Why do Manjaro Stable updates break the system? Is it bad testing?


I would advise not to use wrappers, no matter terminal or otherwise, such as gui.

I want to see pacman output when it runs. :wink:


I don’t see it like this. An update process can fail for many reasons and ideally the system should still be able to boot (even if it is in rescue mode).
In an ideal world the system would rollback to an older snapshot and the user can restart the update process again from that point. I think users should always having the feel of being completely safe - especially new users.

One solution to this problem would be another tier - like the fast ring in Windows 10. I really don’t like that term but it is a good way to selectively update users from one version to another.
Also the concept of update waves as used by Android rollouts is a good one I think.
Unfortunately I don’t have a practical idea how to solve that with the current mirror system.

Not only terminal - it had to be text terminal (tty) in this case. My first installation went wrong because I used a graphical terminal inside X (even though I knew that GLX updated - I know somehow stupid).


The terminal output is visible with both, you also get the chance to answer y/n when needed. The only hidden part is the full command, but the script is readable.


Hi everyone. I wan’t to share my experience using the os and try to give some perspective for linux converts such as me. I’ve been using manjaro for a month now and I get stressed when there’s a new update notification. To start with, the first boot after I installed manjaro i3, I had these problems:

  1. no sound
  2. the touchpad won’t tap to click
  3. suspend/closing the laptop lid would actually hang the computer once opened and then (1) again
  4. sound would just randomly break (like I was literally just watching a youtube video and the sound is gone); and
  5. sound would break if I remove the charger while the comptuer boots (after grub but before login screen; happened twice)

I manage to fix (1) and (2) but (4) is still pestering me, and honestly, for (3), I won’t even try now as that just borks more stuff. I’m now treating my laptop like a baby by making sure I don’t do other stuff while its doing some terminal stuff, and this “solved” my problem with (5).

Now comes some updates. If the package has any dependency with pulse or alsa I try to hold it off untill I check the forums if people has issues with it. Or at least that’s what makes sense to me (again, I’m not very much familiar with linux and its updates). Sometimes it doesn’t matter as sound will still be broken when I reboot after the update and would either come back if I seek the solution or just wait until it returns (seriously, I have no sound for five days and it just returned without me trying to fix it). For the latest “stable” update, I would actually call it my worst experience yet, because it forced me to use Windows 10 for two days. Fortunately, there was a solution for it.

I’m not a linux veteran. This is my first distro that I managed to use for 1 whole month. When everything works (including sound) it’s actually quite nice, even if I can’t suspend like I used to in Windows 10. I don’t know exactly the reason why I choose to install manjaro. I saw it on distrowatch and got curious because of how they advertise the os as “user-friendly” and “stable” but I wished they had made it more clear who the “user” is (or maybe I wish I read some reviews before diving in). I get that they are a small team and they can’t test every system there is. I only wish they had disclaimers for these statements on their website:

Professional and user-friendly Linux at its best.

Manjaro is a user-friendly Linux distribution based on the independently developed Arch operating system.

…with a focus on user-friendliness and accessibility

Manjaro is suitable for newcomers

Manjaro Linux targets beginners and advanced users at the same time…

…Its own dedicated software repositories to ensure delivery of fully tested and stable software packages

Some people in the forum think that users are at fault because they aren’t doing it the arch way. I guess that’s true and I don’t know why I keep using it while still expecting it to be stable. Windows updater never told me to check microsoft.com to see if the following update will cause problems (and rarely does it break something, at least for me). It’s just now that it made me think that rolling distros aren’t for me because I’m in a period of adjustment. Windows gave me some convience that I didn’t have to think about before and I got used to it.

I’m still using manjaro but I’ll start trying other distros (My first installation is actually xubuntu, but it didn’t work well with my system. Manjaro was my second attempt to try a linux distro).

Sorry for rambling, I’m so stressed this past few days and I finally got it all working same as it was before the update. Still, I appreciate that there’s a community forum for when troubles like this happen.

EDIT: I’m using Solus now.


Point being, if a mother binds her child’s shoes everyday, will the child learn how to do it on its own?

I am old school, all those shiny wrappers and stuff prevent people from learning core wisdom.


Just putting my word out here. But if you think that there is no warning in the systems then you may not have been reading. This is my first rolling distro and I have been using a Manjaro GNOME for almost 1.6years and I have never broken my system. The only one time I reinstalled my Manjaro installation was when I upgraded by HDD to SSD. Like many have mentioned here already, it will just take some time to read the announcement in forum or Manjaro.org website. They have clear cut warnings and instructions when it comes to an update. Even if you are googling for solutions, you mostly end up with Manjaro / Arch forum links. So why don’t you at least go through the forum during new updates? Instead of warning through a terminal/pamac, I think we should start directing more people to Manjaro Forum. I’ve learned so much about Manjaro/Arch and Linux in general from this forum. People should invest some time to understand things. If they are not, they shouldn’t bother complaining. I mean, you are in a new environment (voluntarily) and you are not ready to invest some time to understand things? What logic is that? Other than that, I think the issue comes down to 3 things as far as I understand:

  1. People not knowing what Arch Linux is and what a rolling release is. If they have an idea, they would know what to expect and be better prepared.
  2. People not willing to read about updates. I have seen a lot of people abusing about Manjaro in an FB page which I am active on. Just complaining on FB, if you’ve done that in the Manjaro forum, chances are the issues would’ve been already fixed ( And most of the time they are indeed directed to Manjaro / Arch Forum).
  3. Mainly PATIENCE!

PS: I didn’t mean to be harsh or rude in anyway. I apologise if anything came out rude in this post :slight_smile:


Hi @poorguy,

If you are new to Linux, you are encouraged to run one of the official versions of Manjaro (XFCE, gnome or KDE I think).

i3 is a community one, and as such probably more prone to issues (although I am sure the maintainer does a great job).

Also, do not hesitate to post on the forum detailing the issues you are facing. The community is truly great! I hope your issues get solved.
Some computers do not suit Linux very well. You could also post your config (using inxi -F for example). That would at least help the community to establish if there is a well-known issue.



I am old school too I think. But is it really needed that “everyone” is able to work perfectly with the command line tools? I don’t think so. Sure - it is good if you are able to solve problems at the command line. But using the “hardcore” way is not always the easiest way. Or do you still use ed for editing files? :wink:


No need to apologize for speaking your mind.

Your 3 point summary is something I entirely agree with.

Point 3 is very valid, in our fast info and junk food society, nobody has time any longer. Or is it junk info and fast food? Whatever. :blush: Everything is supposed to work immediately, just by pushing a shiny button.


I do. But even on Manjaro’s own stable update forum, the rate of issues is 40%, with 20% issues unsolved by the user. That is crazy. And these people knew the forum existed ! Extrapolate to the layman population, and just imagine the hit on Manjaro’s reputation !

Manjaro : “Professional and user-friendly Linux at its best”. This is the official motto, the words Manjaro lives and dies with.
When you are a pro, the logic is it should work without exploding in your face. That is the logic. We’re talking desktop distro here, not server grade environment with a sysadmin at hand.




This would involve a longer discussion, why I think pacman is a nice packages manager, but pacman is not really suited for gui on top of it or libalpm, compared to other package managers.
For the same reason, you don’t find many gui for gentoo’s portage.


Running an update in Linux is simply not an atomic process, that is it either all completes or is rolled back. Package management in general, and pacman specifically, doesn’t work that way. An update basically consists of a number of out dated individual packages that are downloaded and installed. Extra steps may be included (ie mkinitcpio, update-grub, etc).

If you want this to be the case then you will have to set this up yourself. The easy way is to do a full disk image backup before updating, that way you can restore your system to its previous state in a worst case scenario. Or investigate using btrfs and utilize snapshots to similar effect.

Not at all, just for users to make the effort to understand what they are updating before applying it. Easiest way to do this is to simply read the announcement thread. If updating makes you uneasy then wait a couple of days, reading the announcement thread periodically, taking note of any issues that may arise and how to avoid them.

This update process is not unique to Arch or Manjaro, but to all leading edge rolling release Linux distros.

Manjaro is based on Arch, Arch requires knowledge to maintain, Manjaro shields some of this complexity, but it is not possible to shield all of it. This update was especially tricky, was mandatory due to changes in Arch, I am not sure what else could have been done.

Windows is not Linux, Manjaro certainly is not Microsoft. Microsoft have thousands of people overseeing their update process, Manjaro only has a few.

Interestingly now that Microsoft has moved Windows 10 to a rolling release model, they are having update issues also. Despite their thousands and thousands of people managing their rolling release updates they have still manage to bork systems also. There is currently a lawsuit being filed.

Difference is Windows is a vast commercial product supported by a multinational conglomerate, Manjaro is free open source distro maintained by an enthusiastic community of volunteers.

Fair point.

Unrealistic expectations maybe, but still if instructions were followed for this update a vast majority of users would not have had an issue.


this is just a quick thought: isnt it possible to have a prominent warning information in first place, when an update needs special attention (we strongly recommend to use pacman for this update!, etc)?


Lives and dies? Really?

Reality is Manjaro is a community Linux distro, forked from Arch, maintained by a small core team. If you are looking for an iron clad guarantee that update issues will not arise then you should really investigate version release distros like Mint.

A said it before, a rolling distro should not be used by users with no Linux knowledge. Eventually something will break and you will have to know how to fix it.


I am again going to emphasize on the 3rd point I’ve mentioned earlier, PATIENCE. And also, most of the threads look unresolved because they don’t select the solution and mark it RESOLVED, I do agree that there are other instance as well, but give it some time and your help should be on the way :slight_smile:


Thank you for interesting point of view. You are have a good attitude to have persevered through the many issues you have faced. I hope it gets better for you soon.

While being a tiled window manager user myself, I would advise you to use a full desktop environment for easier beginning. Xfce, kde might be best, lxde or lxqt might do as well. You can switch their window managers to i3 if you like it better, but having a settings manager, fully featured autostart and other goodies make the beginning easier. Even with pre-configured manjaro i3, i3 is still a diy system at its heart. Just saying, you jumped to the deep end of the pool from the beginning. It’s a good end to be in, but difficult to start with.

Manjaro is user friendly and stable, but the frame of reference needs explanation. It’s user friendly and stable as far as arch based distros go, but it requires more willingness to learn than for example ubuntu or mint. For advanced user it can be even more user friendly than they, but price is that it holds users hand somewhat less and gives user the power to do also unwise decisions.


We are over 50 posts now in that topic and you were the only one with a real solution. Honestly. We’re discussing adlib about what users should or shouldn’t do, but this is the only valid answer.

There should be a warning / locking system that prevents core graphic updates to happen while in graphic mode. How’s that difficult to grasp ? How about a message “You can’t apply this update graphically, please ctrl+alt+F2, log in, and sudo pacman -Syyu, wait til the end and exit, then alt+F1” ? Or better, “reboot, type ‘e’ at grub prompt, go down to the first line beginning by ‘linux’, strike the ‘end’ key, type 3 and then F10, log in as user, and sudo pacman -Syyu, wait, and then reboot -s now” ? Better yet, add a maintenance entry to grub that boots in tty mode ? Because, again, when grub menu is polluted with ‘failsafe’ entries that are everything but safe, with no true rescue option to be found, that’s a catastrophic conflict of semantics that will blow in the face of the end user at some point when things go wrong. Not “if”, but “when”.

This is beyond me. And, no, the user shouldn’t have had to come to the forums to see that.



I also like seeing pacman output. But I think you are needlessly disparaging pacui. Pacui provides extensive documentation of the commands and best practices within the ui. And there is actually a point to the wrapper: It provides extra functionality. It lets you browse the repos when installing packages and installed packages when removing packages. What makes the extra typing of using pacman -Ss to find precise package names more virtuous?

People have different tastes, and nobody needs to use stuff they don’t like. But I’m kind of getting the feeling that you consider some of the alternative tools so harmful that they should not exist (DISCLAIMER: I know that you did not actually say this and there is significant chance that you also did not mean anything like this. I’m reacting to possible interpretation of your posts that may not be your actual opinions). I think they have legitimate purpose and justification of existence.

I think we both agree though that

  1. pacman output should not be hidden
  2. user should understand the basic tools he is using before using shortcuts to them.

But I think that if you know how to use pacman, there is no harm in sparing extra 20 keystrokes for a simple.


Reading the forum before an update is no big deal to me. I got used to it quickly. My startpage in firefox is set to the stable updates section of the forum, so I only have to open my browser to see if there is a new update announcement and if there are any steps to follow. That being said, I rarely have to do anything but click the install update button. My system only got severely messed up once, beyond repair, when I couldn’t decrypt my system at boot any more after a kernel update. It reminded me to really have at least a second kernel installed. Then there was last months certificates update, for which I luckily read the announcement first as well. Anyway, this comes with the territory. Use a fixed base distro that only issues security updates if you want something that “never” breaks and requires nothing more than clicking the update button. It is just not reasonable to expect from a rolling distro. Bonus if you rarely ever need to read an announcement, which I think is awesome about Manjaro, but just don’t take it for granted.


One that was made with the clarity of hindsight, but one that was not obvious during testing of the Arch libglnvd changes.

Then maybe a rolling release distro is simply not for you, particularly one based on Arch.

This is the nature of a leading edge rolling release distro, where the OS is in a constant state of flux, constantly being updated, normally every week or fortnight (every day in unstable). Being aware of what an update contains, and how it might effect your system is simply the most effective way to manage a rolling distro.

Most people don’t working like this, thus why the userbase of distros like Mint and all the myriad of Ubuntu variants are much larger than rolling distros like Arch, Manjaro, Antegros, ArchBang, Tumbleweed, etc.

Manjaro is maintained by a small core team, and there are only a relatively small number of users testing in their spare time, so your assertion that update issues should never occur is just unrealistic given the number of moving parts.

Every attempt is made to catch all possible issues before they hit stable, but some don’t get caught. This is just life, it happens very rarely in Manjaro, hasn’t caught me out yet, but if it eventually does one day I’ll be prepared to restore my backup.