I’m a windows user, but a few years ago I used Ubuntu. Now I want to go back to Linux and I’m undecided between Mint and Manjaro. So I question you, where manjaro is better than Mint and of course where it lacks.
I’m not a “deep” user, so interface and easy of use, will be on top of my list, as well stability and support.
Manjaro is not superior or inferior to any other Linux distribution, they all do the same. Manjaro has its own repositories, package manager, themes, software and custom Kernels.
If you go for stability and predictability - use Mint.
Manjaro is as stable as you make it - if you are unsure of whether you are up for it or not - choose Mint.
If you are up for it - Manjaro is an extremely rewarding experience
Know your system.
If something breaks you fix it.
The more you stray from a pristine system - customizing - the greater risk of breaking something during update.
Mint is a fixed-point-release distribution, whereas Manjaro is a rolling-release distribution. Rolling-release means that you install the system once and you never have to reinstall, but on the condition that you keep your system updated.
Manjaro is Arch-based, whereas Mint is Ubuntu-based, and Ubuntu in turn is Debian-based. Manjaro is far more user-friendly than Arch proper, but it is still a very technical distribution, and if you are loath to using the command line, then Manjaro is not the right distribution for you.
If you are interested in learning the ins and outs of your GNU/Linux system, then Manjaro can be quite rewarding. You will learn a great deal more about the system than in a distribution like Mint or Ubuntu. If on the other hand you want to use GNU/Linux as an appliance, then you’re probably better off with Mint.
That question doesn’t really compute. GNU/Linux is GNU/Linux, and you like it or you don’t — market statistics are irrelevant. But if you want something that’s popular, Mint will probably have a larger user base, given that it is based on Ubuntu, which is itself a more appliance-oriented platform.
Their respective strong points may just be in different places. A strong point you don’t need isn’t that strong, a lack you don’t miss isn’t much lacking.
You can already list some from their respective philosophies (Debian/Ubuntu based vs Arch based, versioned vs rolling, supported desktops, etc.). For the rest, just give a try.
My advice, from experience, start with Mint. See if you like it. Stick if you do.
Afterwards, or if you want more than what Mint gives you try Manjaro.
I have a friend who uses Kubuntu, because it works better for him. And I have another friend who uses Windows, which works better for him, because he says (and I don’t really get this part) he has to for work. (But he has Ubuntu on a Virtualbox?!?! (Yeah, I don’t really know if he’s really a friend anymore, now that I think about it.))
I’ve learned a lot jumping between distributions before settling on Manjaro.
Mint is a fine distribution, but I found myself having to use PPAs or downloading .deb files to install programs. It’s stable and does what it needs to. The downside is that you’ll need to either possibly risk updating your system to the next point release every year or so or reinstall from scratch. The thing I like about Linux is that it’s not too terribly difficult or time consuming, compared to Windows.
With Manjaro, I have the software I need with updates coming in regularly. I’m not very well versed in Linux, but I’ve learned enough to keep my systems updated and I rarely have problems. I have had the occasional issues, mostly self-inflicted, but the forums here are good about solving my problems. I like knowing I won’t have to update to a new point release as long as I keep up with basic updates and find my comfort zone. I’ve learned to log out and install big updates from the TTY console. Manjaro is a workhorse for me because my needs are pretty simple. I’m learning Linux, but I’m no expert yet.
When Proton was released by Steam and I was using Mint, I had to add extra user-repositories to get up-to-date Video drivers to get Proton to work. Mint is way behind if something new comes out, but Mint rarely breaks. If you start adding random user repos though, it becomes less stable and you’re probably better off going Arch-based.
Manjaro is Arch based and is constantly updating. Mint has different versions. You can choose to upgrade to a newer version or you can stay where everything is how you want it.
You might want to learn on something like Mint. Mint has a very good Desktop environment(Cinnamon) the layout of which is very familiar to windows users, and when I came over to Manjaro I kept it.
If you’re not into living on the edge or using edge in production, I would go with Linux Mint. I have been just about everywhere when it comes to distributions and desktop environments. I’ve used DOS, Windows, MacOS since the late 1980s. Nothing is the best, nothing is perfect, something is best for you though and something is perfect for you, given overlooking some imperfections.
Linux does provide variety though. So you can choose what is best for you where in Windows or MacOS you are stuck with what they provide you. Here on Linux you can switch to any distro, desktop environment etc. If you’re not looking to tinker, investigate, fix etc go with an LTS (Long Term Support) version of Linux Mint. Cinnamon is my desktop of choice and of course is their flagship offering.
I’ve used both I ran mint exclusively for 5 years then manjaro for 2,absolutely love the cinnamon desktop. I prefer the package management of arch based distros over debian(Pacman and pamac are far simpler) and I love the aur. I also like the rolling release rather than fixed point. If you are going to use manjaro then make sure you ALWAYS READ THE ANNOUNCEMENT THREADS before updating and TAKE REGULAR BACKUPS
Do those 2 things and you’ll have a great experience on manjaro
It’s Ubuntu-based, so you will have a huge resource of questions asked to search when you encounter problems.
It has fewer issues because of the fixed release. Newer software often has issues.
It might be easier to install software as a beginner. Some apps show only installation instructions for Ubuntu, Debian, and maybe RPM-based distros, not Arch-based. You can usually still install the app with AUR (or Chaotic-AUR), but it’s not straightforward for a beginner.
IMO, use Mint until you feel uncomfortable with its disadvantages, like PPAs, broken upgrades, or apt or you’re starting to need newer apps.
I used Mint and am a daily user of both Manjaro Xfce & Debian Xfce.
I add to them some Flatpak & AppImage packages
I upgrade both with topgrade.
If you have a Ubuntu experience, Debian will do the job and be rock solid.
If you have needs of recent packages or kernels, Debian backports will do the job.
Debian forums are quite rich & friendly.
Mint is also possible, it’s, for now, a de-snaped ubuntu (Snap is centralized & curated by Canonical in addition of been bloated, Canonical has too much financial & technical intrications with M$ in addition).
The plus of Mint is that is has a shallow learning curve and pleases newcommers.
The minus is that it depends on Ubuntu (and never really managed to have a really fluid Debian version)
The other minus is that they have a strange kernel/ security/repository management
Their forums are less helping than Debian’s or Manjaro’s
I read on some posts the suggestion to use Ubuntu forums for Mint : never do this : it can break your Mint because of their specifics I mentionned above.
Mint if you are really afraid of some learning and have a middle range hardware that is not so recent
Debian if you have old or latest hardware (use backports in this case), you will be on apt and have a short learning curve
Manjaro if you want to have access to every possible piece of software. Not so steep learning curve.
To grasp the main packaging difference, check rosetta (pamac is missing here but pacman is ok)