Posted the same thread on reddit/r/manjarolinux. Thought it belonged here also
This post is just me rambling about what my experience was/is with ManjaroKDE after coming from KDE Neon. Maybe it is interesting/helpful for some.
(Not a native speaker and due to the length of the post, there are more than likely a lot of errors. So sorry in advance)
After having just mildly infuriating problems with KDE Neon like always having to change the audio output of my bluetooth headset manually in the settings for every program/application, or the search bar in the Menu not working sometimes, I decided to give Manjaro a try. Only heard good things and also was bored and had a lot of free time.
(The problem with the search bar in the Menu/Application Starter also exists in Manjaro)
My PC is a Lenovo Yoga Convertible 720-15 with an i5 and GTX 1050 Mobile
Gonna divide the post into different parts (gaming/tablet mode/office etc...)
Install-USB created (5.3 Kernel at the time) and from the live image (I chose to start with the free drivers, just because out of habit) to the install part. Pretty similar to KDE Neon/Ubuntu and worked like a charm. . After the install i rebooted, well tried to reboot. It took like 3 minutes to reboot. Later on I realised, it was due to the free drivers.
That same problem reoccured with the boot up. Took 3 minutes the first time. (Kinda scary, if it just does not seem to boot after the installation)
After setting everything up like I am used to, I wanted to install the proprietary drivers because of the long boot up and shutdown and also because i like to play some games from time to time.
Well with an Nvidia and Intel graphics device, it was not easy for me to figure out how this works:
Got to the settings menu and saw bumblebee there for the first time. After reading about this i realised that Ubuntu/Kde Neon always just installed the Nvidia driver for me and deactivated my intel HD. Never realized that. Felt like an idiot because i always wondered why installing libraries for intel HD like for chromium video acceleration for example didnt work. Well now i know -.-. I just always assumed it was the same like in Windows, with intel and nvidia activated at the same time.
Well, installed bumblebee via the Manjaro driver installation tool, rebooted the laptop and the start up was way faster than before. but still a bit longer than on KDE Neon. (Why that was, see under small tweaks at the bottom.)
Tried to play CS:GO via Steam. But Steam only used my Intel HD. Read on the support forum i had to add this parameter to the game start up: primusrun %command%. I did that, but still didn't work.
Then i read i had to manually add myself as a user to the bumblebee group. I mean what the hell. This is so unnecessarily annoyingly hard to figure out as a first time Manjaro user, that you assume it does not work in the first place and just give up. But after that it worked.
Installed WOW Classic via Lutris. Lutris would also only use my Intel HD. i found out, that Lutris somehow uses Vulkan to get DirectX to work. But Bumblebee does not work with Vulkan, or so i thought. i just had to install Primus-VK and change it in the Lutris settings to use that, but i only figured that out wayyyy later. Because i did not know that, I installed the optimus manager (Guide: Install and configure optimus-manager for hybrid GPU setups (Intel/NVIDIA)). worked like a charm with logout and change of graphic device.
But now that the new hybrid graphic driver is released everything is way simpler.
Just install the new driver and only change the start up command in Games that run natively on Linux in Steam to prime-run %command% to use the Nvidia instead of Intel HD if you have both on your Notebook like me (Steam should do that automatically to make it easier for new users). Games with SteamPlay use the Nvidia card automatically without the command. The same case is for Lutris Games (Games with DXVK), so you don't have to change anything there. Just install and play.
When it comes to performance with the new hybrid driver vs optimus manager, I don't see a difference. Tested with the Unigine-Heaven Benchmark and got basically very similar results:
Settings: Full HD, Quality:Ultra, Tessellation: Extreme and only 1 run each
- Hybrid OpenGL: 33 FPS
- Optimus Manager (Prime) OpenGL: 32.3 FPS
- Hybrid DXVK (Lutris) Directx11: 30.4 FPS
- Optimus Manager (Prime) DXVK (Lutris) Directx11 : 32.4 FPS
to compare that with Windows for those who are interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgUZPZvsriM (34FPS)
same settings and i have an i5 and in the video its an i7 and i only have a 2gb 1050 and there it is a 1050 with 4gb
Due to the fact that I am a student and because i exchange documents with other students and professors, I have to use MsOffice. (yes, have to, no other way around. I know Libre Office and i would also rather use that, but due to the fact that i have to exchange often documents; and also some profs are just are too stubborn to grade the pdf and just open the odt file with Word and there goes the format and my grade :(.
I even tried MsOffice with Crossover, but it also does not work like i want to. Even the Online-Office365 Version sometimes messes up the formating so thats also a no go.
So i use Virtualbox just for MsOffice/Windows. But Sadly with the latest update(6.1.2) and the force option to use the new VBoxSVGA and not the VBoxVGA driver the 3D acceleration in Office is buggy (you can't see anything) and i have to deactivate it. Makes it annoyingly slow without 3d acceleration, but better than nothing.
I had my energy settings to hybrid-standby but sometimes it just didnt work. For example it would not really go into standby and my battery was empty after i realised it, but it saved my session at least.
Or the laptop would seem to be off. but I could not start it and I had to press the power button 10 sec to force restart.
Or i closed the laptop, put it in my bag and later when i pulled it out the fan would spin full force and the laptop was hot.
So now i just use Standby. That seems to work. Kinda annoying, because i created the swap partition for the hybernation during install and now it seems useless.
I don't understand why Chromium does not have hardware video acceleration on by default. I watch a lot of content online so it would come in handy.
Luckily in the AUR someone provides Chromium with hardware video acceleration pre-compiled. You just have to enable the Override software rendering list in the flags and restart. works like a charm. Way less cpu usage.
Even with TLP the battery life is just not good.
On my former Windows partition i got with reduced brightness and only Office work with occasional internet browsing easily 8h.
With Manjaro i only get 4-5h with the same settings. I don't know if that is normal or I'm doing something wrong. I already checked with powertop to figure out what is the cause, but everything seems normal. If anyone has suggestions pls reply :).
just had to install kded-rotation-git and do a restart. the automatic screen rotation works fine.
When it comes to the stylus and the program i use for it i can't recommend Xournal++ enough.
I use it to write on the pdfs of the lectures i have. It is just amazing how good it works. The only minor problems I personally have with it is:
- that you have to export your pdf to a new name if you want to save the changes. just save only saves your changes in a xopp file.
- when you write with the stylus and hover for like 10 milliseconds to write the next letter it changes from the "invisible write cursor" to the mouse cursor. There should be like a 10-50 millisecond delay to hide the mouse cursor after you write something and want to write something again, so the mouse cursor does not pop up and hides all the time. Would make the writing process seem smoother. But thats just a minor inconvenience.
But i can't recommend this program enough. It is just amazing and i have not found anything close to it on the Windows side. So if you have a convertible Laptop or Tablet with Stylus. Get Xournal++
- Start up process:
i realised, that the grub configuration had a 10 sec invisible wait period, where you normaly choose different startup options (e.g. other kernel or operating systems). Don't really understand the need for that, because manjaro is my only operating system and to make it invisible is just double annoying at that, because you dont realize, why there is a delay. i just changed the line GRUB_TIMEOUT from 10 to 0 in /etc/default/grub and updated grub to change that.
- Kernel 5.4 Display freezes:
updated the kernel to 5.4 once, but got display freezes so i went back to 5.3. If the freezes are gone now with the newer kernel pls tell me
Manjaro is an amazing distro with some complications along the way. But it's like a broken car or Ikea furniture. You appreciate it more, if you build/fix it yourself