Manjaro Linux developers have released version 21.3. In essence, they bring the desktop interfaces up to date with the new version. The Calamares installer is now in a “final state”. Manjaro is a particularly beginner-friendly Linux based on Arch Linux. It also inherits the rolling release from this, so it always keeps all components up to date.
Installing with Calamares 3.2 gets improved support for encrypted LUKS partitions. The Users module in it now contains lists of banned usernames and hostnames, the use of which could cause installation problems.
Manjaro with updated window managers
The current version Gnome 42 comes with the Gnome edition. A global dark user interface style setting is intended to direct applications to use a dark user interface instead of a light one. GTK4 and libadwaita support has also advanced, so most apps in Gnome 42 use them, offering better performance, a modern UI, and new controls.
For the Plasma Edition, the Manjaro developers are using version 5.24.5, which is not entirely fresh – the new version for this would be KDE Plasma 5.25, which is not even a week old and therefore probably didn’t make it into the release. The Manjaro makers see Plasma’s strength in customization. So they’ve made the process clear and simple, so users can customize their environment exactly how they want it.
Desktop panels, for example, are easier to slide around and pin to any corner you want to use; they can also be dragged from anywhere to their toolbar in edit mode. The “Overview” effect simplifies the use of multiple desktops, much like in Gnome. This gives users a view of the different desktops and allows them to interact with the other windows and applications that are open in the background. The “starter” application KRunner comes with a help function where, after clicking on the question mark in the toolbar, a list of the available plug-ins appears, explaining how to use them.
The Manjaro version with the slim XFCE desktop now uses version 4.16. The window manager has received a lot of updates and improvements, especially in the areas of compositing and GLX. Now the display dialog also supports fractional values for the scaling setting. Settings management has improved search and better filter options. The Thunar file manager has received a ton of bug fixes, as well as some notable features, such as a pause option for copy or move actions. It also got support for queue-based file transfers, remembering view settings at the directory level, and support for transparency effects in Gtk themes.
Updated hardware support
The Manjaro project relies on the long-term support kernel 5.15 LTS. The distribution also supports current hardware. If you need support for older components, you can also install the 5.10 LTS and 5.4 LTS kernels from the repositories.
The Manjaro developers have published the release notes in the forum of the project website. Updated installation packages can be found on the Manjaro download page. Separate ISO files are available for each of the three officially supported window managers.
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