Manjaro Installation Guide on Steam Deck

Hi folks,

I’m wondering if anyone has a guide to installing Manjaro on a Steam Deck in place of Steam OS, but retain game mode. There are certain limitations with Steam OS that are becoming more annoying. I read that @codesardine managed this, but not sure what process he followed. i.e, what partitions to delete and so on. I have a 512GB internal SSD so should have sufficient space available. Ideally, I’d like the ‘Switch to Desktop’ function to switch to Manjaro and just forget the original desktop mode even exists. Appreciate any help. Thank you!

Do you mean Big Picture ?

AFAIK Switch to Desktop merely takes you out of Big Picture, bringing you back to whatever desktop environment the system uses.

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Haha is that all it is?! I didn’t acually know that. I thought ‘Big Picture’ was the one with the blue background that is available in Windows. I really didn’t like that. So the actual ‘Game Mode’ just launches ‘Big Picture’? I’ve only had the Steam Deck for less than a week and I haven’t used Steam much in the past, so this is all quite new to me.

I have installed Manjaro in dual boot countless times, so hopefully I won’t have many issues on this side of things.

I suppose the obvious question is, will ‘Big Picture’ run OK in Manjaro. I assume it will, especially considering I’ll be running KDE Plasma desktop, which Steam OS also runs.

SteamOS is not simply Manjaro KDE in Big Picture mode. They have their own compositor/window manager, and other customization like the kernel, global FSR, TDP/power adjustment, FPS limiting…

I don’t have the list but Valve did quite some work to make specific tools for the Deck.

However maybe start by trying to install Manjaro KDE and see what happens.

There are projects like GitHub - theVakhovskeIsTaken/holoiso: SteamOS 3 (Holo) archiso configuration too.

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Sorry I wasn’t clear about that. I meant that Steam OS uses KDE Plasma, and so the desktop environment is very similar to Manjaro KDE Plasma. Steam OS is a lot more locked down than I would like. You can’t easily install a VPN for example, nor use anything other than Flatpak apps. I did try disabling read only mode but still couldn’t get my VPN client to work.

That;s not the only reason though. Updates seem a lot slower and I’m having a bit of a nightmare when connecting an external display.

That HoloOS looks promising. I will certainly have a good look at it. Many thanks!