Thanks for a killer distro. Been experimenting with various Linux systems for a couple of weeks now - the last straw was discovering that Microsoft’s OS likes to take screenshots and send them over to its servers whenever it detects any particularly “suspicious” activity. When it’s too much, it’s too much.
Booting with a Live USB into a Manjaro KDE was the most fluid experience I ever enjoyed so far. Drivers - covered. Wi-Fi - detected. USB headset - working. Camera - functional. Coming from MX, it’s amazing!
Trying to figure out now the most fool-proof way to setup the rest of the system.
Been using Brave for some time now. Searching for “brave” in the GUI package manager shows nothing. Googling for how to install it online gives a bunch of tutorials of people adding “base-devel” reps from Arch (if I got that right?) and installing it directly from AUR (?). Manjaro forums seem to advice against it. And then I stumble upon the link of “brave-browser” package in Manjaro’s online software-repository.
Is there any definite guide to package management / applications installs for Linux? Manjaro in particular? The AUR seems to be one hell of a useful thing. But (and correct me if I’m wrong) it requires repository sync with not-so-stable / potentially compromised repositories of Arch users, and its usage is discouraged.
Some apps (like cold wallets) seem to be available only as standalone ZIP archives. Some of them appear to have proper executables inside. The rest seem to require a whole bunch of scripting, tweaking, hacking around and seeing what works. Or is it me who doesn’t even know where to look in the first place?
Any heads up would be much appreciated.
And to just to give back some value to the community: a quick step-by-step guide for anyone who might feel just as lost as I was the first time around when moving from Windows to Manjaro (or any other distro).
[ 1 ] Get clear on your main day-to-day activities.
Which browser do you use? How many passwords do you have stored inside your “autofill” manager? What’s the most straightforward way to export and import them back undo a new OS? Which extensions have become your second nature? Which custom configs will you need to copy? Or can you sync it all up? What about the Auto-Scroll thing? Do you use it a lot? Have you found the extension for it yet?
Do you use your camera? Headphones? Headset? Trackpad? Printers? Can you work without them?
What kind of software are you relying on day-to-day, without even being aware of it? Photoshop? Adobe Suite? Office? Premiere Pro? Audacity? Some corporate stuff, whose team has no intention to over bring it to Linux as there’s no $ there? Can you replace it with something else? If not, get ready to dual boot.
Have you gotten used to any custom fonts? Make sure to copy your C:/Windows/Fonts folder to import them as quick as possible, without wasting hours of your life afterwards.
All clear? Then it’s time for the next step.
[ 2 ] Test-drive Manjaro / other distros that tickle your fancy.
Grab a USB drive, preferably one which wasn’t manufactured 20 years ago.
If it’s less than 4 GB, you’ll most likely only be able to write one distro at a time to it.
If it’s more, consider using a tool like Ventoy to choose the OS you want at boot time. Speaking of which, make sure to figure out in advanced the basics of BIOS and your PC’s particular keystroke expectations to change the boot order and select your newly created bootable USB drive as an option.
Grab a bunch of ISOs, smash them all in one folder on your Ventoy-ed drive, reboot and play around.
In the live environment, try to find all the software and/or the replacements for it while in Live mode. Take notice of all the issues, all the devices that don’t work properly, and try to solve it all up then and there.
If you can’t do it live, you’ll most likely have problems after installation.
[ 3 ] Back Off / Take the Leap
If it doesn’t work, don’t waste your time. Move on to the next distro option you had, and if everything fails, accept your fate and go back to the MS world. There are a loot of tools to make your Window-ed work just a bit more private. If the problem was hardware-related, there’s a very good chance that in year from now you’ll be able to run your system without any hiccups whatsoever - Linux kernel team just needs some time to catch up to all the newest developments in the device manufacturing space.
Don’t buy into the hype. Don’t follow the DistroWatch list religiously. Don’t get too excited about the newest / shiniest / coolest / most advanced Linux OS out there. They are all the same under the hood. Consider the amount of guides, tutorials, resources available, as well as the community around the distro you’re looking at. The snobs of Arch aren’t going to be fun to deal with if you’re just starting out and have no desire to learn all the ins and outs of Linux system management, at least right away.
If everything is smooth, and there are no ties to the proprietary Win/Mac tools holding you back - it’s time for the leap. Get ready for a learning curve. You’ve most likely developed a whole bunch of habits while working in your Windows world that you’re not even aware of any longer. It will take some time to switch your mind and hands to the Linux tooling. But if you’re already considering it, you know it’s worth it.