A few important steps after installation – Manjaro Linux User Guide

A few important steps after installation – Manjaro Linux User Guide

December 11, 2023

A few important steps after installation – Chapter 3.1

This is the sixth of the free articles directly taken from the Manjaro Linux User Guide book, available at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0C4PSWRQS/. The full list of freely available articles is here: Manjaro Linux User Guide – For newbies, fans, and mid users. More information at the end of the article.

Read time: 3 minutes. Previous article: 1.5 Key Points For Each Major Linux Distribution. Next article: 5.4 Office Tools, Calendars, And Mail Clients.

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A note for beginners:

Before we move on, it is essential to note what a root (also known as a superuser) account is. This is the main administrator account on Linux. On all distributions, it is the one that starts the OS, mounts filesystems, loads the graphical environment, and has full privileges for managing and changing the system. After this, you can log in with a regular user account such as MaryJ or JohnS, which has fewer privileges. Even if a user account has elevated privileges, you might need to provide the root account password for some specific commands and software (SW) with low-level system access.

If you have followed my advice during the installation, you have set the Use the same password for the administrator account option. As a result, you will not need to be concerned with whether you need the root or user account password when requested. If you haven’t done this, know that regular SW installations and all sudo actions require the user password since your user is added to several administration-related groups. To learn more, please read Chapters 7 and 12.

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The few important steps

The first stop here is the Manjaro Hello menu. You saw it just before the installation. It is enabled by default on any new Manjaro installation and looks like the installation launcher menu. On an installed system, it will have a button called Applications instead of Install. It allows you to apply changes to the currently installed SW directly. If you want, you can skip this step for now and run it later. However, keep in mind that it will make your life easier because instead of installing or uninstalling each app separately, you have a great set of tens of applications to choose from to be added or removed in bulk. Figure 3.1 shows what this looks like for KDE Plasma:

Manjaro Hello GUI on KDE Plasma

Figure 3.1 – Manjaro KDE Plasma Hello – default applications install/remove view

Select any application you want to add or remove, then click the UPDATE SYSTEM button. The advanced button provides a broader set of applications.

Remember that you can also open the Manjaro Hello system modification app later, even if you deactivate it on startup (by turning off the Launch at start option).

In Manjaro Hello, especially for GNOME, we also have a GNOME Layout Switcher button. It provides a complete modification of the default GNOME layout. This can also be executed separately later.

Though Manjaro is great and has already been tweaked a lot, there are always a few steps to take after installing any OS on any PC.

Before we move on, knowing about the Meta and Super keys is essential. Both originated in the 1960s. Due to a complicated history, what Windows users know as the Windows key is referred to in different environments as the Meta (KDE) or Super (Xfce) key. It normally opens the main menu (also known as the application launcher).

The following are a few general steps to complete after a fresh installation:

  1. Change Manjaro Mirrors so that it’s using the ones closest to you, not global ones (for the fastest updates and SW download).

To do this, open the application launcher, write Add, and open Add/Remove Software (it’s the same for KDE Plasma, GNOME, and Xfce – its name actually is Pamac GUI). Click the three vertical dots or lines to open the options, and from there, choose Preferences. You must provide your user password here as this changes the OS settings. In the default General tab, scroll to Use mirrors from and choose your country or a close one that you have the fastest connection to. Manjaro has servers on all continents but not in all countries. Then, click the button below this dropdown named Refresh Mirrors. Figure 3.2 shows an example from Xfce:

Manjaro Xfce - changing Mirrors from Pamac GUI

Figure 3.2 – Pamac GUI on Manjaro Xfce – setting mirrors via Preferences | General

  1. Close the Preferences menu, and again, in the Add/Remove Software area (the Pamac GUI), go to the third tab, Updates. Manjaro is constantly updated – the older the release you have installed, the more updates you will have. Even if you have a newer release, after a week, it might have at least some pending updates.
  2. If you have update issues with a message stating invalid or corrupted package, open the three vertical dots or lines menu again and choose Refresh databases, then try the update again.
  3. Again, in Preferences, you can choose how frequently you want to be notified about updates. Let’s set it to every day or every week and not enable Automatically download updates.
  4. Depending on your flavor, go to the Preferences option of the Pamac GUI again, select the third tab (Third Party), and enable Flatpak support. This allows us to download and install applications built with such packages so that we will be able to use more SW.
  5. Add the Microsoft TrueType fonts if you are working with Microsoft Office documents. For this, you must first enable AUR support (from the Third Party tab of Preferences), refresh the databases again, and then search for ttf-ms-fonts via the looking-glass icon.
  6. By default, Manjaro comes with multiple applications. Although we will look at most of them, you should know that we always have Mozilla Firefox for web browsing and Mozilla Thunderbird as a mail client. If you want Skype, Viber, Spotify, WhatsApp, or any other application, we will look at how to install them in Chapters 5 and 6.
  7. To finish this section, I will give you a first glimpse of the Terminal. Once you have installed Manjaro (or any Linux distribution), you should know that the Terminal is super easy to use. Open the application launcher (with the SuperMeta key), type terminal, and press Enter. With the following two commands, you will get detailed information about your Linux kernel and your distribution, along with its version:

$ uname-a
$ lsb_release-a

In the book we continue in the next three sections with the Xfce, KDE Plasma, and finally GNOME flavors graphical environments reviews and settings.

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Next article: 5.4 Office Tools, Calendars, And Mail Clients.

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