Sunday, April 30, 2017

(ARCHIVED) Manjaro Linux Review

*Originally posted on the Aclevo Blog*


There are many people in this world who are fed up with Windows, especially after Windows 10. With Windows 10, users don't have as much control over his or her machine compared to previous versions of Windows. A great alternative to Windows is Linux. However, choosing a Linux distribution can be very tedious, as there are many out there.

Manjaro

I have spent a week using Manjaro Linux, a Linux distribution based off of Arch Linux. It's much easier to setup than Arch Linux, but it includes all of the basic programs that a user wants. It comes in a couple of flavors. The version I chose comes with the GNOME Desktop Environment. Other options include KDE and XFCE. Manjaro's website is https://manjaro.org. The download size is about 1.5GB.

My setup

I am using Manjaro Linux as my main operating system on my custom-built gaming PC. It has an Intel Core i5-6500,an AMD RX 470 video card, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, a 3TB hard drive, and a 1TB hard drive.
 


Gaming

Linux gaming has grown immensely in the past couple of years. Many games are available for Linux, including Counter Strike Global Offensive, Rocket League, Saints Row IV, Borderlands 2, Portal and Portal 2, Cities:Skylines, and many more games are available on steam, or they are playable through Wine. A great option to play games through wine is a program called Play On Linux. It makes everything easier to understand for the end user. On my system, I downloaded a few games through Steam and I downloaded a couple of games that are compatible with Wine. This system handled the games very well, even though I am using the AMDGPU open source drivers. A few months ago, my experience with AMDGPU was horrible, but with Kernel 4.9 and 4.10, my experience has been amazing. Games such as Grand Theft Auto V, however, aren't compatible yet with Wine (that that I know of.) I still have Windows 8.1 on a different partition for games that won't work at all on Linux.

Web Browsing

For general web browsing, Linux handles it like a champ, except the fonts are not perfect. I installed a few extra fontpacks, and somehow the system fonts got all whacky, as in numbers weren't showing. I spent about an hour going through terminal commands, but I mostly fixed it, except in Google Chrome. I had to completely reset Google Chrome to fix the font issue there. Firefox and Chrome both are completely compatible with Linux. I prefer Chrome because I can sync all of my stuff across devices with my Google account.

Software & Updates

Installing updates is very easy with Manjaro Linux. There is a program called Software Updater that automatically checks for updates and it is easy to install updates from the program. There is also a program called Add/Remove Software that lets the user add additional software or remove any installed software. The underlying package manager is Pacman, which is the same package manager that Arch uses. To manually update, the user can type sudo pacman -Syu in the terminal.
 


Verdict

My verdict for Manjaro Linux is that overall, it's a very good distribution. It's a Linux Distribution for the advanced user and for the simple user. It's very easy to install, update, and it's very easy to browse the web for those who just want to use websites like Facebook. It is very stable with modern hardware, and it comes with the latest available kernel that supports a wide range of devices. I've only used it for a week, but my overall experience has been great. This year is definitely the year of the Linux Desktop for me.

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