Manjaro is one of the best Linux Distributions out there. In this video we run over some of the things you must do on a fresh install to get the best experience out of this Arch based system.
1. Updates and Settings
One of the best things about Manjaro is the bleeding edge updates.
Before we update our system, we are going to ping all of the servers available to detect the best mirror to download packages and updates from. This will take a few minutes. Learn more about mirrors here.
sudo pacman-mirrors --fasttrack
Now that the mirror list has been updated with the best servers available, we will run an update on our system.
sudo pacman -Syyu
This next step is optional, especially if your system is running fine, but updating the Kernel could be a good idea. To update the Kernel in Manjaro all you need to do is open the ‘Manjaro Settings Manager’ and click on ‘Kernel’
Once you open the kernel settings, you will see a list of available kernels to download and install. For new users, it is recommended to go with the latest LTS release. If you do update your kernel I would not recommend deleting previous kernels. If there is an error in a updated kernel you can revert back to a older one.
When you install the new kernel it will not be in effect until you reboot your machine.
If you have an SSD you may want to enable TRIM. The TRIM command enables an operating system to notify the SSD of pages that no longer contain valid data. This will keep SSD performance in shape.
sudo systemctl enable fstrim.timer
Now we need to enable a firewall. You can do so with the following commands:
sudo pacman -Syu firewalld
sudo systemctl enable --now firewalld.service
If you’re interested in changing the default configuration you can learn more here.
2. Auto-Mounting Drives
In Manjaro, drives are not mounted when you boot the system. They do mount when you open them, but it is helpful in many cases to already have the drive mounted when you first boot up your machine. For example, I have my Steam library on one drive and content I host in a media server in another.
Warning: Doing this requires editing the fstab file in the /etc/ be careful while doing this. Mistakes may cause boot or other issues.
First, we will identify the drive we would like to automatically mount. To do this you can open the ‘Disks’ utility and identify the drive. You’re going to want to find the Device, UUID, and the type of file system. For my example, I will be mounting my Backup drive. Before doing this make sure you backup the drive just in case. You can keep this open so we can copy things from it later.
Now we will create the mounting directory. You can make this almost anywhere, but it is common practice to do this in the /media folder. Type the following command replacing “Backup” with whatever you want it to be called.
sudo mkdir /media/Backup
We we will edit our fstab file. First we need to open the file in nano with superuser privileges.
sudo nano /etc/fstab
Now we will input the information of the disk so it will mount on boot. You need to pay attention to how it is typed. Watch the video above to ensure this is done correctly. Instead of typing a space make sure you hit tab. I start with a note so its easy to tell what drive is what. For my example I will type:
# Backup (dev/sdb1)
Now the input will look something like this. Be sure to replace the UUID, mount point, and file system type to match your drive. See the image below.
CUUID=a213ed98-641f-4f67-9480-d92a8d7e82f7 /media/Backup ext4 defaults 0 0
Now we will CTRL-O and it ENTER to save the file. Reboot your system and it should be mounted!
3. Enable AUR (Arch repo)
All the applications available by default in the package manager are provided though the official Manjaro repositories. Everything here runs though the Manjaro team to ensure stability. There is often an application you will want to install that is not available in the official repositories. Luckily, there is the community-driven Arch repo, or AUR.
Because this is community-driven, there will be way more applications available. I will note that if an application is available on the official repo download it from there as those versions are often better.
To enable AUR all you need to do is open the Software Manager and go to Preferences. From here you will see a tab titled ‘AUR’. Open that tab and enable AUR support. I also recommend you select to keep packages in the cache and to check for updates.
4. Set-Up Timeshift
When you first open Timeshift you are going to be greeted with the initial set-up process. First, you will choose your preferred snapshot type, RSYNC, or BTRFS. If you click on ‘Help’ you can learn more about these. I picked RSYNC. Next, you will select where you want the snapshots to be saved. I chose the Backup drive that I set to automatically mount to the system earlier. Now set-up your automatic snapshots.
You can use this tool to restore to any snapshots you create! If you’d like to back-up your home directory you will need to select that within the settings.
5. Recommended Programs
An incredibly feature-rich text editor. Just the basic preview feature alone makes this with it to me. I would recommend anyone to spend some time and really learn the power this tool gives you. Check it out.
VLC is a must-have tool no matter what operating system you’re running. It can play just about any media format and it is loaded with many other utilities; including a screen recorder and conversion tools. Search for VLC in the Software Manager.
This is an advanced system monitoring tool for Linux. It monitors nearly everything and has a feature-set similar to CCleaner in Windows. It allows you to clean system files, manage services, and much more. Search for this in your Software Manager (AUR).