Manjaro-the swiss army knife of Linux distro's

SeanK

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I've just moved to Manjaro KDE Plasma after many years using Mint. Its been in place for over a month now so I though I'd offer up some initial impressions. I'll add before I start this is my experience and may not apply to everyone.

Installing Manjaro is wonderfully easy. I appreciated it precision, identifying drives and offering a concise path to installation with lots of practical and sensible options. This is build as you go release that does not automatically load you down with software you may or may not want. You can choose what you install and configure to suit your needs. The software manager comes with a range of very current software packages, saving time using terminal to manually install. I did find it quite utilitarian compared to say Mint but that reflects a mindset that's focused on efficiency and performance.

That said, KDE plasma on Manjaro is one of the most polished and professional experiences I have encountered. There are an insane range of theme, style and font based options under system settings > appearance. Perhaps too many. I wasted an hour I wont be getting back playing with eye candy. Not something I normally do but it was fascinating leafing through the choices. Wallpaper can be found by right clicking on desktop and selecting configure desktop. Again endless choices with the option to download more.

Almost all of the software I have installed to date works seamlessly. I have had few issues with software crashing or failure. The only exception being occasional random loss of sound using Vivaldi browser (no its not a audio browser tab issue) that was easily fixable from System Settings > hardware > audio by tinkering with volume settings. Pre installed software works well with the exception of Dolphin file manager which threw up real issues with bugs effecting things like executing files, opening directories and its rather unusual approach to file deletion. I remedied this by installing PacMan file manager alongside Dolphin (don't delete the Dolphin FM if you gave these issues) from the software center but still found I had to use Dolphin to delete files.

I should point out too that I run a typically lean installation only installing exactly what I need and no more. I like the rolling release model adopted by Manjaro where the same core is continually updated rather than being replaced. My personal view is this approach is potentially more stable as opposed to the more invasive replacement of the core system but time will tell whether I'm correct in that assumption.

Performance wise this thing is fast. Everything is smooth and responsive. By default Manjaro is not a resource hog. Hardware has been managed extremely well for the most part including Nvidia graphics. Something I had a few problems with under Mint. The only area where I did identify issues was with blue tooth support. My external blue tooth speaker works "some of the time" with Manjaro and this is after a lot of research and attempts to address the problem. By contrast the same speaker works seamlessly with Windows and has only very occasional glitches under Mint. Indeed Mints support for bluetooth is in my experience some of the best I have seen using Linux.

So how do I rate Manjaro? A few years ago I tried it and found it simply too challenging. I feel its matured a lot, becoming more streamlined, approachable and generally user friendly. Its got a classy feel too that I normally associate with commercial software. I still question its accessibility for an absolute beginner but for someone with say a years experience I think its a solid choice.
 


wizardfromoz

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one of the best-presented reviews i have read in a long time!

thanks for sharing, sean

wizard
 


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