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Manjaro 21.3 “Ruah” Brings Refreshed Desktop Environments

The Manjaro 21.3 is about refreshing the desktop offerings to their respective stable versions. We round up the release in this post.

Manjaro 21.3 GNOME Desktop

Manjaro Linux is your friendly Arch Linux distribution. It is popular among beginners to advanced users who like a box and hassle-free Arch Linux experience.

Manjaro 21.3 release comes after six months of development and bug fixes since Manjaro 21.2 “Qonos”.

Manjaro 21.3 What’s New

Firstly, Manjaro 21.3 comes with Linux Kernel 5.15 LTS, the currently running mainline LTS Kernel. Linux Kernel 5.15 expects an EOL in 2023. Hence, you can get Kernel-level stability in rolling-release-based Arch Linux.

Secondly, this release ships with Calamares 3.2 installer, which was released in May 2022 with several improvements and bug fixes. One of the noteworthy changes in Calamares 3.2 is the disk partitioning now supports encrypted LUKS partitions (A block device-level encryption method aka Linux Unified Key Setup).

Moreover, the three official desktop environments get their current stable version. Let’s talk about it.

Manjaro KDE Plasma Edition

With Manjaro 21.3, you get the prior LTS version of KDE Plasma 5.24. Unfortunately, the recently released Plasma 5.25 is not available out of the box. Although, the team could have waited a few weeks to test it out for the users and release it. I guess the Manjaro team has reasons for not featuring KDE Plasma 5.25.

Firstly, KDE Plasma 5.24 is still a more significant release, considering LTS-nature. The KDE Plasma 5.24 brings a new GNOME-style overview mode, custom accent colours, and changes in system settings. In addition, you get more Wayland support, Kwin fixes, and other changes. If you have some spare time, you may visit our KDE Plasma 5.24 feature guide.

Manjaro Xfce Edition

The Xfce desktop did not have a major release for some time. And the future Xfce 4.18 is nowhere to be seen at the moment (after I did some digging). Hence, good ol’ Xfce 4.16 is the version you get in Manjaro 21.3.

Xfce 4.16 brings fractional scaling, updated Xfce applications such as Thunar, Terminal, and many new features.

Manjaro GNOME Edition

Last but not the least, Majnaro 21.3 features the GNOME 42 version which is quite significant in terms of features. Firstly, GNOME 42 brings almost closure to the GTK4 and libadwaita library porting of Shell and the core apps. Hence, the desktop looks stunning for you, especially if you are Manjaro 21.2 user.

Download and Upgrade

My quick test of Manjaro 21.3 (GNOME Edition) in the popular Virtual Machine virt-manager gave satisfactory results. No major installation problems, packages or crashes were encountered. And I hope it will be well-received by all the Manjao fans.

If you are using the earlier Manjaro 21.2 you should get this update via pamac or the desktop environment’s default software manager (Discover or Software). Alternatively, you can also upgrade via command pacman -Syu if you prefer the terminal.

For a new installation, grab the freshly baked ISOs present in the below link. Don’t forget to verify the ISO images after download.

I am not sure about the next release, whether it will be Manjaro 22.0 or a fourth point release i.e. Manjaro 21.4. I believe it will be a major release. Stay tuned here, as we bring in the latest Manjaro updates as it happens.

Via release notes.

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