To every Linux noob, you will all agree with me that the voyage of you and Linux relationship is one seasoned with a lot of funny and amazing experiences. Ever since the day one learns that there is a free and opensource Operating System known as Linux to the time they get intimate with it, much will have transpired along the way. This involves the interaction with a wide variety of distributions, the trying out of new things, the configuration and misconfiguration of stuff and yeah, the overnight times when trying to fix something of importance to you.
All these is for the love of Linux and today, we shall be looking at these two wonderful distributions out here namely Arch Linux and Manjaro. We do an intense surgery of both in order to examine the internals of each system to get their similarities and differences. Here we go..
“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.”
Arch Linux is an independently developed, x86-64 general-purpose GNU/Linux distribution that strives to provide the latest stable versions of most software by following a rolling-release model. The default installation is a minimal base system, configured by the user to only add what is purposely required. One caveat is that Arch Linux defines simplicity as without unnecessary additions or modifications. It is targeted at the proficient GNU/Linux user, or anyone with a do-it-yourself attitude who is willing to read the documentation, and solve their own problems.
Upon installation, only a command-line environment is provided: rather than tearing out unneeded and unwanted packages, the user is offered the ability to build a custom system by choosing among thousands of high-quality packages provided in the official repositories for the x86-64 architecture.
Features of Arch Linux
1. Arch Linux is a rolling release systems
There are no “releases” every few months in Arch. What happens is that the system is kept up to date by issuing one single command and all new packages are downloaded and installed.
2. It comes completely empty and simple
As Arch puts it, it comes without unnecessary additions or modifications. You are free to install the packages you only personally want after the core Arch system is up and running.
3. It is user-centric
This feature goes hand in hand with its “simplicity”. Arch is designed for a specific user who wants complete power over what they install or remove. Being user-centric, you are going to make your Arch the way you like/want it to be.
4. Wonderful documentation
Arch’s documentation is one that is done so well. All the way from installation to solving problems, its Documentation is a safe home for you.
5. Smart Package Management – Pacman
Arch Linux ships with package management tool called Pacman which was coded in C and uses tar to package applications.
6. Systemd Init System
The default init system since 2013 has been Systemd.
7. Designed with Do-it- yourself principles.
Without even an installer during installation, one is presented with the opportunity to do everything on their own. You will partition, format, mount and install every bit of your Arch on your own from scratch.
8. Arch is explosively Fast
Once you have your Arch installed, you will be amazed by the rocket speed it boots and how its applications open and work.
9. Highly customizable and flexible.
You can already deduce that Arch Linux goes where you want it to go.
10. Supports x86-64 only
On 2017-01-25 it was announced that support for the i686 architecture would be phased out due to its decreasing popularity among the developers and the community.
11. Designed for Linux Advanced user
Arch Linux, as it has already been highlighted is targeted at the proficient GNU/Linux user or anyone with a do-it-yourself attitude.
Why I Use Manjaro
Manjaro is a professionally made Linux based operating system that is based on Arch Linux. Manjaro provides all the benefits of an Arch operating system, but with an especial emphasis on stability, user-friendliness and accessibility for newcomers and experienced users alike. It provides all the benefits of cutting-edge software combined with a focus on getting started quickly, automated tools to require less manual intervention and help readily available when needed. What you should understand is that even though Manjaro is Arch-based and Arch compatible, it is not Arch. It is developed independently from Arch, and by a completely different team.
Features of Manjaro
1. Rolling Release Development Model
Manjaro uses a Rolling Release Development Model, whereby rather than being replaced, the same core system will instead be continually updated and upgraded.
2. Dedicated Repositories
To ensure continued stability and reliability, Manjaro utilises its own dedicated software repositories. This is with the exception of the community-maintained Arch User Repository (AUR). More specifically, popular software packages initially provided by the official Arch repositories will first be thoroughly tested (and if necessary, patched), prior to being released to Manjaro’s own Stable Repositories for public use.
3. Exclusive User-Friendly Tools
What sets Manjaro apart from Arch is its focus on user-friendliness and accessibility. This extends far beyond just providing an easy graphical installer and pre-configured desktop environments.
4. A simplified, user-friendly installation process.
It comes with an installer that will help especially the newcomers have their operating system ready fast.
5. Access to the Arch User Repository (AUR)
The AUR is managed by the Arch Linux user community itself.
6. Easy software installation
- Automatic detection of your computer’s hardware (e.g. graphics cards)
- Automatic installation of the necessary software (e.g. graphics drivers) for your system.
- Its own dedicated software repositories to ensure delivery of fully tested and stable software packages
- Support for the easy installation and use of multiple kernels.
- Access to the very latest cutting and bleeding edge software
The two distributions dissected above are awesome in their own spaces. Looking at Arch Linux, the beauty that oozes out of it is the opportunity to see clearly how an Operating system is made up of and how everything works together to give you a Linux Distribution. You get to utilize everything you have learned about Linux as you set up and use this Distro. For the guys who like doing things their own way, then this distribution will be their paradise.
For the advanced user having all the comfort on a cli and knows how to partition, format, install, edit and all that, Arch an amazing place to put it all in use. You get the chance to set-up your environment ad install the stuff you only want. There is no desktop, Word Processors, Music Players, Auto mounters and even network auto connectors available by default. You configure and install what is beneficial to you hence achieving a very lean and simple simple.
Manjaro on the other half of our sphere takes a close look at Arch Linux and decides that a huge population who would wish to use it will be left out. Manjaro, therefore, went ahead to develop a distro based on it and then add user-friendliness to it. The reason why it ranks high on DistroWatch is largely due to its user-friendliness. You, therefore, have a system that behaves like Arch but it now easier to install and use. It comes with desktop managers such as GNOME, KDE, i3, XFCE, and others out of the box. This, therefore, means that anyone with basic computer literacy can jump on it and begin using it right away compared to Arch.
Arch is a beautiful beast and a wonderfully lean system. Every Arch user prides themselves in owning their systems. They have a clear view of their house and can easily identify what is where. Such is an intimate level of relationship that every Arch user has with their PCs. This is in contrast to Manjaro that has pre-built packages out-of-box. If you would wish to have a feeling of Arch or if you a Newbie and you do not have the time for reading and building it, then Manjaro comes to your rescue.
Both distributions are addressing the needs of different groups of people and they both work quite well. If you are inspired, you can check on them and have their feel. We would like to thank you for reading through.