Testing Manjaro KDE 20.0 by a beginner

Booting from live USB and testing the beginner workflow.

So far I have been using Ubuntu Mate as my home laptop OS. It performed all home tasks well and that is surfing the internet, writing, listening to music and similar. Now the laptop’s screen died. I can still use it connected to a monitor but I would like to replace it and while I am searching for a new laptop I will test a couple of popular Linux distros.

First two picks (I have two USBs) are Manjaro KDE 20.0 and Debian.

The test is simple. I will try to boot the distros from live USB’s on my work laptop and try to perform the same home tasks like on my old home laptop.

At the first glance

It looks green, Manjaro icon is angular and a bit ugly. Task bar is sized nicely by default. Tray area is clear. Clock a tad too big, but OK. It looks different than Ubuntu Mate. It is more like what Windows user would expect from desktop to look like.

WIFI

WIFI tray icon is on the bottom right. Easy to find network and input the password. No driver issues. This where Debian Live test ended. It seems the wifi adapter wasn’t found. There is a procedure for enabling non free repositories and then some more to enable the WIFI driver. Too much at the moment just to connect to the internet. I used cable instead.

Application launcher

Nice and clean. Looks sleek. No those icons for children Ubuntu Mate and Debian Cinnamon have. Menus are proper size to read; both icons and text. Nice customization options. When typing into search, app folders don’t show as suggested hits; I guess it is on purpose. I would appreciate a search that would give items whose names or functions can be close to what was typed not only exact matches.

Task manager

Intuitive with good sized items, but I found a bug. If you look at the picture you can see that choice in Alternative Widgets menu doesn’t reflect the actual state. When you try all the alternatives you find out that Task manager and Window list are switched ๐Ÿ™‚

Writing

No office-like apps under Office menu, just Okular viewer. This is for PDFs. Ok, I have to install LibreOffice or similar.

Add/Remove software

Nothing to see there except already installed software. At this point I don’t know if I have to adjust some setting or this is disabled in live environment. There is a little hamburger menu on the top left of the window which offers Refresh databases.ย It asks for a password, but which one? Is there a default one… goducked for the solution. Yes there is: “manjaro”. All kinds of apps appear. I am not going to install anything in live environment just to see how text processor works.

Apps

There are some nice apps like the one used to take screenshot above. I like how almost everything you need comes with the OS and you don’t have to worry about buying something or installing from the internet if you are a basic user.

Conclusion

So far so good. For a beginner Linux user Manjaro wouldn’t be a nightmare. Far from it. It looks like Win cousin on the outside, with simpler desktop and less options on the first glance.

On the inside, who knows… beginner user might never notice any difference from any other OS. I installed Ubuntu Mate on my mom’s laptop years ago when she was 70. I don’t think she ever had any problems with it. She probably still thinks it is Windows if she even thinks about such things ๐Ÿ™‚

The most important thing in an OS is its usability. It has to be fit for purpose. This really depends on the user. My mum would use Manjaro well. I would too, but only at home. For work, where I have to use CAD software, there is no Linux distro I could use easily. Here is one example where it worked. Solution in quote below.

Hello guys,
you know that Rhino3D runs perfectly under Linux?
I used a derivative of Wine that works great.
You can also test it using the trial version of Codeweavers CrossOver and Rhino3D both.
They have created a system that uses macros dedicated to each software that solves all the necessary dependencies automatically.
Each software is installed in a specific container where environment has everything you need to run Rhino without going into conflict with other software.
So I abandoned Windows (at home, in the office is unthinkable) and I can finally enjoy my beloved Linux Mint ^____^ and the fabulous and super-loved Rhino3D!

For a seasoned Linux user this is a nice challenge. For a usual CAD professional this is a nightmare. It is a pity. Linux could be a great solution for professionals using CAD software, because the trouble with Windows is that you always have to upgrade something to a new version because the old one is not secure. When you upgrade your Windows, you have to upgrade your CAD software often. It costs a lot of money.

 
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