Glad to see that we are trending on Twitter! We here at the Mary Sue are so happy you're reading us and that this has nothing to do with men diminishing the importance of a female character who trained for something through over 7 seasons of a television show.
“Look, I know the internet is dark and full of terrors if you’re not up to date on your favorite bits of pop culture. I should know better than to think I can completely avoid the zeitgeist around Avengers: Endgame and the latest season of Game of Thrones. But for years, I’ve done just fine staying …”
I’ve had the exact same issue over the last several days; almost as soon as Avengers finished its first screenings, my YouTube recommendations and auto-play suggestions were filled with videos from channels I’ve never heard of talking about the film. The same happens weekly with Game of Thrones (I’m less concerned by that one being spoiled, but it’s the principle/behaviour that’s the issue).
I mentioned that I was thinking about installing Manjaro Linux… well I went ahead and did it. Not even just a little, by dual-booting with Windows 10. No, I wiped everything and just went for it as my one and only operating system. What follows is my notes from the install, so if I want to get back to where I was at some point in the future, I can retrace my steps.
“Live USB” Installer
Due to having a Broadcom wireless adapter in my self-built PC, the networking didn’t work “out of the box” for me. Which was a surprise, because it did work the last time I installed Linux. From what I’ve read, kernel 3 worked fine, but kernel 4 (on the Live image) has some problems with these cards, due to their drivers. This actually stumped me for a while, but in the end… iPhone tethering to the rescue! Put an iPhone into “hotspot” mode, then plug it in to the PC via USB, and Manjaro picks it up as a working network adapter pretty much instantly. It worked over Bluetooth as well. I’ll admit I was impressed by this.
This let me connect to the internet and test how to get the WiFi card working. Once I had a plan for that, it was on to the installation
Other than the network adapter, everything else about the installation was a breeze. Manjaro came pre-installed with the proprietary Nvidia graphics driver, and after picking a few options (user account, disk partitioning), the installer formatted the disk, set everything up, and prompted me to reboot within a couple of minutes.
So here’s where I had to fix a couple of things.
With the iPhone still tethered, the process was something like this:
Perform a full system update using the package manager
Use the Manjaro Kernel Manager to install and switch to the latest Linux 5.0 kernel
Uninstall the broadcom-wl driver package
Install the broadcom-wl-dkms drivers
Configure the network connection in the connection manager
I configured my VPN by downloading the profiles from NordVPN, imported one of them, then set my WiFi connection to automatically connect to the VPN when the network started up.
Blank Screen during/after boot
I encountered a really strange issue where the login screen would not show after boot, and the system would appear to hang until I pressed some keys. It wasn’t a huge deal, once I figured out to press something, but it did start to niggle and made my system feel slower. After a lot of searching I came across this thread talking about similar symptoms. I installed the recommended package haveged, enabled the service, rebooted, and the problem was instantly fixed. After a little more reading, I replaced haveged with rng-tools, and everything has been fine since.
I followed some of the suggestions from this video – namely install the fonts, reduce “swappiness”, install Pamac and a firewall.
Look and Feel
This was my first time using KDE as my desktop environment, so I was keen to spend some time customising it to my liking. So far I’ve settled on the “Adapta Breeze Nokto” theme, some additional icons, and played around with the panel + widget setup. It’s not fancy, but my desktop currently looks like this:
I’m generally a fan of darker themes, as they’re less of a strain on my eyes.
Other Random Notes
So far I’ve only installed a couple of extra software packages and tweaked a couple of small things.
I installed Lutris, for running Blizzard games. Hearthstone and World of Warcraft run flawlessly in my limited testing.
Steam came pre-installed. A quick check shows around half my existing library is already compatible with Linux; the rest I’ll check through “Steam Play” and Proton.
I added a “bootsplash” loading screen using the (kinda vague) instructions in this thread. Basically: install a suitable theme, edit a kernel hook and rebuild the kernel, then add an option to GRUB. Given the speed everything loads at, this might be unnecessary – it’s shown for at most 1.5 seconds.
On SSD-based systems, enable the fstrim.timer service to enable TRIM support (recommended).
With the Nvidia driver, get better looking scrolling in Firefox by enabling layers.acceleration.force-enabled in about:config.
That’s all my notes for now. No doubt I’ll post up more as I get more comfortable with the OS and explore the capabilities a bit more ?
I’m getting an urge to switch my main desktop PC back to some flavour of Linux. It’s been a couple of years, and the Windows Subsystem for Linux has been adequate, but I’ve never been able to get it to work 100%. There’s always something complaining, that should be working “cross-platform” out of the box.
Although, to be honest, for all the time I get on the desktop these days it’s probably just change for the sake of change…