Author Topic: Manjaro 17.01  (Read 317 times)

Offline fox

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Manjaro 17.01
« on: May 15, 2017, 01:44:20 pm »
Manjaro is worth talking about from at least two perspectives: as a user-friendly alternative to Arch (it is Arch-based) and as a beginner distro. I hadn't tried it for a few years, but decided to because I liked it when I last saw it. Furthermore, if you are one of the unfortunates with a broadcom wifi card, Manjaro provides the drivers as part of a default installation. You can get it with XFCE, gnome or plasma desktops, and others are provided in community editions. I downloaded the gnome version and tried it live on my MacBook Air. Everything worked from the live edition except for the iSight camera (webcam), which didn't work on my MacBook Air but did on my iMac. The basic functions of the Macbook Air trackpad worked as well, along with changes in the settings, but some of the more esoteric settings (e.g. magnify with finger gesture) didn't. Still, very impressive. Even more impressive is that gnome on Wayland works (it doesn't in Ubuntu on a Mac), and for the beginner, there is an excellent greeting screen (like Ubuntu mate) and the add/remove software application (pamac) is very user-friendly. I am going to put this on my distrohopping laptop and play with it awhile.

Incidentally, the live image can be easily loaded on a usb pendrive with Etcher (a very user-friendly distro installer). I've tried Etcher on a number of distros before, and unlike Unetbootin, it seems to work all the time.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 01:04:21 pm by fox »
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Offline ssfc72

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Re: Manjaro 17.01
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2017, 07:50:26 am »
Nice info about the latest Manjaro, Mike!  I will have to get it on a usb thumb drive and try a Live install.
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Offline fox

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Re: Manjaro 17.01
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2017, 08:39:42 am »
OK. I still agree that it's a very nice distro, but I learned something yesterday about it that isn't so nice; something that has me pulling my recommendation as a beginner's distro. Manjaro (and Arch) are very picky about the grub they use. Install another distro after Manjaro and try to boot Manjaro afterwards and you'll get a kernel panic! Update Manjaro and try to boot it from the grub of another and you'll also get a kernel panic! We tried to solve this at PLUG MUG last night and couldn't, resulting in my going home and reinstalling Manjaro from scratch. But after doing that, I added Bunsenlabs Linux to the same computer (which I accidentally destroyed earlier that day), and back came the kernel panic!

I found an easy way to recover here. In a nutshell, do the following to recover the grub from Manjaro:
press E while Manjaro is highlighted in the boot menu
choose command line option, then type:
     grub> set root=(hdx,y)
     grub> configfile /boot/grub/grub.cfg

This booted me into the Manjaro grub, and Manjaro started up from there. However, this doesn't permanently set your boot grub to Manjaro, though one can do that by reinstalling grub-pc. But I consider that a kludge. Ubuntu is always present on my distrohopping laptop, and since all other distros come and go, I want to start up from the Ubuntu grub. I'm pretty sure that all I have to do from there is copy the Manjaro grub entry for Manjaro and substitute it for the Manjaro entry in the Ubuntu grub. But we're already well beyond beginner. Nevertheless, I want to keep Manjaro on this laptop, at least for now because it is a very nice distro.

One final point I should make about Manjaro. It is a rolling release distro like Arch, although a bit more controlled. But this means large and frequent updates; e.g. I had to download ~ 450 mb of upgrades right after I installed it. If you don't want to deal with this, don't install Manjaro.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 01:05:56 pm by fox »
Ubuntu 17.04 and 17.10 on 2011 iMac
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Offline ssfc72

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Re: Manjaro 17.01
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2017, 04:58:09 pm »
Ohh!  Ok, think I will not bother with Manjaro, then.
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Offline fox

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Re: Manjaro 17.01
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2017, 07:55:26 pm »
Actually, the fix to boot Manjaro from Ubuntu's grub was pretty easy, once I found out what was wrong. I found it on a post on Manjaro's forums. One can either fix Manjaro's entry directly in grub or use grub-customizer to add a custom entry. I did the latter, starting with the Manjaro entry shown there. I copied it for the custom entry and only had to change one line:

Code: [Select]
initrd /boot/intel-ucode.img
to

Code: [Select]
initrd /boot/intel-ucode.img /boot/initramfs-4.9-x86_64.img
(for kernel 4.9)

Worked like a charm!!! Give me those geek glasses next week :)
Ubuntu 17.04 and 17.10 on 2011 iMac
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Ubuntu 16.04 (Unity, Gnome) and Arch on Dell XPS 13 (4gb RAM, 250gb SSD)

Offline fox

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Re: Manjaro 17.01
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2017, 12:48:34 pm »
I should also mention that Manjaro is now #3 in the DistroWatch rankings, behind Mint and Debian. While the rankings may not reflect the number of users of a distro, the position of Manjaro tells me that a lot of people are interested in it and probably that a lot more are using it than used to be. Unfortunately, it hasn't received a published review (other than in Russian) in a year, and it has been two or three since it received a thorough published review. The rolling release aspect of it can be positive or negative depending on the importance you place on having the latest versions of software. The grub menu issue is more serious for someone that is constantly distrohopping, but it is easy enough to fix for anyone who is not a beginner.  So Bill, I would suggest you try it, at least from the live version. I think you'll be impressed with it.
Ubuntu 17.04 and 17.10 on 2011 iMac
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Manjaro 17.01
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2017, 10:53:51 pm »
Thanks for the info, Mike. I would argue that a beginner to Linux isn't going to be installing more than one LInux distro at a time, though. It just tends to be a pain to us guys who have been using Linux for a while. Usually just getting them to accept that they can have another OS alongside Windows (i.e. dual-boot) is usually good enough for them. I mean that if they'd try Manjaro at all (and I doubt even that), they probably would be happy just dual-booting it. I also recall that Manjaro doesn't partition the disk (unless that's changed) so another reason a beginner wouldn't be using it.

I'd be interested in seeing Brian's perspective on Arch. The few people I've talked to that use Arch don't like distros like Manjaro because they hold back updates for weeks. Even though Arch can break something with an update, usually a few days later it is fixed. In Manjaro, though you might have fewer updates breaking something, if they do, you may not see the fix for it for a longer period because they delay updates.
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Offline fox

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Re: Manjaro 17.01
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2017, 11:44:07 pm »
Manjaro does partition disks automatically now. As for holding back updates, it does that, as I recall, in order to be more certain that they work. So yes, they hold them back until more thoroughly tested, and then they release them. This makes them safer, but you don\t get them quite as fast as you do with Arch. (A week later or less?) As to why Arch users don't like Arch derivatives, my understanding is that it's because Arch users don't favour things that make it easier because then you don't learn the guts of it. I can see both points of view. But aside from ease of use, one other thing you get with Manjaro is good desktop design. Manjaro is known for this, somewhat like Elementary. I am very picky about the look and feel of my desktop and the only thing I have changed from the default Manjaro desktop is to move the panel from the bottom to the top of the display. (That's my Mac heritage. Any bottom panel with an app launcher looks too much like Windows for me to accept.)

There is another Arch derivative called Antergos that is also more user friendly than Arch and adds, among other things, a gui installer. The default desktop of Antergos is gnome, one of the options supported by Manjaro. I haven't tried it, but I have seen it running numerous times on Chris Fisher's computers on the Linux Action Show. I believe that, unlike Manjaro, Antergoes doesn't hold back Arch updates so if you want the latest and greatest faster and are willing to risk breaking something with an update, Antergos would be a good alternative to Manjaro. (But not for beginners.)
« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 11:48:06 pm by fox »
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Manjaro 17.01
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2017, 02:22:55 am »
Manjaro does partition disks automatically now. As for holding back updates, it does that, as I recall, in order to be more certain that they work. So yes, they hold them back until more thoroughly tested, and then they release them. This makes them safer, but you don\t get them quite as fast as you do with Arch. (A week later or less?)

Yeah, I mentioned that above, that holding back updates for testing might be fine, but if something does break, then you're also holding back potential fixes, too. I forget how fast they are.


Quote
As to why Arch users don't like Arch derivatives, my understanding is that it's because Arch users don't favour things that make it easier because then you don't learn the guts of it. I can see both points of view.

I'm not sure that's true. The Arch people I've talked mainly don't like the fact that Manjaro holds back updates. But I guess if you do any customization of the desktop, you're going to have to hold back updates too, as you've probably changed something that could break with vanilla arch updates.



Quote
But aside from ease of use, one other thing you get with Manjaro is good desktop design.

It's not hard to install a desktop on Arch but yes, you'll have to customize it as they don't change the vanilla desktop. I guess you can have somebody do it all for you or do it yourself.

I haven't tried Antergos, will have to take a look at it.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2017, 02:24:47 am by elpresidente »
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Offline fox

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Re: Manjaro 17.01
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2017, 08:39:46 am »

Quote
As to why Arch users don't like Arch derivatives, my understanding is that it's because Arch users don't favour things that make it easier because then you don't learn the guts of it. I can see both points of view.

I'm not sure that's true. The Arch people I've talked mainly don't like the fact that Manjaro holds back updates. But I guess if you do any customization of the desktop, you're going to have to hold back updates too, as you've probably changed something that could break with vanilla arch updates.

Interesting thread on this subject here. It relates to Antergos, not Manjaro, but if anything, Antergos is closer to Arch than Manjaro. You'll see that even though Antergos doesn't hold back updates, there is still this importance placed on learning the guts when you install Arch. In this thread, the responder isn't haughty about it, but he/she argues that users on Arch forums won't often help Antergos users for this reason alone.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2017, 08:46:06 am by fox »
Ubuntu 17.04 and 17.10 on 2011 iMac
Linux Mint Cinnamon 18.2 on "late 2015" 5k iMac
Ubuntu 16.04 (Unity, Gnome) and Arch on Dell XPS 13 (4gb RAM, 250gb SSD)

 

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