Manjaro for non technical users?


#1

So I have my girlfriend laptop using Fedora 28 as of now. But honestly after some issues with the upgrade from 26 to 28 I am considering switching her distro to Manjaro as well, because it caused me a very good impression so far, specially with stuff like printers,codecs and drivers. Fedora is a great distro but honestly I realized that it’s not very “hands-free” in some aspects.

So I have a few questions:

  • Is updating often mandatory?

  • How common is that updates break something?

  • Would you overall recommend it for a non technical user?

  • which rough edges do you think I might stumble upon?

if you had similar experiences please share them :slight_smile:

Thanks!


#2

All rolling releases update frequently. My 5 year old grandson, my wife , my sister and my 90 year old father use manjaro. It’s your call on how technical you might think they are… :wink:


#3

If you want an easy life supporting the distro that your girlfriend uses, Manjaro is likely the best of the rolling release distros to do that. If you want an easier life than having to deal with the odd problem that the rolling release package management system entails then run with with a distro like MX17.


#4

Newbie here so others may have more insights than me.

I’d say that you don’t have to run it every day but probably should check updates once/week

It happens but I think it happens much less often than it may seem.

If it’s just being used for basic things, I’d say a pretty non-technical person could figure it out.

It depends what you’re using it for. If it’s just for basic things like internet, there shouldn’t be many rough edges to deal with. If you’re trying to set up other services or do other things, then it’ll get more involved.

In the end though, I think it’s a great distro and I’ve loved using it.


#5

Manjaro is great, and I am certain many non-tech people use it with great success.

There are however some considerations

Manjaro is rolling release, which means frequent updates, which hypothetically means a (very marginally) higher chance of breaking things. In reality I find Manjaro to be very close to the stability of non-rolling distros like Fedora.

I have found for non-tech people frequent updates can be frustrating to them (likely or maybe especially due to the Windows side of things and the stigma it has created as it often requires reboots and is a roll of the dice in terms of stability). So regardless of distro if you can help them manage updates in a way that doesnt intrude on their use often, it should be fine.

I personally use Fedora KDE on my main laptop now (as its in the same family as what I work with and it provides some security features I desired) and use Manjaro KDE on another machine. I like both but in my opinion Manjaro was a little more hands on for me than Fedora was. Its possible my perspective is skewed as Manjaro was my first ever Linux distro on a personal computer and I started using Fedora after about a year of personal and professional Linux experience.

I think that the DE is likely to have more of an impact on a non-tech user than distro. If you use the same DE and provide the same programs they are unlikely to even be able to tell the difference aside from theme maybe.

Last thing I would consider is programs. If you used any 3rd party repos on Fedora you may consider what the options for those are on Manjaro


#6

As long as you aren’t using GNOME, I almost never had a break in my years using Manjaro.


#7

@myndflyte

It depends what you’re using it for. If it’s just for basic things like internet, there shouldn’t be many rough edges to deal with. If you’re trying to set up other services or do other things, then it’ll get more involved.

I am already set up and happy with Manjaro on my Laptop and Arch on my desktop :smiley: . But in her case she uses Libreoffice and Google Chrome, a music player and a custom app I made for her to download videos and convert them to mp3.

I am mainly concerned on how important is for her to keep it up to date, say for example if it weren’t to be updated weekly could it cause a lot of troubles when updating later on?

@Zer0Cool

I think that the DE is likely to have more of an impact on a non-tech user than distro. If you use the same DE and provide the same programs they are unlikely to even be able to tell the difference aside from theme maybe.

Agreed. She was using XFCE because she used to have a very low powered netbook, but I plan to move her to KDE since it has better integration with kdeconnect and as of late she had been asking me for a way to copy a lot of stuff to her phone easily.

Last thing I would consider is programs. If you used any 3rd party repos on Fedora you may consider what the options for those are on Manjaro

Well besides from google chrome she uses a pyGTK app that I made for her that lets her download youtube videos. I have no problem on learning how to build an arch package and port it myself. I am also considering put Teamviewer or something to be able to help her remotely.

@manyroads

All rolling releases update frequently. My 5 year old grandson, my wife , my sister and my 90 year old father use manjaro. It’s your call on how technical you might think they are…

She is not much technical, she didn’t grew with computers as I did and she is quite scared about breaking stuff so I honestly don’t expect her to remember to update often.


#8

I am curious, did you try upgrading directly form Fedora 26 to Fedora 28?

Updating once a week is what I usually go with at a minimum, however if you update at the announcements, and read the announcement, REPEAT READ THE ANNOUNCEMENTS, you should be fine. I have one install I update once a month and it is fine.

If you READ THE ANnOUNCEMENTS once a year, or two, or three, wait how long have I been on Manjaro? Oh four or five years and the only time I had it completely break was when I…guess what I did not do. Yup I did not read the announcement and there was much suffering in the land.

Absoilutely, as a daily driver no problem. Updates are easy and getting easier. As long as they run on the stable branch I see no problems.

Someone coming from Fedora for instance or Ubuntu or Mint might have a little issue with package installs since pamac does not hold your hand as much as Software (Package Kit) or Ubuntu Apps Store or whatever click and choose package management Mint uses, but really that is about it.


#9

The ones on https://manjaro.org/news/ are enough?


#10

Check the forum ones, sometimes the news section is not updated as rigorously. https://forum.manjaro.org/c/announcements


#11

got it, thanks!


#12

Please no. Teamviewer is constantly compromised. I mean it will do what you need, but let me put it this way…when I did use it to help my inlaws I installed it in a VM on my end.

What I would recommend is setting up a VPN for her (or you) and then use either SSH or something like VNC to connect to her machine. The VPN will securely get the machines to act as though they are on the same network across the internet.

I use remmina for RDP mostly, but it does VNC as well. I actually used it recently to VNC into a Linux box and it worked well.

Havent had the need to remote support a Linux box recently enough to recall other options.

As an aside, KDE connect works very well (in my experience). I actually just switched from a Pixel XL to the iPhone Xs Max and kdeconnect (the lack thereof) is literally the only downside I have to my switching. Its just not compatible with iPhones :frowning:

As for KDE, its the best DE, the only DE. KDE > life. All hail KDE :slight_smile:


#13

I played around with X2Go on my home server using SSH and totally love it.
Tried it just to say I did and use it often now.


#14

i cant compare to fedora as ive never used it, as for manjaro though, i find its even easy enough for my 11yo who uses it exclusively now, he asked me to get rid of windows since he never uses it anymore, and i started using it 4-5 months ago and love it. nothing has broken on my machine due to an update. the only things that broke are things i broke myself by messing around with it and even then its no big deal because if i cant fix it, i just use timeshift to restore a backup i made before i decided to break something and im good. so if your really concerned with it breaking, just take 2 minutes before an update and timeshift/rsync and you have nothing to worry about.
then again learning to fix what you break is much more fun


#15

#16

Personally if you have someone not that tech savvy around maybe Manjaro isnt the best option as it can be a bit hands on depending on your needs.
Not saying Manjaro is bad but if you or someone you know uses windows and they dont have a whole lot of computer savvy then Manjaro may not be the best place to start.
For such users i always recommend Linux Mint any day over Manjaro due to its ease of use, stability and hardware support.
Now in comparison yes Manjaro is easy to use on its own, but once you add in things like the AUR it becomes muddled as AUR applications can muck things up.
Not saying PPA’s are better but the AUR has given me some grief compared to my experience with PPA’s.
Stability is a bit of a concern too, arch and Manjaro are rolling and not all the time the best decisions are implemented upstream.
It is the only reason why I think i will stick to Linux mint for the long term, i mean yes its boring and not the most complicated distro out there but stability is something i look at in a distro and Mint has it in spades.


#18

I wouldn’t consider myself a tech savvy person, but i do love digging and messing around which cause things to break (which I’ll reverse it or the fix is usually found here, awesome community). I have been using Manjaro KDE since August and have not met any problems from updates.

Is updating often mandatory?
-Since it is a rolling release, it is advisable to update regularly. (check the stable forum updates, and wait for the title to be changed from TBD and than run the updates)

How common is that updates break something?

  • Nothing has broken for me…yet and hopefully it stays that way but I see many people with kernel/grub issues after updates. :\

Would you overall recommend it for a non technical user?

  • If you do not mess around and only use software available from the official repositories, I think it should be fine.

Which rough edges do you think I might stumble upon?

  • The only issue I had was installing MEGASycn which required a newer version of openssl but the update was not out yet, so I just waited for the update to be released (about 2 days) and it installed nicely. But this is not just a problem with Manjaro, it could happen in other distros too.

Overall, I have never had a problem. Have had more issues on other distros like Solus and Mint but that was a long time ago.


#19
  1. Expect more care than on an Ubuntu LTS based Distro (assuming you don’t fiddle with PPA’s).
  2. Be sure to read update announcements.
  3. Do the regular updates (every 4-8 weeks)

If you do that you have fun with Manjaro.

Personally, my wife is on an Mint install, my father in law on an Lubuntu LTS. None of them makes any kind of maintenance on their own, so a rolling release would likely be broken pretty soon with them.


#20

I think that I might consider a *buntu LTS for this particular case. I am enjoying Manjaro a lot but honestly I usually am very perfectionist with my setup, and I cannot expect her to do the same, she mostly just uses it.


#21

B4 going to ubuntu you might enjoy MXLinux… just a personal opinion. It is an amazing distro.