Good stuff, Manjaro!

I’ve been in a mood lately, and as it happens when I am in a mood I go around rearranging stuff. Usually it’s rearranging my desk or computers but this time the target happened to be my laptop running Manjaro Linux.

This one had XFCE until a few weeks back when I switched to GNOME 3 coz I was bored. This is Manjaro Linux running on a Honor MagicBook 14, and everything worked fine on it except 1) the keyboard backlight which didn’t stay on like I wanted it to; and 2) the display brightness which was always too bright and I had to manually reduce. Very minor niggles to be honest as everything else worked beautifully – including yes hibernation! (I remember this being very thorny from my previous Linux outings).

I jumped to Pop_OS! 20.10 and Ubuntu 20.10 and while both looked  great they didn’t support hibernation. (You could enable it by following a bunch of manual steps but I was in no mood to do that). I tried elementaryOS “Hera” and while that looked gorgeous it didn’t detect my Wi-Fi card so I was stuck. I tried MX Linux and Linux Mint but didn’t stick on for long as I didn’t like their looks much – sorry, I know, it’s a subjective thing.

Finally I circled back to Manjaro but this time I installed the GNOME ISO instead of XFCE as I had done a year ago. And wow this one is even better than the XFCE to GNOME switch I had made. I loved its initial hello screen, it supports hibernation and encryption (already knew that but was good to see it on screen again), and it feel so polished over all. Fingers crossed maybe I’ll have a better brightness experience too as this is a fresh install… who knows.

Anyways, I have fresh appreciation for Manjaro… so much so that I decided I must start donating to them. I have started slowly donating to open source projects – mostly via GitHub, and on a very very small scale currently – so I’ll do the same for Manjaro too from now monthly via Open Collective. It’s amazing what they have done with the distro. Subjective opinions I know, but I found it to be at a high level of polish and if anyone else is distro-hopping and hasn’t tried Manjaro yet (unlikely!) feel free to give it a shot.