New user here, each time I get back on Linux OSs I keep having to hop around and see what I like. And it’s been a while since I used Linux, having been predominantly on windows due to certain software required for work only working there.
Anyways I come back and log onto my PoP! OS partition, and then for a while everything seems fine, but then I discovered after something broke one of my files, that it was a flatpak! I began digging more into all this stuff about flatpaks, appimages, and snaps, then I realized, that 1. Snaps have been around longer than the other two, 2. and honestly snaps were more reliable. If I really wanted snaps I would just use Ubuntu and not any derivative of it, after all they work well on it and I could tell, as nothing in Ubuntu had ever corrupted a whole file while saving the way flatpaks did!
Anyway that started my search again for a new distro to belong to, I started looking for a distro that aligns more with the philosophical aspect as well as practices, began learning more and more about how package managers work and how things work in Linux. And I will admit I used to be one of those guys who installed arch and would also rice it with BSPWM and so on (but despite knowing how to rice I didn’t know how things worked under the hood, and as a result had a lot of things break).
Well anyway I knew about Manjaro since around 2018 or so, and at one point recommended it to a friend. And after a few days his things were breaking and falling apart. So I said I’ll never touch this OS again. These were the days when having GNOME meant you would at minimum be using 4 GiB of RAM, which has improved overall!
But then I said okay it’s 2023 now, and things have changed. Opinions, and more care on the selection of OS is more appropriate. On my focus I wanted an OS that focused on certain features:
- Little to no emphasis on the use of Flatpaks, Appimages, or Snaps.
- No invasion of privacy, both Ubuntu and Fedora have adopted the model of using telemetry with no opt out and no clear indication of what kind of data they are collecting. ( I haven’t seen this on Manjaro and hope I’ll never have to, though if there was, I would still prefer Manjaro over Fedora/Cannonical for personal reasons)
- I wanted a little more transparency on who is taking care of said packages. Instead of just installing it straight away. I also wanted to make sure the person maintaining the package would have some scrutiny and check if a package is safe to install.
- Eventually one way or another I would move to Arch, as the way Arch handles package management is my favorite. The closer it is to building from source, the better it is for me.
- Something that isn’t for completely new users, mostly because I wanted less hand holding.
And for me Manjaro really checked all those boxes! I love that AUR is actually turned off by default. I figured out after a lot of researching that badly or poorly crafted (or probably malicious) PKGBUILDs were the reason my arch installs in the past were chaotic, one update and my pc was dead! And while I know how to handle them now, I wish I had read more into them sooner than just blindly installing them.
Having grown in knowledge with how to use the command line (I spend like 90% of my time on it), I know more now about things than I did in the past, and read the most important line in the documentation for Manjaro, which is that this distribution is not one for beginners! That makes 100% sense. Immediately after installing I was tinkering around and I managed to break powerlevel10k, but that was 100% my fault, because I didn’t know how Manjaro was handling it, eventually I figured out what to do to fix and got my stuff working just fine, got my machine setup nicely with GNOME 45, which is my fav DE thus far. I love that now with Manjaro you can also turn the GNOME desktop into a tiling WM which is a very nice addition. I like this OS a lot, I really do.
I’m very happy with what the team has done with the OS, that I made a forum account from how happy I am about it. I did read a lot of the hate fuel comments around various areas about the criticisms of the distro. None of them really pointed out to me as things to really hate Manjaro over. The SSL thing isn’t really that serious, nor any of the other stuff, which was eventually patched anyhow. The fact that the maintainers of Manjaro even check packages for you and hold on to it, to me is actually a blessing more than a curse, because I wish they did that for Arch, so big thank you to the Manjaro team for that. I honestly can’t wait to expand my knowledge of Linux on this OS, and hopefully call it home (I mean seriously, I’m tired of distro hopping). Oh and I’ll remember to never suggest this OS to a new Linux user, promise, power users away!!