Review: Manjaro 21.2 Qonos Gnome - It's an alright distro, but ...

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Distro testing time! Again. Today, shine ze spotlight we must on me long, detailed review of Manjaro 21.2 Qonos Gnome edition, tested in a triple-boot Windows and Linux setup on a laptop with AMD Ryzen processor, Vega graphics and NVMe storage, covering live session, installation and post-install usage, including look & feel, dubious ergonomic choices, difficult visual customization - dark and light themes, fonts, Firefox and terminal, partitioning and EFI warning, package management and updates, software selection, hardware compatibility, suspend and resume, performance, responsiveness, resource usage, power profiles and battery usage, other observations, and more. Have fun.
Conclusion
Linux distros seem to be a game of chance. Take five categories of functional usability. Now, three of these will be excellent, and two will be awful, and you can choose how to assemble the final model, but you won't get away from the equation. Something will be brilliant, and something will suck, and in the next release, the odds will change in a random way, and round and round we go. This was exciting in 2007, it's sad in 2021. The number of people who actually want to stick by the classic desktop is not getting bigger, newer generations don't have our fascination with the keyboard and mouse (apart from the cruel reality of work), and each day, the dream of Linux making it big gets that much farther away. And it comes down, among many various reasons, to the total lack of product focus, no quality control or any serious testing, and dev-focused, dev-driven design.

Manjaro 20.2 fits the description well. Some superb points coupled to 2005 command-line tricks that no one wants or needs, dubious ergonomic choices, and just too much inconsistency to rely on for serious work. I know the nerds will hate me, ignore me, label me [favorite ad hominem], whatever, but that does not change the fact that only a pure, dedicated techie can and will be able to commit oneself to Qonos. Now, that said, I am actually cautiously optimistic about Manjaro. Over the years, it's showed steady progress. Yes, lots of inconsistency and randomness, but there's progress, too.

This means, one day, Manjaro could be a mature, reliable system for ordinary people as well as diehard techies. I just hope that happens before total Digital Dystopia befalls us, before the "bullshit as a service" devours us all. That's the reason for my bitterness, dear nerds. It's not that I hate Linux, it's that I hate the world that awaits us, and resent the fact no distro has managed to redeem us yet, because they are all stuck in a self-feeding loop of dev-centric mantras that have no bearing to 99% of people out there. Anyway, Qonos ain't bad, but its Gnome flavor is probably not the best choice, and you might as well give it a try, see what gives.
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shmu26

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I installed Manjaro 21.2 Qonos KDE Plasma on my main machine and I am very happy I did.
I chose it because I wanted to use new linux features such as btrfs formatting (it allows for snapshot backups), and the new ntfs3 driver which is available only on kernel 5.15 and up. Well, btrfs isn't exactly new, but the new Manjaro installer knows how to set it up just right.
The ntfs3 driver doesn't go into action out of the box, you need to do some configuring, but it's a big improvement for us dual/multi booters who have ntfs partitions because of Windows.
 

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