37
bahua
13d

For almost twenty years I have sheltered in the protective, safe, warm bosom of Debian. For a long time, it had the largest body of available software of all the distros, and by far when Ubuntu rose to prominence. So I used Ubuntu for years for the depth of package availability, and because if something esoteric was released, it would almost certainly come out first on Ubuntu, and sometimes only on Ubuntu. I was happy. Things were good.

But over time, Ubuntu and even Debian started to lean harder and harder on gnome, which I've always hated, along with all desktop environments, as they obscure the system from the user, and introduce graphical layers of abstraction, so the actual job of getting things done becomes a black art, hidden behind gnome-specific tools. This is my preference, and It's been disheartening in recent years to see the direction the desktop appears to be taking.

Then I joined devrant in 2017, and until then, I had heard peripherally about Arch, but never more than that. I had not heard of Manjaro at all. People started posting success stories and happy screenshots, and I was intrigued.

In 2018 I built a windows machine to use for parsec streaming games that wouldn't run on my linux rig. For not a great deal of money, I built a solid machine that's unequivocally better than any machine I've ever used, and installed windows on it. For a while, I was pleased. I had the best of both worlds: a windows box to stream some games from, and a linux desktop for everything else.

But after a couple months, as proton matured, I found fewer and fewer reasons to use my windows machine. My use of it declined to where I was last week: it had been months since I'd even powered it on. It was the most powerful machine I've ever used, and it was just collecting dust behind the TV in the living room. The full realization came to me while I was fighting a battle in the Gnome Takeover War, and I realized: I don't have to do this.

I pulled the newer machine out from behind the TV and installed Manjaro architect edition on it. The flexibility in the install was staggering. I am using nilfs2 for my /boot and / partitions: an option that Ubuntu has never offered. Normally they just default you into the garbage ext4 filesystem, and if you can dig deep enough, you can install with something else, though you have to really want it, in my opinion.

But Manjaro has been a dream-come-true. Pacman is easily the best package manager I have ever used, and pamac's intuitive and easy commands are a great view into AUR. Booting into the virtual console instead of a display manager has been wonderful too. On Ubuntu, I had to disable systemd's version of runlevel 5 to even get it working. But I just popped my xrandr script into my .xinitrc, and X opens with startx in less than a second. On Ubuntu, it takes about 5-10 seconds.

This has nothing to do with Manjaro, but I also switched to Radeon for this install, and I couldn't be happier about that. No more "installing" nvidia's drivers.

No more gnome. No more PPAs. No more settling. I am a Manjaro user now. Full stop. Thank you, devrant, for bringing it to my attention.

Comments
  • 7
    Manjaro does have a way of grabbing you. I preferred Mint to Ubuntu after the design disasters of Gnome 3, but Plasma made me a KDE user, and after Chakra started having problems I went looking for a replacement. KDE Neon was too limited, and the changes Ubuntu had made meant I'd have to relearn to command set (as well as Neon's tweaks). Manjaro was Arch-based like Chakra, and seemed to do most things the right way. Someday I'll be brave enough to do an Architect install, too.
  • 6
    wow man, I've been following you for a couple of months and feeling glad you are liking it.

    I do the same thing, startx a lightweight DE and xrandr afterwards. fast boot on a hdd.

    > no more ppa's
    hell yeah, just thinking of running apt update with 10 PPAs makes my stomach twirl

    I don't miss gnome at all either, including the problems when switching back to it from a vt:
    * 2 second black screen delay
    * xkb reset because gnome somehow thinks it should reset

    if you ever take the arch step, I promise it's not as hard as people make it to be. The result is a system with just the software you use, no more.

    i hope i can get a radeon gpu laptop next time, :'(

    btw, which de/wm?
  • 1
    Too long; Didn't read, but ++'d only for using Manjaro <3
    (and the huge RAM)
  • 1
    Ah yes, Manjaro. A wonderful distro I must say.
  • 1
    @jesustricks

    I use openbox, with a large custom config with a lot of custom hotkeys. I like lxpanel right now but I'm not married to it. I think I'll play a bit with polybar. I know that's doable with other wm/de setups, but I like how this works a lot.
  • 1
    Ryzen 3 2200G
    misc AMD Radeon RX
    Radeon Vega
    64GB RAM

    hoo boy, wish I had anything close to that

    although i'll probably never touch official pacman based on what some people have said about it and my time with dkp-pacman

    arch and arch-based for similar reasons
  • 1
    Back to ~1998 I used Slackware and I used to love that. I have already used a Mandrake. I couldn't stick to it as I needed too much Windows programs at that time.

    So I had no Linux for several years. When I decided to code more professionally, I installed my Linux again. First the Elementary (I didn't like it), than Mint, but I was not completely happy yet.

    Just like you, after reading about Arch here, I remembered how fun was my experience with that old Slackware and I installed it on my very old laptop... 1 week later I installed Manjaro at my main PC, deleting my Windows.

    I just love them! I used to hate PPAs, now I love how pacman works, as well as AUR.
  • 1
    I just installed Manjaro like 2 weeks ago!
  • 3
    @ManBunMike

    Nice! You're enjoying it, then?

    It's taken me a couple reboots to realize that the package manager doesn't enable systemd units. Up was down for a little bit, but once I figured out what was going on, it made perfect sense to me. It makes me question why apt does it in the first place.
  • 1
    @bahua the arch wiki is authoritative for manjaro too and specifies post install instructions, including systemd start's.
  • 1
    Proud of you. Debian turned into the windows of Linux. For the past few years my machines have either run pure arch (general use/development) or slack (embedded adventures). I have never tried Manjaro, arch is still arch. O, added plus, you can setup/run snap programs on arch. yay -S snap snapd
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