Why Is 1 Year Ago Install Different Than Install Today, Even After Updating?


I installed Manjaro KDE on my desktop about 1 year ago and have been updating ever since.
I today installed current Manjaro KDE to a laptop.
I am seeing differences between the 1 year install and the today install?

Is there something I can set on 1 year install to look and feel like a new install?
Let me know, thanks!


1 Like


It would be helpful if you be a bit more specific about the differences :sweat_smile:.
Other than the new global theme, not much have changed (taking just the visual aspects into consideration).

  • Themes and wallpapers may have changed.
  • The list of packages installed by default may have changed.
  • Default system settings may have changed.

Why does that matter? If you’ve kept your system updated, then you’ve got everything in the existing installation that a new install would give you ─ including the themes, color schemes and wallpapers.

Of course, in order to have the same default settings in everything, you would have had to keep your configuration files in sync with any .pacnew files you may have gathered while updating; Manjaro (and Arch) will not overwrite any configuration files that you may have modified since your initial install, and therefore it is up to you to merge in any .pacnew files.

Just because Manjaro ─ like every other distribution ─ comes with its own selection of packages on the installer medium and also installs things with a number of default settings, does not mean that you’re supposed to run a vanilla Manjaro as it comes installed. Most of us apply post-install customizations of configuration files, GUI appearance, et al.

So what if your installation differs a bit from the default new install here and there? The idea is that you set up your system the way it works best for you, and the default list of pre-installed packages or the default theme are only that: defaults, so as to give the (new) user a sane starting point.



Regarding the configuration files differences, in theory you should keep track of them, see the .pacnew wiki page System Maintenance - Manjaro and the Arch wiki too pacman/Pacnew and Pacsave - ArchWiki (don’t blindly overwrite them, understand your changes before anything).

Also as said, be more specific about the differences you’re referring to.

Some application on your old installation will be missing like some default programs, some KDE system tools for system monitoring or S.M.A.R.T. monitoring for disks, things like that, but you may be able to see the differences by comparing the file /desktopfs-pkgs.txt and /rootfs-pkgs.txt on both your installations (these are the packages lists installed initially).


Manjaro is not Windows - so when a Manjaro installation is synced - user settings in your home is never changed - and therefore there will be a difference as you have made small changes here and there.

1 Like

The short answer: no.

The longer answer options:

No matter what, backup 1yrMch

  • Copy NewMch’s $HOME/.config to 1yrMch, might need to include hidden files under $HOME.
    This will only address localized changes. There could also be system-wide changes in /etc.
  • Selective copy certain files, as needed. Safer than above.
  • Set the two machines side by side and go through the Settings manager manually. This would be my approach. Lower probability of breaking something, plus educational to review options :slight_smile:

In the future, it is helpful to document, in a simple text file, all changes made in $HOME, /etc/ and elsewhere. diff, meld, pacman -Q are imporant tools to compare changes.

In addition to other replies, keep in mind that Manjaro is a rolling release vs fixed. A fixed released distribution has a multi-year useful-life and a specific end-of-life. Each distribution sets their own. Software is not normally updated to a new version, but does receive minor updates and security fixes. A rolling release is constantly evolving, but personal changes are NEVER overridden. If you were updating the 1yrMch, you should have come across a few pacnew files. Some form of DIFFPROG=meld pacdiff might be of use.