Switched Debian to Manjaro

Posted on January 11, 2021 with 576 words.

I finally baited and made the switch from AntiX to Manjaro. AntiX is great. It’s fast and it really works in older computers but I feel there is something missing and that something is from my usual workflow or probably I felt that I’ve outgrown AntiX and wanted something more. Maybe along those lines.

Don’t get me wrong. AntiX is a wonderful distro. You can give an old laptop or PC another chance by using this operating system. It’s very light on the resources that a 512 MB RAM would suffice. It comes with three desktop environments out of the box and just pick whatever you like. I’ve also used this on my uncle’s old laptop because he can’t upgrade to Windows 10 and it’s not advisable to use Windows 7 because it has reached its end of life January of last year.

AntiX is based on Debian Stable without systemd. This distro should be familiar to you if you’re coming from Ubuntu. Installing applications should be the same with Ubuntu as well: apt or dpkg.

However, I needed a distro that works out of the box. Probably because the lack of systemd requires it to have additional steps and softwares. For instance, you can’t unmount a drive in a user level. Instead you need to use another application so that you can unmount. I’ve read you can configure it but normal users won’t have the guts to mess up configurations in your OS.

So, I’ve been scouting and testing other distros using their Live CD but there is one that I’ve always wanted to use: Manjaro.

I’m not really sure the real reason why I prefer in using this distro but I think it’s because of XFCE. I’ve used Xubuntu before and it’s light on the resources as well. You also get that familiar Windows feeling in XFCE because it has Trash (Recycle Bin) and you have to double-click to open documents or applications. It really fits well on the computer I’m using because this is an old Dell laptop with Core 2 Duo processors.

I made the switch a few days ago. My first installation failed because I tried to encrypt the Manjaro partition but it ran into problems. I had to re-install it again without the encryption. After it was done, I started using Manjaro.

What I liked about Manjaro is most of the things you will do involves a GUI. Installing any application or app is GUI-based. Installing a kernel is GUI-based. Most of the things I did in AntiX is CLI-based. So, I always have a terminal open in case I want to install or run something. I also liked the fact that most of the app I’m using before in AntiX is available in the Manjaro repository; namely Yarn, Hugo, and Node, although I’m still using NVS or Node Version Switcher to handle multiple Node versions. NVM is in the Manjaro repository but I find using NVS easier.

I would say my experience is not that bad. This is my first time using Arch-based Linux distro and it’s a fun to use. Pamac, Manjaro’s package installer, can install apps from AUR out of the box. You just have to enable it in the settings as some apps are not available in Majaro’s repository. In case you encounter problems, there are a lot of resources that could help you solve your problem: Manjaro’s forum, Manjaro’s Wiki Page, or the Manjaro Reddit.

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