Manjaro 21.2 Qonos Released with Updated Desktop Environments

Manjaro 21.2 becomes available for download with a trio of desktop environment options - Xfce, GNOME, and KDE Plasma.

Manjaro is a desktop-oriented operating system based on Arch Linux. It has a focus on user friendliness and the system itself is designed to work fully “straight out of the box” with its variety of pre-installed software.

Related: 3 Best Arch-based Linux Distributions for Everyday Desktop Usage

Now, with their latest Qonos version, Manjaro comes with another fantastic release at the end of this year, helping make Linux more accessible for as broader audience from beginners to gamers, and that’s always a plus in our book for promoting free software. So let’s give it a shot and see what’s new.

What’s New in Manjaro 21.2

Manjaro 21.2 Xfce Desktop

We start with the fact that this release features major improvements to the Calamares installer, including filesystem selection for automatic partitioning and enhanced support for Btrfs. In addition to, swapfiles on Btrfs filesystem are now supported.

The Xfce edition, witch is Manjaro flagship, has received the attention it deserves. Manjaro 21.2 comes with Xfce 4.16 and have mostly focused on polishing the user experience with the desktop and window manager.

Support for fractional scaling was added to the display dialog, along with highlighting the preferred mode of a display with an asterisk and adding aspect ratios next to resolutions. In addition, the settings manager has improved search and filter capabilities. On top of that the window manager received lots of updates and improvements again in the area of compositing and GLX.

We can’t fail to mention that the Thunar file manager received a boatload of fixes and quite a few notable features, including pause for copy/move operations, support for queued file transfer, remembering view settings per directory and support for transparency in Gtk themes.

Let’s now move to the Manjaro 21.2 GNOME edition. The latest release of this widely popular Linux distro brings GNOME 41.2 to the scene. The default layout has been redesigned to follow more closely upstream defaults, with some adjustments to reduce the pointer travel for users who prefer using mouse with gnome.

The Firefox web browser now comes with the gnome-desktop style theme enabled by default for more consistent look with the desktop, but this can be toggled with one click from gnome-layout-switcher for users preferring the native Firefox look.

On the KDE side, Manjaro 21.2 comes with the latest Plasma 5.23 series. As expected, the devs polished the default theme even more to match upstream Breeze theming. Now scrollbars and spinboxes are bigger, making them more accessible and easier to use with touchscreens. Moreover, under Global Theme -> Colors you’ll find a new option that lets you pick the desktops accent colors..

Under the hood, Manjaro 21.2 Qonos ships with the Linux kernel 5.15 LTS, such as the latest drivers available to date. At the moment the LTS period projects Linux 5.15 LTS to be end-of-life in October 2023. However, as is usually the case, this can be extended by years given enough industry support.

For detailed information about all changes, you can refer to the official announcement.


For fresh installation of Manjaro 21.2, you can download the ISO file and use a tool such as Balena Etcher to flash it on to a USB drive. Just boot from the USB and follow the on-screen instructions.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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