Beginner’s Guide: From Mac to Manjaro (intro)

This is a work in progress and will be finished by January 2021.

I made music on Apple Computers for like 19 years, and also dabbled in web design and motion graphics. In late Summer of 2017, when my Macbook Pro died, I switched to Manjaro Linux and never looked back.

Table of Contents

  • Installing Manjaro KDE and First Steps
    • Starting a “Gear” section on this site to document what hardware works for me.
  • Introduction to KDE Plasma Series
  • Installing Apps in Manjaro
    • Some Apps I’m into.
    • Introduction to Firefox Series, “Foxy Baby”. Why Firefox?
      • Foxy Baby Ep 1: Preferences + Plugins
      • Foxy Baby Ep 2: Bookmarks
      • Foxy Baby Ep 3: Containers
  • Command Line Basics
    • File Structure (Unix, like Mac)
      • Important locations like fstab, inotify watchers, etc.
    • Aliases
    • Permissions and Groups
    • Git 101

Coming soon!

First, My Goals in Manjaro

To run this business. To make money.

More specifically:

  1. Develop WordPress sites. Key software – Local by Flywheel. Docker. PHPStorm. Set up Git. I use Figma and Notion (web apps) for design and project management.
  2. Make Music. Key software – Reaper, whatever vst’s I can find that work for Linux. Tracktion and Bitwig also options when I have income.
  3. Edit Videos and make motion graphics. Key software – Blender, DaVinci Resolve, KdenLive, OBS Studio.
  4. Set up an image management and editing workflow. Key software – digiKam. Darktable for RAW images. Gimp for image manipulation. Test some ways to shrink images for posting on the web

That’s it for now. I figure, if I write about these workflows, I will have to get them tight. And then I can move on and learn things like gaming and movie and music management on Linux…someday.

Wait…Why Linux?

I know, this was actually work…

I used Logic since version 4.5 on Mac OS 9.2. I used Final Cut since maybe version 6? I chose to get into Motion (and Shake!) instead of learning After Effects deeply.

I bought into Apple’s ecosystem hard, and in 2017, the computers themselves just weren’t worth it anymore (for me).

I also supported Mac software developers when I could. When Adobe turned their software ecosystem into a rental, I bought and used Acorn and Pixelmator and shared their updates and new features whenever they dropped.

I also bought Affinity Photo and Designer the second those dropped, but my license was stuck in Apple’s Mac store! When i tried Windows briefly alongside Linux (quickly dumped Windows), Affinity basically told me “too bad, buy the software again.” I was like uhhh…i supported you from day 1, there is no crossgrade price for me? Nothing? Kind of a raw deal.

There was also this software called Sketch I supported right away, and they changed their business model to requiring yearly updates. I went a few months without using it, and then wanted to try a file someone sent me, and I was stuck like 6 version behind or something, unless I ponied up. I get it…but it’s also a raw deal when it wasn’t used to make money for me at the time.

So back to the Macs in 2017, the gimmicky touchbar laptops that had broken keyboards with a meh gpu were the only choices back then, and all of these weird software license issues were just started to pile up for me. I moved to a new city and was having a hard enough time as it was, I didn’t need to start laying out cash for LICENSES to things I thought I already bought.

And I understand Apple forcing everyone into a 30% vig is annoying as fuck, too. That’s why I support developers who support Linux! Shout out Jetbrains.

This guide is to hopefully give other current or former Mac users an easy on-ramp to try Manjaro. The truth is, you don’t need me – it’s so easy now – but I know I will also learn a lot if I take the time and do this guide.

So here we are. This page will serve as the intro / table of contents for a whole-ass series.

I’m going to lay out the articles I am thinking* about writing. *All tentative.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *