Manjaro Love Affair, but Possible Cold Feet (Warning: Lengthy, Drawn-Out Newbie Rant, take accordingly!)

Say, for example, that I'm a carpenter.

It takes about 4 years to learn the trade so that you, ideally, can at least work without supervision. It takes ten years to become a good one.

Say that you want to build you own house, because you want to learn how to do it, and you want the satisfaction of a task well done on your own, and you've just fallen in love with the smell of sawdust in the morning and of the sound of work, and you come to to me to learn. I take you in for a month or two, even a year, and then you start to build your house on your own.

I come visit after a week, and it is guaranteed that you've screwed up beyond recognition. Now, I don't say ''why do you that stupid stuff, you should be a hairdresser!''

I'll say ''well done, lets just fix some basics here and there, so you understand the process. Read up. Screwing up is the best way to learn. Come visit every few days, watch how we do it, ask questions. When you're done with your house you're a goddamn pro, and you can do anything you'll fancy!''

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Not meant as any critique in any shape or form, just so it's been said!!

Just to explain it from a newbie's perspective! :slightly_smiling_face:

First task and responibility is to learn as much as possible on my own. Screw up, put things rights, learn from it. Come crawling with PLZZZ HEEELP when there is no other option left to my abilities!

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Not meant as any critique in any shape or form, just so it's been said!!

It is good, that you have said that.


Correct me if I'm wrong (which I very well may be), but in real-life I believe there's maybe 0.1% of Linux users who have only installed once , and who haven't done something ''stupid''.

Last time I dipped my toes was something like 5 years ago, and every so often I came across comments like

''Why would you reinstall, I've never reinstalled'', and ''why would you do something stupid''?

I'm not sure if I really believe that. And it just doesn't apply to newbies in real-life. You soak up and learn as much as you can, try to avoid asking, read as much as you can.

But even if you reach the point, without help, of a perfect install from something like a minimal or server iso, build it up slowly, make the hardware co-operative, you then reach the point of something like this:

''Damn, that was cool! I'm a pro! What now??'' And then you jump straight into it, arms and all, with a sense of great adventure. To go from there to a few years later without a reinstall or having gone in over your head, is just unrealistic, from where I'm standing, at this point. I could very well be wrong! The itch to mess with things and explore is just too great, for most people. And it is a great way to learn.

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Well - and I'm telling the truth here - I've never borked a system, never had to reinstall.

I have done some fairly stupid things, but apparently not that stupid :grin:.

And I've never used any kind of backup. Oh, my user data gets backed up, but not the system (I always use separate / and /home partitions). Now, I'm not recommending that anyone not use backups, but I've never personally felt the need to.


Dammit..OK, they do exist!

I didn't play with computer as a kid, got my first one in the late nineties, and I'm a craftsman by trade. Until I got the hang of Clonezilla, I used reinstalling as a kind of base. Explore, mess up, reinstall.

But OK dammit, respect!!


Reinstalling worked for me when things weren't actually wrong, but because I just lost overview of what I've done.

For example when building up a clean install from the base, I had to get Network Manager to actually manage the connections. Took me a week to figure that Ubuntu uses something called Netplan, and then a few days to figure what the hell NetPlan is and does, and then that there's a *.yaml that needs to be configured.

In the meantime I'd editet stuff all over, following online tips of various qualities and dates, meant for /etc/network/interfaces, and then I had to figure what the hell that is, installing a whole bunch of uneedded stuff in the process. In the end I fugured it out, reinstalled, did the Network manager thing, and Conzilla'ed the hell out of it.

So now I'm one step further. On to the next thing, figure it out, restore the image again, set things up right, than then Clonzilla the hell out of it again. Clonezilla is really just a form of reinstall, so now I'm ''reinstalling'' a couple of times a week!


So I'm working to build up that perfect install from a minimal Ubuntu iso base, on the garage and basement computer, to set and forget them with LTS, so I can have fun with Manjaro on the main computer.

A couple of weeks ago I got so far as setting up NetWorkManager, and then proceeded straight to installing Firewalld, as it plays nice with my VPN.

But something wasn't quite right. It insisted, in the GUI, on listing my interfaces as ''< interfaces >''. And then it would change to ''sources'' when I hovered over it with my mouse. Sometimes it would even change to the present connection. But everything seemed to work perfectly when I operated it from the command line.

So there was just no way around it. Read page up and bloody page down about iptables and nftables,, netplans and other plans, have nightmares about bloody plans and tables. Self-doubt, have I done the right thing, is Linux just too much? Have a break for a few days, come back, trying to better understand the Firewalld documentation, hours of googling, but to no friggin' avail. Install the full Ubuntu to compare all possible configuration files with my minimal install ones, then reinstall the minimal install again, and then do the whole procedure over again a couple of times, to check if I'd forgotten something. But no solution.

So today I was a few minutes from throwing in the towel, and throwing the computer out of the window. Then a thought came from out of the blue. Reading around on the forum here, I've often seen people ask ''have you run it through the terminal?, that might reveal something''.

Good Lord, why didn't I run through the friggin' terminal first thing? So I run ''firewall-config'', some messages comes up, and it takes me all of TWO minutes to google them and get the answer. the Firewalld GB-English translation is sloppy, you have to use American english as your locale. So I sudo dpkg-reconfigure locales, en_US.utf8, reboot. And, of bloody course, Firewalld displays everything perfectly. Holy Moses! A TWO MINUTE SOLUTION to 3 weeks of becoming physically ill by the thought of googling more tables, plans and configuration files.

So the moral of the story is, if you're a newbie like me and something doesn't seem quite right:


It'll probably save you A LOT of trouble and gray hairs!

I hope to see you people again sometime around next christmas, when I've figured out how to put shortcuts on the desktop and empty the trash.


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