7 Reasons Why I Use Manjaro Linux And You Should Too

Everyone who uses Linux has heard of the big names like Ubuntu, Debian, Arch, and Mint. Few people know about smaller distros like Manjaro. Those people don’t know what they are missing. The article will explain ‘why I use Manjaro and you should too’.

I’ve always been interested in computers and the early history of computers. A couple years ago, I bought an older HP tower to learn about Linux. Now, I’m on my second Linux laptop. I’ve tried quite a few distros, including several Ubuntu flavors, Linux Mint, Fedora, OpenSUSE, and Debian. I installed Manjaro three years ago and haven’t looked back.

Reasons why Manjaro Linux is a great Linux distribution

Here are the top reasons why I use Manjaro Linux and why you should too.

1. Arch Without All the Hassle

Manjaro is one of the few Linux distributions that are not based on Ubuntu. Instead, it is built on the continually cutting edge Arch Linux. Arch is a great distro, but unfortunately, if you want to install it you have to do a lot of work. You start off with a base system and you have to install and setup everything yourself. This can be a real pain if you just want to give Arch a spin or you’re new to Linux.

No wonder there are plenty of jokes around installing Arch Linux, like this one:

Manjaro takes all of the hassle out of installing Arch. Like most distros, all you have to do is download the ISO file, write it to a thumb drive, and install it. The Calamares installer gives you a smooth experience similar to Ubuntu’s Ubiquity installer.

2. Great Hardware Support

When installing Linux, it can be a pain to get all the hardware working. When you install Manjaro, it scans the system and installs the required drivers. On one of my computers, I have an old Broadcom wireless card. Every time I install a new distro, I have to go through some extra steps to get that Broadcom chip working. When I install Manjaro, it works out of the box.

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7 Reasons Why I Love Debian

3. Don’t Have to Worry About PPAs

Before I switched to Manjaro, I used both Lubuntu and Linux Mint. The one thing that really bugged me was having to deal with PPAs (Personal Package Archive). Basically, a PPA is a repo for just a single application or a small group of applications. For those who never had to deal with this, allow me to explain.

Every time I wanted to install a piece of software that was not in the offIcial Ubuntu repos, I had to link a new PPA to my system via the terminal. Once it was linked and I had run sudo apt-get update, then the program was available for installation.

While adding the PPA doesn’t take a lot of time, it is a pain. When I upgraded from one version of Linux Mint to another I has a hell of a time getting the PPA I used switched over. If you use a lot of PPAs, it can quickly become a rat’s nest.

Then there’s the security aspect. There have been several times in the past when people have gotten a hold of old and unused PPAs and used them to push out malware.

Since Manjaro uses Arch as a base instead of Ubuntu, it doesn’t support PPAs. Instead, you have access to the Arch User Repository. for more info, read on.

4. Tons of Software

Manjaro Linux AUR

Just because Manjaro doesn’t have PPAs, don’t think that it lacks in software. The Manjaro team maintains a large software repository. Beyond that, Manjaro users also have access to the Arch User Repository. The AUR is made up of user created scripts to install applications not packaged for Arch (or in this case Manjaro). Quite a few of the applications in the AUR were either originally packaged for Ubuntu or are pulled directly from Github. The scripts in the AUR then modify the .deb files, so that they can be installed on Manjaro.

There are downsides to using the AUR. Sometimes the dependencies required by and AUR packages conflict with something already installed. You can also run into broken and out-of-date packages. But I’ve had very few problems, so far.

5. Latest and Greatest without Killing Your System

One of the problems that Arch users often have, because it is a rolling release, is a new package will be released and it will break their system. The Manjaro team works to avoid that by testing new packages before making them available to users. While this might make Manjaro slightly less than bleeding edge, it also ensures that you’ll get new packages a lot sooner than distros with scheduled releases like Ubuntu and Fedora. I think that makes Manjaro a good choice to be a production machine because you have a reduced risk of downtime.

6. Switching Kernels is Easy

Switching kernel in Manjaro Linux

In order to switch kernels on most distros, you have to use some terminal wizardry. Manjaro has a nice little application that allows you to install as many kernels as you want. This is handy if you have an older laptop and it doesn’t like a new kernel. In my case, I have an HP laptop that slows way down when you use a kernel newer than 4.4. and switching kernels was just a couple of clicks away.

7. Friendly Community

There are a number of distro communities (including Arch) that are known for not being very noob friendly. The same is not true for Manjaro. The official Manjaro forum is a great place for new people to find help. They also have forums available in over 29 languages for non-English speakers

Do you use Manjaro? If so, let us know about your experiences below. If you found this article interesting, please share on social media.

Comments

  1. Tonight I was just tinkering with Manjaro 17 (gnome) in a “live mode” – running it from a USB stick. I was a bit disappointed. It’s got a great look, but, I found that a lot of things would appear to install and, then, they wouldn’t run. I’ve been using Linux Mint 98-percent of the time for the last couple of years (a triple boot drive with XP and Windows 8.1). Prior to this evening I knew zero about Arch nor Manjaro – read a bit, and used pacman to install some things. I like Clementine to listen to music, and, Deluge as a bit torrent client. Both of those package installed, then failed to launch due to missing libraries. On Linux Mint if something is available in the repos they, invariably, work -that’s been my experience, anyway. Google Chrome – which I prefer over Chromium – wouldn’t install at all. I found some convoluted directions on the web for getting it installed but I’m almost 66 and I don’t wanna spend an entire day trying to get Chrome installed…….my biological clock is, uhm, ticking. I know a lot of people like Manjaro, but it sure seems like a lot more work and hassle than something like Mint. Obviously, that’s just my opinion.

  2. I have used Manjaro and I liked it for the most part, but on dual boot systems it just doesn’t play well with other distros, and I find that hugely annoying. Whenever another distro on the same machine upgraded the grub, manjaro would no longer boot up and would instead give a kernel panic. I have found discussions about this problem online so this is not just me who experienced this problem.

  3. I notice with APU chipset /UEFI +Leagacy support can get real complex . I then start trying crazy combos that seem to work . 1. My fav is make a bootable copy for your Cpu and bits with Rufus and make cd then run both at once ! Sounds crazy but I get slacko / tails etc taking that route. Another is everyone know Kali linux is the crim dela crim, I’ve used to eat though efi locks on iMacs back in days did it with ease !! But I’ll install that first in then manjaro/ slacko/ lubuntu etc inside Kali or from all partitions it makes helps support the install. I’m no coder but been doing IT for years and learning some off the wall trickery ;) hope that info helps someone out there one day ;) y’all the shit tho Linux up , Windows down .

    Sent from Samsung Galaxy Note 8 ..$#KcLinux#$

  4. getting a hexacore 3.2ghz xeon w/16gb ram & nvidia quadro 4000 2gb ddr5 card.. got it for 249.00 (long story) Can’t wait to put manjaro(instead of arch) only because Manjaro’s xfce is GORGEOUS! and that excellent hardware detection to make the most of the video card!

  5. It works, boots fast, runs fast, rolling release very good hardware recognition. Non free drivers. I have installed it on a multitude of laptops and desktop systems without major issues. It works perfectly on devices where Mint Ubuntu Debian all caused problems. Occasional hiccups in installation were EFI related, if you update other distro on a dual boot installation it will change grub and manjaro will not boot.

  6. Thanks for the great article… I’ve been using Manjaro for a while and really enjoyed using it as an Arch distro I was never able to install. Before that I tried quite a few Linux distros, but Ubuntu was the bridge to Linux.. I use now a dual-boot Manjaro/Ubuntu because I enjoy experimenting with different things and Ubuntu seems to be easier to configure ClarityLab Lucida with a Docker install… BTW It’s FOSS has become one of the most reliable place for tutorials, how-to’s, articles on Linux and OpenSource..

  7. After finding this article, I decided to give Manjaro a try. Virtual box up and loved it. However, when I went to install it on my Linux laptop ( HP DV7 ), currently running an older mint version… and the love abruptly halted. This laptop runs Mint, Fedora, and has had a quite a few other distro’s on it with pretty much zero issues, however installing Manjaro proved to be a serious problem.

    After a five day struggle of attempting to get a USB live to boot, booting problems on various laptops as well as desktops, I finally had a booting USB, yet still no joy on my primary HP dv7 laptop ( All booting just fine on other laptops now), after additional failed attempts with a CD, I finally pulled the ssd out, and installed Manjaro on the ssd on a desktop, then put the ssd back into the laptop … and … same place of “Welcome to Grub! and nothing else. I have searched and searched, followed all forum notes I could find on anything close to this issue and still have a non booting laptop.

    Finally… frustrated on it once again … I setup a live Mint usb, booted, installed and within 10 minutes done and operational!

    While I *really* liked the Manjaro look and feel… unfortunately it still has some real installation issues.

  8. I have Manjaro installed on my PC for 1.5 year. Before that I used Fedora, Ubuntu, XUbuntu and Kubuntu (with him I fell in love with KDE). But when I saw how easy is pacman and AUR to install new software I switched on Manjaro. The best distro for now. I installed Antergos on another SSD just ti give him a try, and I can say that the Antergos is little faster then Manjaro.

  9. Excellent article. been using Manjaro for about 4 years now and it has broken maybe twice. My only complaint with Manjaro has been audio, which I seem to constanlty have one issue or another with. But yes, fixing has always been pretty easy, thanks to the forums!

  10. I started dabbling with Red Hat 5.2 Linux in 1998 on a old 486SX laptop. In 2006 I ditched Windows XP and moved to Ubuntu on my daily use laptop. I stayed with Ubuntu until Unity, then moved to Arch which increased my knowledge of Linux by an order of magnitude! When I upgraded my laptop in 2012 I didn’t have time to setup a Arch system so I gave Manjaro a try and have been using it ever since. I have had very few issues and they were easily remedied with a downgrade of the offending package until an update was available to fix the issue. Although I try out various distros on a VM from time to time, I have never found anything better for me than Manjaro.

    • Right there with you! I love Manjaro, BUT… VMWare Workstation won’t install straight away because of the init.d / systemd issue.

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