System becomes unstable after every update

Hello dear Manjaro community,

my system usually becomes unstable after a pacman -Syu. Setting: after login, I start the update process and start working in parallel. When the update is finished, it doesn't take long until the system becomes unstable. For instance: I can't open new tabs in Firefox or Kate, and once i close it i can't reopen it till reboot. Today it not just stopped working properly, but the whole system became unresponsive. When i switched to tty (ctrl+alt+F2), it poured out journald messages that it can't write to the log. Magic Alt+S-abf combinations didn't work.
Before Manjaro I've been using Debian and the update never required an instant reboot. I think it used the old binaries until i didn't access them any more. With Manjaro I have the feeling, it just overwrites the files, even if they are in use. Am I missing some configuration or package to change this behaviour?

Here are the pacman.log piece of this day and the journalctl -xb -1:

You use KDE?
Please post output from konsole

inxi -Fxxxza --no-host

Do you refresh mirror-list?
Partial update possible?

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That is correct, and that is why you should always reboot after updating/upgrading the system.

Furthermore, the way Manjaro works is that kernel updates are also always part of the update process, and so you should reboot in order to load the new kernel and the modules that were compiled for it.

The best way for updating/upgrading a Manjaro system is as follows...

  1. Log out of your GUI environment completely.

  2. Press Ctrl+Alt+F2 to switch to a character-mode virtual console. The exact virtual console you need to switch to will depend on what desktop environment you're using, because different desktop environments claim different virtual consoles as their own default. For instance, Manjaro KDE Plasma claims the first virtual console ─ i.e./dev/tty1 ─ for the GUI, with /dev/tty{2..6} available for character-mode logins.

  3. Log in at the character-mode virtual console.

  4. Issue the following command... :arrow_down:

sudo pacman -Syyu
  1. Let the upgrade finish, and then issue the following command... :arrow_down:
sudo systemctl reboot

Just for better educative info (in general, not for you @Aragorn :wink:) ...
Kernels are almost always updated on Stable updates. A reboot is required for system stability, when critical system packages are updated, not any packages. Such critical packages are kernels, video drivers (and Xorg related), glibc, bash/zsh, and others.

If no critical packages are updated, it may happen that an application that was already open/running before/while the update process show some stability issues or misbehavior. In such cases, an application restart maybe enough.
That's why, it 's a common practice to not start any update processes, while or before you start some important work, so you avoid such possible incidents.


Manjaro and Debian are quite different - you already know :slight_smile:

When an update is applied the existing files are overwritten. You can continue working while the update is running but if the update replaces a file in use - e.g. kernel or file manager or office package - you need to do a complete reload your system by issuing a restart using your preferred method.

On simple fast restart is a terminal and issuing the reboot command.

  • Yes, KDE
  • I didn't post hardware info (inxi), because it seems unnecessary. The behaviour is reproducibly connected only to the updating process. At any other time the system runs stably.

At Aragorn, AgentS, linux-aarhus:
Hmm, direct overwriting seems kind of crude to me. But ok, now i know. Does anyone of you know, if this is a peculiarity of pacman, and if it is possible to configure a different behaviour? I quite liked the feature, of updating not affecting the workflow.

Thanks for the quick replies! I had a very busy week, and will have another soon :smirk:

Why are you asking here when you know what's required?


No, this is how pacman works, but you are of course free to update your system at a more convenient time. You don't have to update the system right away as soon as the Octopi or Pamac icon starts flashing. :wink:

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may be part of OP problem
if is too early and user does not check if mirrors have updated could get only partial update and system would be very likely to be unstable

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Not relevant for a partial update. OP has just a dislike of how Arch-based systems do their updates.

There is also kernel-alive... just saying...


Why do you believe the hardware is important for this issue?

I'm not meaning to hinder your helpfulness. But i'm reluctant to publish "personal" data when i don't find it necessary. And for my undrestanding, this was the case.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts everyone! The problem never occured again when minding to reboot after updates. So this is SOLVED!

I only believe in the power of money.

But from the link ... "how-to-provide-good-information-in-your-post"

First no matter what the problem , provide the hardware and software with inxi -Fxxxza --no-host

$ inxi -Fxxxza --no-host


This always cracks me up when given as a response to an inxi output request. The same people that usually balk at providing their hardware info because of privacy concerns are usually the same ones using Google and Facebook (the biggest privacy violators on the internet).

For future reference if I have to ask for an inxi output twice on a help request thread I'm outa there. If you ask for help on the forum you should be willing to provide your hardware specs when requested. If you're not willing to comply with a request for system specs then don't post help requests on a volunteer forum as your only wasting the volunteer helpers time.

If that seems unreasonable to you then you can always take your computer in for diagnosis at a commercial computer repair facility. Of course they would probably charge you a couple of hundred bucks to inform you that you need to reboot your computer after performing any major update. You would also likely be required to provide the repair facility with your address, phone number, and credit card information. So that process strikes me as an even bigger concern as that info seems far more sensitive than anything contained in an inxi output. And Lord knows what other sensitive information they could pull off your hard drives if they are unscrupulous.

But hey, what do I know, I just enjoy frittering my time away staring at inxi and log outputs looking for private info cause frankly I just have nothing better to do.


For a major update I logout of the GUI and use the console. Because I'm impatient, for any large update I update the mirrors first, whilst still in the GUI.

Open a terminal and:

sudo pacman-mirrors --fasttrack

It takes a few minutes but I can browse whilst I wait for it to complete.

Then I do exactly what @Aragorn recommends.

(Although unlike Aragorn I do try to avoid the battle of Helm's Deep.) [Sorry, couldn't resist...]

If it is not a major update, just a few packages, then I will open a terminal in the GUI and let it run whilst still logged in. However if it is a Firefox update, then I will close the browser whilst it updates. Or when I forget, not be surprised when it crashes.

I guess I'm saying:
-Major update - TTY and reboot
-Minor update - GUI - but close the software involved

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