Hello everyone! In my ongoing Linux experiments, I tried out Manjaro a couple months ago when I repaired an old laptop I had laying around. https://orcaflotta.blog/2021/07/16/noob-linux-girl/ First off I installed KDE Plasma instead of the old Windows 7 that was on there originally. It came with some things loaded on and was pretty easy to get up and running. All the myriad choices and settings were a bit overwhelming though and I missed my Mint Cinnamon theme and colors.
Soon after, I realized Manjaro had a cinnamon version too so I tried installing that one. I got my Cinnamon colors back but it wasn’t working the way I wanted it to. I still have Mint Cinnamon on an old PC and it works perfectly well for me, so the laptop is a chance for me to try new things.
After reading some KDE forums I kept on fiddling with it and found so much more that I didn’t know. Then while checking out Orca’s blog I saw that they had an updated Plasma version with new appearance settings, colors and controls. I decided I had to try that out next so I loaded Manjaro KDE Plasma 5.22 on the laptop, erasing all that came before. I even got brave and installed the newest kernel. Now that I’m an old hand at installing Linux distros, this was no problem at all 🙂
Right away it looked better than my first KDE attempt. I was able to load a nice theme easily and get all my software set up. All the settings and apps are actually easy to work with after you get used to them. I like the music player and word processing tools just as much as the windows versions. I tried K-Mail too, but I think I will go back to Thunderbird. I’ve even given up on the Chrome browser for now and will stick with Firefox. I have all the social media apps on my phone, so I won’t bother installing them on the laptop ;P
Doing all my usual stuff is now just as easy as Mint so I plan on keeping Manjaro for a while. There are still things I want to change like moving panels around, loading widgets and changing transparencies. After watching a couple of videos I have discovered that just about anything is possible if you know the secrets. I plan on learning how!
I liked what this Michael guy had to say on one of the forums.
“I really don’t think Plasma deserves its ‘not beginner friendly’ reputation. At least, not in the way that statement is usually made. Plasma is not very friendly for the average Windows user. If the user is moderately tech savvy though, then Plasma can be bliss.
On the other hand, the average Windows user will probably never even try Linux. Generally, they only use their computer for email, Facebook or watching YouTube. Those people are all about social networking and they have no interest in kernels or FOSS. That is like a foreign language which they care nothing about.
Not all Windows users are like that. Users like you and I, as well as the majority of those reading this, once used Windows. That is the type of computer user that will likely switch to Linux. We are different from when we still used Windows. We just hadn’t been introduced yet.
Plasma is an amazing and powerful desktop environment. It can match Windows or MacOS on its worst day. The features and available options allow Plasma to be tweaked and tuned to be the perfect environment the user is after. What is so cool is that Plasma isn’t alone. Xfce and Mate are pretty amazing too.”
Manjaro is the most fun version of Linux for me at the moment. I hope Orca and her hubby continue to enjoy the Cinnamon and Mate varieties. I’ll stick with KDE Plasma for now and maybe come up with my very own personalized and more colorful (not so dark and gloomy) theme one of these days 🙂