Manjaro is a free and open-source Linux distribution based on the Arch Linux operating system that has a focus on user-friendliness and accessibility. It uses a rolling release update model and Pacman as its package manager. It is developed mainly in Austria, France and Germany.
History of Manjaro
Manjaro was first released on July 10, 2011. By mid 2013, Manjaro was in the beta stage, though key elements of the final system had all been implemented such as: a GUI installer (then an Antergos installer fork); a package manager (Pacman) with its choice of frontends; Pamac (GTK) for Xfce desktop and Octopi (Qt) for its Openbox edition; MHWD (Manjaro Hardware Detection, for detection of free & proprietary video drivers); and Manjaro Settings Manager (for system-wide settings, user management, and graphics driver installation and management).
Features of Manjaro
Manjaro comes with both a CLI and a graphical installer. The rolling release model means that users do not need to upgrade/reinstall the whole system to keep it all up-to-date inline with the latest release. Package management is handled by Pacman via the command line (terminal) and via front-end GUI package manager tools like the pre-installed Pamac. It can be configured as either a stable system (default) or bleeding edge, in line with Arch.
The repositories are managed with their own tool, BoxIt, which is designed like Git.
Manjaro includes its own GUI settings manager where options like language, drivers, and kernel version can be configured.
Certain commonly used Arch utilities, such as the Arch Build System (ABS), are available but have alternate implementations in Manjaro.
Manjaro Architect is a CLI net installer that allows users to choose their own kernel versions, drivers, and desktop environments during the install process. Both the official and the community edition’s desktop environments are available for selection. For GUI-based installations, Manjaro uses the GUI installer Calamares.
Manjaro on the PinePhone
Although Manjaro can be installed on most systems, some vendors sell computers with Manjaro pre-installed on them. Suppliers of computers pre-installed with Manjaro include StarLabs Systems, Tuxedo Computers, manjarocomputer.eu and Pine64.
Manjaro with Plasma Mobile desktop environment is the default operating system on PinePhone, an ARM-based smartphone released by Pine64.
Relation to Arch Linux:
The main difference compared to Arch Linux is the repositories.
Manjaro uses three sets of repositories:
Unstable: contains the most up to date Arch Linux packages. Unstable is synced several times a day with Arch package releases. Testing: contains packages from the unstable repositories after they have been tested by users. Stable: contains only packages that are deemed stable by the development team, which can mean a delay of a few weeks before getting major upgrades.
Manjaro’s Xfce edition to be very fast and unusually light on memory. The distribution worked smoothly and worked well with both my physical hardware and my virtual environment. I also enjoyed Manjaro’s habit of telling me when new software (particularly new versions of the Linux kernel) was available. I fumbled a little with Manjaro’s settings panel and finding some settings, but in the end I was pleased with the range of configuration I could achieve with the distribution. I especially like that Manjaro makes it easy to block notifications and keep windows from stealing focus. The distribution can be made to stay pleasantly out of the way.”