Switching from Windows to Manjaro Linux

I use Adobe CC on a Windows machine for my video production pipeline at work. I do video side work on the weekends, and have used Windows and Adobe for those projects as well, but I’ve always felt trapped. Like I’m a slave to Adobe or something. I’ve spent most of my professional career learning and using software like Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Photoshop.

Making the Switch

I’ve used Ubuntu a TON, as it’s a super popular distro, and it was my introduction to Linux. A few months back, I was checking out https://opendata.blender.org/ and noticed that a good chunk of data was coming from a distro called Manjaro, but I’d never heard of it. Shortly after seeing all that performance data, I decided to give Manjaro a shot. After some basic research, I discovered Manjaro is actually based on Arch (unlike Ubuntu, based on Debian).

I gotta say, installing Manjaro was a breeze (cursor theme). I will admit however, I have never known the pain of installing Arch. Like actual Arch. But I’m aware of the memes. So I’m sure it’s pretty involved. While I can’t exactly go around trolling like, “btw I use arch”, I was seriously surprised at the installation and how much was up and running right out of the box! Ubuntu is pretty straightforward, but depending on the hardware, you may need to find a few hacks or packages to get everything full up and running. For example, I couldn’t get the wifi working when I put Ubuntu on my 10 year old Macbook until I installed a special package that didn’t come with the default install.

Everything Works.

Immediately… Very first boot up. Everything works. Hardline network connection works. Wifi card works. GRAPHICS look great. Manjaro automatically grabs graphics drivers for you upon install! And I was actually impressed with the pre-installed software collection. Most of the time, in Ubuntu, I have to delete a bunch of crap software I’ll never use. But Manjaro… Like, I use Steam all the time. It’s pre-installed. Libre Office pre-installed. Tweaks pre-installed. Gparted pre-installed (this might be normal). But I was really surprised how little I actually had to do post-installation.

Smooth UI Experience

It’s a bunch of little things that add up to a massive amount of time saved. One of my pet peeves in Windows is switching apps on the task bar. If your app has multiple windows (like Blender, and a render window), you have to click once to reveal thumbnails, then click the thumbnail of the window you want. If they’re small or detailed windows like terminals, good luck. I love the single hot corner in the upper left to give you an expose-like look of all your running apps. I love the best-of-both worlds option to launch a full-screen app tray from the bottom left, or tap the drop-down xcfe-like ‘start menu’ from the upper left. It’s pretty awesome. Just gotta get used to typing pacman -S instead of apt-get

Haven’t logged a ton of hours on Manjaro just yet, still very much in the “moving in” phase. Feeling great so far. Looking forward to diving into my brand new postproduction workflow in Manjaro using Blender, Resolve, Gimp, Inkscape, and Ardour. More on that in the coming weeks! Peace