New Adventures in an Old Distro

My Linux life becomes better and betterer. I told you my fave distro Manjaro lifted my fave desktop flavour up to community status some time ago, didn’t I? Let me quickly explainify for you how the Manjaro guys roll. It’s kinda three tier system with the official editions Manjaro Xfce, Manjaro KDE and Minimal Net Edition. These are directly supported by the dev team and kinda special snowflakes. Also there is a huge plethora of so-called Community Editions: These cover among Gnome, Deepin, i3, JWM and some more desktops and window managers. Below that are the even more freakish and outlandish sideshow flavours.

Completely ignoring MATE’s success story pretty much since the day of its fork from Gnome, nobody at the Manjaro echelons ever found it in their heart to give MATE the least little bit of attention. We saw some retainers keeping MATE barely alive in the Manjaro infrastructure. The last one gave up just a short while ago. Maybe it was then when team lead Phillip Müller noticed there was infact great demand for the oldfashioned but oh so nifty MATE desktop and gave it Community status.

Gone are the times now when amateurish retainers and devs hardly dared to whisper the name Manjaro/MATE in dark alleyways. Now we can find it in broad daylight, on Sourceforge in between all the other community distros. Not all is ok tho, as MATE is in a very strange cycle of its life, caught between GTK2 and GTK3 toolkits. While that doesn’t even touch us stupid users it’s obviously a big deal among all those nerds and code monkeys who are supposed to deliver the goods to us. Anyway, I experienced some failed system updates lately, which is never a sign of a stable system. 😦

But now some good news as some fraggles have brought out a new Manjaro/MATE distro which was even confirmed by Phil to be pulled over to Sourceforge today or tomorrow. Cool! Anyway, this new 16.11 edition is already completely on GTK3 and of the Minimal flavour. That means you get the basic MATE desktop … and that’s it. No software apart from the basics, Firefox and a Terminal. All the rest you’re supposed to collect and install yourself, a method of system building many Linuxers prefer over the full-featured heavy distros with their huge waterheads of stuff n shit you never need anyway. It’s basically as empty as a MS Windows install. And then you pick and add exactly the shit you need and want, and nothing else. Yes, just like we’re used to do it in Windows since 3,000 years.

I’ve just downloaded and installed this new edition onto my secondary desktop. So I could also see how it all looks on the new miniscreen.

Just a couple minutes after the effortless and pretty sraightforward installation. Only did my usual first action: Killed the lower panel and pulled the uper panel down. And added the very few things that are already in the distro as starters to the panel, as I usually do. Rest is as Manjaro/MATE comes outta the box.
Here I’m busy mistyping my pasword and installing the old Thunderbird email program to my personal system. See how easy it is?
Couple minutes later, with a friendlier and greener wallpaper and some more added softwares the whole thing already looks like a pretty darn usable operating system, doesn’t it. Time from start of the download until this point, roundabout 30 minutes. 🙂

And guess from what computer I’m typing this blog entry right now?


If the Manjaro guys continue on this path I guess we’ll have the bestest Manjaro ever, even if it’s just a Community Edition. More important is that Orca can soon recommend Manjaro/MATE as a beginners friendly n00b Linux!

Sooo, now quickly pulling up my Orca friendly dark wallpaper …

It’s really super easy to use, talking toddler level here. Pretty much the only reason why I don’t recommend the combo Manjaro/MATE for fresh convertees are the inconsistencies within the Manjaro framework and comunity. The many small nibbles and problems and shit happens moments. Nothing big, never anything really big but bad enough to drive new users up the wall and into suicide mode. I don’t need that burden on my conscience. 😮

The Manjaro on my primary desktop is running fine right now, after I had to reinstall it just two days ago. When it collapses again I’ll do a fresh install of MATE edition with whatever is fresh by then. Yes, I know Manjaro – as all ArchLinux based systems – is rolling and I’d never need to install new versions. But this is a fresh start on a 100% GTK3 kit, and hopefully a whole lotta less problems.


  1. OMG that green looks like turd water gone rotten save me from that misery PLEASE that alone would say a huge NO to me even if it can be deleted the fact it’s THERE is fundamentally wrong sheesh looks like my home made texture circa 2002 GO AWAY hahhahhah

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right, it’s an acquired taste that is. Fortunately in the Linux world those wallpapers are nothing but recommendations, nothing forced on you. You’ll find many many more in the backgrounds folder (more than 100 in Manjaro), on Deviant Art or in many distro’s forums where people make their self-designed wallpapers available for download. Linux is more than just some über techy coders but weirdly enough many “artists” are living in the Linux environment as well. I chose that green shit mostly for the reason to demonstrate the new MATE distro doesn’t have to look like a hearse, necessarily. It’s totally modable like any good Linux distro should be. Unlike Windoze.


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