New users not installing supported kernels... is it something of an epidemic?

Hi, I try to help over at the Manjaro subreddit and it seems I am coming across this issue extremely frequently.

New people seem to be rebooting into unbootable configurations a lot.

I can’t be the only one seeing this?

And I understand the problem, people are quite often told “Manjaro is like arch, in arch you just run pacman” but…of course you have to manage your branches in manjaro_settings_manager and new users just don’t seem to get that.

And they are not installing LTS kernels from the ISO because…they don’t understand the lingo maybe? They come from Debian or Ubuntu where “LTS” sorta means “can’t run new software” and so they try to avoid it? I don’t quite know.

I also see a lot of distro-hoppers say things like “Anytime I tried Manjaro it ‘breaks’ after a couple months.” Which I assume is mostly the same issue.

Is there anyway to increase new user success? Idea: Could the ISO’s installer require them to install an LTS kernel rather than making it optional like it is now? Is there anything that could be done to help educate new people better?

I’d really just like some confirmation that I’m not the only one seeing these things.

snake-oil from the drug store that cures a wonder and people would read the manual before acting ?
i know… wishful thinking…


There is a notification when the installed kernel is eol and subsequently removed iirc. The user might have removed this notification or simply ignored it?

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Unsupported kernels are never automatically removed. This is left up to the user. This is actually why we are seeing so many people here who keep on running an old and no longer supported kernel.

What does happen on the other hand is that the kernel images of the still supported kernels get removed at the start of the update process, so that the updated versions of those kernels can be installed, their initcpios generated, and the boot loader updated.

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Unlike Arch and other close relatives like EndeavourOS - the ISO is based on the latest LTS so that would not be necessary.

But there is or has been an issue with the LTS introducing a regression related to some AMD cards causing black screen - which at the time it happened could be worked around by installing the latest stable 6.4 kernel using a live ISO and chroot.

There is also a recurring issue with newer AMD and dual monitor setup - which has requires mainline 6.5-rc7.

With bleeding edge there is always a possibility of cutting the skin on rough edges.

Some is running into kernel issues but many issues stem from a consumer POV and Manjaro - in my personal view - is not a consumer distritbution like Ubuntu - it never has.

Being a popular entry into bleeding edge Linux attracts all kinds of users - and some which is not able to tie their own shoes - metaphorically speaking - and those are - unfortunately - often the most vocal.


Hello @shakey_snake :wink:

When I look back on it, the problem was the following:

  1. Manjaro distributed ISOs with a stable kernel.
  2. Users assumed it would update to the next stable version like ArchLinux, but that’s not the case.
  3. At the latest when the stable kernel was removed from the official repo and you did an upgrade, the kernel was removed, you ignored the errors in the text and restarted: black screen. :laughing:

A key difference to ArchLinux is that the user is responsible for which kernel to install. And if a stable kernel goes EOL, then the user has to make sure that he installs one.

Manjaro only updates kernel patch version within major and minor version. Means:

  • For example: 5.4.24 → 5.4.26
  • But not: 5.6.24 → 5.7.13

However. The core problem should be solved: ISOs are always delivered with the latest LTS kernel.

But you know… there are still people who have old ISOs with stable kernels and use them.


Where is this notification for kernels? Also in the Kernel - System Settings I don’t see an expiration date. I believe Ubuntu for one does list a date, or am I confusing that with the ISO?

When a kernel goes EOL the mhwd package is updated with info about it and the annoucements for relevant branch contains notification that a given kernel is EOL.

It is often a good idea to consult the announcement thread before doing any updates.


If you have the manjaro-settings-manager-notifier or manjaro-settings-manager-knotifier running in the system tray, it will warn you about new kernels and/or kernels going EOL.

And, there are of course also the update announcement threads, which n00bs don’t feel they should ever look at. :stuck_out_tongue:

OK, but what do we want them to read?

Even if they go to our wiki, even if they go to say this article:

It doesn’t mention anything about manually managing kernel branches, right?

We don’t have anything anywhere that tells people their system can become unbootable if they don’t use this tooling.

For the frequency this one specific problem seems to happen, as a community we don’t really seem to assist people.

It doesn’t. As I said in post #4:arrow_down:

Well - I don’t know anything about what happens on reddit.

But I do know that this community - does help and does assist in any way possible - at some point we got a lot of new members who made it really, really hard to stay patient - that seems to have passed - at least for the time being.


Since the kernel notifiers are not on by default, why would a noob know to turn it on or why? I suppose it’s in the wiki, but that’s like telling someone to RTFM

But it is … the settings manager default to notify - but if a user changes preferences … then what?

One of the best parts of Manjaro is that you are not forced onto the next stable kernel release like you are if you are using plain Arch or e.g. EndeavourOS.

You choose a kernel and it stays - even after it goes EOL - and this is causing the issue you describe.

It is not really a Manjaro problem but the user ignoring - or deliberately changed the notifer settings.

It is quite possible we should add something about kernel management to the wiki - but who reads the wiki - and since the kernels are announced EOL it has never been an issue.

Yes - some members remember a that Manjaro once tried to use a latest-stable and latest-lts but as it proved a nightmare to maintain and created numerous problems, the idea was declared dead and was buried and never to be resurrected.


Also, you throw this in our faces… :arrow_down:

… and… :arrow_down:

… and yet, while this forum here — not Reddit — is the official Manjaro support forum… :arrow_down:

2023.08.24 - 19:04

… you yourself don’t appear particularly interested in the distribution or the community.

Maybe if you stick around a bit longer, monitor the Announcements threads and observe how much time and effort people here voluntarily commit to helping out on an official support forum with approximately 28’000 registered members — most of whom cannot even be bothered using the search function, or else they would know that 200 other people have already posted the exact same question or reported the exact same problem in the last 24 hours before their own post — you’d have an entirely different impression of the situation.

It was certainly turned on by default when I installed Manjaro back in 2019, and I don’t see why anyone on the developer team would have thought “Hmm, wouldn’t it be a great idea if we switch this off by default?”


The notifier is still on by default. I installed this June.
It’s worth mentioning @shakey_snake seems to be on a community edition, so i have no idea how is it there. But on the official XFCE it is on.


I just got a new PC and the newest ISO does not have them turned on.

Even then still, the update process will explicitly tell you if you are running an unsupported kernel. And so do the Stable Updates, Testing Updates and Unstable Updates announcement threads.

What it won’t do, however, is tie your shoes in the morning. :roll_eyes:

Manjaro is an Arch derivative. It is not a consumer appliance or a black box that you install and leave alone for the rest of your life. If you choose to run Manjaro, then you owe it to yourself — and to the helpful volunteers in this community — to keep yourself informed, and to keep your system up to date and well-maintained.

And yes, there is some work involved. It is a rolling-release distribution after all.


Which ISO?

It’s enabled on my system that was re-installed something like 3 years ago, and I just checked the newest KDE ISO and it’s also enabled.

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The “newest” iso-s from the website are from 29 May (not that new for a rolling release) and as i said, at least in the xfce one it is enabled by default.

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