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Old 07-20-2017, 09:24 PM   #1
enorbet
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New to Manjaro, Old to Linux, Couple Questions


Greetings
Some background: I started using Linux back in the day with Mandrake around 1999. By 2000 I had switched to Slackware and it has been my main ever since. That said I've always run a multi-boot system so I've tried to keep up with overall changes in Linux by installing many flavors over the years.

Three situations caused me to install Manjaro 17.2 KDE/Plasma to give it a go.

1) Slackware has fallen prey in 14.2 to pulseaudio which I very much dislike for several reasons (I run a DAW and Jack for pulse lacks a few features currently) and I wanted to see just how badly I would miss those features even if they were never finally added.

2) I am an avid gamer and heartily support Gabe Newell and Steam's efforts to increase developers interest and support for Linux, so I recently bought Feral Interacives Linux port for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided through Steam. It ran just fine in Slackware 14.2 64bit exactly three times until an "update" now prevents it from even launching.

3) I installed Ubuntu Studio but I very much dislike it's "butler underfoot" ways so I burned an Arch CD and installed it. I soon got fed up with having to know every possible package Arch requires to get a fully working DE/WM. It seems to me that if I query/install say XFCE I should get everything it will need to run, but that apparently is not the case. So, I figured Manjaro is supposed to be Arch with an actual full DE/WM built in from the jump.... so.....


The install went almost perfectly (more on that next) and I was quite happy with the intuitive menus and user control over the install. The first problem I had was Grub2 which I dislike rather a lot. From my POV it is way too complicated and automatic for doing such a basic job as booting. I despise os-prober but grub-customizer helps a lot.

Anyway I like redundant bootloaders as it makes recovery fairly effortless once setup. This is extremely easy to do with Lilo since it will install to root without complaint and chainload from the only Lilo allowed to write to MBR. I don't use UEFI boot or partitions nor do I expect to, ever. Grub would not install to the root partition so I instructed it to install on the MBR of /dev/sdb so it would not interfere with Lilo on /dev/sda. It failed.

So I copied Manjaro's kernel and .img files to Slack's /boot directory and booted Manjaro like this

Code:
 # Start LILO global section
boot = /dev/sda
lba32
# Standard menu.
#message = /boot/boot_message.txt
bitmap = /boot/slack.bmp
bmp-colors = 255,0,255,0,255,0
bmp-table = 60,6,1,16
bmp-timer = 65,27,0,255
# Append any additional kernel parameters:
append = "video=640x480"
#append="vt.default_utf8=0"
prompt
###
timeout = 60
# Normal VGA console
vga = normal
# Linux bootable partition config begins
image = /boot/vmlinuz-4.7.5
  root = /dev/sda8
  label = Slack64-14.2
  append = "nomodeset"
  read-only ##
##
image = /boot/vmlinuz-4.9-x86_64
initrd = /boot/initramfs-4.9-x86_64.img
root = /dev/sdb8
label = Manjaro64
read-only ##
That worked at least a few times to get me up and running but seemed like something wasn't quite right and sure enough at one point Manjaro Plasma failed saying it couldn't find any Plasma shells. I booted Slack and looked online for solutions. I didn't like having to boot the Live system even though I found mhwd-chroot to be great. Arch recovery is faster by booting to CLI but hey, it worked. During recovery I attempted to recover/reinstall Grub to /dev/sdb and though I got an error, that worked as long as I switched boot order and booted from the second drive. Once that completed going back to booting from /dev/sda with Lilo and calling up Manjaro seemed to do just fine.

I apologize for such a long-winded backstory but I don't know how to explain the full deal any other way. I like rather a lot about Manjaro but I have a few questions, most of which center around wondering why Manjaro chose other paths from Arch.

I am extremely pleased that Manjaro keeps the old ways of having an actual root account instead of depending entirely on sudo, but given that it has this capability why did it abandon booting to CLI? and can it be restored to the Arch way (edit runlevels ? ) without too many hoops to jump through? It's just so useful an option, why abandon it?

It also seems that since "snap windows" has grown so popular that minimizing to taskbar has been abandoned. I vastly prefer legacy minimize function and find snap a hassle. Is it possible to get this capability back? Is it a Plasma issue or a Manjaro choice? While I'm at it the same applies to taskbar location. I prefer it on Top instead of bottom screen but nothing I do can achieve this simple move and I'm a longtime KDE user so is this new to Plasma5 or again a Manjaro choice? and can it be altered? Also it doesn't seem it will auto-hide anymore. Fixable?

All in all Manjaro KDE is decently impressive and oh yeah Deus Ex runs though I have yet to figure out what the "update" borked on Slackware. Unfortunately it refuses to even try to launch from command line so I am completely in the dark so far as to what it can no longer find or now requires since the first three successful launches.

BTW it looks terrific so I may post a screenie soon.
 
Old 07-20-2017, 09:55 PM   #2
grail
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Glad you finally got it up and running, even though a few hiccups

Manjaro uses systemd, like many other distros, so you can use it to set what run level you wish to boot to as well as add to your grub defaults to choose a level ( I usually just look this up on Arch Wiki)

The snap window and taskbar stuff will all be Plasma related ... [url=https://forum.kde.org/viewtopic.php?t=98873]this might help with taskbar

Look forward to seeing the screenshot
 
Old 07-21-2017, 10:07 AM   #3
enorbet
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Thank you, grail, for your quick and positive response. I had actually visited that page from a Google search before posting here and didn't understand the "cashew" reference but no matter I just went to the rightmost icon and tried. It didn't work.... until today LOL. It seem I just didn't understand having to grab the "Screen Edge" icon instead of the actual sceen edge of the bar. Anyway, it's on top now and autohides as you will see in the screenie. I still haven't found how to restore old school winow minimize function and that's rather more important as I vastly prefer instantly seing I have stuff open but minimized instead of smacking a corner just to check. Hopefully I will get it soon.

I know a bit about systemd at least enough to hate that it has become a requirement rather than an option on so much of Linux. It is just one of the reasons I'm still madly in love with Slackware, as it has not caved (a big, appreciative shout out to the Gentoo community for eudev!) and still does exactly what I tell it to do, no more and no less, and entirely in text config/control files. I'm a fan of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" and I can't see any serious advantage to systemd for SOHO Desktop beyond faster boot times. The cost/benefit ratio just isn't there that I can determine. However RedHat is Big Money so it may be likely that ultimately systemd will leave all in it's wake so that is another reason I wanted to try Arch and subsequently Manjaro. You know.... "Prepare for unseen consequences" and all.

Possibly greater than the minimize issue is that I would very much like to boot Manjaro with Lilo instead of Grub2, so I will be working on that first and hope for easy success. Regarding booting to a lowe runlevel, that of Multi-User Command Line, I have searched for answers regarding that and find it odd that no queries I've found resulted in an answer until just now with you. I don't yet know enough about systemd to edit runlevels but I will be working on that today.


Anyway here's the screenie. Sorry it's a link but the size requirement here on LQN for attachments isn't large enough for a good view. So....

http://i.imgur.com/D1rtnRH.png
 
Old 07-21-2017, 03:20 PM   #4
enorbet
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UPDATE - I used "makepkg" to install Lilo and assign it to the Manjaro root partition. Manjaro now boots properly from a Lilo chainload from my Main. The only concern is I see a message that "root shouldn't be mounted read-write" but that's really odd unless it is some kind of generic warning since as far as i can tell from dmesg it is initially mounting read-only as commanded. I'm pretty happy but I intend to take some serious time researching booting to mult-user command line before aI attempt it.

A minor concern is that using past methodology of launching gui apps as root, KDE highly recommended using "kdesu" so that KDE's permission structure is not compromised. However it doesn't work here on Manjaro Plasma5, so I need to figure out if that has changed. and is no longer needed.
 
Old 07-24-2017, 12:43 AM   #5
grail
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Great job on the progress and screenie

I do, obviously, use systemd as it is part of the Manjaro build and whilst I was a little reserved at first, as I too believe in not reinventing the wheel, I have become a little more enamoured
with it the more I use it. My main issue with systemd is on the large scale of the fact that it is slowly chewing up items, such as network and login to name a couple, which I don't think
an init system should worry about controlling.

As a side note, I use the Manjaro i3 community edition and am quite liking it
Not as wiz bang as KDE from the pretty side but I do like the ease at which I can now navigate my applications and system

Once you are happy and have stuff working, another distro I am keeping my eye on is deepin, which Manjaro also does a version of. The current has a few small glitches
but I believe once fixed, hopefully in next revision, it will be quite the distro. One I would possibly recommend for Windows users looking to change
 
Old 07-29-2017, 04:57 PM   #6
enorbet
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Heya grail
I, too, am very fond of i3 for some kinds of work and I wish KDE would incorporate that into it's Activities feature but it isn't quite there yet. I have always kept an eye on Enlightenment from very early days since it was the first available to run on IBM's OS/2 w/ emx runtimes which I dearly loved. It was looking like E was dying out until it found a niche in smartphones and got a decent influx of funding. They too aren't yet "quite there" but have a switchable mode for their fledgling tiling mode. I sincerely hope that continues into E20 and becomes the powerful player it has the potential to be.

Plasma 5 also isn't quite there yet which is why it is only cautiously supported in some testing versions of Slackware which is the polar opposite of assuming "newer==better". It has to be proven before Patrick will allow it in the full release. Thankfully, although Slack has been forced into caving into pulseaudio, mainly because of BlueZ, it has completely resisted systemd and I hope to always avoid that because it offers no benefit to me and comes at a considerable cost in the form of binaries vs/ text control. I still think of systemd as a solution seeking a problem to justify it. Despite systemd, Manjaro has done a good job of making Plasma 5 reasonably solid.

Manjaro seems to have done a good job at minimizing it's break with legacy Unix standards (like retaining an actual root account instead of relying solely on sudo) but I'm still not perfectly happy with the difficulty in choosing the lilo bootloader and utilizing well-written low level utilities like nVidia's driver installer instead of having to rely on distro-specific versions. This is one reason I prefer to be able to have at least the option to boot to both single-user (recovery) console AND also multi-user CLI. Systemd makes this more complicated than Slackware's BSD-style init system, so it's taking me some time to get it right.

All I was really looking for was essentially an easy (and clear) way to get Arch installed with a working X environment. Since it is likely a majority of users don't just want a headless server, I don't understand why this isn't a simplified option in Arch. Even a simple ncurses menu-driven installer would be an easy addition to my mind and it would make an intuitive install with a fully working base X environment a reality. Currently I find achieving that in Arch an unnecessary pita.
 
Old 08-09-2017, 07:32 AM   #7
remma12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
All I was really looking for was essentially an easy (and clear) way to get Arch installed with a working X environment. Since it is likely a majority of users don't just want a headless server, I don't understand why this isn't a simplified option in Arch. Even a simple ncurses menu-driven installer would be an easy addition to my mind and it would make an intuitive install with a fully working base X environment a reality. Currently I find achieving that in Arch an unnecessary pita.
If you are just looking for a simple way to install Arch the give Arch-Anywhere a try it pretty much does exactly what you just said. I used it the first time I installed Arch and was in Gnome within about 30 minutes
 
Old 08-20-2017, 09:30 AM   #8
enorbet
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Thank you, remma12, Manjaro is pretty cool but being able to boot to CLI is quite important to me and I know so little of systemd that I feel safer with Arch's excellent documentation. I also prefer Lilo but I can work ok with grub but Arch actually recognizes Lilo is still valid and not ready for the wastebin anytime soon. So it does offer some things I prefer so I will give it a whirl.
 
  


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