Despite new desktops, Manjaro Linux 21.3 plays it safe under the hood. Could this make it the Ubuntu of Arch?
Manjaro has announced the latest version of its namesake Arch Linux-based distribution, version 21.3, codenamed “Ruah.” The new version features several major enhancements, including new versions of all the supported desktop environments.
What’s New in Manjaro 21.3?
The developers of Manjaro took to Twitter to announce the new version:
As the tweet reads, the major user-facing changes include new versions of the officially-supported desktops: KDE Plasma 5.24 LTS, GNOME 42, and XFCE 4.16. New users can choose which version they want to download from Manjaro’s download page.
Manjaro 21.3 Plays It Safe Under the Hood With LTS Kernel
While Manjaro 21.3 rolls out new desktops, it uses the LTS, or Long-Term Support, version of the Linux kernel, according to 9to5Linux, in contrast to the upstream Arch distribution, which uses the latest kernel by default. This appears to be part of Manjaro’s attempt at a user-friendly version of Arch. This kernel should be more stable than the newer kernel.
The under-the-hood reliability differs from Arch, which appeals to power users because it features newer versions of software as a “rolling-release” distribution. Manjaro seems to be aiming for a more mainstream user base.
Manjaro 21.3: The Ubuntu of Arch?
Manjaro’s relationship with Arch seems to be similar to that of Ubuntu and Debian: a commercial entity repackaging a community Linux distro in a user-friendly way. Where Ubuntu developer Canonical has focused on enterprise servers, Manjaro has partnered with hardware manufacturers to offer laptops and smartphones preinstalled with Manjaro.
While Linux commercial support has proven more popular in the enterprise, some users may be skeptical about actually selling devices in the consumer space. This may be why Manjaro’s website attempts to reassure users that the distribution will always be available free of charge.
Manjaro 21.3 A User-friendly Spin on Arch
Manjaro 21.3 carries on the distro’s approach of having a friendlier spin on Arch Linux. One thing that makes Manjaro distinctive is its approach to package management. Pamac offers an app store-like software installation experience on Manjaro.