Manjaro Linux: Why so popular?

Aloha, my dear wannabe Archies! (She wrote knowing quite well that she can count herself lucky when and if some of you are at least doing their computing business on Linux Mint, and there’s nothing wrong with that …)

You might have heard – or better said, read – that your editrix often refers to Manjaro as “Ubuntu of the Arch world”. And since Ubuntu is really crappy these days and far away from being the fabled “Linux for human beings” I shall refer to Manjaro as “Mint of the Arch world” from now on.

Well, I’m not using either, neither Mint nor Manjaro but I still love both systems to bits and regard them highly, particularly for their human factor. And really, there is no reason to be afraid of the supposedly super geeky and 100% terminal driven operation. You can install and operate Manjaro as easily as your beloved Mint and do everything with just your mouse/trackpad. It even comes with a community version of Cinnamon desktop. Which should run a bit faster and more stable than Mint’s Ubuntu based version plus gives you all the magic of the Arch repositories and the Arch User Repository, AUR. Also you’re not abused as test user and lab rat when Mark Shuttleworth is selling his Canonical bizniz to Microsoft. And once that happens Mint will probaby shift their distro from Ubuntu- to Debian-based LMDE versions.

Manjaro, the nifty thing, has a much brighter future, since it will stick to its Arch roots!

That’s why I’m kinda reblogging this article from It’s FOSS. And since they won’t let me reblog it directly, Imma gonna try to copypasta the whole shit.

 




 

Manjaro Linux Review: ‘Arch Linux for Human Beings’ Provides Rolling Release for Every User

 

Manjaro 20.0 Lysia has been released lately. In this article, I’ll take a look at the features of Manjaro Linux in general, discuss why people like Manjaro and compare the performance of Cinnamon desktop with Linux Mint 19.3 Cinnamon edition.

 

Manjaro Linux: Why so popular?

Manjaro WallpaperImage Source

To every stereotype there is some element of truth. One of the main reasons that Manjaro is so popular has to do with its roots. Manjaro is based on Arch Linux and inherits many elements of Arch Linux but it is a very distinct project.

Unlike Arch Linux, almost everything is pre-configured in Manjaro. This makes it one of the most user-friendly Arch-based distributions. A lot of new users get attracted to this idea and I can’t blame them.

Will Manjaro then can be the new Ubuntu for a new comer? My answer is Yes!

Ubuntu and Canonical will always have my utmost respect as it has a huge success on making Linux easily accessible to newcomers.

Just as Ubuntu made “Linux for human beings”, Manjaro made “Arch Linux for human beings”.

But his doesn’t mean Manjaro is a Linux distribution for beginners only. Manjaro can be suitable for both and experienced users.

Let me go over some of the main features of Manjaro.

Easy installation

Installing Arch Linux can be a nightmare for many users. On the other hand, installing Manjaro Linux is easier thanks to the Calamares graphical installer.

disk partition while installing Manjaro Linux
Manjaro Linux graphical installer

If you want to take control in your own hands, you can use Manjaro Architect. It provides a terminal-based installer. It is still easier than installing directly through commands.

Manjaro Architect

Desktop environments and Window Managers of your choice

Officially Manjaro Linux supports Xfce desktop as the default choice. The Xfce in Manjaro looks good thanks to the customization. Manjaro also offers GNOME and KDE Plasma variants.

If that is not enough, Manjaro community maintains Awesome, Bspwm, Budgie, Cinnamon, i3, LXDE, LXQt, MATE and Openbox.

Choose desktop environment while installing Manjaro Linux with Manjaro Architect
Desktop flavors available via Manjaro Architect

X86 architecture is not a limitation for Manjaro

You are not limited to X86 architecture with Manjaro as it is ARM architecture friendly.

Images for PineBook Pro, Raspberry Pi, Rock Pi 4, Rock Pro 64, Khadas Vim 1 & 3 and other single board computers are available in Xfce and KDE Plasma flavors.

Rolling release but not rolling blindly

Manjaro is a stable bleeding edge rolling release and is claimed to be more tested than Arch Linux because it performs some additional testing before releasing the updates.

Manjaro Linux rolling release testing flow

New hardware? One click and it’s done.

Manjaro comes with a hardware detection tool known as MHWD. If you need drivers for your hardware, just open it, click on “Auto Install” and wait until it’s finished. That’s it.

Hardware Detection
Manjaro hardware configuration GUI tool

Ease to switch Linux kernels.

Power-users and people who need special features of the Linux Kernel that don’t come with the default one, can just switch to a different Kernel with one click.

RT-Kernel (Real Time) is suitable for a multimedia user and for applications real time features.

LTS kernel is the way to go if stability your priority.

Latest kernel has the latest features and supports the latest hardware. Did you get a recently introduced to the market graphics card? The newest kernel is for you.

Manjaro Kernel Switch
Manjaro kernel GUI switch

Manjaro supports multiple installed Kernels at the same time. Just re-boot your system and make your selection in the boot menu.

Access to the massive Arch User Repository (AUR)

What doesn’t work so well with Ubuntu-based distributions is managing Personal Package Archives (PPAs). A PPA is a repository for a single or several applications, usually from an independent developer.

Managing PPAs can become troublesome. They should be purged as they can become abandoned and orphaned without notice. You need to reinstate them if you reinstall Ubuntu.

If you use Manjaro, you also have access to the Arch User Repository (AUR). The AUR is probably the largest repository catering for any distribution. It’s certainly stocked with the freshest produce.

Snap and Flatpack support in the Pamac software manager

Snap Apps in Pamac
Snap applications in Pamac

Pamac 9.4 series has enabled Snap and Flatpak support by default. You can now install snaps or flatpaks with Pamac in GUI or terminal and access an even larger selection of the Linux applications.

Global set of mirrors

No-matter your location Manjaro has a great number of servers which is known as mirrors and you can choose the closest available.

Top tip!

If you are a frequent traveler all you have to do is to open the terminal and run the following command:

sudo pacman-mirrors –geoip && sudo pacman -Syyu

This simple command will ping a list of mirrors for your country only, rating each one and reordering the list so the faster mirrors are at the top. Don’t forget to run the command once you get back home!

ZFS filesystem support

As mentioned previously, command line interface installer is called Manjaro Architect and if you are an experienced user there is a guide to follow. You can use ZFS filesystem as root in Manjaro 20.0 Lysia Architect.

Performance comparison of Manjaro 19 Cinnamon with Linux Mint 19.3 Cinnamon

I am not an expert on performance comparison and other low-level stuff. So, please forgive me if you dislike this comparison.

Manjaro feels snappier than Ubuntu and its derivatives. So, what can explain the speed benefits?
A possible explanation could be the RAM and active tasks usage on idle.

Here are the stats for idle Manjaro Cinnamon. The idle memory usage is 577 MB.

htop Manjaro Cinnamon
htop running on Manjaro 19.0.2 – Cinnamon 4.4.8

Here are the stats for an idle Linux Mint Cinnamon. The idle memory usage is 656 MB.

htop Mint
htop running on Linux Mint 19.3 – Cinnamon 4.4.8

By running the below command you can check the running services in Linux:

systemctl list-unit-files --state=enabled --no-pager

The results on Manjaro:

Manjaro enabled services
Manjaro running services

The results on Linux Mint:

Mint Cinnamon running services
Linux Mint running services

Each of these services consume system resources, and more specifically system memory and kernel time.

Conclusion

Manjaro takes most of the risk out of the rolling model by delaying the release of new applications and features for several weeks. The rolling distribution, out-of-the-box Arch experience will win you over.

No-hassle experience

Kernel management

Superior packaging system

Excellent hardware detection

Fast & responsive

Let me know your thoughts on Manjaro on the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly Linux newsletter.




 

Oh my, that guy made it more complicated than necessary. Just go directly to the Cinnamon download and install with the normal baby easy Manjaro installer. I promise you, if you’re not a total dummy bear, everything will go as smoothly as your old and trusted Mint. Only even easier since you’re on a rolling release distro now and don’t need to re-install or manually update from release to release every 6 months.

 

12 comments

  1. I used Manjaro for about a year. I’d just like to add here that it’s possible to switch to Arch Linux without re-installing your whole system. You can simply change the mirrors and poof you’ve got an arch system just like that. the only difference is that you still have a manjaro kernel (but who cares, really?) and you need to delete all the useless stuff that’s specific to Manjaro manually (like octopi, seriously who would use that thing when pacman’s about ?)

    Great article, thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thx for the compliment, Philippe, but that post was 99% copypasted from another soure. My personal Arch journey led me from Manjaro over Namib and Archman to Endeavour, which is very very good. It’s of all the systems the one closest to vanilla Arch.
      No more Manjaro kernels, no LTS kernels and similar dumb shit. I get the kernels directly from upstream Arch and that’s it then. 😐
      I use my system to work (blog, pirate movies and music, surf, photos) not to fiddle and experiment around.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Everyone uses Linux for a different reason. You seem to have quite some experience for someone who doesn’t experiment around ;p I’m more into the 7 “original” distros instead of their forks (why Artix when there’s Arch for instance?) but I can totally get why others would differ. Sometimes ease of install matters a lot to some.
        I take it you rarely write about Linux then ?

        Liked by 1 person

        • I use my computers to do computer stuff on them not to spend my time just fiddling with the OS. I’m a “user” in the truest sense and rarely care about the community n stuff. Well, I’m on Linux since 2013 and in fact distrohopped for quite some time in the beginning. But I was never one who followed trampled pathways, so never used Ubuntu, because it only needed 3 minutes of research to stumble upon “Ubuntu with racing stripes and fairie glitter”, Mint. And after not even 2 weeks I found my personal guruine who scolded me and told me to get rid of that Ubuntu shit and try Manjaro instead. And of course not the “outdated primitive” Xfce and neither the “beautiful bastard” Cinnamon nor the “German overengineered” KDE but only MATE would be good. (Needless to state we’re both Gerwomen).

          LOL, since then I’m personally always on some Arch with Mate.

          I left Manjaro since they treated Mate like an unloved stepchild and only recently lifted it up to community status. Also Manjaro breaks after each 3rd or 4th update. I don’t need that. And with Endeavour I’m much closer to vanilla and get my packages kinda 2 weeks before they hit Manjaro. And updates do never break the system. 🙂

          Same happened when I tested Debian 10. I found the whole experience super unfriendly and had problems even finding the download servers. And why should I stick with the original when I get much better service – including my Mate desktop – from Sparky Linux? And a couple weeks later even from slowpoke Clem and his gang in form and shape of LMDE 4?

          Which doesn’t mean I didn’t install all kinds of other distros on my test machines and “reviewed” them in the blog. But for myself, I’m happiest with the Arch/Mate combo. And I write about Linux all the time, although lately there is not much to write about anymore, since I find no joy in distro testing and the whole Linuxverse has matured so nicely, there is not much to complain about.

          Reason for me not to use vanilla Arch is that I’m lazy and also I don’t see the use of it. Why should I make my life complicated if I can get the same result with an easy peasy graphical installer and preconfigured desktops?

          Hubby was on Kubuntu the longest time but since he can’t operate the very narrow vertical scrollbar on latest Plasma versions, due to spasms from Multiple Sclerosis, he’s on Archy Mate as well. Only he’s still on Archman, while I switched over to Endeavour a while ago.

          Liked by 1 person

          • However you use it, trampled pathways or not, (same I don’t like following a path everyone would follow) you’re right. Linux is all freedom, isn’t it ? Tha’ts why there are so many distros, however useless that may be.

            I’d just argue one small thing. It’s totally fine to be lazy but, when you think about it, a complete arch install takes less than an hour and then you can be as lazy as you want since yay and pacman do all the difficult stuff for you. So laziness, again, is all a matter of viewpoint. But I do agree, some distros take shortcuts which a pure “user” will appreciate, although in the long run, learning one distro well is an investment, nothing less.

            Have you ever tried window managers or do you always run a desktop environment ?

            Do you ever write tutorials ? I mean, distros aren’t the whole thing. There are tools like Git which even Win users could enjoy (as there’s a gui and all that…)

            What’s so special about Endeavour which is on no other distro you’ve experimented with?

            Liked by 1 person

            • No, I don’t write tutorials. At least no Linux tuts. Me’s no teacher and I’m not wise enough to teach anything. I don’t read tutorials neither, since I find reading about tech shit super duper boring. Oh wait, I once wrote a little series for n00bs, on how to install Mint on their computers:

              https://orcaflotta.blog/2020/02/05/put-linux-mint-on-your-computer/

              5 parts I made of this. Five! 😮
              Never again! That was so boring and labour-intensive and doesn’t fit my lazy lifestyle.

              I’m actually not interested in knowing how something works. If something doesn’t work, just give me the needed command line so I can copypasta it in my terminal and I’m happy.

              Complete Arch install less than 1 hour + desktop and all my softwares install … That’s much more time than I’m willing to spend on techy stuff.

              Git? I never found out what that even means, and I’ll probably find it super boring if by accident ever find out. I know many Linuxes are downloadable from Github, that’s good enough for me.

              Yes, I once tried a WM, forgot now which one but found it too nervewrecking. I’m a very sloppy, erroneous typist, and very slow. I’m a mouse girl and happy for everything I can do with a mouse instead of the keyboard. That’s also why I hate Gnome 3.xxx with a vengeance! 😦

              Special about Endeavour: It’s of all the Archies the one closest to vanilla Arch, has the least bloat and treats you like a self-sufficient adult, not like a kid with learning deficiencies. The devs never meddle with your business, unlike Manjaro and Mint. If and when and how I do my backups is my thing, I don’t need any over eager maintainer to tell me what to do. And updates are coming down when they come, not being held back for 2 weeks, like Manjaro does it. I receive something like between 3 and 30 updates each and every day. I like it. It’s actually exactly like I imagine vanilla Arch to be. But Endeavour is a complete functioning OS, on which I just need to install some beloved softwares and uninstall useless stuff. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that you can decide which interwebz browser and some other softwares you wanna install. That’s kool.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Writing’s a tutorial’s not easy, I’ll give you that. I wouldn’t say ya need to be wise to write one though (I mean look at all the tutorials you find on YT, are they all wise or rather interested in the money they’re gonna make with ads?)

                There’s actually a lot of copy-pasting involved in Arch, but yeah it’s in a terminal (such a super impressive & scary word). If you don’t use gnome, are you more of a kde person ? Cause you play games, right ? (I think I read somewhere on your blog a mention of games on Linux or something).

                Omg, git’s my whole life ^_^ I used to hate it when I was less familiar with the term but now I couldn’t live without it. It’s just SO convenient to track all your changes in a repo or just in one file.

                If you’re all about clicking, why Linux in the first place ? Why bother making the change ? Cause finding out about Ubuntu & then setting up your bios & burn the iso -> this is so complicated init ?

                I checkout out EndeavourOS but it doesn’t seem to be for the lazy-minded (except for the install, alright) but it’s actually in the description that it’s terminal-centric…

                How long have you been blogging btw ? Years ?

                Liked by 1 person

                • “Writing’s a tutorial’s not easy, I’ll give you that. I wouldn’t say ya need to be wise to write one though”
                  It’s not for me since I don’t know enough about Linux, my English is on the level of a 3 y/o toddler and I struggle with the pedagogic methodology.

                  “terminal (such a super impressive & scary word).”
                  Actually no. I prefer to do stuff in Terminal. Once you know the handful commands you need to get around it’s so much faster and more elegant than clicking through menues.

                  “If you don’t use gnome, are you more of a kde person ?”
                  No I’m more of a Gnome2 (Mate) person. KDE is atrocius and wasteful.

                  “Cause you play games, right ?”
                  No, I only play soitaire. 😉 But I’m a resident of Second Life, have a handful avies in there and used to be a race sailor, property manager, yacht club manager and race directrice. I refuse to call my playing and earning real money in a virtual world gaming. But, yes, I need a beefy gaming machine for that cause we deal with 100% user-created content which is not optimized and far below the standards of modern games.

                  “I read somewhere on your blog a mention of games on Linux”
                  Mhm. That’s right. Cause so many idiots claim they would jump over to Linux in a heartbeat but as gamers they can’t do it. That’s only partially true. Linux advances in gaming almost every day and did you know all three huge consoles together have less games available than Linux?

                  “It’s just SO convenient to track all your changes in a repo or just in one file.”
                  What does that even mean? And if I knew, would I need this knowledge? And what for? Will the earth become a better place? 😉

                  “If you’re all about clicking, why Linux in the first place ?”
                  Because I was pissed off about Microsoft’s business practices. And hubby was on Kubuntu since quite a while and never complained and seemed to enjoy computing. So I decided, hey, I want an easy life, I’m going Linux!

                  “Why bother making the change ?”
                  Because it’s the right thing to do. I was already angry with MS when I was still working in IT. We spent so much money on licences … for such a crappy OS. 😦
                  But when I retired in 99 there was no Linux in existence to play with.

                  “Cause finding out about Ubuntu & then setting up your bios & burn the iso -> this is so complicated init ?”
                  I knew about Ubuntu, from hubby and his Linux magazines. I read about other available distros, so I knew the Linux world doesn’t start and end with Ubuntu. And indeed, after only 3 minutes of frantic research I was already downloding the Mint .iso. Wasn’t complicated at all, hardly an inconvenience. 🙂 And I don’t burn the iso, I use USB sticks.

                  “in the description that it’s terminal-centric…”
                  🙂 Yeah, as terminal-centric as every other Linux. You and me, we’re not the only ones who stumbled at that description. You know Arch, right? So you know how much cooler and better most things are done in the terminal. At least installation of programs and software updates.

                  ¡BUT STOP! That’s not entirely true! Updates for Endeavour going super duper speedy and without password with just a mouseclick. Lookywatchy:

                  https://orcaflotta.blog/2020/07/10/25-packages-to-update/

                  “How long have you been blogging btw ? Years ?”
                  With long breaks and some new starts since 2003 or 04 or so. This Second Life blog I started in 2011, first on fukn Google Blogspot, and then switched over to WP.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Your English is fine, actually… (sorry to rain on ur parade)
                    Terminal rules, agreed (finally we agree on something :p although we also agree that MS sucks, so that’s too, my bad)
                    You worked in IT ? What did you do ? (if you don’t mind my asking)
                    Didn’t you have to change the device booting order in your bios settings too ?

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Happened by incident, kinda. Friend of ours worked there. Health food and sports clothes company with most ladies working on stupid terminals running on (Sun?) Unix but on the brink of switching to PCs for more versatility. That was in early 96, early days of internet. And since our friend knew that I was interested in the internet and knew my way around office softwares and had broken ans installed Windows countless times, he recommended me to his bosses. And so the legend of one of the very few girls in IT was born. My job was a bit of Unix operating, hardware purchasing, Windows support (which I hated) and general mayhem. My bosses loved me for being a woman and having more compassion with crying secretaries when they didn’t understand how Windows worked and where their files went.

                      Oh, and of course I was misused as the department’s secretary, since the boys, including our boss, as typical computer geeks, were mostly functional illiterates. Super job. What’s not to like about secretly leading the dept, when you’re the only one with some merchant and accounting background.

                      Anyway, our head office had 3 PCs when I started in 96, and around 120 when I quit in 99. Most of them acquired and set up by me. Plus around 20 PCs at the manufacturing plant.

                      Of course one needs to change the boot order in BIOS/UEFI before installing Linux. With good professional hardware it’s no problem. Only the amateurish cheapos, like Acer, are a bit like Microsoft fanclub and make it hard for the user. Fortunately we only need to do it once. If possible I buy computers without OS, or assemble my own, which is naturally without OS. So Linux install is a piece of cake. =^.^=

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • It nice incident, that is. Even if you didn’t like some aspects of the job, you were the admin there. Aside from the win support, it sounds like a nice job to me. You worked with Unix, which most don’t have a lot of experience with (kudos).

                      Liked by 1 person

  2. My older co-worker for who I did the sicktime and vacation work, wrote me a detailed script from which I worked. In the beginning I didn’t even know what all those commands were doing.

    Like

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