Manjaro Linux User Guide

Triple Helix’s mission is to spread knowledge about Linux, so we wrote THE BEST LINUX BOOK for beginners / intermediate users! Based on Manjaro Linux, one of the greatest Linux Distributions!

Hi dear friends :),

If you land on this page you probably are in one of these 5 categories:

  1. you want to learn Linux (if possible, easily, with examples);
  2. or, you want to know all the main features and benefits of Manjaro, being one of the top Arch-based user-friendly distributions (again – easily, with examples);
  3. or, you are a person required to learn Linux to advance your studies and/or career;
  4. or, you understand, that Manjaro Linux is one of the top free operating systems with GUI and a great amount of all possible user software, plus 100% security and privacy guarantees, the best for any end user;
  5. Lastly, no matter the case, you also want to advance seriously in your knowledge of Linux.

In all cases – that’s YOUR BOOK. It starts with installation, goes through user SW, advances through security and administration, and ends with automation and maintenance on Linux.

0. What this book includes

  • Short history of GNU/Linux and distributions
  • Installation, All available SW (including office tools and games)

  • A great Terminal primer with examples and explanations

  • Packaging systems, filesystems, and drives
  • Network, sharing, the Internet, security with firewalls and VPN
  • Systemd, processes, daemons, journal, users and groups
  • System optimization and troubleshooting
  • BASH scripting and automation with cron and systemd

  • and the Linux Kernel!

All of them with guides, explanations, and examples for GUI and commands! Everything a beginner/intermediate should know about the BEST Operating System ever! To answer all your questions about the book, check this Article’s contents further down.

1. What you will learn

  • Gain insight into the full set of Manjaro features and available SW
  • Manjaro installation and customization via GUI with ease
  • Basic and advanced Terminal usage with examples
  • Learn about package management, filesystems, storage and network
  • Learn network sharing, SSH, Internet security, firewalls and VPNs
  • Know processes, systemd services, OS init, system logs, and users
  • Troubleshooting and extracting system HW information
  • Basic scripting and automation, kernel basics and switching

2. Who this book is for

  • Regular users wanting to switch from macOS or Windows to one of the best Linux alternatives!

For them, I have described in detail all basic GUI features and have presented the Manjaro installation and the thousands of available software applications installation basics with screenshots. A comparison and information for the best tools in a few basic categories is also provided. Some of the topics like backup, storage management, encryption, firewalls, and a great Terminal primer, all with examples, will turn them into intermediate power users.

  • Developers willing to jump into Linux.

To add to the previous list, without going into development, parts 3 and 4 describe many of the basics in an easy learn-by-example approach. These parts include basics of the Internet, Network fundamentals, service management, system logs, shell scripts, automation, and the Linux Kernel.

  • Students in schools and universities who want to know the basics and later continue further with advanced Linux development books.

For them, all the topics targeting the previous two groups will give them the basics to later turn into highly paid professionals. Some may argue AI will overtake, but without people to use, develop, and manage it, AI would never exist. In addition – Linux itself is developed by people, and AI can leverage this but never create it by itself. Educate yourselves and stay in the top 5%, who will lead the next generation of discoveries based on the best OS Kernel in the world!

  • Manjaro Linux users, who want to know every basic aspect of this distribution, and potentially turn themselves into power users.

  • Linux users with less experience, who want to know more and turn into power users.

  • Anyone willing to learn Linux. With simple explanations and examples, everyone can.

Required background – none in particular. Basic computer knowledge is helpful but not required to benefit from a great user-friendly distribution like Manjaro and with a detailed guide like this book.

3. Why stepping into Linux with Manjaro

Here are the most important reasons why Manjaro is a great choice:

  • A high-speed/lightweight OS optimized by default. Thus, the user rarely needs to do anything to improve its already great speed and efficiency.
  • A great amount of the newest bleeding-edge SW packages, following the Arch Linux principles. The Manjaro team regularly configures updates and adds new packages, provided via an easy install and update GUI SW. The update system is robust, with configurable automatic functions.
  • Perfect security, optionally including a full hard disk system and user data encryption, and guaranteeing 100% user privacy (the distribution doesn’t collect user data by any means).
  • Regular kernel updates provide the newest kernel with all the features and fixes. It also allows you to switch the kernel between the latest versions and older LTS releases, providing additional flexibility when needed.
  • Many regular hard Linux configuration tasks go via GUI modules, so the user is not forced to learn many Terminal commands (unlike Arch, which is configured only via the Terminal). The GUI control is excellent for all daily tasks.
  • 2D and 3D Gaming is flawless. Since 2017, several big game companies have started developing games for Linux, and there are multiple open source frameworks for game development under Linux.
  • Regular computer, PC, and laptop hardware is supported automatically, so there is no difference between Manjaro and Windows in this regard.
    Manjaro has a rolling release model based on Arch, so OS and SW updates (including security and hotfixes) are always applied ASAP.
  • A lot of legacy and some relatively modern Windows SW can be run.
  • The Manjaro community provides a good amount of online manuals and an extensive forum database, which provides news and answers to all common issues. When you post in the forum to seek help, thousands of users can assist you if a solution for your issue is not already found.
  • Finally, all the preceding features have been supported for over 12 years. The Manjaro team retained them completely even after creating a private Manjaro company in 2019.

4. Chapters short descriptions

  • Chapter 1, Introduction to Manjaro and Linux, provides basic information on how and why Linux, and Manjaro in particular, was created, covering their basic characteristics and comparing them to all other operating systems. It then presents a key features description of all major Linux distributions.
  • Chapter 2, Editions Overview and Installation, is the chapter to help you understand the key differences between the official Manjaro flavors and all the details on their installation. It covers all installation cases and provides detailed explanations for beginners and advanced users, including dual boot with Windows and on a Virtual Machine.
  • Chapter 3, Editions and flavors, previews the basic GUI environment controls of each official Manjaro flavor. After reading it, you will know how to control network, external devices, edit the view, and know all the options you have at your disposal.
  • Chapter 4, Help, Online Resources, Forums, and Updates, presents the online resources provided by the Manjaro team, covering guides, main website features, and describing in detail the forum, which is the place to find or get support for any issue you encounter. It finishes by explaining the release model and updates, critical to keep yourself with the best security and newest features.
  • Chapter 5, Officially supported software part 1, starts by explaining all the basics of installing applications and packages via GUI, covering the different application containers in the Linux world and providing information on the Manjaro servers. It further switches to office tools with a justified choice for the best suite. The next part is a browser test, explaining some history and providing test results of over 15 browsers. Its last part presents the best free imaging and video SW professionals use worldwide.
  • Chapter 6, Officially Supported software part 2, 3D Games, and Windows SW, continues with a short presentation of audio and music applications, listing tens of options. The chapter then covers messaging SW, text editors, drivers, tools, and simple games. A dedicated section for advanced 2D and 3D gaming provides a detailed explanation of the extreme development of the area on Linux, supported by multiple big names in the industry. The last two parts are dedicated to converting .deb and .rpm packages, and running Windows SW on Linux.
  • Chapter 7, All Basic Terminal Commands – Easy and with Examples, is the first jump to the Linux roots, presenting over 50 Terminal commands. It explains first the basics of Shells and Terminals. Then, it continues with a learn-by-example approach, covering the basics of operations with files, permissions, paths, long outputs, streams, autocomplete, commands history, and sudo. It then continues with application installation, grep, piping, editors, and find. The last part also covers system and HW reporting, processes, running applications in the background, how to get detailed commands help and information on the Terminal.
  • Chapter 8, Package management, Dependencies, Environment Variables, and Licenses, presents the basics of Linux’s modularity, achieved via advanced package management. The chapter gives all the details on how to work with pacman and pamac, unveiling their advanced options, including the installation from SW from AUR. It then taps into Environments and environment variables, which are at the roots of the process hierarchy. The chapter’s last part briefly explains the open source licenses, which are the root cause of free software existence.
  • Chapter 9, Filesystem basics, structure and types, NTFS, automount, and RAID, dives into how the filesystems work, starting with the concept of “everything on Linux is a file”, the UNIX file types, links, drives, partitions, inodes, and file attributes. It then describes the most widely used filesystems on Linux, providing also history and main features descriptions. Its next stop is the Linux directory structure, which is essential for orienting yourself in it, and in particular on Manjaro. The chapter then covers external storage usage, NTFS, and automount. The last part explains the basics of RAID.
  • Chapter 10, Storage, Mounting, Encryption, and Backups, presents in detail storage management, covering formatting, partition creation, mounting, ownership, resizing, and encryption. It then taps into backups, briefly presenting multiple tools and explaining in detail how to work with the best one, which is also used for the Manjaro initial installation.
  • Chapter 11, Network fundamentals, file sharing, and SSH, explores the network basics, which include IPv4 and IPv6 addressing, DNS and WWW, ping, and routers. It then continues with static, dynamic, local, and pubic addresses with examples, and explains local network scanning and subnets. A big portion of it is dedicated to network sharing via NFS, providing complete examples on the client and server side, including from Windows and macOS clients. It then explains briefly Samba servers, and switches to SSH for remote Manjaro access (including from Windows) and SSHFS for file sharing.
  • Chapter 12, Internet, Network Security, Firewalls, and VPNs, starts with how the Internet works. It then deep-dives into protocols, port scanning, a good explanation of the different network attacks, and proof of Linux’s security features. The next section provides security advice, which, when followed, guarantees your privacy, and then explains all the types of firewalls. Further, it goes with a detailed ufw firewall setup guide, providing at the end a full configuration and covering its GUI module. Its last part is dedicated to VPNs, with use-case descriptions, legal points explanations, quality points, potential providers, and finally, presenting the worldwide best provider for the last few years, officially supported on Manjaro.
  • Chapter 13, Service Management, System Logs, and User Management, continues with the basics of processes, daemons, and systemd. It then switches to service management and explains systemd configurations, units and targets, finally explaining how to analyze the OS startup sequence after boot. Its next stop is the systemctl command and a few other essential systemd commands. The chapter continues with Linux virtual TTY consoles and deepens into journalctl and all system logs, including the kernel ring buffer messages. The last part of the chapter is dedicated to user management, passwords, groups, ownership, and root account privileges.
  • Chapter 14, System Cleanup, Troubleshooting, defragmentation, and reinstallation, begins with OS and filesystem cleanup, explains when and how to achieve this, and includes root and home partitions extension and moving. We cover then shortly when defragmentation of ext4 is necessary and switch to troubleshooting, an essential topic on a Linux system. We review here inxi and mhwd and provide two practical examples. The last part of the chapter explains how to reinstall Manjaro and keep your home contents intact.
  • Chapter 15, Shell scripts and Automation, presents the basics of shell scripting, which is in the essence of automatic task execution on Linux and dates back to the origins of UNIX. The chapter explains what is a shell script and how to run it, providing a few simple examples. It then presents the basic BASH script elements: variables, arguments, arithmetic operators, file testing, logical operations, and command substitution. As the topic is deep, it presents sources from where to get more information and examples, as BASH by itself is a topic for a whole book. The second part of the chapter explains in detail how to work with cronie and systemd for calendar and time scheduling of scripts and commands.
  • Chapter 16, Linux Kernel basics and switching, ends the book by presenting how an OS Kernel works in a simple way, explaining the task distribution and management, different types of memory, the Kernel and User space, Linux architecture, and the task scheduler. It then presents the system calls, kernel modules and drivers, how to inspect, load, and unload them, and the Kernel Versioning. The last practical part is related to the Manjaro Kernel change approach and RT Kernel version.

5. Book Table of Contents with subsections

CHAPTER 1: Introduction to Manjaro and Linux
• Book structure and contents
• Arch Linux and how Manjaro is related to it
• What about Linux, Windows, macOS, and Unix/FreeBSD?
• A brief Linux history and what a distribution actually is
• Key points for each major distribution
CHAPTER 2: Editions Overview and Installation
• Editions overview
• The preparation for any installation
• Installing on a USB stick
• BIOS/UEFI setup for installation on a PC
• The installation itself – automatic and manual, on a virtual machine, and dual boot with Windows
CHAPTER 3: Editions and flavors
• A few important steps after installation
• Xfce edition and settings
• KDE Plasma edition and settings
• GNOME edition and settings
• The other editions: Cinnamon, Lxde, Mate, and so on
CHAPTER 4: Help, Online Resources, Forums, and Updates
• Help
• Online resources
• The forum – the greatest collection of knowledge
• The Rolling Release Development Model
• Updates
CHAPTER 5: Officially supported software part 1
• Pamac – the Add/Remove SW GUI application
• Flatpak, Snap, and AppImage containers
• The Manjaro repositories
• Office tools, calendars, and mail clients
• Browsers
• Photo, video, image, and graphics
CHAPTER 6: Officially Supported software part 2, 3D Games, and Windows SW
• Music and audio
• Teams, Zoom, Viber, Spotify, WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram
• Text editors
• Drivers, tools, and simple games
• Advanced 2D/3D game support on Linux
• Creating application shortcuts and converting .deb and .rpm packages
• Using Windows SW under Linux
CHAPTER 7: All Basic Terminal Commands – Easy and with Examples
• The most important commands for newbies
• A bit of advanced (and still easy) commands
• Getting serious help directly in the Terminal
CHAPTER 8: Package management, Dependencies, Environment Variables, and Licenses
• Dependencies
• Pacman, Pamac, Octopi, and package management
• Environment variables
• Licenses
CHAPTER 9: Filesystem basics, structure and types, NTFS, automount, and RAID
• Linux FS basics
• Linux-supported FS types
• Linux directory structure
• External storage, NTFS, and Automount
• FS snapshots and RAID
CHAPTER 10: Storage, Mounting, Encryption, and Backups
• Storage management, partitions, and mounting
• Partition creation and encryption via a Terminal
• Backups, tools, rsync, and recovery
CHAPTER 11: Network fundamentals, file sharing, and SSH
• Network basics
• Short network sharing introduction
• Sharing via NFS
• Sharing via Samba server
• Secure Shell (SSH) and working remotely
• Sharing via SSHFS
CHAPTER 12: Internet, Network Security, Firewalls, and VPNs
• How the Internet works, network protocols, and ports
• Attacks, Security advice, and Firewalls
• Setting up your firewall from A to Z
• VPNs
CHAPTER 13: Service Management, System Logs, and User Management
• Processes, daemons, and systemd
• Journalctl and system logs
• Linux Virtual TTY consoles
• User management, groups, ownership, and root privileges
CHAPTER 14: System Cleanup, Troubleshooting, defragmentation, and reinstallation
• Cleaning unnecessary files, pacman, and other caches
• Defragmentation – do we need it at all and how to do it
• Inxi, troubleshooting, and mhwd
• Reinstalling and keeping our original /home partition
CHAPTER 15: Shell scripts and Automation
• Basics of BASH shell scripts
• Time-based execution of programs and scripts
• Configuring systemd timer triggers related to system initialization
CHAPTER 16: Linux Kernel basics and switching
• Basic Linux Kernel characteristics for beginners
• The Kernel from service, driver, and process perspective
• Kernel versions and development
• Changing the Kernel on Manjaro
• What is Real-Time and The RT Linux Kernel


6. Why I wrote this book and how it all happened

Long ago (since 2009, when I started with Linux), I dreamed of having an easy way for this. So I looked for books, but most were for security, networks, or professional enterprise versions. The massively spread for user-friendly distros were mostly for Ubuntu. And though Ubuntu has a significant role in contributing to and popularizing Linux, it’s not my cup of tea.

So, after trying Ubuntu, Fedora, Mint, and Arch, I stumbled upon Manjaro, as I also wanted a distro for my Raspberry PI 4 (and its touchscreen). It was and still is magnificent, but again, there was no book about it in English (except one in German, which I found too late). I started using it, and since 2018, I’ve been a non-stop Manjaro user.

Now – as I dreamed about the book, I said – if there is no such, I may write one. In the meantime I used it for personal and development needs, and even wrote a longer guide for Manjaro Linux on Raspberry PI 4 with a touchscreen. That’s why when PACKT Publishing contacted me to write a book, I thought a bit, and said, “Yes, I want to write the best book for beginners and mid-level users, which may serve as a reference also to advanced ones!

I though it will be easy, as I knew most of the things well and had a pretty good basic idea of the rest. Considering that all the information is split into tens of thousands of documents, articles, forums, and man pages, I thought it was a significant contribution, and so – this book was born. A piece of cake, I said to myself – 6 months and I’m ready LOL :D!

Knowing a lot is one thing, but explaining it well, fixing all the technical and language editors’ points, ordering the information, and rewriting parts multiple times finally took 14 months. Ah, and testing it on the three official Manjaro flavors (Xfce, KDEPlasma, and GNOME).

The purpose was to get a high-quality book with thoroughly tested commands and easily digestible explanations. So, I started it in July 2022 and (with a few short interruptions for work) ended it at the beginning of November 2023. The book also took 4 months to my technical editor to write all the notes.

That’s how this book was born :).

7. The free contents

I have chosen a few light topics to share for free, taken directly from the book. This list also contains two bonuses.

The first bonus is a beginner guide to containers, a topic I excluded from the book as the volume became too big. Going into further container details would also require extending a lot more than the provided guide, so I stopped after the final basic example.

The second bonus is a detailed guide for building a Yocto image for a Raspberry PI 4 with a touchscreen. It includes scripts and explanations, and once you know it you can modify it for your purposes, change settings, or adapt it for another board. The image is minimal but holds a lightweight X11 GUI system and a demo IMGUI application (based on mesa, glfw2, and OpenGL). It also configures the WiFi driver automatically.

Here is what I have for you. It will be posted on our company blog, but as putting the content requires some time (and I started working on client projects), monitor this page periodically. You can also follow me on LinkedIn, as I will share content there (together with a lot of news and guides for developers).

To get notified personally, you can subscribe with your email HERE.

TripleHelix guarantees 100% privacy, and that your mail will never be shared to any third parties. We keep the right to occasionally send news about potential open-source projects, but they will be rare. You can always unsubscribe.

From Chapter 1:

From Chapter 3:

From Chapter 5:

From Chapter 6:

From Chapter 8:

From Chapter 9:

From Chapter 10:

From Chapter 11:

From Chapter 13:

BONUSES (under web development)

  • Containers Beginners Guide – history, terms, concepts and alternatives – everything you need to know
  • A Demo Yocto build for Raspberry PI 4 with a 7 inch touchscreen, built and developed on Manjaro as a host. Full guide with scripts and explanations.
  • A list of cheatsheets for chosen Linux Commands. Follow me on LinkedIn, or subscribe with your email HERE about them.

8. Regarding price and discounts

I invested a whole year into the book; it was my only job between Oct 2022 and Nov 2023. I did my best to investigate the most important topics ANY newbie or basic user must know to reach intermediate Linux mastery. In addition, the book covers enough topics which are helpful to advanced and/or long-time users. Considering the number of topics the book covers, I think it is worth the price of 36 USD.

Despite this, some users may find it difficult to spare money at certain moments. For them, I will do several GIVEAWAYS and DISCOUNT periods between December 2023 and January 2025. I will announce them on my LinkedIn profile, follow me there to know more.

FIRST DISCOUNT – FOR EASTER – from 8 April until 22 April 2024:

Amazon Direct Packt Link Link

Promo code on AMAZON.COM: Promo code: 30MANJARO

I will also announce them here in short blog posts, so monitor our blog.

Finally, if you’d like to be notified automatically of a discount campaign or a giveaway – subscribe with your email HERE.

TripleHelix (my company) keeps complete privacy and will never provide your contact to third parties. We save the right to occasionally send you exciting development news, should some of our open-source projects have news to share. Unsubscribing is also always an option.

9. Commands covered in the book

The first few chapters are for GUI, so they have none. Following are the commands in the next ones. It is important that I also describe many configuration files, paths, and other aspects I will not add to this list. Another key point is that many book parts explain fundamental concepts in short and understandable paragraphs.

In the book I explain how to use over 170 commands with examples:

Chapter 5 and 6 Officially supported software part 1 and 2 mention: pacman-mirrors, snap, pamac install, debtap.

Chapter 7, All Basic Terminal Commands – Easy and with Examples, 53 commands with details and examples: pwd , cd, mkdir, rmdir, echo, ls, less, more, clear, sudo, hwinfo, tree, cat, history, chmod, chown, grep, rmdirmv, touch, reboot, shutdown, nano, vim, allocate, stat, ln, unlink, find, neofetch, free, id, lsblk, lsb_release, timedatectl, w, df, IP, show, duf, inxi, lshw, lscpu, lsusb, lspci, wc, top, kill, pidof, pstree, ps, pgrep, exa, man, info.

Chapter 8: Package management, Dependencies, Environment Variables, and Licenses

where, whereis, ldd, pacman (with full details), pactree, pacsearch, pacman-conf, paclist, pamac (with full details), nano.

Chapter 9: Filesystem basics, structure and types, NTFS, automount, and RAID

ls, ln, mkfifo, rm, exa, grep, duf, lsblk, sudo.

Chapter 10: Storage, Mounting, Encryption, and Backups

df, duf, mount, umount, lsblk, mkdir, chown, cat, nano, fdisk, reboot, mkfs.ext4, cryptsetup, rsync, sudo.

Chapter 11: Network fundamentals, file sharing, and SSH

ping, ip, ifconfig (obsolete, replaced by ip, explained), ping6 (obsolete, merged into ping, explained), arp-scan, timedatectl, hwclock, mkdir, chown, chmod, touch, nano, exportfs, systemctl, grep, nfsstat, rpcinfo, mount, umount, showmount, ufw, ssh, sshfs, ls.

Chapter 12: Internet, Network Security, Firewalls, and VPNs

cat, nmap, ufw extensive manual with examples and a complete configuration, journalctl, systemctl, expressvpn (Surfshark is covered in detail via GUI, there is a reason about this), ip.

Chapter 13: Service Management, System Logs, and User Management

ps, top, htop, systemd and systemctl extensive manual with examples, systemd-analyze, journalctl detailed and with examples, dmesg, useradd, passwd, userdel, usermod, groupadd, groupdel, gpasswd, groupmod, groupmems, chown, chgrp, chmod, su, sudo.

Chapter 14: System Cleanup, Troubleshooting, defragmentation, and reinstallation

duf, du, find, pamac, pacman, journalctl, mount, cp, nano, rename, e4defrag, inxi, mhwd.

Chapter 15: Shell scripts and Automation

bash, zsh, echo, ./, chmod, scripts, arguments, systemd, timers, crontab, systemctl.

Chapter 16: Linux Kernel basics and switching

ausyscall, lsmod, modinfo, uname, mhwd-kernel, pamac, modprobe.

10. Why learn GNU/Linux? Apart from millions of home PCs, it runs

  • The servers of Google, Facebook, and Amazon

  • Millions of Cloud and hosting servers (half the Internet)
  • All Android mobiles, all smart TVs
  • Billions of embedded and network devices
  • All Supercomputers in the world!
  • It offers over 100,000 SW packages, libraries, and frameworks FOR FREE!
Manjaro Linux User Guide cover

All rights reserved. Parts of this free content are allowed to be cited only when the official link to this article is provided as a source of the information, the author’s name is mentioned, as well as the publisher and the book name, example: “Cited from the article by Atanas Georgiev Rusev, as part of the Manjaro Linux User Guide book by PACKT publishing, all rights reserved”.