Arch Linux vs. Manjaro: Which OS Is Right For You

Most GNU/Linux distributions develop user-friendly software, however, Arch Linux chooses to go against the norm. Arch Linux is known best for being user-centric, in which the user assembles the system itself. Their goal is not to appease a lot of users but to encourage users to be accustomed and be able to solve their problems by having a do it yourself attitude. Its perfect avenue for hardcore developer enthusiasts that are looking for challenges and is eager to learn.

Arch Linux is a distribution, independently developed, based on x86-64 architectures that strive to provide the most stable software versions available. The x86-64 architectures have two modes of operation:

  1. 64-bit mode and compatibility mode
  2. 4-level paging mode

With those two modes operating together, at the same time, the software could support the storage of large amounts of data, whether virtually or physically. Unlike other software, Arch Linux maintains its stable and latest versions by using a rolling-release system that allows a one-time installation with continuous upgrades. It doesn’t require users to reinstall and download other files needed for modifications and upgrades, a perfectly functional updated software on its own. It was developed by Judd Vinet, a Canadian programmer who got inspiration from Slackware, BSD, PLD, etc. However, in late 2007, when Vinet decided to retire, all the reign was transferred to Aaron Griffin, an American programmer.

Although it’s a bit challenging for most users, Arch Linux has a difficult installation process without any unnecessary additions and modifications after downloading. But, to do that, there are basic system requirements that need to be met first.

  • A x86_64 (i.e. 64 bit) compatible machine
  • Minimum 512 MB of RAM (recommended 2 GB)
  • At least 2 GB of free disk space (recommended 20 GB for basic usage with a desktop environment)
  • Internet connection

Arch Linux can be downloaded directly from their website. There are several ways on how to get the software, ranging from the image burned to a CD, mounted as an ISO file, through writing directly to a USB stick using a utility like dd, through BitTorrent downloadable links, or via HTTP mirror sites listed on the website.

In order to successfully install the software, pre-installation steps are needed to be done as a prerequisite which is listed below.

  • Verify signature
  • Boot the live environment
  • Set the keyboard layout
  • Verify the boot mode
  • Connect to the internet
  • Update the system clock
  • Partition the disks
  • Format the partitions
  • Mount the file systems

After completing the prerequisite steps, the installation of the software can now commence. Users just need to select mirrors and install essential packages and everything should be done just fine.

For developers who wanted to get a complete grip over a software, Arch Linux is the suitable option to choose. It is known for its fast functioning and operating system, highly customizable and flexible, together with a smart package manager. It’s beneficial to users who constantly find themselves on exciting challenges and let them think outside the box to gain new knowledge and experiences.

Manjaro Linux or simply known as Manjaro is an open-source desktop operating system based on Arch Linux. Although Manjaro is an Arch-based and is Arch compatible, it is not in its sense, Arch. It is developed independently from Arch, and by a completely different team. It was mainly developed to provide complete user-friendly system software and designed to cater to both new and experienced Linux users. Manjaro was started by Philip Muller along with Roland Guillaume’s way back 2011.

Manjaro is available for 64-bit architectures and supports different editions including XFCE, KDE and Gnome. It is available and can be downloaded on their website. The minimum system requirements to install the software includes but not limited to

  • 1 GB RAM 1 GHz Processor
  • 30 GB free hard disk size
  • Bootable media (ISO, DVD, USB device)
  • Internet connection (optional)

If all the system requirements are all met, users can now proceed to the installation process. Like what’s commonly done when installing, users just need to download the ISO file, write it to a thumb drive, and click install. Moreover, with the help of the Calamares installer, the installation procedure could run flawlessly and can be completed within minutes. The installer is pretty informative and undeniably helpful to every user. Just click the necessary buttons and choose the suitable option for users’ perusal. When it’s already installed, Manjaro scans the entire system and installs the required drivers for the best performance.

Manjaro also has great features. It has a nice and beautiful desktop environment with well organized, neatly arranged menus at the left corner with a background theme that screams perfection. It comes with desktop managers such as GNOME, KDE, i3, XFCE, and other exciting out of the box ideas. Also, Manjaro allows the installation of many kernels as what the users desired. It’s quite helpful to users having older laptops that are not compatible with new kernels.

The reason why Manjaro ranks higher than other distributions on DistroWatch was that it is a system that behaves like Arch but with a user-friendly interface. It’s made easy and accessible all the while maintaining its high-quality work that automatically updates without reinstalling or downloading additional files. In conclusion, anybody that is computer literate and still a newbie can comfortably use it right away. If you need a community that is welcoming and is not a noob snob, then, Manjaro is the perfect place to go.

In comparison, Arch Linux is user-centric while Manjaro is user-friendly. Arch Linux lets you dig deep and enhance your problem-solving skills while Manjaro guides users and makes it easier for them to access and use. Arch inhibits newbie for further examining the software due to its tedious installation process while Manjaro manages to give users an installer that helps users to engage more in the software in general. Both implemented a rolling-release system that automatically upgrades the software without reinstalling and adding files that made it both good. Arch is based on x86-64 architectures that have dual modes of operation that offer large storage of data, while in contrast, Manjaro is based on 64 architectures. Arch is not for everyone while Manjaro does.

In conclusion, both are addressing different people with several ways of doing it. It just depends on how certain people react and overcome those differences. With Arch having pride about owning their completely customized software and the opposite, Manjaro, focusing on appeasing lots of people with their pre-built packages out of the box.

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