Linux

Arch-based Manjaro Linux touts user-friendliness

Looking for a new Linux flavor to try? The Manjaro team targets newcomers and pros alike, promising ease-of-use and performance.

For those of you always looking for -- or at least willing to try -- the newest Linux distribution on the scene, a pretty fresh candidate is Manjaro Linux, which recently announced some updates that should be appealing to users who aren't necessarily command-line junkies.

Manjaro is based on Arch, rather than Ubuntu or Debian, which is a version of Linux known for being lightweight, fast, and minimalist in its approach. Arch has been aimed primarily at more intermediate and advanced Linux users in the past, but the Manjaro team has placed an emphasis on the user-friendly aspect of this distro.

First of all, it uses a rolling release development model, meaning that once you've got it installed, regular updates to the core system are rolled-out periodically, and complete re-installations to get the the latest version are not necessary. It also sports a graphical installer to make it easier for newbies:

Available in both 32 and 64 bit versions, Manjaro is suitable for newcomers as well as experienced Linux users. For newcomers, a user-friendly installer is provided, and the system itself is designed to work fully ‘straight out of the box' with features including:
  • Pre-installed desktop environments
  • Pre-installed graphical applications to easily install software and update your system, and
  • Pre-installed codecs to play multimedia files

There are a number of different desktop environments available and ready to download, including:

  • XFCE 32- and 64-bit
  • Openbox 32- and 64-bit
  • Minimal Net edition: base installation without a pre-installed display manager, desktop environment, or any desktop software applications
  • Cinnamon 32- and 64-bit
  • KDE 32-bit and 64-bit

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    Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and...

    7 comments
    Blopre
    Blopre

    I have been using the KDE Manjaro for about 2 weeks on a partition alongside Fedora 19 and Mint 14. I prefer Manjaro when I log in each time. I am using an older Dell 5150 with 2 hard drives partitioned for 3 distros. Stable, fast (even on an older machine and even with KDE) as well as nice Manjaro flavor here and there. Previously used Bridge and Fedora 17 and numerous others for very short periods. Try this, I think you will like it....

    yaseennoorani
    yaseennoorani

    Ive been running Manjaro xfce version for about 2 months now and I have to say I love it! It's really nice and would recommend to almost anyone. I heard they've now included a graphical installer but I had no problems with the previous one. The system is stable, fast, light on the fan, up-to-date, and I can have my nice compiz+emerald setup without having to compromise on battery life (gives better battery life than all other distros ive used on my laptop which include Ubuntu, Bodhi, elementary, openSUSE, Bridge Linux, Linux Mint, Chakra. Well done to the people behind it

    Jymmn
    Jymmn

    I tried Manjaro and was quite impressed by the Distro. Still I gave it up. I just could not install some of what is to me the most important software, because of dependency issues.

    marcdw
    marcdw

    I've been running Arch on an ancient Panasonic CF-27 Toughbook (PII, 300MHz, 320MB RAM) for quite some time. As a dyed-in-the-wool Slackware fan I felt bad when I almost fell in love with Arch. :-) [Though moving from BSD-style init to systemd was a bit hairy] Due to limited use, GUI-wise (only 800x600 res), it's used mostly as a console machine but I'm always surprised that everything works considering the age of the hardware versus the latest/greatest kernel (3.9.2 right now), userland, and X. You do get the occassional breakage with rolling-release stuff but fixes usually come up quickly anyway. I had to submit a work-around for the neomagic X driver once. This Manjaro sounds like just the ticket for an older desktop I have that was once running Win2K and Xubuntu 10. Will check it out.

    pgit
    pgit

    Downloading right now. I'll try it on an older laptop I use a lot, currently running fedora 18. Fedora 17 ran great on this machine, and it ran ok for a while with an upgrade to f18. But then 'updates' happened. The thing runs like there's a layer of rust on everything. I have tried a few lighter distros on this machine but have never been totally happy. This distro looks (according to their web page) to be ideal. I really like the idea of a rolling release, I don't relish doing total installs on this laptop.

    pgit
    pgit

    I've been singing the praises of Manjaro since I loaded it to replace a buggy F18. It's an older core2 duo laptop, one Gb RAM and Manjaro runs faster on it than Mageia does on my i5 desktop. Very, very impressed. And it's a rolling distro, too, no more big breakages when a major release comes out! Manjaro is still a beta, they're still working on the first 'official' release, but as a beta it's magnitudes faster and more stable than the 'official' fedora releases have been. I'm testing Manjaro in a few deployments and so far I'm leaning toward adopting it as the primary end-user desktop system to recommend.

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