Is Manjaro going to break my system?

Backups are always going to be the best way to protect your data. If you already using timeshift properly you should be able to rollback most problems.

Also take a look at this recent thread:
https://forum.manjaro.org/t/how-many-updates-have-you-done-without-reinstalling/87862/16

It also depends what you mean by "broken". If we define broken as any application on your system not working, then yes, at some point something is likely not to work on a rolling release.

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:man_facepalming:

To the degree that that is true ... Thats how all software and all updates work.
(even on mint)

Define 'properly'. I think we have better testing in place than mint, IMHO. We just dont take 1.5 years to do it, and take less than a day to fix anything we miss. That said - I think everyone who uses arch would love to have a word with them. The prevailing feeling among users is that Arch rarely-if ever-'just breaks'. It is almost always down to something the user did. In the rare case that something fumbles - its preventable or recoverable by anyone who should be administrating the system.

And thats Arch.

Manjaro comes after that. Manjaro Unstable even has slight testing and differences to Arch stable.
Then it goes to testing and then to stable. (besides security hotfixes)
If you dont want your updates caged for months or years .. I dont know how much more testing you need or want. Besides what a robust annual budget could get.

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Are your friends members of this forum, did they have an authority on the matter of how and why some systems can break and why usually is because the "hands that type the keyboard"? Where did they get the numbers of

Now, think that by their logic: Never go outside your house, there are thousands of people dying daily in car crash accidents!

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Manjaro stable branch + Timeshift + READING Stable Update Announcements = best scenario for someone migrating from an LTS operating system.

Breakages happen when people fail to do the above. Like operating a car without heeding manufacturer service instructions or warning lights on the dashboard. It will break down at some point sooner rather than later if you do that.

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+ Updating using a tty

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While it is true that Manjaro is based upon Arch, it is not quite the same thing. Arch's Stable branch is actually Manjaro's Unstable Branch, at the other end of the spectrum from Manjaro Stable, and with Manjaro Testing in between.

I've been exclusively using GNU/Linux for 20 years now, and I've used various distributions over the years, both on my own private workstations and on servers. And what I can say about Manjaro ─ which I myself am still new to as well, having switched only about a month ago ─ is that I've never seen a distribution so well-polished and well-groomed as Manjaro. It is clean, mean and fast.

Of course, there are always going to be problems if you're the tinkering kind. Certain software is not offered by way of the official Manjaro repositories, and so you might be tempted to get it from the Arch User Repository (AUR), which then usually means that you have to compile and build it into an installable package on your local machine ─ the process is partly automated, though, so no worries. :slight_smile:

And if you do that, then there's a very good chance that you'll end up with something that actually works, and a smaller chance that you break your system, again, because Arch Stable corresponds to Manjaro Unstable. So far, I have had to build two packages from the AUR, but neither of them broke my system, and they're working perfectly fine.

Before I was using Manjaro, I was using PCLinuxOS, which is also a rolling-release distribution, but it's a little more "bleeding edge" than Manjaro, and even though it's a particularly nice distribution for newbies, it's by far not as polished as Manjaro ─ I would even say that it's a bit crude under the hood. And for most part, things went well with PCLinuxOS too. So I would expect Manjaro to be even better, given its significantly higher degree of polish, and the fact that it has an Unstable Branch, a Testing Branch and then a Stable Branch, with the latter having the highest guarantee that there is little to no breakage.

On occasion you come across a package that doesn't work ─ as was the case for me with the Pan Newsreader software ─ but I have so far not had any significant problems with Manjaro as a distribution. If the software from upstream contains flaws, then that's another thing from having problems caused by the way the distribution is packaged and/or updates are supplied.

On its front page, Manjaro pretends to be a professional-grade distribution, and in my personal opinion, that's exactly what it is. There was a very extensive update to Manjaro Stable only a few days ago, and there is a thread about it ─ click here ─ with a poll attached to it on account of whether you had no problems with it, problems that you could fix, or problems that you still haven't been able to fix.

So far, 247 people have voted, and 91% had no problems at all, with 5% having had a problem they could fix, and 4% having some problem they hadn't been able to fix yet (at the time of voting). I was one of the 91% who had no problems whatsoever. So much for the dangers of running a rolling-release distribution. :wink:

Of course, making backups of all your important data is always necessary. You never know whether your computer itself might break down, let alone that anything might go wrong with the software. But that said, I think your Mint-using friends were unnecessarily scaring you ─ quite probably without malicious intent, but prejudices and misconceptions are a thing of humanity and will probably continue to exist until the end of time. :stuck_out_tongue:

In the end, I will say this: I like Manjaro so much that I have ordered some Manjaro stickers from one of the other forum members, and as of today, I've got one of the aluminium ones stuck on the housing of my desktop workstation. I'll let that speak for itself. :wink:

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"Is Manjaro going to break my system?"

Your pose a far, far, far greater risk to your system than Manjaro.

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I have no experience with Mint, specifically, but how many times does leaping distros break?

Panic releases of day 1 or day 3 patches to fix severe bugs is commonplace.

Never upgrade a leaping distro within the first two weeks of an upgrade.

Backup is always your friend. A separate home partition is also a good idea.

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Static is static.

Grand.

Great.

You're covered.

Move on and be happy.

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I made an aswer to a similar question that was asked a while ago. However, since it is posted in a restricted category, I don't know if you have access to it or not. Since I think I would give essentially the same kind of answer, therefore, I'll simply copy it here.

Here's the links
Part 1: https://forum.manjaro.org/t/old-manjaro-stability-question/84561/13?u=frog
Part 2: https://forum.manjaro.org/t/old-manjaro-stability-question/84561/15?u=frog

I know it is a really long post, but I consider that it is important that you have the right expectations for Manjaro and have all the information you need in order to decide if Manjaro is really the right distribution or not for you. Maybe it will also help you to understand better what is Manjaro, what is its purpose and its goal by reading the perspective of a user of a rolling-release, cutting-edge Linux distribution.


Part 1

A really long answer for a question that seems, at first glance, to be not so complicated.

The answer of that question is not a straight up yes or no; it is a lot more nuanced and there is many factors to take into account.

  • Manjaro is a rolling-release distro that aims to provide the lastest software available from upstream in a reasonably fast pace. What it means it that you will get rapidly the lastest features from upstream, the lastest bug fixes from upstream... and unfortunately also the lastest and newest bugs from upstream too. This is a risk you essentially have to accept on Manjaro. Because of this choice, inherently, Manjaro cannot pretend to ever be more stable than classic fixed-release distro like Debian or Ubuntu simply because the environment change a lot and often. Stability is of course way easier to achieve when you do not push new versions all the time, but only when there is a new version of the distro, which is what classic fixed-release distro are doing. If stability (stability as not changing much over time and stability as not being prone to regressions over time) is the absolute #1 priority, Manjaro may not be the best choice; you would most likely prefer to use a fixed-release distro and use the same version of each program for a long period of time instead. I think when Manjaro became more "mainstream", many people came here from Ubuntu or Mint and expected the same kind of logic than on their old distro; but in reality, Manjaro is a very different distro that will appeal a lot to some people and not necessarily be the best choice for some people.

  • Users is definitely a huge factor for the stability of a Manjaro system. There is many, many people who, I would say, overcustomize their system, and some people will customize their system not to fullfill a need, but for the sake of customization and because "Linux is customizable". The problem is that the more you will customize your system, the more corner case scenarios you will introduce on your system that will most likely never be tested and therefore, the more your system is prone to regression. On fixed-release distro, customization may be able to function correctly for a long period of time because software doesn't really change much, but on Manjaro, since you may receive a new version of a dependency with breaking changes in it, customization are more prone to break, and more often.

  • In addition to that, using software from other sources than official repositories (whether it's AUR, third-party repos such as herecura, GNOME website for GNOME extensions, etc.) will also add corner case scenarios that are unlikely to be tested. Anyway, Manjaro team won't really take into account software that comes from outside of Manjaro repos when brewing incoming updates. If you only use third-party sources for applications, it might not be that bad (at worst, your application stops to work, but your system in general should be okay). If you start to use kernels, init, system libraries, or even extensions for DE, I would say that you should be prepared for the worst (from unusable graphical session to unusable system completely). I say that because I saw many people blaming Manjaro to break something that doesn't come from the official repos and therefore, has absolutely no control on.

  • Many users also don't maintain their system very well. We have seen for example people who keeps downgraded packages for so long that it ends up breaking something, ignore updates for some packages and then forget about it until it ends up causing an issue, people who only do updates once every 1-2 months and then have trouble to figure out what went wrong with such big system upgrades, people who tries to install packages on a out of date system and don't understand why some packages can't be installed or ends up breaking their system with a partial upgrade situation, people who keeps EOL kernels that won't receive any updates from Manjaro anymore and not being able to do their system upgrade because of dependency problems (for the last one, those people are mostly people that want to use non-LTS kernel, but don't do the required maintenance for kernels that have very short lifespan), etc.

  • It has happen in the past that Manjaro Team asked to users to do special manipulations for particular update set, for example doing a system upgrade within a TTY or forcing the package manager to downgrade packages. When Manjaro Team gives special guidance, it is serious and must be followed, or else at best, you won't be able to start the system upgrade and at worst, you may simply break your system completely. However, we all know that not everyone will read the news and will update as they usually do, only knowing that they had to do something in particular when it is too late, if they even bother to read the news before asking for help. For those kind of people, they will blame Manjaro to be unstable and breaking all the time; for a significant part of the community, they will blame the user entirely for not reading the news before upgrading because if they did, they would not have broken their system at all. In my opinion, I think that Manjaro Team should avoid manual intervention as much as possible and unfortunately, they sometime don't do anything to avoid manual intervention even when it is 100% possible to do so. However, there is moment when manual inteventions are unavoidable unfortunately.

  • It can happen that Manjaro Team f- up, as it can happen to anybody. A subset of "Manjaro Team f- up" situation IMO is when Manjaro Team wants to be "good guys" and revert back to an older version of a program because many people complains on the newest version and it just ends up backfiring on us later. Examples of this subset of "f- up" includes Winter 2019 when many people ran systemd 239.300 while 239.6 was in the repos and a rebuild against libidn2 was needed and therefore, users had to do a manual intervention to force downgrades from 239.300 to 239.6 to keep a bootable system (which is an issue that happened because any update of systemd to something higher than 239.6 could make the graphical session crash in the middle of upgrade, causing breakage, Manjaro Team went back from 239.300 to 239.6 and tried to wait for a more stable transition, which ends up never really happening, so they did the upgrade from 239.6 to >239.6 twice instead of once); there is also the "Mess-a" in April, when the team put mesa 19.0.1 packages in the repos in a update set, but put mesa 19.0.1+really+18.3.5 in the repos previously because many people complained that Mesa 19.0.1 was too buggy on their system, going on mesa 19.0.1 was supposed to be optional, but mesa 19.0.1+really+18.3.5 became totally broken with the update set that put mesa 19.0.1 package in the repos, most likely I think because LLVM 8.0.0 (which Mesa depends on) was introduced at the same time. So by doing the "good guys", it happens that we end up having more problems in a period of time than if we went for the "deal with it" approach in the beginning, especially if it is not handled carefully. The "deal with it" approach is what Arch Linux did (they never went back on systemd, they never went back on Mesa too). The problem is that if you go with the "deal with it" approach, people will then say that Manjaro breaks all the time and the Team does nothing to fix their sh-.

It can be a factor. Generally, doing updates in a graphical session is okay and should not be a problem most of the time. However, when the devs recommends to do an update within TTY for a particular update set, it is serious and you should really follow the recommendation. Unfortunately, as I said above many people will not follow the recommendation (either because they didn't read the news, or didn't care) and ends up with a broken system.

Nothing really wrong with your way of updating your system IMO. Personally, I exclusively use Pamac GUI in Testing branch (because it is convenient for me, I like this package manager a lot for the most part and hey, someone has to test it out if it is solid, right?). If there is something special to do for a particular update set, it will be mentioned in the announcement.

A mix of both I would say, for all the reasons mentioned above. More specially, Manjaro not being stable is not entirely because Manjaro Team does a poor job at maintaining their distribution, it happens really often that software itself is just buggy in itself and only upstream can really fix the problems.


Part 2

  • Since software provided in mesa 19.0.1+really+18.3.5 packages was broken, it means that people who kept this package had a lot of trouble with programs that rely on OpenGL or Vulkan if they use the Mesa implementation (which is very popular with Intel and AMD GPUs, most people with a NVIDIA GPU will use the non-free drivers made by NVIDIA instead). The program that needed OpenGL or Vulkan couldn't work properly entirely or partially when you were using a broken Mesa. The exact side effect varies.

  • A lot of confusion since the first statement made by the Team said that both mesa 19.0.1 and 19.0.1+really+18.3.5 were working equally well so the package downgrade from 19.0.1+really+18.3.5 to 19.0.1 was supposed to be optional, but it ended up not being true in practice considering how troublesome keeping 19.0.1+really+18.3.5 was.

But now that we have Mesa 19.0.2, all of this is solved.

The kernel is not the only part that can make a system non-functional though. Being on a non-LTS kernel is not a problem if you check up for EOL kernels and uninstall them when it reaches End Of Life, which is the thing many users running non-LTS kernels don't do.

Special guidance for update set is something rare though. However, I prefer to be honest and warn you that it can happen so you have the right expectations from Manjaro. If I told you that Manjaro absolutely never breaks and you can always do whatever you want blindly and nothing will happen, I would be lying, and I would most likely lying for like any distro.

Also, I do not know what distros you have used in the past (and if you have used any sort of Linux distros in the past), but from what I have seen on this forum, many people that comes here from, let's say, Ubuntu or Mint, tries to use Manjaro a bit like if they were on Ubuntu or Mint and expect the same kind of behavior than on their previous distro, compares Manjaro with their previous distro with the point of view and logic from their previous distro, tries to do the same things the same way as in their previous distros and ends up being disappointed. The problem in that is that Manjaro is an entirely different distro, based on an entirely different distro too, with it's own goal, it's own way to do things, it's own logic and reasoning behind technical choices, etc. That doesn't necessarily make Manjaro bad, it may simply means that Manjaro is not a good choice for that person to begin with.

It can be a good idea. Anyway, there is generally a big update set every 1-2 weeks on Stable branch, so you have plenty of time to plan your system upgrade and keep up with repos. Do not feel rushed because you are notified that there is updates, but do not neglect doing updates regularly too.

Also, if you frequently go on the forum, you will definitely be more prepared and have an idea of what to expect.

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Well, I kinda notice that my previous post, which is already an essay, doesn't cover everything I want to say as an answer to your post, although it does cover a good part of what my answer would have been. Here's an extra answer for the rest. Again, it is a long answer, sorry for that.

There is some testings done. Packages that come from Arch Linux are imported from Arch Linux Stable and got some testings on their side, although with a different environment. Then, it goes on the Unstable branch, which is the first place where Manjaro Team will publish updates. It is a pretty chaotic branch and only developers and the most suicidal courageous of us will go there. Then, package are pushed on the Testing branch, which is the place where volunteers will receive updates that are deemed ready to be pushed on Stable. People on Testing are like guinea pigs in a laboratory: things are tested on them before going in Stable, which is the branch most users will use.

Do we test for the sake of stability? Well, it depends on what you think in term of stability. If it is stability in "not changing much overtime", then absolutely not: we will receive newer version even if the new version change a ton of things compared to the previous version and break habits and old configurations of users. We will also push new versions of dependencies even if they introduces breaking changes that make some applications totally broken, although Manjaro does try to delay the release of those dependencies to give the devs of programs that depend on it to adapt their code to those breaking changes.

If it is stability in "not introducing regressions", well, we try to avoid crappy versions and do necessary rebuilds so program continues to work properly after updates of dependencies obviously, which is why Unstable and Testing exists of course, but there may be things that slips through unfortunately (everyone has a unique configuration and not everyone use the same software) or it may happen that a newer version is published even if there is a slightly annoying bugs (that will hopefully be fixed in an upcoming version by upstream). Anyway, in a sense, if you absolutely want the lastest version of everything all the time, you must accept that there might be bad versions that come from time to time. Also, don't forget that Manjaro Team (or devs behind Arch Linux) do not develop most software they distribute and therefore, may have absolutely no power on some issues that arises on some program except maybe holding them back temporarily.

Well, that is pretty stretched. Personally, I have never seen such a case and I have downloaded gigabytes and gigabytes of updates (I have been using Manjaro for almost two years, my current systems are between 9 months and 1 year, 3 months old). :man_shrugging:

Well, that's an pretty important issue.

Avoiding updates won't necessarily avoids you problems. Also, in case of problems, it will make troubleshooting way harder because you will have to take into consideration more updates.

If you have a bad Internet connection, then Manjaro might not be the right distro for you unfortunately. On Manjaro, downloading hundreds of megabytes of updates weekly is pretty much the norm. If you can't afford to download that much data and can't keep up with updates on a regular basis, a fixed-release distro such as Linux Mint might be a better choice then: you will receive less updates and you will have to download way less data (therefore, keeping your system up to date will take you less time). The only moment when you will need to download a large amount of data is when you will do a distro upgrade if you decide to do distro upgrades.

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Blimey that was long winded but a good write up.

I'm one of those, the free shredded newspapers and all the carrots we can eat is a bonus. Seriously though, I've not had a problem from an update that actually prevented me from using either of my two testing installations across my machines. I do use Timeshift as a precaution though but mainly it's in case the hardware fails and I need to replace a drive.

By the time packages reach testing they are usually ready for general usage. We're pretty much just crossing the letter Ts and Dotting the Is since the marginally larger number of testing users compared to unstable branch can have different hardware and usage patterns to find problems with.

Regarding weaker internet and a rolling release, I agree, not a good mix. That point actually is a sound argument for sticking with Mint, not all the fud about Manjaro will break because of lack of testing...

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you have backups, stop worrying and tell the "Minty" busybodies to enjoy their outdated mediocre distro :sleeping::sleeping:.

if your using timeshift regularly, short of the drive crapping out on you, your good. and drive failure is something no distro is immune to. thats why i keep my timeshift backups on a separate drive just in case.
more importantly, after using manjaro would you really enjoy using mint. going back to PPA's or snaps just to be able to get up to date software/drivers?

I Use Mint and Manjaro.. I can Honestly say only ONCE have I EVER had an Issue with my Manjaro... My Cinnamon DE Crashed ONE TIME.. due to an update But with Timeshift, I fixed it... So I Can Honestly say UNLESS you ACTIVELY try breaking it, Your System will be FINE...

I'd be willing to bet money it wouldnt have happened in a TTY and that an update announcement told you to do so :wink:

I'm a former Mint main myself , ran Manjaro alongside of Mint for a coupla years trying different DE's . But nothing scratched the itch like Plasma does so dropping Mint was a no brainer when they announced they were going to discontinue their KDE edition . Now going on close to three years of using Manjaro altogether and I've yet to experience a system breakage , I had more trouble with the ppa's and Nvidia drivers on Mint then I've ever had with Manjaro .

Here's the thing though , I read all the update announcements including testing and unstable even though I'm on the stable branch so I always know what's coming ahead of time . And I always update using tty , have yet to have an issue that way . I also use Timeshift to backup with .
Now here's the BUT , in your case with bad wifi and not having the time for updates , stay with Mint , there's no point in using a rolling release if you won't/can't update or spend the time for system maintenance .

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Tell your "friends" to first have a go at Manjaro to get personal experiences before they start blabbering about something they know nothing about. When they do tell them to really read the documentation so they know how things work, otherwise we get totally wrong info: stupid system, doesn't work like Mint, it's no good, etc.

For almost 2 years I use Manjaro unstable branch, the first in line as you know by now after reading all the comments above, and I can tell you from my experiences that there have been small issues but in general the system works great. The issues I had were fixed easily and very fast. Don't tell me in Mint, "with all their testing" nothing goes wrong. I have used Mint for several years and I know that is not true.

Look at a completely different system: Windows. There is a large software house with indoor testers, outdoor testers and still they manage to break people's computers. When they have done that it takes like forever before it is taken care of.
Here at Manjaro it is mostly taken care of the same day.
But as said before, even the Unstable branch is stable. Nothing your "friends" say about that can change it.
Try it for yourself, use backup programs like Timeshift for your system and for example Grsync (there are others as well but I use this one) for your data and nothing will happen.

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You are so cute to me, my little :chicken:

ME/ MANJARO-kDE ASUS FX503vm w/ nVidia GTX1060m NO OPTIMUS!. NO TLP!.
15 Months UPTIME across 5 different Metals,
Always upgraded with minimal maintenance. AND STILL ZERO ISSUES.

Hi! Joanne.
I've been using Linux as a daily driver for over 5 years.
Manjaro is the (Linux) Desktop OS phenomena that I've been waiting for over last 10 years.

Manjaro is without any question. No.1. fact.
By systematic critical analysis and benchmarking. Personal and referenceable.
Not wind from emotional unfounded distro-tribalism which there is an abundance of.
Or Cult bias from those with a commercial interest.
( www.phoronix.com )

NUX doesn't break NUX, people break NUX
I won't go on to repeat what's already been said in the other comments.

[ITS NOT THE MANJARO OPERATING SYSTEM ITS USER FAULT]
What I did want to bring to your attention was the fact the the vast majority across all Distros,
never suspect that Prep, Planning, AC PS, PSU, Hardware, Bios, Installation, OS setup, Upgrade and chosen App/Libs installed play a huge part in an awesome experience.
They except occasional instability and poor graphics and system performance as the Linux norm.
They are in relentless search for the MAGIC COMMAND LINE fix. Not having secured the fundamentals. These fundamentals are easy.
Don't use Testing. Stuns me that people use testing and are appalled at the breakage.
Avoid System Wide installs.
Preference: Official Snaps, Flatpaks, Appimages, Manjaro Repo, BFS, AUR

Having said that.

What is your system.?
Your D.E. ?
Laptop? model : including graphics card model.
Are you Duel Booting?

Exact system specifications are vital for and tech help request.
Anyone offering advice literally doesn't know what they're talking about.

" The road to hell is paved with good intention"

You may find it easier to goole search your model specs and copy paste.

(Desktop uptime is different to Server uptime. )
(Its the Business modelling that defines this.Reboots and Offtime don't count)
Ref. Link.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uptime | https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downtime

Hi Jo-Anne,

I moved from Mint to Manjaro.

Whilst sometimes I have to get seek advice here to rectify some anomaly that has arisen following an update, I have only once had to re-install and that was genuinely because I didn't follow some on-screen guidance properly.
Even in that event I lost no files, I just navigate through Dolphin to find them and bring them into the new Manjaro. Incidentally I used this as an opportunity to do some housekeeping on the files I really needed.
Whilst I am old and crinkly and have used computers since university (early 1980s), I am not a digital native. I'd put myself in the bottom quartile of skill.

I think it true to say that you do need to get out the terminal once in a while and use the old keyboard or cut and paste the odd line of commands.

When I have sought advice from the forum I have found the following:-

  1. Very prompt resolution - I work for a big organisation and the IT dept cannot not match the speed of response.
  2. Effective responses - Manjaro has several Desktop Environments (DE) and, like most distros, to me seems like an ecology of systems. There are untold number of hardware configurations. It seems to me that there may not be a single solution to a problem. I've not had anyone give up on getting my problem solved. Again, a contrast with professional IT dept, who have the, admittedly unenviable, task of sorting out Microslosht Windows.

One feature of Manjaro is the Grub boot menu. I still dual boot with Mint. When Mint updates the grub menu has to be massaged, perhaps resuscitated, back to life.
I use Mint hardly at all now so this is becoming a non-problem, as I probably won't update Mint.

In short you may have to learn a few skills, remember or note some bits of Arch commands, but on this stable branch Manjaro is not as scary as you might see in forums.

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