So on Twitter as a response to a tweet by Linus Tech Tips showing Linus’s frustration with Linux, I quoted the tweet saying “This is why you don’t use Manjaro” . That got many responses, a lot from Manjaro users telling me how great Manjaro is. Now I didn’t expect that tweet to get as much attention as it did, or cause controversy. I respect people’s distro choices, and I think Linux is all about freedom of choice, and people should have the choice to use whatever distro they want to use. So why did I make this tweet? Well for one, he’s Linus Tech Tips and millions of people watch his content, but also to give an example to new Linux users of why you should not use Manjaro. Linus has stated in a stream that he hasn’t actually daily driven Linux, so Manjaro is his first experience.
To start off, this isn’t about the distro itself. Rather it’s about the Manjaro developers and how they handle things. On at least two occasions their SSL certificates have expired, and instead of renewing them ahead of time to prevent this from happening, they recommended that users roll back their clocks . This is terrible, as they should have been onto this before it would have even happened. Additionally, suggesting such a terrible work around makes the maintainers look like they don’t know what they are doing. I would give them the benefit of the doubt here, if it only happened once. However, it happened again , this time they recommended using incognito mode to get around this problem.
Poorly maintained distro, and bad practices
They snapshot the Arch Linux repositories, and hold back updates for at least a week under the unfounded assumption that this makes things more stable. This also causes problems with AUR packages because they don’t do the same for the AUR. For example, let’s say that paru-bin gets compiled against a newer version of glibc than what is available for Manjaro, it may install but it won’t start, leaving users confused as to why this package is broken. This is not only unnecessary, but also pointless as Arch tests packages , and makes sure they are not broken.
Manjaro also has an update script that contains all kinds of hacks, such as removing lock files , and doing unnecessary things that make no sense.
One example of a security issue in Manjaro is that they snuck passwordless updates into pamac . Packages in the AUR are not verified by Manjaro, nor Arch developers. Some of their core packages have also had security vulnerabilities.
DDoSing the AUR
There’s been a bug in pamac that has actually DDoSed the AUR on multiple occasions , and the Manjaro developers refuse to address it.
Myths about Manjaro
- Manjaro is Arch with an installer. No it isn’t, they maintain their own separate repositories, have separate packages, they are not Arch.
- Manjaro is more stable than Arch. No it isn’t. Read everything I said above.
- Manjaro is easier to use than Arch. Not true. Not only has Arch recently introduced an installer , you run into far less problems using it, so there’s far less maintenence involved.
- Manjaro looks nicer than Arch. Please just install a theme! Manjaro’s theme is a fork of Materia .
I’ve used Manjaro
I know what people are gonna say, they’re gonna say that I need to try Manjaro out for myself, but I already have. Here’s a picture of Manjaro running on one of my laptops, May 2019. I don’t make claims about things that I haven’t tried, and I do my best to not make unresearched or unfounded claims.
Don’t ask me about any other Arch derivatives
I won’t say that I’m for or against any of the other ones. I haven’t used them, or researched them so I have no opinion about them. This post is specifically about Manjaro, no other Arch derivative.
Don’t just take my word for it
Here’s some other things I recommend checking out:
In conclusion, I don’t recommend that you use Manjaro. Instead I recommend either using vanilla Arch, or not Arch at all. I wrote this post because a lot of people ask me about this, especially anytime I talk about Manjaro.