On a lark, I decided to repurpose an old MacBook and load it up with Linux. Manjaro Linux to be exact. It’s based on Arch Linux, which was previously unfamiliar to me having spent most of my previous Linux experience split firmly between Slackware, Fedora, OpenSUSE and more recently Debian and Ubuntu. My Linux knowledge is rusty and my command line skills have atrophied a bit, but I’ve been looking for a micro adventure to pass the time.
Manjaro has been a champ thus far. Nimble, accessible and decently supported on my old 2008 unibody MacBook. It’s hands down a better experience compared to the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS flavours I played with before. Not to mention Solus Linux (the distribution that ultimately sparked my curiosity and this silly experiment) because no matter what I tried, I couldn’t get it to boot.
My thinking is to keep this machine resource light and adapt myself to being more technology agnostic. I love the Apple ecosystem, I have very few complaints—but I never had serious demands of Apple either; I’ve always been a child of the web. So keeping an open mind, especially in the desktop space which has become more of a specialised utility for me, has some benefits.
A week or so into my little experiment and I’m remembering why I found this so fun: you can and will fiddle with damn near everything. Manjaro and the XFCE desktop have taken a feeling of joy, like when you are hopelessly switching task managers, and slathered it all over the entire computing experience. If that sounds horrible to you, and perhaps it ought to, remember that this is a utility/toy to fill my fleeting free time.
I’ll update with my explorations as I continue downward into the depths.