Ubuntu vs. Manjaro

As a linux user since 1998... starting out on redhat and debian linux originally.. I remember quite fondly the times when nearly everything linux was all command line based. While there was the usual irritations of trying to get games to run or trying to setup wine back then, I cant help but notice how far Linux has evolved.

Modern Linux releases can best be described as fully functional desktop environments with some more suitable than others based on a users defined needs. For example Ubuntu Studio is quite fantastic for all things creative... Puppy Linux is a very resource friendly OS for older hardware and genuinely brings that old Pentium you have in the garage back to life and allows it to serve some purpose again.

I guess the linux community or should I say linux enthusiasts can boast now that Linux comes in nearly 100 different flavors, 'not unlike the smorgasbord of food in Vegas casinos, there are almost as many linux distros as there are chicken recipes...

On the one hand this goes to show how genuinely effective open source is, on the other hand it makes it awfully difficult identifying what linux best works for you.

So this got me thinking 'not without several hours of web browsing looking at different distros' trying to find which is the best all purpose linux desktop for users who like to do stuff and things with their pc's and maybe have a bit of eye candy too..

For me it narrowed down too 2 particular distributions Linux Mint based on Ubuntu, and Manjaro 'which I think now is based on Arch not ubuntu core'. Why did I pick these two distros and why do I think these are the two new users should play with if their starting out on Linux.

First Linux Mint:

* Extremely Familiar Environment if you can use windows xp, 7 or 10 you will like how mint looks feels and works.
* Shares same software library as most popular ubuntu releases therefore has a metric f*** tonne of software available for free from video image editing, to programming and everything in between.
* Plays nice with both legacy machines and new machines, fairly good compatibility with parts which have been available over the past decade at least, most drivers easy to install also.

* I found sometimes on openshot or kdenlive particular icons or functions on Mint would not work as well if at all as they did on Ubuntu 'by canonical' I am not sure if this was a system error on my part or a software development issue or what. I generally expected the experience to be the same on both.


Ok so this is a distro that I have only recently been playing with but have been doing a fair bit of research on. So far here is what I like.

  • Performs better than most Ubuntu versions, ubuntu recently has been targeted for putting in bloatware... yes in certain cases uhm Unity! ubuntu has slightly less efficiency in the desktop environment when running fully fledged awesomeness on screen... A task that manjaro seems to handle quite well without the bloat side effects,

  • Manjaro Pantheon, er 'drool' 'drool' um do you even Mac bruh... ok so all jokes aside pantheon desktop which runs off Manjaro linux is simply a dream UI, it looks and feels amazing and there are other projects around this also that may impress even the most stubborn of Max OS users. Linux distros have come a long way as far as eye candy and function is concerned, but there are certainly some that stand out and this is one of them!

  • Pacman commands easier to use than -apt, this ones really for those who like command-line efficiency... I will let you all figure it out by playing with it.

* hmm well there have been reported issues with driver support for Manjaro distros

Anyway I would enjoy seeing your thoughts on Linux distros, which do you like or hate and why..

1 Like

because I hate myself

Ubuntu is becoming so Windows-alike and unefficient as time goes by that I would go with the lighter Manjaro instead. About apt-get I'm using it a lot recently and it's not being that bad really. Why you don't like it?

Did you consider Debian? It has as much content in the repository as Ubuntu does but it's much easier on the system and with less bloat.
Fedora Workstation has been working like a charm for me and it's so packed out of the box for programming, software developing and system management that I would not overlook it.

Im gonna try Manjaro today on my Gaming Laptop :) gonna get back

Funny, I have dual-booted for over a year with Ubuntu Gnome, but recently decided to stay in Windows as I got sick of rebooting to test something - I know, I need to set up VM for that...

Manjaro might make me change my mind. I have used Arch on my netbook in the past and loved it. I didn't love setting up wireless on it though heh. Maybe, I'll see how much spare time I have this weekend.

+1 for Fedora Workstation, ive been on the latest Ubuntu release w/ gnome for some testing but i still prefer fedora and its only a matter of time before they release their newest version in June. Cant wait.

1 Like

I prefer Manjaro. It's like arch but just works.


The performance of Manjaro really depends on the desktop environment.
I'm using it with KDE on an old Laptop that came with win Vista and it runs ok (since vista was so graphically demanding). But in general KDE will be quite demanding on even older hardware.

Manjaro is rolling, fast (because of arch) and works on that Laptop just fine.
On my desktop I'm running arch, because I just love the installation ;)

i like ubuntu but i do agree with you it has to much bloat i would try manjaro but i cant get it to work for what ever reason on my laptop its a absolute pain

for about $50 and a bunch of second hand parts you can build a very cheap test rig just for testing linux distros and fooling around. I am currently doing that and trying to find an old am2 mobo for my decade old sempron cpu and ddr2 ram that has been gathering dust in the draw for a while lol.

I find trying any linux distro on 'older hardware' is far more revealing as far as performance goes since it lets you know which distros are more optimized than others. Most linux users I know actually prefer the most minimal desktop environments, slackware style interfaces..

But I guess the message I was trying to get across was that modern linux desktops with 'abundant eye candy' and user friendliness should appeal to newer users of linux or those just starting out and there are some really good linux distros out there to choose from which cater to both the experienced user and the new user.

To drop a bombshell on this also, one could ask 'how much of Windows 10' is windows? Remember that linus torvald joined microsoft, so how much influence did his linux mojo have on the new windows os?

Competition is healthy, and no doubt linux boasts a lot of competition in distros... it is always interesting to see what people like...

I recently was getting abused by someone who used Debian & ARCH for using Ubuntu, I think people need to calm the FCK down and stop spewing nonsense just so they can justify their Distro choice. As long as your using a Linux Distro then all is good in my eyes. Personally I like the ease of Ubuntu 16 MATE, gnome is OK but is allot more restrictive and glitchy (you can't easily change window manager without typing commands), also allot of features are hidden from user which are critical for problem solving IMO (in GNOME).

I have tried ARCH before but its a nightmare when experimenting with AMD drivers sometimes since AMD likes to release stuff strictly compiled for Ubuntu distros. Even some of AMD's patching is done JUST for Ubuntu, takes a while for those to fork out to other distros, I won't have this problem once I get a 1080 card however, might switch to Manjaro then to compare performance (I don't expect any difference however).

KDE and GNOME have the biggest amount of bloatware I've ever seen ever on an Arch based distro.

As for which distro is better in my opinion. I like Manjaro better simply because AUR and Pacman is awesome. Ubuntu has it's kwirks but it depends on which flavor you use. Ubuntu is probably the easiest to use and chances if you ever have a problem on it, 95% of the time you'll find a solution with a quick google search. so it all depends on your preferences. Manjaro/Arch all you have for reference is the Arch Wiki. which mind you is very detailed in solving solutions but like I said it depends on what you like better. if you don't want no headaches, grab ubuntu, or if you want a bit of complexity then grab Manjaro and your favorite D.E

Everyone's choice about what distro to run is personal so if everyone just names there favorite one we end up with a list.

So here is why I run what I run...

I have been using Linux in some shape or form since the mid late 90's. I think I must have tried almost every conceivable one.

This is what I have learnt. The small passion project distros often fail in the long run. One or two devs with a clear vision make something amazing. 18 months or so they burn out. You read posts about having to take a step back or feeling burnt. Cracks appear, mistakes creep in and things go wrong. Some survive but often their vision become diluted and they loose their interest. Mint with it's security issues, Manjaro security certs running out are a couple of things that come to mind recently. Link it or not for a distro to have legs, for it to be solid it needs either a massive, structured community. Or the backing of a substantial corporate/business.

  • Arch
  • Debian
  • Redhat - Fedora/CentOS
  • SUSE - OpenSUSE
  • Ubuntu - Official flavours

My advise is to stick with one of these. Each one is great at what it does, I have tried them all. My choice is Ubuntu but not the Unity desktop, I'm a little old school and prefer the MATE flavour. It fits my needs, maybe not yours but I like it. As I said it's a personal thing. With Ubuntu-Mate it can be as plain or as fancy as you like, me I like some eye candy...

1 Like

I really like how the Manjaro team handles the updates that are pushed out. One of the big reasons I protest a complete Arch install, I would like to have a low chance of an update wrecking my install. Overall, the best Linux distro I have ever used and will continue to use it until something better comes along (hopefully not though).

Ubuntu isn't really anything to sniff at anymore. MAYBE at 10.10 it was as driven by the community as everyone writing a magazine wants to make it look like, but it fell off at around 10.10 and I started at around 7.04 I think. Technically I was using a chinese linux called YLMF at the time but I still liked it, though I can't remember if I actually used ubu 7.10.

Manjaro kinda has my heart though, I don't think I'll be dropping Netrunner any time soon, nor arch in total.


you sound like an experienced Linux user. I recommend pick the package management system you like or are comfortable.

not have used manjaro, I am not coming from fact rather opinion. but my understanding is that it really just provides a better initial install experience. So I would lean to Arch. most becuase I support PendragonUk comment about smaller distros.

Ubuntu is fine and you already know how to use Apt. pacman is pretty cool I like it better.

interested to hear you decision

To MacTzu, I think 'experience' in linux is relevant to the type of exposure we have had to it over the years, I am an average user and certainly use linux for some of my more important work such as programming, web development and even video editing. The tools offered in these areas are very good in most modern linux distros, but due to the nature of my own use I do enjoy a good desktop environment and over the years a few different distros superseded my expectations and certainly provided adequate replacements for windows.

Trying to convince the more 'mainstream' users to adopt linux is a difficult challenge still, so many businesses I have come across developed proprietary solutions based on windows and apps like office or based on vb / xml etc that microsoft so actively promoted from Windows 2000 onwards..

The investment into these systems for many businesses seemed to be based around front-end, user experience although most of the custom software based on Microsoft tools I have seen are still poorly developed.

As a developer who enjoys using linux more actively and uses its tools such as web server, mail clients, ftp, programming and dev tools etc, trying to convince my own clients that they should adopt linux in their business as a front-end environment is still a bit of a challenge. I guess the only way to bridge this gap is to show them visually how good linux can be from a user experience point of view and for this the desktop environment needs to be one which is very easy for users to adapt too.

I still find the majority of 'so called tech savvy staff in organizations' are intimidated greatly by any thing code or command line based and the culture of OS's such as android and iPhone operating systems have simply contributed to most users wanting even more simplified point and click type solutions (not always a bad thing until you consider the dumbing down effect), sadly this means so many of the next generation of computer users will have an expectation of apps operating like this without ever realizing how stuff actually works.

Somehow this scenario points to a grim reality which can only be compared to kids for example who think their vegetables come out of a packet in the supermarket and have no awareness whatsoever of what a farm is. Now I am not at all saying that everyone is like that but nothing ceases to surprise me when I see the capability or 'lack thereof' of modern office workers when it comes to understanding the technology they work with, in fact so many businesses I have seen don't even have IT qualified staff to manage their IT and their answer for everything is to throw unnecessary amounts of money at a problem in order to try and solve it when that in itself is waste.

This does not mean tech workers reap the rewards of this however but the ridiculous nature of this is companies maintaining proprietary windows software for systems as old as windows 2000 and windows xp because their initial investment based on Microsoft propagation of the market back then meant that even now so many years later companies hold on to their 'old and greatly insecure' MS platforms. And whilst MS claims to be introducing such things as windows 10 into business environments the adoption of such things can only really come from nimble and smart companies and the majority unfortunately do not fit under that umbrella so many of which still use XP as their core OS, almost 50% of the world still uses XP as their main operating system, and at least half of those are even reluctant to upgrade their hardware to adopt new windows systems like 10. Without doubt if the expense of migrating to modern windows versions is not something many people seem to want to do then linux alternatives should be an option.

However the famous understanding that Microsoft is not a software company but instead a marketing company is exactly where Linux and its 100s of different distros fall over, without consistency in both operating environments and applications available for different tasks the adoption of Linux at the frontend is much harder sell for clients, and without them knowing 80% of the tech stuff in the world still runs on linux, a case of what they dont know cant hurt them... But I think it does hurt linux and whatever distro one likes to encourage use of that with others is not so much a case of 'its better than windows statements' its more a case of 'ooo look how fancy that desktop looks and how easy apps are to click an use', please dont take offence to that but I have seen so many people who are that shallow. 'Thankfully none of those types are probably signed up to this forum' but back to the point about linux.. what seems more important than the function of it to most is the ease of use.

This is perhaps the biggest risk 'outside of the enthusiast communities of tech geeks like us' who actively engage with the different platforms like linux. I suppose the argument though towards this is that with easier to use linux desktop environments and more consistency across the board with linux distros the selling points for Linux for more mainstream users maybe viable and especially for businesses to start considering linux as a front-end environment, not just a back-end one.

Please note that my own experiences are based on trying to champion linux in my part of the world which is New Zealand, and your experiences with clients may differ greatly based on where you are and the capability of the people you deal with on a daily basis, so I am by no means generalizing here but no doubt what comes out of this is that it is our responsibility as linux users to attempt to promote it among those we interact with... Plus I have heard no shortage of people complain about the Windows upgrade cycle every 2 - 3 years and the cost of them doing so and the sad but true nature of people still running computers that are more than 10 to 15years old and reluctant to upgrade them until such point they completely fail.

I must have missed something, I had made an assumption that you were choosing between manjaro and Ubuntu for yourself. by experienced Linux user I was think the you would have been using Debian in the kernel version days of 2.4.x. So no fancy installers just plan aptitude.
As an Australian. I have also experienced same issues in championing Nix. People have legitimate complaints about Windows upgrade but are happy that it "just works".. I think this is a fallacy as most users forgot all the time they spend at the computer sayings why does it work. just coz nix is different they don't like it. although the for the most it works out of the box for 98% of what they do.
my opinion is that if you are looking for distro for "normal" users from Windows. Ubuntu is your best bet,
Easy package management system and upgrade path from release to the next is good "mostly". but it works best in vanilla mode.
anyone happy to use terminal should look at Arch, simple install, great package management, the best docs and community support. great to mix, match and modify

Nix now almost everything bar DX12 Adobe suite. including with visual studio and dev programs etc

only other things is hardware there are still some hardware issues with brand new hardware drivers. but it is uncommon. but this is also an advantage as Linux runs superfoods on older machines so I offen say to people upgrade just it out before you drop your cash.

Oh yes I was using debian in university, not sure if 1998 was still considered kernel days but most of everything we did was command line based and apps would run on a very simplified desktop, stuff like emacs were the main development tools I was using at the time.

I guess my thoughts in this thread kinda went of track a little in my last post but, the two key points I was attempting to make was 1. In our current environment which desktop provides the best experience of the 2 that I first listed in the topic, and 2. Which of these do you think more mainstream pc users would find as good alternatives to windows.

At the moment, I still do like Linux Mint as this is what I have been using for nearly 3 years now but upon trying Manjaro I genuinely think I will be switching to it because there are some things it does very well compared to its ubuntu rivals.

Manjaro looks really good and go for it why not try it, why not use it. you will love it along everything is either actively maintain or runs really close to bigger distro. I had similar choice with chakra which was a arch variant around 2009 and 2010 until it completely forked in to its own thing. while that was happening package compatibility was an issue and had some conflicts. maybe that all fix now, I sure it is a fine distro

So that is why my decision going forward is to have a bigger distro and customise it. Arch is really good for that. mostly isn't too difficult to maintain.

seriously don't let my distro conservatism stop you. After it is one of the good thing about Linux is to have these choices.

I would be interested to hear about your manjaro experiences. if you end up going that way.