Manjaro dist upgrade

Hi :slight_smile:

I’m new to Linux, and my first os Manjaro KDE Plasma 20.2. - I’m really like it!

But maybe I have a stupid question! When there is a small or major os-release, will I need to format my pc to install it? Or are there some smart ways to upgrade the os??

Please explain the is a noob-friendly way



No. Manjaro is a rolling distro. It makes no sense to install the whole OS again for a “major release”, which is simply releasing a new iso with newer packages.

The package manager will remind you when there are updates available. If you want to check and upgrade your system manually, you can run this command in terminal:

sudo pacman -Syyu

Hi @SamLukeYes :slight_smile:

Thanks for your answer :slight_smile: - It makes sense for me.

Merry Chrismas to you :robot:


Just wanted to add a few items.

Follow the Announcements in this forum, specifically Stable and Releases. You can view them in this forum or as RSS Feeds. I see you are using KDE. The KDE application will be Akregator. An annoucement post will not only inform you that something new is available, but it will let you know if there are any manual actions you might need to take or of any problems that users might be having. As @SamLukeYes described, Manjaro is a Rolling Release verses a Fixed Release model of distributing software.

RSS Links:

Definitely take advantage of the search feature of this forum. This forum was re-created earlier this year and previous posts were archived. Simply take this url and add archived to the front of it (i.e., This archived forum can also be searched.

When I first got on this forum, users suggested I view the New posts and open the ones I was interested in, in a new Tab and when I reached the botton of the New posts, click Dismiss. This helps in staying current and efficiently getting through posts. Threads that I want to follow, I will go to the bottom and mark as Tracking and they will appear under Unread verses New.

One thing new users need to do is select the location of their repositories. There are approximately 99 different mirrors throughout the world. You can either run pacman-mirrors or edit the file in “/etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist” which is where the run-time mirrors are stored. The GUI will use these repos. Check the file first and if the locations look okay, you’re done.

The status of repositories is located at:

Doc regarding the command pacman-mirrors: Pacman-mirrors - Manjaro. Ignore the pacman specific commands since you are using a GUI.


Hi :slight_smile:

Thanks for your reply :slight_smile:

I have set up the RSS…

Well, I do not know if I could totally agree with what you say, a year ago I had been doing it like this and for some reason not all things are “updated” in the same way if you do it from a new iso, what I mean is that, even if you do it by hand “sudo pacman -Syyu”, many things in the desktop environment that have changed are not reflected in the old installation.
Last week I maintained a laptop and a desktop PC in my home, as those teams were already more than a year old and also used the “testing branch”. When we decided to give them to another member of the family, I decided to install the latest iso instead of running the upgrade. A quick example of what I found was the totally different pamac GUI, even my personal PC totally up to date, it didn’t reflect many of those changes, neither was the terminal shell change there, nor was the home screen improvement using UEFI and displaying “manjaro” correctly at startup.
Also, and as a curious and positive fact, with the laptop, I did not have to look for the WiFI driver anymore, it was a realtek xxxde that now seems to be supported, but throughout the year it had given me problems after the updates to the point that many Sometimes I must have recompiled the driver after a kernel update.

Anyway, it’s just my experience with this, in our family all the PC’s, even a MAC Mini were migrated to Manjaro more than a year ago, none with dual boot or strange things.
So yes, the change was noticeable in all of them … at the end of the day, after seeing so much change in the other computers, I decided to do the same with my everyday PC.
Well, I did find changes, the vast majority very positive, it seems that after the great update of Gnome 3.38 and the recommended kernel for testing branch, somehow my PC was not assuming them with the upgrade.
Hope this serves the developers. I repeat, it happened on each of the 3 machines, so I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

Happy Holidays

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What you should do is set up Timeshift to take snapshots on another drive. It’s also a good idea to download a fresh ISO and make a bootable USB. After my lovely new 860 EVO SSD fritzed itself within 4 days, this is how I recovered - plug in old SSD, reboot to USB and install, then timeshift restore the system.

Then when you get prompts to upgrade, you check you have a recent snapshot and do the upgrade in a TTY. The last two upgrades have gone very smoothly for me, no need to rebuild any exising apps, just reboot to put the new kernel online and put the TV back on.

The ‘smart’ way is to do your snapshot, and then do your upgrade in TTY… because kernel updates might hinder your GUI desktop session.

So you close your apps, log out and then press CTRL+ALT+F2 to get to TTY2.

Then log in on that terminal, possibly run sudo pacman-mirrors -f 10 to update the mirror list with 5 fast up to date mirrors - then I do sudo pacman -Syu and reboot. After pacman -Syu I actually also run ‘topgrade’ which is a more complete updater that also does snaps, flatpaks, terminal and whatever else is upgradeable (but always use pacman first).

You are probably referring to customisation/setup, and choice of default preinstalled applications. As the devs make each successive iso release, they may decide to, for example:

  1. use different default icon and gtk theme, desktop wallpaper
  2. choose a different default display manager (IIRC, Manjaro 0.8.2 had mdm as display manager, and lightdm became default later on - so this has happened before)
  3. choose Chromium instead of Firefox as the new default browser (IIRC, Manjaro 0.8.2 had Midori as default browser and FF was only chosen as default in a later iso release) [CORRECTION: looks like it was 0.8.3 where Midori was made default browser
    Manjaro 0.8.3pre1 - is it what you want? XFCE on CD? ].
  4. continue to use mousepad as the text editor

Now can you imagine, if on your existing install you had:

  1. chosen your own favourite icon set, gtk theme and wallpaper,
  2. set up mdm nicely with one of the many interesting animated themes available
  3. been happily using Firefox, and you would never on your own install Chromium
  4. uninstalled mousepad and installed geany

Then you apply the latest updates that are equivalent to the latest iso release, and you find to your annoyance that:

  1. your customisations have been reverted to the new default icon/theme/wallpaper look of the new release
  2. mdm has been removed, and lightdm is suddenly your display manager
  3. Chromium has been installed on your system
  4. that mousepad has been reinstalled even after you removed it.

That’s what will happen if you mess with existing users’ setups and installed programs in a rolling distro through its many updates.

For those of you who are interested to know what is “new default” or the new setups/customisations in the latest isos, you are free to check out the links in stargazer’s post. The new default apps found in the new release will be available for installation in Manjaro’s repos. I believe the new default customisations can also be installed via some “manjaro-settings” packages as well.

But I certainly don’t want an upgrade to forcibly install them/set it up in my system when I may have no interest in them at all.

Other points:

  1. new kernel series are not automatically installed on upgrades because your hardware may not work with the new kernel series. It’s up to you to install if you wish, using the kernel tool in Manjaro Settings Manager. So again, your current install may be on 4.19 LTS kernel, and the latest iso may have 5.4 LTS. Maybe this new LTS kernel had that wifi driver. Just install the newer one if you want. I wouldn’t want updates to forcibly install new kernel series for me.
  2. pamac “new GUI”. This new interface came just recently with the latest pamac updates as well, and you will get it on your current installation as well, after you install the updates.
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The only thing that I change is the Manjaro Gnome layout with the utility to traditional.
I do not play with fancy look and feel settings, I do not change icons or whatever.

Things that do not change for a quick example is the terminal shell, and now the Wayland default if you use AMD or Intel GPU’s, that two examples of what not change if you just update and update/upgrade. I do not talk about look and feel.
Timeshift, yeah, thanks, maybe but I do not have a lot of “perzonalization” or a lot of “hard to install” programs in that computers, because they are for regular users. Can have ready to go a fresh Manjaro installation on that machines in less of half hour.

I just made a comment about that because never is the same just update and old installation or do a fresh install, that was my point. A lot of many new features can’t be used in old installations, nevermind is you -Syyu or not.

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