Manjaro Linux: The user-friendly version of Arch Linux

Manjaro Linux provides the powerful Arch Linux with a user-friendly interface and also relies on the rolling release principle. The result is a strong Linux operating system, which is suitable for novices and experienced users alike.

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What is Manjaro Linux?

Arch Linux is one of the most popular and well-known Linux distributions due to its many customization options. However, due to the lack of graphical installation and configuration aids, this operating system is primarily aimed at experienced users and is not exactly user-friendly. The solution to this comes in the form of Manjaro Linux, a variation of Arch Linux, which has its own graphical installer as well as a frontend for package management. Manjaro Linux was introduced in 2011 and has received updates regularly since then. By default, Manjaro Linux uses Xfce, Gnome, and KDE as desktop interfaces, but also allows the use of some other options. The Linux distribution is kept up to date according to the rolling release principle.

Why is Manjaro Linux so user friendly?

Just as complicated as Arch Linux is at first glance, Manjaro Linux is as simple and user-friendly. This already starts with the installation. Instead of a command line, Manjaro Linux offers a graphical installation program called Calamares, which guides the user through the individual steps in an easy-to-understand manner. Calamares offers the choice between manual or automatic partitioning of the hard disks, recognizes hardware independently and can download the necessary drivers. Various programs are also included right from the start. If the right software is not yet included, Manjaro Linux also has Pacman, but equips the package manager with its own frontends Octopi and Pamac.

Who is Manjaro Linux geared towards?

At first glance, Manjaro Linux is the ideal solution for those users who appreciate the minimalistic and individual approach of Arch Linux, but do not want to forego certain creature comforts. That is certainly true, but a second look shows that the spin-off has stepped out of Arch’s shadow and is standing on its own two feet. It is beginner-friendly, but also offers experienced users many features they’ll like. The rolling release model ensures that the user’s computer is always up to date, and the operating system is lean and fast.

What are Manjaro Linux’s system requirements?

The system requirements vary depending on the version. Since Manjaro Linux is comparatively lean, the system runs on many computers. For example, for version 21.2.0 Qonos, which was released in December 2021, you need a 64-bit processor, 1 GB RAM, and a 30 GB memory. Other versions also manage with lower capacities.

What does this Linux distribution have to offer?

Manjaro Linux is available in different editions, which differ in particular in terms of their desktop environment and the included software. Besides the standard environments Gnome, KDE, and Xfce, Cinnamon or MATE can also be used. The software package is extensive in each edition, which is additionally favored by the rolling releases. The included programs include LibreOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, VLC, and Gimp, which are known from Linux. Further software can be conveniently added via the graphical package manager Pacman.

What are the pros and cons of Manjaro Linux?

When deciding for or against Manjaro Linux, a look at the advantages and disadvantages will help you. You can find them here:

Pros

  • User-friendliness: Manjaro Linux was developed with the clear goal of adding graphical tools to the strengths of Arch Linux and thus creating an attractive alternative for many users. Even though the operating system has long outgrown this approach, it can still be found in Manjaro Linux. The distribution also makes it very easy for beginners and thus also facilitates the switch from Windows.
  • Rolling Release: However, Manjaro Linux is by no means a pure Linux for beginners. Thanks to the rolling release model, the distribution is also clearly aimed at users who always want to be up to date. Users can decide for themselves whether they want to use the stable versions or only partially tested new features.
  • Desktop environment: Users can choose freely when it comes to desktops. There are editions for different environments, which also differ in terms of their software and themes. This is another reason why Manjaro Linux appeals to many different users.
  • Performance: Behind the beautiful shell is a powerful core. The lean operating system is very fast, and runs securely and smoothly on most computers: Manjaro Linux is a reliable distribution.
  • Software: The pre-installed software in each edition ensures that only a few programs need to be installed additionally. The package manager Pacman with its own frontend is available for additional software. This can also be used to install packages from the Arch User Repository (AUR).
  • Community: The Manjaro Linux community has the reputation of being helpful and well organized. Firstly, there is quick help for questions and problems, and secondly, several documentations are available in many languages.

Cons

  • Issues with AUR: This disadvantage may not affect all users, but those who also want to use Arch User Repositories may risk problems with their system. Only experienced users should use AUR.
  • Rolling Release: What is an advantage for many users may be rather inconvenient for others. Manjaro Linux constantly gets updated, and even though this usually runs very securely, individual problems cannot be ruled out.

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