First Arch based linux tryout

Hi there,

i have been using Kubuntu for several years and afterwards (it looked nice and shiny at that time) switching to Netrunner, which was replaced by Maui which now is dead.

So I searched for distributions with KDE - and stumbled upon the hype of Manjaro.

As i am tbh quite disappointed with the Netrunner/Maui developers who in my case have lost all points in terms of reliability - as I look for an OS that isn't dropped or changed like a flavour of the week. Maybe right for some - but i don't feel the need to reinstall completly new every half year or so. As KDE Neon (as far as i know ) is from the same developers this dropped out of my list quite fast.
Not to be meant as a rant- if someone needs the newest KDE as fast as possible and has fun tinkering regulary cause devs change the direction - go with it. But not me.

Long story short:
As I am totally new to arch based distributions i am not sure about some stuff.
So i will install it alongside with a current Kubuntu.

Now my questions are:
I want to make separate partitions for the OS (/ = root partition) and reuse my /home with setting files and some other stuff (non-os related)

Can i use a shared /home partition (from my current ubuntu based install) and can Manjaro use the data stored there alongside a Kubuntu installation?
I got mozilla settings/Profiles there (firefox, thunderbird), steam files, KDE files like kwallet etc.
For Kubuntu i know i can simply install the OS on partiation a and mount the existing home as /home.
Is the same possible with Manjaro?

Another question is about the devs. Is there some place to see who is involved with Manjaro KDE?
I read somewhere that it is all depending on 3 people - which seems like a minus to me as i got bad experience with stuff like that and prefer projects leaning on several shoulders (meaning: they don't disappear if someone leaves or loses interest or whatever).
What's the story behind Manjaro? A freetime project? Or are some institutions using it and got people working on that to?

Sorry if those questions where asked before - i'm fine with linked info or keywords to search for to.

thats all folks

it can.. as long as the your user and goup ID are the same for both OS. (usually 1000 for the 1st user on manjaro)
the cons are

  • Maybe different version of software in each OS with incompatible settings, cache, profiles

manjaro KDE is a official flavor of manjaro, maybe not all manjaro team use it but you can find the team here:
https://manjaro.org/the-team/
https://archived.forum.manjaro.org/groups/Manjaro-Team

I would not recommend a shared /home partition for Kubuntu and Manjaro KDE.
I have the exact same setup as you - Manjaro as daily driver (on /dev/sda1) and Kubuntu 18.04 (on /dev/sda2) as backup OS. On /dev/sda3, I have the typical /home folders (Documents, Videos, Music etc.).
Now, all you have to do is to create soft links to these folders in each distribution and you are good to go! This assures that all config files are seperate for each OS, but your personal data is "synced" across both.

You may have to edit /etc/fstab to automatically mount the data partiton on startup, or you use the GUI method (for KDE: Settings manager -> Removable devices).

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If you chose the same user name, then yes. Edit /etc/fstab of Manjaro, copy the line for the /home partition from /etc/fstab on Ubuntu. Be sure you have the theme and icon theme package installed on Manjaro which you selected on Kubuntu.

Hi,

More than a year ago, I was faced with a similar decision. I was dissatisfied with Kubuntu, Neon wasn't ready yet and Netrunner didn't agree with me. Then I tested Manjaro KDE in Virtualbox and fell in love with Manjaro.

Some days later I droped Kubuntu and replaced it with Manjaro.

You can find a report from another user here.

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I would not recommend a shared /home either, possible problems especially with cache and maybe some config files. However it is possible.
Better have a separate data partition which holds the data you want to share between different OS/Distros.

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Welcome! I took nearly the same journey as you. Kubuntu -> failed upgrades -> Netrunner -> new install twice a year -> Netrunner Rolling -> realized it was based on Manjaro -> Manjaro.

I also would not recommend sharing /home. Instead, I just installed Manjaro in VirtualBox and set things up the way I would want them on my own machine. That way, I could figure out if all the software I used was available (I was nervous about the move from Debian to Arch) and see how the system worked for a few weeks. Since your hardware is obviously already compatible with Linux (Kubuntu is working), you don't have anything to worry about there.

If after your trial in VirtualBox it looks like Manjaro will work for you, just replace Kubuntu with it. That's what I did and I'm now three years in and am not looking back.

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thank your for your answers.

I think i will try out the approach with a virtual machine to get used to manjaro - and if i like it switch later - maybe leave some space/a partition empty for that.

I found the system requirements here.
As there are 30GB mentioned as HD Recommendation i ask myself what is the minimum - could not find that. I never used more then 10GB for the system partition (/root) and never got near to have problems with that- as i only keep programs there. The bigger parts, downloads, steam game installs etc. i keep in home anyway.

So 30GB seems an awful lot to me and i wonder what the minimum is.
Another quick questions - can i use all arch packages without problems? I am currently looking if the programs i use are available - so e.g. looking for zotero i find an arch package. If thats available - can i be sure that i can use that program with manjaro?

I'll try to figure out the other questions i have myself :wink:

Same here. I now have / and /home as 1 partition (/home is just a folder) and I use around 10GB for that, but that's without any data. I use a fair amount of programs, no games though.
To answer your question: go for 15GB and you're safe.

I usually use about 20 GB. 15 would be fine. 10 is too small IMO. You will need to limit your log size and your Pacman cache or you can use up a lot of space.

On my manjaro-xfce, I have 5gb installed. I don't have a separate /home.

I agree with everybody else, it is better to keep a separate home folder for each distro. You can use this wiki post to setup your personal data on a different location.

I would also recommend to move your work data to a separate partition and mount it in both installs via fstab or with a file manager.

What's the profit in having Manjaro look the same as Kubuntu?

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Community based distro. Nobody gets paid, donations are used for server maintenance and sometimes rarely for hardware acquisition. There is no company behind it, but the team is big enough that it is unlikely to just go under. Invidual community editions can sometimes be terminated, but that just means no new isos, the existing installations will still keep working and receiving updates. And the official editions are likely to be maintained in the foreseeable future. If their maintainer quits, someone else will pick them up.

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As other here I wouldn't recommend sharing home. Too many potential issues that will arise with time.

As to Manjaro KDE, it gives you more freedom then Kubuntu because of rolling nature and access to AUR. You won't miss anything from Kubuntu when it comes to DE or app choice.

As to the arch base, then yes, you will have to adjust to it and learn new things. It's not that complicated. I switched from mint to Manjaro over 2,5 years ago and now I feel quite well in ubuntu and arch based ecosystem but arch one definitely wins. Ubuntu is nice for a server. For desktop not so much.

Basically what you need to learn is:

  • how pacman works:

https://wiki.manjaro.org/index.php?title=Pacman_Tips

install, uninstall, search, mirrors lists, cleaning up pacman cache (there is a nice octopi utility for it, so no need to use terminal but it's also possible and easy to do)

  • how to install from AUR (using Octopi GUI or via AUR helpers in terminal, I use trizen, most people start with yaourt) and risks and getting around potential AUR problems

  • be on top what is happening with updates, so check out forum regularly for updates and if you encounter any issues, most likely the solution is there or you can ask

That's basically it. Rest will come naturally :wink:

Important to remember:

  • keep your system up to date
  • don't do partial updates
  • don't reboot after interrupted kernel update, finish the update and regenerate initramfs first (sudo mkinitcpio -P; sudo update-grub)

Remember those and you should not have many problems.

LOL, it happened to me once that kernel update went wrong from some random reason. I did reboot and I couldn't boot into system, but since I always have more kernels, I just used another one to boot the system, then I resumed the update and afterwards I could boot correctly into previous kernel.
So it's good to have at least two kernels.

However, I do agree that when there is an issue with kernel update it's better to do what @Chrysostomus said, but luckily, such events are extremely rare and I didn't know what to do back then.

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