Manjaro is a user-friendly Linux distribution based on the independently developed Arch operating system. Within the Linux community, Arch itself is renowned for being an exceptionally fast, powerful, and lightweight distribution that provides access to the very latest cutting edge – and bleeding edge – software. However, Arch is also aimed at more experienced or technically-minded users. As such, it is generally considered to be beyond the reach of those who lack the technical expertise (or persistence) required to use it.
Developed in Austria, France, and Germany, Manjaro provides all the benefits of the Arch operating system combined with a focus on user-friendliness and accessibility. Available in both 32 and 64 bit versions, Manjaro is suitable for newcomers as well as experienced Linux users. For newcomers, a user-friendly installer is provided, and the system itself is designed to work fully ‘straight out of the box’ with features including:
- Pre-installed desktop environments
- Pre-installed graphical applications to easily install software and update your system, and
- Pre-installed codecs to play multimedia files
For more experienced – and adventurous – users Manjaro also offers the configurability and versatility to be shaped and moulded in every respect to suit personal taste and preference. Furthermore, a minimalist NET-Edition is also available in both 32 and 64 bit versions. Stripped of any pre-installed software, this provides a base installation on which to build your own system; starting from a command line, be completely free to chose your own greeters, desktops, hardware drivers, software applications, and so on!
Manjaro shares many of the same features as Arch, including:
- Speed, power, and efficiency
- Access to the very latest cutting and bleeding edge software
- A ‘rolling release’ development model that provides the most up-to-date system possible without the need to install new versions, and
- Access to the Arch User Repository (AUR).
However, Manjaro boasts a few extra features of its own, including:
- A simplifed, user-friendly installation process
- 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, and
- Support for the easy installation and use of multiple kernels.