Originally written summer 2022.

I had a few weeks of vacation and slapped Manjaro onto my laptop right before leaving. I’m fairly familiar with Linux, but I’ve never actually daily-driven it. So, here’s some issues I noticed while using it:

  1. Removed the charger while laptop was sleeping/hibernating. When I opened it back up KDE was still showing me that the laptop was charging.
    Even plugging the charger in and removing it again didn’t fix the state. The charge percentage was also stuck and never changed. In the end the laptop just suddenly shut down, no warnings. If this happens to someone who’s not just messing around on their vacation they could’ve lost real progress on something.
    After booting back up again it was back to normal, but this never happened while I was running Windows so I doubt it’s the battery or battery controller.
    Link to bug. Note that the bug was fixed some time between writing and publishing.
    May 2023 note: I still have the issue on kernel 6.1.29, nearly a year after I first encountered it.
  2. I was playing The Last Spell and the game froze. I could move the mouse around, but I couldn’t close the game or alt-tab out. No “ctrl+alt+delete”. Switching to a tty is not an alternative for 99% of people.
  3. Meaningful things are not installed by default.
    • I’m not talking about “office” applications or something, but TLP. Or something like it.
  4. The switchable graphics story seems quite tragic.
    • Why do I have to manually invoke applications with prime-run? Why isn’t it stored in some centralized location so applications can register themselves or be registered automatically as wanting/needing high-powered hardware? And then letting the user override if they want to.
      • To get the most out of my laptop I have to manually add udev rules?
      • Doing this and point #3 above seems to have increased the battery life quite a bit.
  5. Language/Region. I set my language to English, because I prefer working with that and it makes potential troubleshooting easier, and then set my region to Norway, because that’s where I live, and after a reboot I then had every other text entry in some dialogs switching between English and Norwegian. Why? Region should not be considered when choosing translation.
  6. I tried setting up an nvidia xorg config. Bad idea.
    • I did a little more work before I rebooted and was thus surprised to be hit with a system that failed to boot into the login screen. Oops.
      • Of course, I fixed it once I remembered what I had did, but this should be part of the OS. “System cannot boot to to anything graphical? There’s been a recent config change? Let’s disable it!” would’ve automatically solved my problem.
      • Saying I should not have edited configs if I wanted a working system doesn’t help, see point #4.
  7. The KDE application launcher wasn’t opening when pressing Start/Meta/Super. Tried changing keyboard shortcuts in the system settings but it still didn’t work.
    Turns out I have to open the “Application Launcher Settings” and set any keyboard shortcut to open it, and now it opens with the Start/Meta/Super key.

Other issues I see with Linux for desktop:

  1. I have no idea what network stack I’m using. It works now so I don’t bother looking into it, but if I need to troubleshoot something? I’ll first have to figure out if I’m using systemd, networkmanager or dhcpcd and then move on from there. On Windows it’s simply “Windows network x doesn’t work”. Not quite as easy here.
    It’s also been quite troublesome to configure mDNS in various virtual machines I’ve worked with, since the process is slightly different for various setups.
  2. Desktop environments and distros. Why are there so many. I understand the viewpoint of customization. And I really understand not wanting to inherit someone else’s mess, but seeing the amount of work that goes into “shiny/niche new alternative” that could’ve gone into making an already existing one better is depressing.
    1. This problem also stretches to the distros’ package managers, meaning each distro needs maintainers to package the same libraries (e.g. glib, qt) in their own flavor.

Discuss and/or correct my mistakes

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