There are many reasons to recommend Manjaro Linux. Of course, none are exclusive to this distribution. It may also be that we have different priorities, so I clarify that this list is absolutely personal and that you should try it the same, even if you do not agree with me. Sure that you will find your own reasons pTo discover that the experience is worth it.
Table of Contents
My reasons for recommending Manjaro 18.1
It is not based on Debian or Fedora
I start by clarifying that I have nothing against Debian or Fedora. I just think that the more variety there is, the more we all get richer.
Manjaro is based on Arch Linux, a community distribution with its own package installation tools and its own repositories. It is one of the fastest to incorporate the most current versions of the most popular open source programs.
The thing with Arch Linux is that it is intended to be highly configurable, which requires strong user involvement in the installation process. Manjaro solves this for us automating much of the procedure.
Support for proprietary drivers out of the box
Although there are many distributions that allow you to install proprietary drivers, there are few that let you use them in Live mode. In Manjaro you just have to select the option in the initial menu.
Calamares is not only the installer that Manjaro uses, you can also find it in many other distributions. Unlike Anaconda, the insufferable Fedora installer, you don't have to go looking for the buttons all over the screen, nor do a course at NASA to create a partition.
Ubiquity, the Ubuntu installer, is just as easy. Although it does present a problem, dual installations may require the Windows partition to be unmounted and mounted multiple times for it to work. In that sense, Calamares never presented any inconvenience.
Being a distribution derived from Arch Linux, Manjaro have the new versions available of programs, much earlier than other distributions. But, to ensure that no problems occur, their managers test them before to add them to your own repositories.
Anyway, if you want to take a chance, you can install programs using the AUR repositories. These are repositories created by third parties to install packages that were not originally packaged for Arch Linux
If you are looking for a middle way, this new version 18.1 brings native support for Snap and Flatpak. Since both formats include the necessary dependencies for the operation of each program, they do not cause modifications to the base system.
For those of us who suffered from OpenOffice during the Sun days, the growth of LibreOffice is impressive. And, as far as I can see, the compatibility with Microsoft Office is pretty good. However, there must be a problem somewhere since there are distributions that choose to include alternatives such as WPS Office or put shortcuts to the online version of Microsoft Office.
The original idea of those responsible for Manjaro was to use FreeOffice as an office suite. But, pressure from their community forced them to include in the installer the ability to choose between this and LibreOffice.
FreeOffice is a very good product that guarantees compatibility with all Microsoft Office formats. You can also create documents in pdf or epub format.
Whether you like the traditional interface or the new tape interface, the program allows you to choose the one that best suits your needs.
Several options to choose from.
We said above that Arch Linux is highly configurable. The developers and the community behind Manjaro take advantage of this to offer different preconfigured options. At the time of writing this post, the ones that are available, from the download page, are the following:
And there will be more reasons to try Manjaro
The news we gave at the beginning of the week that Manjaro was going to transform into a corporation and at the same time guarantee funding from the community is probably the best news of the year. It is the model that led Red Hat to success but improved. The community will not depend on the financial support of the parent company so they will be able to make their own decisions.
We will see if they make agreements with other software developers like the one they have with Softmaker or hardware like the one they have with Blue Systems. But, I dare to assure that interesting times are coming.