So one month gone and another month comes, and this month I choose to take a look at my current distro Manjaro Linux… well more precisely Manjaro Linux Cinnamon 15.12 64bit but that would have made the title too long.
Manjaro is a distro I have had my issues with in the past, I have had a love/hate relationship with it since it came out but now its become my main distro.
Firstly lets look at my desktop environment of choice, the almighty cinnamon desktop:
Cinnamon is hands down my favorite desktop environment in linux, period.
No matter the distro, no matter the backend, Cinnamon has become my essential desktop environment to use.
Cinnamons history lays deep in the great gnome shell split off in 2011, I was a long time gnome user and seeing it fall into such a crap interface was a crime,
I hated gnome shell, still do but far more at that time.
It took every desktop convenience away for crap interfaces more suited for a tablet than a desktop.
I used KDE and later Ubuntu's unity, and while I like both none really felt right.
KDE4 was often times unstable and Unity lacked customization.
I liked XFCE but it felt and still feels out of date even compared to the old gnome.
Then came Cinnamon, now it really wasnt stable itself but it had shown great promise.
KDE become my daily desktop for a long time but with Plasma 5 appearing and making KDE very unstable again I needed a new desktop.
Cinnamon soon fixed itself, it made more progress in two years then KDE did in four.
Now one can say it cheated as after all it is a fork of gnome but its become its own power in its own right by now.
I cannot say enough praises about cinnamon, but I rather not witter on for 67 pages about how wonderful it is and instead talk about other things, like the package manager.
A look at Pamac:
As a long time debian/ubuntu user I usually put any other major package manager frontend against my favorite, synaptic package manager.
Pamac is a very good front end, since it uses pacman it does share some of its pros and cons as well as the pros and cons of the AUR (arch user repositories).
On one hand pacman and AUR are both relatively easy to work with but mainly serve better as command line based tools, for someone who is new to linux I would not really say they are ideal.
To a point pamac is a great frontend and is easy to work with, it just lacks the spit and shine of synaptic
but thats more due to synaptics age.
A few more versions and I feel it can be a great contender.
Ease of use:
I like simple distros, I like distros that are easy to install, use and maintain.
Its not like I am stupid, I am just lazy.
I just like siting back and letting my OS do the work for me, I am not into compiling kernels or compiling software, if the OS stays out of my way then I will use it.
Manjaro is very easy to use, it has three main versions XFCE, KDE and net-install but it also has several community editions which cinnamon is a part of.
Right now if one wanted to use a main edition I would use the XFCE editon since the aforementioned KDE edition is still unstable.
There only a few things I say in manjaro that are not that easy.
Such as if you have a HP scanner you will need to do your homework, and if you want to use wine piplelight prepare for a rather agonizing experience.
Neither are really Manjaros fault but they are a deterrent.
If I had to give a rating to Manjaro as a whole I would give it a 8/10, not perfect but no distro really is.
The only distro to really get a better score from me is Linux Mint at 9/10 but a one point difference isnt saying Manjaro is inferior in any way.
Heck the fact it does score so high for me right now is a big push as if you asked me about two years ago I would have given it a 4/10 so seeing it jump that high is a major boon to how good the distro really is.
Yes it gets my second place but its a well earned second place and it can only get better.