What is the best branch for experienced users looking to help?

I’ve been running Manjaro daily for 2-3 years, but I’m new to the forums and the community. Since I’m using it a lot, I figure, I may as well provide feedback on issues I come across. I enjoy investigating the issues (most of the time) and I don’t mind rebuilding my system from scratch when things go horribly wrong.

I’d like to switch from the stable branch and am wondering what would be more useful to the community, testing or unstable? My thinking is that running unstable can help by finding issues sooner, but the testing branch exists to keep issues out of stable which is also important.

So what branch is best for someone like myself, unstable or testing?


The least “stable” aka unstable would be the a good place IMO.
… it’ll likely end up to be the most problem free variant - the necessary heads up are given very quickly through the Arch Wiki …

I myself have run Manjaro, Arch proper as well as Antergos and EOS.
I never had real issues with any one of these - but, just to be very honest - Manjaro (stable) ended up creating the most issues for me.
… exactly because things are held back for days and weeks

Yes, I did use and need to use the AUR - and that is where this quickly becomes obvious and a nuisance.

… but I’m still here, trying to help :wink:

The unstable branch might be suitable for you, but you should be careful with any bleeding-edge kernel built by Manjaro without testing (not tested by Arch team), especially because new filesystem bugs could potentially lead to your data loss without your knowledge.

I use the unstable branch and always review some source diffs between new Kernel and my current Kernel before testing the new Kernel in VM first.

If you aim to resolve some issues from time to time - go for unstable. In testing it could be a bit boring as there are not many left, usually. Especially if you keep your system well maintainted.

Yes, technically it goes Unstable → Testing → Stable

But … in real world application … I might say that Testing is what needs more help.


What is “the best”? There’s no such thing. Only you can decide what’s best for you relative to your own needs.

Having said that, I recommend starting with testing and see how it goes. You might want to dip your toes in the water before diving in the deep end. By the way, the water is fine. :wink:

When I first started using Manjaro several years ago, I used the stable branch like most users. I eventually decided to switch to the testing branch as I saw updates were much more frequent. Since I was maintaining AUR packages, I switched to the unstable branch to make sure that I was keeping up with the latest package updates from Arch. Of course I also became a Manjaro Package Maintainer and thus use the unstable branch regardless. No, it’s not really “unstable”.

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I’m also tempted … and even ore so, with threads like this :wink:

It might make me a bit more vigilant in documenting the fixes to the (few) issues I’ve dealt with lately, including a recent one with smplayer not being updated correctly on one of my machines (sorry, lost the terminal contents after the fix due to a power outage and couldn’t find any recent reference to any related issue online). It’s cases like this where the fix might have been helpful to someone; I would have made sure to save it.