Tips for Switching from Windows to Manjaro KDE Plasma (2020)

Hi everyone,

Since I haven't been able to find something like it, I thought I would compile some important things to know coming from Windows. I'm still new and trying to figure stuff out myself, but there are a few important tools I needed to find the equivalents of and other things getting set up that I've found useful throughout the process. This isn't so much a guide on how to get it installed as it is a fast-track to basic proficiency, knowing where to look for certain things, etc. There are likely alternatives to everything here, but these should be able to get you going:

  • Check under the Manjaro Hello -> Software button to find a lot of the software to use.

  • If you can't find something online, on your own or in the forums, the Help Center is an excellent resource.

  • Screenshots / snipping tool -> Spectacle. Should come pre-installed, otherwise it's in the package manager (Pamac, Pacman or otherwise). Print screen should launch Spectacle.

  • Task manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc) -> KSysGuard (Ctrl+Esc). Man I used this tool a lot to check system load and kill unresponsive programs or force stop something in Windows. Very important (to me anyway, may not be as important anymore). There is also a resource manager that runs in the console called Htop.

  • File explorer -> Dolphin. This one's pretty obvious, but might as well throw it in.

  • Backup/restore -> Timeshift.

  • Office (Word, Excel, etc.) -> LibreOffice. MS Office doesn't work in Linux, and it's a bit different so you can dual boot, use a virtual desktop or use the browser application. Otherwise, you will likely just need the Microsoft fonts for schoolwork and such. Find the package "ttf-ms-fonts" from the AUR.

  • Keyboard layout. More likely than not, what you'll need to change isn't under the Manjaro -> Keyboard Settings but rather Hardware -> Input Devices -> Keyboard. Here are some of the important things I found here:

    • In the Hardware tab, you can change the Num Lock behavior on startup (it was set to off by default).
    • Under the layouts tab, you can view and add different layouts. The main thing I needed here was to see how the OS is reading my keyboard and answer questions like "What is the Meta or Super key" or "why isn't the Windows key (Super) doing anything?"
    • Above is still something not working... meta and super keys won't do anything :frowning:

There are so many reasons to switch, I really love this post asking why people did. Kinda helps us bond through shared frustration! If there are any extra pointers or important apps, feel free to post them here. I will try to update as I discover new things. Still a work in progress, but I plan on basically documenting what would have helped me the most. Ultimate newbie guide?

1 Like
  • K3b: DVD / Bluray burning
  • Kdenlive: Videoeditor
  • Printers: Install in system settings (driverless ipp)
  • Themes: match GTK and Qt (KDE) apps in system settings

Thank you for the post, I appreciate it. Brand new user to KDE Manjaro...

This shouldnt really be happening.
Unless I am actively testing something, etc I would never have a reason to do that.
(also btw .. things like killall firefox are fine enough too)

Most linux users never even think about this stuff unless they're doing a very basic install.

I never had a desktop when hitting Print Screen didn't do the job...

Also pressing Meta + E for a file explorer is exactly the same as with Windows...

So any in-depth guide you write is actually just going to be more complicated than getting stuck in and just doing it.

Thanks for spectacle, just used in in asking for help with a Wacom tablet!

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