Moving from Windows 10

Hey all!

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. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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.


look for how to use pamac (or it’s GUI frontend)
and how to use pacman

look for how Arch based systems are maintained

The Arch wiki is an excellent place for everything re Arch / Manjaro.

… state your issues - if there are any - clearly

discover the system by perusing it - ask (or look for things that where asked a million times before) when you get stuck

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why do people ignore WIKI?
Manjaro WIKI

here you can find all necessary information about your questions

here about software managers with GUI

here about pacman - terminal command manager

brave, for example, is available on flatpak, aur and official repozitary
to use aur and flatpak and also if you want snap, you must to enable them in configuration of your GUI software manager (pamac)


for installing brave from official repozitary, just run
sudo pacman -Syu
sudo pacman -S brave-browser

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Many thanks, I think I get where I was wrong: for some reason I thought of pacman as a package manager that would be directly connected to Arch’s repos, and thus would not be advisable to use without the pamac interface. But pamac is just a fancy wrapper around pacman, with both of them only being able to work with Manjaro repos. Did I understand that right, after reading the wiki?

And why would we use pacman for Brave here, instead of pamac? Or there’s no difference?

Still going through the Wiki, pardon me if I’m asking dumb questions. Just trying to avoid shooting myself in the foot for no reason.

pamac is not a wrapper, it’s a distinct package manager than pacman. Both point to Manjaro’s repositories, but the former can also handle AUR, Flatpak et Snap sources.


you may use pamac GUI if you want or pamac CLI
pamac update
pamac install brave-browser

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Couldn’t find the Brave browser in the Pamac GUI because I didn’t “refresh databases” first.

Jesus, I feel dumb. Thanks, everyone. The wiki is really awesome.


That’s actually the best one I saw this year… and it’s what most devs wish they could figure out. Nothing is fool proof, and we all do extremely stupid things sometimes… so forget that one. Skip to the end and fix up Timeshift snapshots, and backups, before you take another breath!

Take it step by step - you must first learn to update and upgrade the system.

First you should get Pamac open and check it out… hit your menu, type ‘add’ and open ‘Add/Remove Software’ which is the pamac GUI.

Find the hamburger menu, preferences, enter password.

I’d say just leave the ‘mirrors’ set as Worldwide - they’re pretty good, and they automatically tune themselves on a timer.

Cache - if storage is tight, you can reduce it.

Go to ‘Third Party’ tab and toggle ‘enable AUR support’.

This is a good way to destroy your system, because it’s a repository made by normal users.

Generally I can say I didn’t have any major issues with AUR - but it’s not actually part of the system. However, the official line is that you shouldn’t be using the AUR with it’s recipes until you’ve actually learned to cook…

Most of us (like me) are too dumb for this though, so we just wing it and rely on snapshots and backups to dig ourselves out of holes.

Leave Flatpak until you need it - but remember where to turn it on.
Flatpaks are great for prorietory software (if you want Spotify, I think it’s a good idea to turn that on now).

Now to actually install software, you can use this GUI. Very carefully, point your finger and poke ‘b’ then ‘r’ then ‘a’… you get the idea. Hitting the down arrow will download… but maybe try something else first.

You can also use Konsole… hit menu, type ‘term’ and hit enter…

Check for updates first:

pamac upgrade
pamac search brave

See the package?
pamac install brave-browser

Now run Timeshift and work out how to get snapshots, before you bork the system (and there’s a good chance that just playing with it will do just that ;))

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