Why I almost left Kubuntu for Manjaro, and why I decided not to [Personal story]


ubuntu vs. Manjaro

Since my mentor convinced me to switch to Linux back in 2005, I knew of its existence since 2002, I have tried many distributions, but the ones that I have liked the most have always been based on Ubuntu. So, I have mainly been using Canonical's system until the beginning of last year, when I saw that Plasma worked much better than in the past and decided to switch to Kubuntu. But recently I've been "playing" with Manjaro and decided to switch back ... but I didn't.

Why? And why had he thought to do it? That is what I am going to try to explain here, but making it clear that I am talking about my personal experience in the present. Both seem like great options to me, and I actually use Manjaro on my Raspberry Pi and the xfce-usb version on my older laptop, but I have stayed on Kubuntu on my main machine for a couple of reasons: stability and because the existing community and information is much more extensive.

Why did I consider leaving Kubuntu ...

The story is long. Although I already knew his philosophy, my colleague Diego managed to draw my attention a little more with your article from last year. And is that Kubuntu, like the rest of Ubuntu flavors, releases a new version every six months, and update many apps with a long delay. As an example, the GIMP version of Groovy Gorilla is still v2.10.18, when that of the Manjaro repositories is at v2.10.20 and it will probably be updated to the latest much earlier than X-buntu.

But what seemed more serious to me was that Kubuntu 20.04 stay on Plasma 5.18 because +5.19 required a more updated version of Qt and KDE would not do the "backport", something that does not happen in a distribution like Manjaro because it is Rolling Release. In fact, my Raspberry Pi was just upgraded to Plasma 5.20.1 and my main laptop with the Backports PPA is still on the Plasma 5.19.5 that Groovy Gorilla has arrived with. And so with everything.

Manjaro repositories vs. Kubuntu repositories

Pamac from Manjaro

Pamac at Manjaro Xfce

Even more, in my tests, both on xfce-usb (from where I write this article on a laptop that is a bit tartan) and on the Raspberry Pi with Manjaro ARM in its KDE edition, I have been able to examine AUR well, and something like that is what I miss in Ubuntu based operating systems. AUR es Arch User Repository, and the community puts practically all the existing software there. It is said that, if it is not in AUR, it does not exist for Linux, and Manjaro's Pamac compiles everything for us. There we can find, for example, web browsers like Vivaldi or Brave, which also reminds me that the Manjaro repositories have a free snapd version of Chromium available. And no, adding third-party repositories is not even close to being the same.

Something that I knew could happen is still important and I checked yesterday: my laptop with Manjaro outputs video and audio via HDMI, something that does not happen to me with Kubuntu (in fact, not in my installation with Windows). It came to my mind that it was because of the kernel it uses and, whether or not it is so, that brings us to another topic: Manjaro has a tool to use the kernel that seems best to us, and right now I'm on Linux 5.9.

… And why didn't I

When it was almost decided, I realized a few things. Suddenly, it gave me an error when entering some pages, like Apple's Numbers (I have to use a sheet there), which made me check the rest of the options as well and iCloud Drive wasn't working either. Seeing that I had a problem, I searched the net if it happened to someone else, and what I found were crickets singing (cri cri… cri cri…). That made me read more, much more, to see how the community said just that: "sometimes you will have a problem and you will be the first to experience it", there will be no information about it. And in case you are wondering, the failure to enter certain websites with Firefox also happened to me in other browsers, such as Chrome, Chromium and Vivaldi.

The worst thing was reading users who claim that such rapid updates by some software make things that worked stop working until they are repaired. So I made a decision, at least temporary: on my main computer, I'm going to have a little patience with updates, but I will have a more stable team. Being someone who moves a lot, I will probably move to Manjaro in the future, but I will return to Kubuntu if I see that I run into problems. In fact, it is a path that I have read that many have done, but it will probably be different in the future.

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  1.   erathor said


    I commend your choice to apply the principle of prudence.

    You already work with a very good distribution and, if you want to change, you have to be 100% sure.

    It happened to me not long ago, I became infatuated with a distribution, Void Linux. I love your philosophy.
    Initd instead of systemd, system rolling release,
    A super efficient, fast and simple package manager.

    I installed it as a virtual machine, I tried it, I loved it.

    Quick to boot up, the desktop feels very light, not a slightest packaging problem. A bit of how Archlinux felt before switching to systemd.

    But, I stayed in Manjaro as you have done with Ubuntu (to which I owe a lot, by the way. I had it years in my
    in gnome times 2).

    The culprit, AUR. Yes, it's all linux there, literally.

    I was just starting a development course and there was nothing, application or library that I couldn't find.

    Void is adding packages at a good pace, but they only have their official repositories.

    So I'm sticking with Manjaro but keeping an eye on Void.

    Virtual machines have given us this. You can get to know a system, adapt it to your liking and only when you are sure, install it on disk.

    So that's my recommendation. Do not give up manjaro. Use both with a virtual machine and time will judge.

    Regarding updates, there are updates that can be conflicting but being sensible you don't have to have problems.

    I have been with the manjaro installed since 2015 and only rolling release.

    Learn well the use of pacman to clear the cache and make downgrades, if necessary.

    Do not be the first to update or the last, collecting several updates.

    Checking the manjaro forum a few days after the update arrives, you will see that if there have been any complications it will have already been solved.

    Make regular backups with timeshift. I've only had to go to it once in 5 years, but it gives you the peace of mind you need.

    Stay on the stable branch and don't go crazy installing things like crazy just because they are in AUR.

    I hope it helps you.

    A greeting!

  2.   Nacho said

    Well, I left Ubuntu for Manjaro years ago and it was the best decision I could make. I don't know what you mean by "incompatibilities" (the base is the same, kernel + graphical environment + libraries + applications) but there is nothing bigger than the Arch community, with the wiki, the forums and the AUR repository that make the life of linuxers easier.

    And rolling release does not mean unstable, in fact the Manjaro repos are set by default in the stable branch and are quite tested.

    1.    pablinux said


      For example, an update that made part of VirtualBox not work. It's part of what I've read, and they lost the entire virtual machine and VirtualBox until they fixed it. The user was working with that, so they screwed him up.

      A greeting.

  3.   Juan Luis Palma placeholder image said

    and KDE Neon? It won't fix the Gimp thing but it will fix the Plasma thing

    1.    pablinux said

      Hi, it's another option, but the database is updated every two years. neon uses Ubuntu LTS, so the next base update will be in 2022. My intention is to use the newer Kubuntu with the rest of the newer software, and also what they bring (backport) is more tested, less bugs. KDE's Nate Graham has expressed concern about the reported bugs in KDE neon 5.20 that are not in Kubuntu, simply because they take it easier.

      A greeting.

  4.   Sergio from Argentina said

    The article was interesting, especially because today I was looking for information about the differences between Kubuntu, Debian Testing, Parrot and Manjaro. I am using the latter with plasma and I think I am not going to change it, it is excellent and never gave me the slightest problem, except that sometimes programs that are in the AUR cannot be compiled

    1.    pablinux said

      This is what I comment: surely I will try it in the future, but now I come from not being able to use several websites for several days, and that is very scary. I DON'T KNOW what it was, it fixed itself, but it happened to my three Manjaros at the same time. That was what stopped me and what made me notice the complaints of other users, but I'll see in a few months.

  5.   Cristian said

    I've been using Ubuntu for a long time, but I accidentally spoiled it: D. And it gave me the perfect excuse to try another distro, in this case Fedora 33 and I love it. Especially the fact that it has some C ++ libraries that Ubuntu had to compile by hand.
    Apart from that, it works perfect, current packages, without problems, light, I use it with KDE and it works for me.

    1.    pablinux said

      It is the good thing about Linux, although many criticize it. There are one (or more) distros for each one. And if something goes wrong or you don't like something, you have hundreds to choose from.

  6.   deby said

    oh Pablinux! It is the great dilemma of those of us who use computers to work, having very new software is good for computers in which we specifically test software or you can also have a couple of virtual machines and in the work device be serious and put something more stable possible, in my case I use Debian,

  7.   Osmel said

    Good anecdote

  8.   lycushe said

    Today I just updated to Fedora 33 and the same as you, I would also like to change the gnu / linux distro, but I still don't know which one I should use.

    And before you update, I used fedora 32 and it used kde plasma 3.18.5, so it was for several months, while kde was updating fedora, not asia.

  9.   Nico said

    Good story. I went through that two weeks ago. Abandon Ubuntu for manjaro. I have been in Linux for more than 10 years without being a computer scientist, know how to program or have experience in software, but the motto goes with me. In my case, learning new commands to install programs cowed me, especially when I saw that the forums were much emptier than the ones I frequented regarding OS based on Ubuntu. For that reason I switched to Ubuntu mate. A little jump out of the puddle, but it's something.

    Good story!

    1.    Jogger said

      Note that the forums have recently migrated so it started from scratch. You can continue accessing the old forums but from the new ones; from Google it doesn't work.

  10.   Juan said

    I would have switched to pure Arch + KDE. In the end, the older tools that Manjaro offers you do not compensate for the problems caused by having your own repositories for updates.

    I have been a Manjaro user for years, but finally I have decided to free myself from these problems by going to pure Arch and it is another world, and in my experience, much more stable.

  11.   Daniel said

    Very good article compadre, Manjaro is a very good distro, however at some point, like all Arch, it will screw you up, and just when you need it most. Greetings.

  12.   arangoiti said

    Like the stability of KUBUNTU, you will not have it in Manjaro and if you already go to Debian, I will not tell you.

  13.   Hugo Alexander said

    Reading the article, I began to see myself reflected in the crossing between the K and the M. But it happened to me between the Mx and the Red star, (understand Deepin); When trying to install from the app store of the beautiful deepin distro, puaf !!!
    In MX everything had worked relatively well, not perfect, but the beauty and elegance of deepin dragged me to the dark side.
    After vain attempts to make Wine work decently and after learning that not all the software that appears there is in Christian, I decided to hang up my gloves and go back to Mx.
    Smooth browsing and a wide range of translated apps, in addition to decently setting up my dedicated video, I was left with Mx. I'm not for guinea pig anymore.

  14.   Vic said

    downgrade firefox

    vim etc / pacman.conf

    -> excluded.packages: firefox

    And you wait for the release to fix the problem.

    1.    pablinux said


      It also failed me on Chromium and Vivaldi. And in my virtual machine, too.

      I know that there are even ways to download the version (it is published in this blog), but why do I download it if all the browsers fail? The problem is, I have no idea what went wrong.

      A greeting.

  15.   Miguel Rodríguez said

    Greetings from the Socialist Hell called Venezuela, I understand your prudence, in my case I have not been able to change my laptop since 2009, an Acer Aspire 4935, so with WinXp I worked comfortably, then when I had to change to Win7 I had to be more reserved and finally when browsers made the jump to html5, well, I had to switch to linux yes or yes to find a distribution that would allow me again to take advantage of the scarce (miserable by current standards) resources on my computer.

    At the time, in 2015, I had tried Porteus, it was not the best at the level of apps available in the repository or at the level of updated apps, but it was stable and consumed very few resources, then I switched to mageia 5 because while researching I was reminded of Mandrake and when I tried it years ago it seemed very well done, because more out of nostalgia than out of firm knowledge, the other reason I changed was because the kernels usually used in slackware distributions are a bit old, so the security holes scared me a bit (recalling past experiences in Windows 98 using the internet when WinXp was the rage then on an even older desktop PC with a Pentium 4 CPU).

    Finally, I came to Manjaro because Mageia after installing and updating apps for a while, stability was quite a serious issue, since the system began to behave erratically over time, I tried Manjaro because it had good reviews and because they pointed out that they were rigorous testing the apps before that they made them available to the public in the stable branch, so I gave it the opportunity, that was in 2016 and since then I have not formatted even 1 time, it does not mean that I have not had problems, once I had to fix a startup file and I don't even remember why after an update.

    However, my biggest problem is the browsers, today together with the add-ons that without them I don't see the point of browsing the internet, I see with astonishing sadness consuming with a few open tabs an amount of RAM that discourages me from working on it again. team, what I can tell you from experience is:

    1 Do not use AUR unless you really need a specific app, if there is no equivalent in the official repositories or better yet, if it does not exist in the current availability of snapd, flatpak ... it is that from my point of view you can and using AUR is justified.

    2 During the years that I have used the Firefox version of the stable Manjaro repository, I have noticed (I don't know how it works in Ubuntu) that the certificates are updated from the Manjaro repositories separately from updating the browser itself.

    I'm not sure if your problem could be that, because, as you highlighted that the same error has arisen in other browsers, it may be something else, but it is well known that when Mozilla forgets to keep its certificates, because some sites give problems or not we can navigate in them, it happened to me once and I imported certificates from an updated Firefox in Windows 7 (at the time the problem happened to me) to my Firefox in Manjaro and I stopped having problems with the sites, within weeks Manjaro ended updating certificates ...

  16.   Sergio said

    I come back from Manjaro again at Buntu. I always try and I always leave it, it is true that the AUR is the best, but when it does not give it to me on the way ... it gives it to me on the return, for something, always. Suddenly pamac is not working for me. open, select packages to install / uninstall, click to apply ... and if you want rice, Catalina. Days looking for the solution and in the end I give up and return to the PPAs that make me throw away the terminal so much.

  17.   jony127 said

    Hello, that dilemma that you expose here I think all users who already have certain knowledge in Linux and want to explore and try new things have it.

    I have also used manjaro for a couple of years, and kunbuntu, opensuse …… and now I have definitely stayed in stable debian and I am simply talking about a home pc but that I can use it for leisure, study or work.

    Why? Well, for the same thing that you say… .. possible problems that can arise in a rolling that will not happen to you in a stable debian update. Everything has its pros or cons, that's why there is no perfect distro. Either you choose new software but with possible problems or you choose somewhat older software but with stability, the final choice comes down to that, so you must assess what is most important for you according to your needs.

    Precisely the fact of constantly updating the system and the "fear" that something will fail me when I most need to use the computer is what made me switch to stable debian. So I can use the system with complete peace of mind and without fear of updating.

    Imagine that you are involved with a job or studies that require a lot of time on your part and you go and update the system and you start having errors and you must waste that little time you have in looking for a solution and that sometimes you cannot find and must reinstall the system with the loss of time that all this process entails …… well, it will not. That is what you must value.

    I don't need the latest software because no matter how much I updated my applications or my desktop with manjaro, I was still using the system exactly the same as before updating. Conclusion, these updates in most cases do not give me anything, so the best thing for me is a distro that offers me more stability and peace of mind.

    On the contrary, if you usually use the software more thoroughly and need the latest news, it is not usual in most cases, then you should opt for a rolling one.

    The choice is not that difficult, just analyze your needs and priorities and decide what is best for you.

    What some users say about looking at arch news before updating in case there are problems, after a few months doing it I would end up tired of looking at those news every two by three, I am not willing to waste my time with those things.