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Messing with Manjaro

Joshua Schenk
Computer Science undergrad at RIT
Updated on ・4 min read

My Background

While I have had quite a bit of experience messing around in the CLI of Ubuntu, both on my schools machines and on my WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux), I haven't taken much time to pick my own flavor of Linux and use it as my daily driver, but after being recommended Manjaro by a friend of mine, I decided to give it a try.

What Is Manjaro?

Manjaro is a Linux distribution based off of Arch, but with a few key differences. Manjaro focuses heavily on usability and it's "work straight out of the box" mentality, while Arch focuses on simplicity and, relies on its users making things work for themselves. Arch has fast releases, making it cutting edge, but very unstable. While Manjaro maintains a very stable OS while maintaining a rolling release schedule.

Why Manjaro?

Since Manjaro focuses on stability, it has a much slower release schedule when compared to Arch. It's a trade-off, but users will be able to have a much more reliable Operating System. Manjaro also uses pacman, Arch's powerful package manager. In doing this, Manjaro is compatible with the Arch User Repositories. If you're willing to wait a little longer for features, you'll have a very nice OS. But if you'd rather be up to date with Arch's packages, you can switch to their 'bleeding edge' release schedule. Manjaro is also a very user friendly for a lot of people getting into Linux since it has pamac (and Octopi if you're using the KDE version), Manjaro's GUI alternative for downloading new packages.

Downloading Manjaro

The first thing you need to do when downloading Manjaro is picking out a desktop, there are a ton of different options from xfce to cinnamon and mate, I suggest doing your own research if you want to know more about them, but I'd suggest xcfe or KDE. I went for the KDE version for its flexibility and since hardware restrictions weren't an issue with my laptop. Downloading Manjaro is very easy if you're using the right tools. You can test it out on a virtual machine or live-booting from a usb, if you like it then you can install it from the live-boot. As for making the usb bootable, I'd suggest using Image Writer as opposed to Rufus, since I was having trouble with grub versions. I linked a guide from the Manjaro site if you need more info.

Conquering Manjaro

One of my friends told me that you need to conquer your OS before it becomes a powerful tool for you to use. I liked that term a lot, and I definitely had to go through a couple of loops to get Manjaro working the way I wanted it too. It's not perfect yet, but I'm in a good usable spot right now. Here are a couple of things that I had to go through that you might also have to deal with when you start up Manajaro.

Installing Packages

The first thing I did to get machine up and running was installing all of the packages, to install something with pacman you need to type pacman -S into the Konsole. If you aren't that comfortable with the terminal yet, or just want to browse the packages, I'd recommend installing pamac with, pacman -S pamac and opening it up from your start menu.

Beeping Noises

I'm looking through pamac for different packages and I accidentally press backspace on the search bar and extra time BEEP. I instantly thought that could be annoying, my computer was muted and yet the beep was still loud and clear of course. So I look up how to fix it and stumble across this page. It's a little unclear, so here's what I did.

I opened up my Konsole and typed in this line rmmod pcspkr which the site claimed would disable the BIOS speaker. I went back to pamac to test it out and the sound was gone. I figured out the issue but I would have to do it every time I booted up my computer. So I needed a way to make it disable on startup. The easiest way I found to do this was with Blacklisting, which you can read about here.
To do this:

  1. Go into your modprobe.d directory with cd /etc/modprobe.d/
  2. Using your favorite text editor (and the sudo command), add a .conf file with the line blacklist pcspkr in it.

Problem solved! (This doesn't disable normal audio)

Disabling My Touchscreen

Another thing that wasn't so clear was disabling my broken touchscreen, that would have random presses without doing anything. This was a hardware problem that I knew was going on for a while. After a lot of research I downloaded a package called xorg-xinput and was able to solve the problem. Here are some steps.
1. Open up Konsole and download xinput using pacman -S xorg-xinput
2. run xinput and look for the name of the device you want to disable
3. run xinput disable 'ELAN touchscreen' but use the name of your device instead

And that's it!

Edit:
This will not work when you restart your computer, the solution I used to this problem was one I derived from this thread. Here's what I did:

  1. Move to the xorg conf directory with cd /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d
  2. Use ls to look at your .conf files just to make sure
  3. Open the 10-evdev.conf file with your favorite text editor for vim: sudo vim 10-evdev.conf.
  4. Look for the "evdev touchscreen catchall" section and add Option "Ignore" "on" to the section.

It should look like this
10-evdev.conf
After I saved the file and rebooted my computer the touch screen was disabled!
Hope this helps!

I've enjoyed messing around with Manjaro and if you're looking into trying out Linux or switch from another distro, Manjaro would be a good place to start!

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