldn't have access to my live USB. Plus, because some packages in Arch can only be installed through the AUR (mainly plugins, dxvk, etc), I'm essentially relying on packages that aren't always tested well. Therefore, I just don't think Manjaro works well for me.
Now, here's my Catch 22. I really want to avoid anything and everything Ubuntu. I hate Snap as a package format and I do not trust Canonical when it comes to whether or not they'll "transition" my favorite app from a Deb to a Snap. If I did use Ubuntu, I'd sooner or later end up installing a package with
snapd as a "dependency" or it would just not exist in the repos at all. And this counts for everything based on Ubuntu, including Pop OS, Elementary, and Mint (although only the latter has an XFCE edition available) since they still use Ubuntu's repos.
Okay, so I don't use Ubuntu. What else is there? Solus and PCLinuxOS are also rolling-release distributions, so they wouldn't work. OpenSUSE and Debian don't have the necessary Xorg server to use Nvidia render offloading, nor a recent enough version of the driver at all in Debian's case. I've tried using Fedora, but not having a single "nonfree" repo makes everything 50x more difficult, even if you enable RPM Fusion. Also, if you don't use their GNOME spin, you basically have no (usable) GUI options for installing RPMs/Flatpaks. Not to mention how you get an unusable "stock" XFCE desktop, you receive poor support from their community, and you, as a desktop user, are treated like a second class citizen overall.
I've done some work with Mageia, a very small, yet interesting, Linux distro that also uses RPMs, but it has some problems. For one, they have the latest versions of Mesa, Intel firmware, and the Xorg server (which I really need) and some other packages while Firefox is provided as the ESR build, the Nvidia driver is at 430 so it doesn't meet my hardware requirements, and they have way too many outdated/strange/unnecessary applications installed by default. I can accept the other issues, but the Nvidia one is crucial. I'm doing some packaging for them, so maybe some of this may change in the future, but they've given me nothing in regards to when they'll provide the 440 drivers.
So, after this overly long and verbose post, what do you guys think? Is there an option I'm missing or anything else I could try? If not, what would you do in my situation?
inxi -Fxxxz --no-hostname for my laptop if needed:
System: Kernel: 5.6.7-1-MANJARO x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 9.3.0 Desktop: Xfce 4.14.2 tk: Gtk 3.24.13 info: xfce4-panel wm: xfwm4 dm: LightDM 1.30.0 Distro: Manjaro Linux Machine: Type: Laptop System: Dell product: XPS 15 9570 v: N/A serial: <filter> Chassis: type: 10 serial: <filter> Mobo: Dell model: 0YYW9X v: A04 serial: <filter> UEFI: Dell v: 1.15.0 date: 12/25/2019 Battery: ID-1: BAT0 charge: 3.3 Wh condition: 84.2/97.0 Wh (87%) volts: 12.0/11.4 model: SMP DELL GPM0365 type: Li-ion serial: <filter> status: Charging CPU: Topology: 6-Core model: Intel Core i7-8750H bits: 64 type: MT MCP arch: Kaby Lake rev: A L2 cache: 9216 KiB flags: avx avx2 lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx bogomips: 52815 Speed: 800 MHz min/max: 800/4100 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 800 2: 800 3: 800 4: 800 5: 800 6: 800 7: 801 8: 800 9: 800 10: 802 11: 800 12: 800 Graphics: Device-1: Intel UHD Graphics 630 vendor: Dell driver: i915 v: kernel bus ID: 00:02.0 chip ID: 8086:3e9b Device-2: NVIDIA GP107M [GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile] driver: nvidia v: 440.82 bus ID: 01:00.0 chip ID: 10de:1c8c Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.20.8 driver: modesetting,nvidia alternate: fbdev,intel,nouveau,nv,vesa tty: N/A OpenGL: renderer: Mesa Intel UHD Graphics 630 (CFL GT2) v: 4.6 Mesa 20.0.5 direct render: Yes Audio: Device-1: Intel Cannon Lake PCH cAVS vendor: Dell driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus ID: 00:1f.3 chip ID: 8086:a348 Sound Server: ALSA v: k5.6.7-1-MANJARO Network: Device-1: Qualcomm Atheros QCA6174 802.11ac Wireless Network Adapter vendor: Bigfoot Networks driver: ath10k_pci v: kernel port: 3000 bus ID: 3b:00.0 chip ID: 168c:003e IF: wlp59s0 state: down mac: <filter> Device-2: Qualcomm Atheros type: USB driver: btusb bus ID: 1-4:2 chip ID: 0cf3:e301 Drives: Local Storage: total: 238.47 GiB used: 10.91 GiB (4.6%) ID-1: /dev/nvme0n1 vendor: Toshiba model: KXG50ZNV256G NVMe 256GB size: 238.47 GiB speed: 31.6 Gb/s lanes: 4 serial: <filter> rev: AADA4104 scheme: GPT Partition: ID-1: / size: 29.30 GiB used: 10.00 GiB (34.1%) fs: btrfs dev: /dev/nvme0n1p1 ID-2: /home size: 189.41 GiB used: 930.0 MiB (0.5%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/dm-0 ID-3: swap-1 size: 15.62 GiB used: 0 KiB (0.0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/nvme0n1p2 Sensors: System Temperatures: cpu: 47.0 C mobo: N/A Fan Speeds (RPM): cpu: 2501 fan-2: 2520 Info: Processes: 309 Uptime: 4m Memory: 15.31 GiB used: 804.4 MiB (5.1%) Init: systemd v: 244 Compilers: gcc: 9.3.0 Shell: zsh v: 5.8 running in: xfce4-terminal inxi: 3.0.37
Thanks a lot for reading this. I've been dealing with this for a while and I apologize if I could've condensed this better.