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Manjaro Linux 20.1 'Mikah' is out now with a theme refresh

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Manjaro Linux, the semi-rolling distribution based on Arch Linux has a new stable build release out with Manjaro  20.1 'Mikah'. If you already have Manjaro installed, no need to download again, just check for updates. These stable releases mean they put up nice fresh iso files for new installs.

Manjaro 20.1 Mikah upgrades pretty much everything. They're shipping the Xfce 4.14 desktop as their "flagship", which is their most tested and supported version. They claim only "a few can claim to offer such a polished, integrated and leading-edge Xfce experience". Things being a new theme called 'Matcha', profile for display configuration and they implemented "auto-application of profiles when new displays are connected".

Their KDE Plasma edition brings the flashiness with Plasma 5.19. This includes their theme refresh from back in the Spring along with light and dark versions of Breath2-themes. It also includes the latest KDE-Apps 20.08. Additionally their GNOME edition is based on the 3.36 series, which includes some visual refreshes as well to areas like the login and unlock screens. There's also a new GNOME Extensions application, a do not disturb button for notifications, they added in a dynamic wallpaper, improved their GNOME layout-switching application and more.

Pamac, the Manjaro-made package managing application, went through the usual update rounds too. It should be more optimized and perform better, have better error handling, improved searching and bug fixes aplenty. Finally, it comes with Linux Kernel 5.8 as the standard package for all versions of Manjaro.

Manjaro is a good middle-ground distribution that mixes a reasonably stable experience with up to date packages. You can download here.

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scaine Sep 14, 2020
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I quite like the idea of Manjaro, but I'm also leaning towards trying Endeavour because it offers a Cinnamon download as an installer option. I think I might just have to install them both and see which one "fits" the best. I use a lot of work-related proprietary tools for my day job, so they'll all have to be well supported - things like Teams (boke!), Horizon, Zoom and Dropbox. And of course the usual suspects like Discord, Spotify, Steam and Mame will all be well supported regardless.
lectrode Sep 14, 2020
Quoting: scaineTeams (boke!), Horizon, Zoom and Dropbox
In the same boat. My day job requires all of those. Of course all of those are available in the AUR. I'm one of the admins who manages horizon applications at my place of work, which makes it really easy to rely solely on my manjaro linux laptop for said work. Any windows-based tool I might need (like RSAT) I can just present to my linux laptop.

But I digress...

Manjaro has a cinnamon offering as well, it's just not one of the "flagship" DEs.

All the community-provided ISOs can be found here.

I honestly haven't tried endevouros, but that's probably mainly because I manage around ~20 systems that all have manjaro. I haven't really run into any issues with manjaro that have prompted me to look elsewhere. If it's like arch in that there's only 1 officially supported kernel, that's a bit of a no-go for me. I have different hardware that requires different kernels, and the ability to easily switch between supported kernels is a god-send.

Last edited by lectrode on 15 September 2020 at 5:53 am UTC
Phlebiac Sep 15, 2020
Quoting: lectrodeI have different hardware that requires different kernels

I'm curious of the details on this, if you don't mind sharing?
scaine Sep 15, 2020
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Well, I downloaded the Cinnamon remix of Manjaro via torrent today, checked its SHA1 checksum, burnt it onto a live USB and booted up. However, for some reason, the liveUSB doesn't see my USB ethernet connection. Even weirder, I can browse the internet via Firefox, but I can't ping

Honestly never seen anything like it. When I unplug the USB, the whole networking stack crashes.

If I reboot without the USB Ethernet plugged in, the wireless kicks in fine and the installer appears to work.

It's not filling me with confidence, I have to say. Still, it's my secondary PC, a Dell laptop, so I'm willing to sacrifice it to the distro gods to see what blessings might be bestowed. I'll finish the install tomorrow and report back on first impressions.

Edit1: The installer isn't hiDPI aware, so it looks awful. Resizing it helps a little.
Edit2: The full-disk encryption option doesn't have a GUI, so it dumps me at an hiDPI full screen console screen and (if you have a magnifying glass), you see that it's asking for the key. Pretty terrible experience. Even more bizarre - when you enter the password, it prints (still tiny) "opened slot0", then weirdly appears to reboot - I see the primary Dell logo again, only this time, it boots to my lightdm login! So freaky.
Edit3: No sign of Dropbox in the Add/Remove programs. So I reckon, it's in the AUR. I enable the AUR, refresh the database, sure enough, now I have an AUR tab. I click on that, click on Dropbox, click on "Build" (weird, but it's the only option I can see), after a minute, I have "Failed to build Dropbox". This isn't going too well!
Edit4: It just keeps failing, an error about "one or more PGP signatures couldn't be verified". Oof. Well, I'm not giving up quite yet, but I'll google it in the morning. I've had enough for one hour of distro-hopping! I have to say though, it's going better than last time I tried Manjaro on my main PC - that just kept rebooting lightdm without letting me login (after three separate attempts to build from two separate USB keys - very consistent!). That was about 2 years ago though, and it was an Nvidia box back then.

Last edited by scaine on 15 September 2020 at 9:10 pm UTC
Cyril Sep 15, 2020
Quoting: scaineSnip

Sorry, it's a bit funny to see you having a lot of issues. Like some other said, when using/testing a new distro, it depends on how you using it too, your hardware etc.

I don't use Google's DNS nor an USB ethernet.
-> So, no issue for me.

My monitor is a 1080p one.
-> So, no issue for me with the installer nor the full encryption disk CLI.

About Dropbox, I don't use it, but in the AUR you can unfortunately have that sort of issue, it's not often a big one though, but since it's maintained by the users and not officially it can happen. But in my experience, a lot of AUR packages works OOTB, sometimes a little fix is needed but that's all.

About the issue you have after the decryption disk, it's seems weird though.
On my side, I also have the "opened slot0" too, but my computer doesn't restart, it just loads the system normally.

Good luck for your testing though!
lectrode Sep 16, 2020
Quoting: scaine<network related issues>
You installed the 20.1 version, right? (older versions are pretty much just there for historical context, they don't make much sense for an install in most cases) Make sure your system is fully up-to-date. Once you do that, you can try different kernels as well to see if the issue might be kernel-specific. I'd try 5.4 and 5.7 specifically.

Quoting: scaineEven more bizarre - when you enter the password, it prints (still tiny) "opened slot0", then weirdly appears to reboot - I see the primary Dell logo again, only this time, it boots to my lightdm login! So freaky.
Can't speak to the full-disk encryption personally, but others have also inquired into the GUI for it. Plymouth is in the repos, and detailed instructions for installing it are here (granted, these instructions are for Arch Linux, but it'd be pretty similar on Manjaro). It was dropped in 2017 for various reasons. Haven't really missed it.

As far as booting goes, the default UEFI install will use the logo provided in your motherboard firmware for the boot splash. It's a feature. At least, I believe this is the case. I always use legacy over UEFI.

Quoting: scaineEdit4: It just keeps failing, an error about "one or more PGP signatures couldn't be verified".

Dropbox AUR page has instructions for importing pgp key. This is an additional security feature some AUR packages have. If it continues to be unable to verify, it may be that the dropbox binary was updated on dropbox's website and the hash hasn't been updated yet. You can skip the verification with:
sudo pacman -S yay
yay -S --noconfirm dropbox

Last edited by lectrode on 16 September 2020 at 12:23 am UTC
lectrode Sep 16, 2020
Quoting: Phlebiac
Quoting: lectrodeI have different hardware that requires different kernels
I'm curious of the details on this, if you don't mind sharing?

Most of the systems I manage are on the latest lts kernel (currently 5.4). These are mostly thinkpad laptops and some dell towers. These range from 7 to 3 years old. Mix of personal and work use. With any new kernel, I didn't migrate them right away; I kept them on the previous LTS until I deem the new LTS "stable" after a period of use on my personal systems.

At the moment, there are only 4 systems I put on different kernels. 2 of those have newer AMD hardware and have better support with 5.7 and 5.8 (one is a threadripper, the other I can't remember off hand, but it's in a lenovo ideapad that is only a few months old).

One is a system76 laptop from about a year and a half ago. I don't think it needs a newer kernel, but that's the preference of it's current user.

The last one is a bit of an oddball. ~5 year old gigabyte mobo with intel cpu and a gtx970. For some reason games freeze on it with 5.4, but work fine with 5.7. The mobo has been questionable since it was first acquired, so this might just be something with that.
Phlebiac Sep 16, 2020
Quoting: lectrodeI have different hardware that requires different kernels
Quoting: lectrodeAt the moment, there are only 4 systems I put on different kernels...

OK, so you have "reasons" but not ones that really match your original statement. I was just wondering what hardware didn't work with newer kernels and was making you stick with older ones, or what "kernel spins" were required for oddball devices. But it's really just "I want to test the latest before I roll it out".
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