With the release 21.3 of Manjaro Linux, the developers are mainly polishing the desktop. Gnome, as well as KDE Plasma and XFCE are on newer state.
The developers of Manjaro Linux have released version 21.3. Essentially, they are bringing the desktop interfaces up to date with the new version. The Calamares installer is now at a “final state”. Manjaro is a particularly beginner-friendly Linux based on Arch Linux. From it it inherits also the Rolling Release, thus keeps all components always on the newest conditions.
The installation with Calamares 3.2 receives improved support for encrypted LUKS partitions. The user module in it now includes lists of forbidden user and host names, the use of which could cause problems during installation.
Manjaro with updated window managers
In the Gnome edition, the latest version Gnome 42 comes along. A setting for a global dark user interface style is intended to instruct applications to use a dark user interface instead of a light one. GTK4 and libadwaita support are also said to be advanced, so most apps in Gnome 42 will use them, providing better performance, a modern user interface and new controls.
For the Plasma edition, the Manjaro developers are relying on the not-quite-dewy version 5.24.5 – the new version for it would be KDE Plasma 5.25, which is less than a week old, however, and therefore probably didn’t make it into the release. The Manjaro makers see Plasma’s strength in customization. That’s why they’ve made the process clear and simple, so users can customize their environment to exactly what they want.
Desktop panels, for example, are easier to move around and pin to any corner you want to use; they can also be dragged onto their toolbar from anywhere in edit mode. The “Overview” effect makes it easier to use multiple desktops, much like in Gnome. This gives users a view of the different workspaces 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 available plug-ins appears, explaining their use.
The Manjaro version with the slim XFCE desktop now uses version 4.16. The window manager had 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. The settings manager has an improved search and better filter options. The Thunar file manager had received a ton of bug fixes as well as some notable features, such as a pause option for copy or move actions. It also received support for queue-based file transfers, remembering directory-level view settings, and support for transparency effects in Gtk themes.
Updated hardware support
The Manjaro project relies on the kernel with long-term support 5.15 LTS. This means that the distribution also supports current hardware. Who needs support for older components, however, can also install the kernels 5.10 LTS as well as 5.4 LTS from the repositories.
In the forum of the project website, the Manjaro developers have published the release notes. Updated installation packages can be found on the Manjaro download page. For the three officially supported window managers are available in each case own ISO files.