In average, in a month, does Manjaro Stable has less megabytes of updates than Arch?

Or does Manjaro skip some intermediate updates, so the data used is smaller?

Consider two systems with approximately the same configuration.

Thanks everyone.


Manjaro is more cautious than Arch on account of updates. As such, it is Manjaro Unstable which corresponds to Arch Stable, and which gets its updates at roughly the same intervals, and in roughly the same quantities.

From there, the software goes through the Manjaro Testing branch, and it is in Testing that the updated packages are more thoroughly evaluated. This means that the software may receive multiple updates to the same packages before the developers decide to push them down onto the Stable branch.

By consequence, Manjaro Stable is actually a curated rolling-release distribution, in which things only get updated either when the Testing stage has proven them sufficiently stable — which is on average twice a month — or when some urgent security-related update or an urgent bugfix is pushed out for a single package, or for just a couple of packages.

Therefore, yes, you will be consuming less networking traffic dedicated to updating your operating system in the Manjaro Stable branch than you will in Arch Stable.

However, this does not mean that Manjaro Stable should not be kept up-to-date. It is after all a rolling-release distribution, and therefore, it does evolve more quickly and in general also more smoothly than a fixed-point-release distribution, in which you install the system, use it “as is” for about six months to a year, and then wipe your drive clean again in order to install the next release.


A user can get this information over time using pacman, on both arch and manjaro. See VerbosePkgLists in /etc/pacman.conf.

This will produce a nice detailed table. The last lines of those tables look like:

Total Download Size:    407.85 MiB
Total Installed Size:  1298.52 MiB
Net Upgrade Size:        27.43 MiB

Total Download Size:   2059.95 MiB
Total Installed Size:  7957.70 MiB
Net Upgrade Size:       206.41 MiB

If there are two machines, one running arch and one running manjaro, and you have the same software on each, they are going to be really close in the end. I keep all these install reports, manjaro and arch, and ran a report against them, and it is my experience that arch is smaller, but I haven’t examined it in more details and it is probably the number of packages involved.

The applications that you have installed and dependencies are downloaded to /var/cache/pacman/pkg/.
And the sync database is located at /var/lib/pacman/sync/*.db. They should be fairly close in size.

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@Aragorn answer can be simplified as: if you keep Arch Stable and Manjaro Stable where both are having the same set of installed packages (minus Manjaro specific ones) and updated accordingly every time an update is pushed, then in total, Manjaro Stable has the potential to use less bandwidth as there are less number of downloads. Installed size, however, should be similar.


Thanks everyone.

So, in conclusion: in the long term, Manjaro Stable could have less total bandwidth use, due to the nature of not downloading every-single-update like 1.0 1.0-1 1.0-2 1.0-3, but maybe only 1.0 and 1.0-3 because Manjaro Stable waited more time between update release, because of being thoroughly evaluated.

That is - kind of - an overstatement - Arch packages is generally considered stable as they have all been evaluated by in the Arch Linux ecosystem.

What happens is:

  • With some exceptions
    • Arch stable is synced to Manjaro unstable
    • this is done on a high freqency
  • Manjaro specific packages are maintained - build and is entering the ecosystem
  • if nothing bad happens - the unstable branch is snapped to testing
    • for an estimated time frame → check the announcement threads
  • if nothing bad happens - the testing branch is snapped to stable
    • for an estimated time frame → check the announcement threads

What is evaluated is

  • the impact of certain upstream changes
    • grub
    • systemd
    • plasma (manjaro specific e.g. theming, greeter, splash)
    • gnome (manjaro specific e.g. layout switcher and theming)
  • the impact of new Python releases - which Manjaro packages needs rebuilding
  • the impact the packages has on systems in use by the team
  • the feedback in the unstable and testing announcement thread and what impact the packages had on end user systems

Nothing prevents you from updating Arch in the same frequency as Manjaro stable is doing, then there won’t be any reduction in bandwith usage. :wink:

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