The new Manjaro 21.3 Ruah won’t wow you with novelty. Instead, it’s all about the desktop experience. Here’s what’s new!
Manjaro is a Linux distribution that has boldly made its way into desktop Linux in recent years, winning the loyalty of a large number of users. Manjaro provides easy use for everyone, solely aimed at Linux desktop users.
Manjaro 21.3 Ruah Highlights
As previously said, the user experience and desktop environment have always been the primary focus of Manjaro. So, before we look at what’s new there, let’s look at the other noteworthy components.
This release includes the final 3.2 version of the Calamares installer framework. As a result, the module responsible for disk partitioning now has greater support for encrypted LUKS partitions.
Furthermore, to avoid settings that will mess with the installation, the Users module now provides lists of disallowed login and host names.
Under the hood, Manjaro 21.3 ships with the Linux kernel 5.15 LTS. Currently, 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.
On top of that, the distribution provides its users with the most recent available drivers, ensuring seamless interaction with existing hardware.
In the short period during which we performed our tests, Manjaro 21.3 demonstrated robust and reliable functionality. In addition, we found no serious flaws, which leads us to assume that Linux desktop users will well receive this release.
With that said, let’s get to the meat of the matter: desktop environments.
Manjaro 21.3 Xfce Edition
Manjaro’s flagship, the Xfce edition, includes our well-known Xfce 4.16. In addition, the window manager received numerous updates and enhancements in the compositing and GLX areas.
The display dialog now supports fractional scaling, marking the preferred mode of a display with an asterisk and adding aspect ratios next to resolutions.
Several new features have been added to the Thunar file manager, which is worth noting. For example, you can pause copy/move operations, queue file transfers, remember view settings for each directory, and use transparency in GTK themes.
And last but not least, the settings manager’s search and filtering features have been enhanced.
Manjaro 21.3 KDE Edition
The decision is somewhat surprising since they could have delayed a little longer with the release to allow Plasma 5.25 to be tested and find a home in the new release, as was probably everyone’s anticipation.
However, on the new Manjaro 21.3, you may enjoy all of the enhancements that KDE Plasma 5.24 provides.
Here’s the new Overview mode, which adds a slightly GNOME feel, the ability to add custom accent colors to the theme, and a variety of new System Settings choices.
On top of that, becoming a KRunner expert is now simple. Click the question mark symbol on the toolbar, and KRunner will display a list of available plugins and instructions on how to use them.
Manjaro 21.3 GNOME Edition
Things are already as expected here because Manjaro 21.3 users receive the latest and greatest version 42 of the GNOME Desktop Environment.
The big new thing here is GTK4, the core programming toolkit for GNOME and all GNOME projects. It includes libadwaita, a new library that controls the appearance of GNOME applications.
Individual libadwaita improvements are difficult to illustrate because they are woven into every aspect of the GNOME 42 desktop. For example, flat buttons, attractive drop-downs, page animations, and toast messages are the few enhancements introduced by libadwaita.
Manjaro 21.3 GNOME edition also introduces system-wide dark style preferences. This means that you now have a switch that, when turned on, the entire desktop and applications that support a dark theme will automatically change to a dark style.
We won’t fail to mention the several main programs that have been fully revamped in GNOME 42. GNOME Screenshot app has received some major changes, including the ability to record the screen. In addition, Gedit has been replaced by GNOME’s new Text Editor.
Moreover, GNOME 42 delivers a useful set of speed enhancements and a new, more modern UI style.
For fresh installation of Manjaro 21.3, you can download the ISO file and use a tool such as Balena Etcher to flash it onto a USB drive. Then boot from the USB and follow the on-screen instructions.
You can refer to the official announcement for detailed information about all changes.