Day 1/2 - My experience so far with Manjaro (coming from Fedora)

f33dm3bits

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Thanks guys, I will give the aurutils a try, curious to see how it works, learning something new every day.
With aurutils you create a local repo of your built packages which then allows you to install them using pacman.
 


TheProf

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Small update.

Still on Manjaro, its been almost a week now that I've been using this distro. So far, no major issues at all and enjoying this distro very much. I've downloaded some apps from the AUR like notion, spotify, etc. Learned how to compile and install, this was fun as well. Now I am using Pamac and also trying out aurutils.

KDE Plasma is actually great, the amount of customization you can do is definitely great. I've done quite a bit of tweaking so far.

One of my favorite add-ons is Krohnkite. I created custom keyboard shortcuts to launch different apps along with the key bindings from Krohnkite, makes things a lot more efficient. I know I mentioned earlier I am not a big fan of window managers like dwm, or i3, etc.. but I am kind of starting to see the light :)

One thing I will say, I admit that I did not know much about KDE, I knew it was customizable, but I thought I wouldnt use these options and I was wrong. I am glad I gave it a try. Who knows, maybe at some point I will be running a full blown Arch distro with a window manager like Xmonad or DWM, maybe other WM.

The key, is to always give it a fair shot. Since I've moved over, I learned a bunch of new ways of using Linux.
 

f33dm3bits

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If you want to try a WM I would advise i3 or Sway, because they are easy to configure, unless you want to learn C, Haskell or Python.
 

TheProf

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I have to say, Manjaro has been great. I've been using it less than a month and it has already become my favorite distro to date.

Right now, if I were to list my favorite distro's in order, I'd say the following:

1. Manjaro
2. Fedora
3. Ubuntu

I also really like the work that the Manjaro folks team have been putting in. I know some folks might not be too content with the direction Manjaro took a little while back by becoming a bit more corporate, similar to what Ubuntu did, but honestly, if they're making the distro better, and it seems they are, I dont see that as a big deal. As long as they dont force the software on me like Windows 10 does from the a fresh install, I can't complain. If this opportunity makes the OS a better choice for the community, then I dont see that as an issue in my opinion.

I am also quite surprised by the capabilities of KDE and the large amounts of tweaks and customization you can make to it.

So if I were to rate my favorite DEs so far (from the ones I tried)

1. KDE Plasma 5.x
2. GNOME 40.x

With GNOME, I find the minimal install is great, but I think it lacks some of the customization you can do with KDE, which is too bad, for a DE that's been around longer than KDE (I think), I thjought there would be more advantages to using it over KDE, but actually, KDE is now my favorite DE. I can make a minimal build / config of KDE and it works just as great.

The next distro to test and see would be:

1. EndeavourOS - Already dual booted with my Manjaro Install but I havent done much with it yet
2. Arch Linux - I am playing with this right now in a VM, working on some tweaks, etc before I go down the route of installing it on my machine
3. Debian - the unstable release version because I realized Ubuntu, and other distros are spun out from Debian so why not give it a try.

The big question, would I recommend Manjaro to a beginner, and the answer is yes, especially with the stable branch.

I also really enjoy setting up different DEs and Distros from scratch to my liking, although after a few times of doing it, I would get bored of doing the same thing over and over and also I rather have something that works well right out of the box with minimal troubles. This means that for distros like Arch, I think after a few installs/configs, I'd find it quite annoying to rebuild as there seems to be a lot more things to do. This makes me think that at some point I would probably stick to a Distro like Manjaro due to ease of use on my main machine, but still use Arch to test and learn stuff. Of course, I still need to try Arch, maybe my mind would change again :)

Anyways, I'll report back at the end of the 30 days of using Manjaro.
 

f33dm3bits

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This means that for distros like Arch, I think after a few installs/configs, I'd find it quite annoying to rebuild as there seems to be a lot more things to do. This makes me think that at some point I would probably stick to a Distro like Manjaro due to ease of use on my main machine, but still use Arch to test and learn stuff. Of course, I still need to try Arch, maybe my mind would change again :)
After a few installs of Arch you will get the idea and it will be be easier and cost you less time, also if you are smart you will keep your configuration files in git that way you can easily place them again when you are doing a new install. Lastly it's not like you reinstall your system every 6 months or every year, the idea is to make your install last until your replace your system.
 

TheProf

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After a few installs of Arch you will get the idea and it will be be easier and cost you less time, also if you are smart you will keep your configuration files in git that way you can easily place them again when you are doing a new install. Lastly it's not like you reinstall your system every 6 months or every year, the idea is to make your install last until your replace your system.
This is true, after a few installs, things get easier and I already store my dot files in gitlab. I guess so far, my experience with Arch has been more around figuring out what exact packages I'd need to make it work the way I like it.

For example, simple things like being able to see thumbnails and previews in documents requires additional packages to work properly. This is something that I dont have to worry about in distro like Fedora/Manjaro.

So it seems like aside from having the configs saved, you'd also need to make a list of packages you'd need to install. I dont see this as a bad thing btw, I am just saying that after the initial install, I'd have to make a script of sorts to download all these packages. If I have all the scripts/dot files saved and ready to roll, this not an issue. But if I dont, I'd be spending a lot of time during the reinstall.

As for the number of times I'd need to reinstall, would most likely be frequent in the begging if I screw things up and cant repair :)

At some point, once I get more comfortable, things will get easier for sure.
 

captain-sensible

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I think the bare minimum install of Arch might be along the lines of : base linux linux-firmware grub

but best to install base-devel , vim ,nano ,efibootmgr.

Thats the minimum no Desktop, no display manger , no xorg , no gui greeter.

You can install several Desktops and their requirements and then chip away at it. you choose which Desktop at login

So i had notes part of xfce4 xfce4 terminal , gnome budgie and god knows what etc

I decided to stick with Cinammon and get rid of all xfce4 stuff and find replacements.

I started off with a explicitly installed packaged list :

pacman -Qqe | grep -v "$(pacman -Qqm)" >/home/andrew/Desktop/pkglist.txt

went through it , ran what depends in what etc and removed or replaced as required.

For instance i really liked xfce4 terminal but it had to go ; now i'm using alacritty ; there's also kitty etc etc .the only issue with alacritty is copy and paste- no right click ; instead Ctl + shift + C (copy)
ctl + shift + V (paste)

So you never have to re-install the core ; only pick and choose mix and match ; isn't that part of the fun ?

By the way my manual install list is here : https://linux.org/threads/manual-install-vanilla-arch.36358/post-133670
 

TheProf

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Well I kind of got side tracked here... I ended up switching from Manjaro to EndeavourOS, mainly because I wanted to experience a distro as close to Arch as possible.

I would say that at this point, I think I will stick on EndeavourOS for a little while, not sure if I am going down the route of Vanilla Arch. I think for now I am going to take a break from distro hoping and stay on EndeavourOS. I really like it, I get the latest updates and it simplifies the install process and even includes the option of installing GPU drivers.

Aside from that, I also use Yay a lot for doing upgrades/downloads of packages, the commands are much simpler, rather than running sudo pacman -Syu, running just Yay does the job too.

Outside of the package management, I am still using KDE Plasma with Krohnkite and various other tweaks that I normally do to the theme.

On an end note for my Manjaro journey, I definitely recommend this distro to a lot folks simply because Manjaro team did a great job with this distribution. Made it very easy to install and use.

At the end of the day, any distro that I use, would look the same when I apply the customization, so I dont see the need to really distro hop anymore. I know now that I want a rolling release distro with a KDE Plasma as my DE and then I just download my dotfiles and various other configs to apply the changes and make the apps function / look the way I like it.
 

captain-sensible

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Once you can find your way around EndeavourOS then you can apply that experience to Vanilla Arch , should you go there at some point.

pacman -Syu does an update/upgrade of all pacman packages.

yay , is run as normal user with no sudo.

yay -Syu updates both the main three repos of Arch , AND also AUR packages.

I still prefer to run: sudp pacman -Syu and then think about the AUR packes, sometimes you don't want them automatically upgrading; for instance at one point a pdf viewer and editor had free editing and i noticed that later,with newer releases they decided to have limited use with free and then paid versions.So i had to revert to older versions to get functionality for free.
Now i never had chance to find out , can you identify where the divergence or extra specifically endeavourOS packages are being downloaded ? IS there a specific mirror in /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist ?
 
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