What is Linux?
Linux is the name of the kernel powering the GNU system. GNU/Linux, also called Linux is a free and open-source operating system, meaning that you may freely use and freely distribute it. Originally developed in 1991 by Finnish Programmer Linus Torvalds, Linux is an exceptionally robust and reliable kernel, which combined with the GNU system is most commonly used for internet servers, mobile phones, and tablets (e.g., Android). Additionally, the use of GNU/Linux as an alternative operating system for personal computers has also been growing over the years, with several million users having already discovered the benefits of it.
What are the benefits of using Linux?
There are quite a few. GNU/Linux is free to use, highly efficient, and very fast. The 64 bit version of Manjaro with the XFCE desktop boots up in only a few seconds, and uses only 200MB of memory to run. Linux systems are also very secure, and are not affected by the huge amount of Windows viruses, trojans, worms, or malware out there. Anti-virus software is not required. And as for the tens of thousands of software applications available --including fully compatible equivalents of popular Windows software such as MS Office-- these are also completely free. It is also possible to easily run many popular Windows applications on GNU/Linux using compatibility software such as Wine or PlayonLinux. The examples given here are far from comprehensive!
Why is Linux free? What's the catch?
There isn't one. GNU/Linux operates on a completely different philosophy than those of for-profit corporations such as Microsoft and Apple. Linux systems and software applications are funded through sponsorship, donations, and of course, the hard work of many, many enthusiasts. Linux has a dedicated and highly enthusiastic fan-base for a very good reason.
Why are there so many different Linux distributions?
Different GNU/Linux distributions (variations of the operating system) have been developed for different types of users, for different purposes, and for different hardware capacities. For example, distributions such as Mint or Zorin are specifically designed to apply to newcomers or those without technical expertise. At the other end of the scale, distributions such as Arch are designed for computer enthusiasts. Manjaro is designed to bridge that gap. Different flavours of a distribution means it comes with different desktop environments --you're rarely if ever stuck with whatever desktop comes pre-installed.
What is the difference between cutting edge and bleeding edge technology?
Generally speaking, cutting edge refers to the latest technology that has finished development and has been fully tested. Bleeding edge technology is that which has not finished development and/or is still undergoing testing. The use of bleeding edge technology therefore carries the risk of being unreliable or unstable.
Is Manjaro just an easy-to-install version of Arch?
No. Manjaro is unlike other Arch-based distributions such as Archbang or Bridge Linux. While there are numerous subtle differences between Manjaro and Arch, the most obvious examples, including the use of our own dedicated software repositories, are covered in the About Manjaro page.
Can Manjaro use the Arch Software Repositories?
No. Manjaro is configured to use its own dedicated software repositories, although you can still access the community-maintained Arch User Repository (AUR) for additional software, if you wish. In addition, if you want to access the very latest bleeding-edge software, Manjaro's own testing and unstable repositories are also available.
Can Manjaro be converted into a full Arch system?
Yes, although only tested on Manjaro versions 0.8.0 and 0.8.1. This course of action is not recommended, and the Manjaro team cannot offer support for a converted system, since it is no longer Manjaro but depending directly on Arch. Still, a conversion script to test out in VirtualBox is available on our forum here
What is the Manjaro Forum like?
Very friendly! Both newcomers and experienced users are more than welcome to participate, ask questions, and just talk to other members of the Manjaro community, as well as the developers themselves. You don't even have to register to post on the forum. Even though Manjaro is a new distribution, there are already many dedicated Manjaro Community members who will be more than happy to answer your questions and help you out.
How is 'Manjaro' Pronounced?
Although the inspiriation for the name originates from Mount Kilimanjaro, it may be pronounced as 'Man-jar-o' or as 'Man-ha-ro'.