Manjaro Is Losing Ground Very Fast as A Linux Gaming Distro

Here’s for another update on how the gaming distro are faring based on the latest ProtonDB data. And surprise, surprise, Manjaro seems to be on a sliding path, and now for a long time.

click to expand unless you have very good eyes

Manjaro has been losing share consistently for the past 6 months, so that it’s now back at a third position after Ubuntu. There can always been ups and down from one month to the next, but when the phenomenon repeats over a long period of time, it’s more likely going to be a pattern.

And in case you were wondering if it’s something that’s limited to ProtonDB data, well, think again. The Steam Hardware survey shows that Manjaro has been losing big time in the past year compared to Arch Linux that has held strong desprite the rise of SteamOS after the launch of the Steam Deck):

So, what’s going on?

What’s Wrong with Manjaro?

Nothing wrong per se, as long as what you know what you are getting into. Manjaro is built on the solid fundations of Arch, and comes with a bunch of software that is pre-installed (some will consider it as junk, prefering to install exactly what they want from a vanilla install) and its own repositories.

While this may not be related to the loss of favor as a distro of choice, Manjaro has been critized several times in the little world of Linux users.

  • In the PINE64 community, there were a few waves last year as Martijn Braam decided to leave the community for a number of reasons, but also citing Manjaro has having an oversized influence while not contributing much the hardware support side of things.

PINE64 cares only about Manjaro, and Manjaro does not care about working with any other distributions. This is no longer a community that listens to software developers. As a representative of postmarketOS, there is no further reason for me to be directly involved with PINE64 if the only opinions that matter are those of Manjaro.

  • Manjaro has again forgot to renew their SSL certificates (4 times already, if I trust the ones who gave a count online), it’s almost a running joke with this distro that this happens so often.
  • Distrowatch has noted many issues with the current version of Manjaro 22.0, with numerous failure modes regardless of the desktop experience selected. If anything it seems to be much less reliable than it once was.

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The Manjaro Compromise

A different problem, which is a potential flaw of the Manjaro approach, is that it brings Arch to a wider, less experienced audience of Linux users. As in, to an audience that’s not ready to manage Arch by themselves. If you install Arch from scratch by yourself, you are likely not a beginner anymore, and you are comfortable with things breaking and having to fix them by yourself once in a while. You are likely to have some grit as a Linux user.

Manjaro pretends to be for everyone by having a friendly installer for Arch, but then it suffers from the same problems as Arch (and more since they create an additional layer of problems on their own) when it comes to updates and maintenance. Arch does break sometimes (late 2022 there was an issue with GRUB, UEFI in certain configurations) and it’s not always obvious how you go around solving issues (hence the excellent community and Wiki around it).

I think every year, 3 to 4 times, I end up with a small/medium issue with Arch that requires me to check carefully how to solve it. Once it was the sudden loss of bluetooth after an upgrade, which was fixed within a few days. In the meantime, if you needed bluetooth, you had to downgrade one package. While not overly complicated, I would not expect a beginner to do that – they just want their system to work.

So there’s probably a bunch of people who land on Manjaro and who are not ready for the maintenance burden that could come with it. Which is why I would expect the Manjaro share to slightly erode while the Arch user base remains strong. If anything, Arch users will move to something superior to Arch if they find it, while Manjaro users are more likely to fall back on something easier for them. Of course, there’s certainly an overlap of Arch users who don’t want to go thru the manual install process and use Manjaro as a shortcut, but you get the idea.

Unscientific Poll

Just for fun, I also asked the question via a poll on Mastodon last year:

Our followers on Mastodon are typically experienced Linux users so it’s not surprising to see a large preference for Arch. A few comments under the poll, either in favor or Arch or Manjaro:

When you are a nerd, there aren’t much reasons why you would prefer Manjaro to Arch. There are even graphical installers for Arch.

Vanilla Arch/Artix or #EndeavourOS, but no Manjaro for me

Manjaro is not perfect but good enough. It requires less maintenance then Arch so I prefer Manjaro for now.

It’s an ok distro when it works but I’m a bit averse to it given the issues in its history. Not that Arch itself hasn’t had issues, sure it has, but if I were to recommend someone a more user friendly Arch alternative, I’d give them EndeavourOS. Otherwise, Arch is great fun and very educational for first timers.

I stopped using Manjaro the second time I couldn’t boot my system after doing an update. Have been using EndeavourOS ever since.

I like Manjaro as a distro. It’s how I would want an Arch system to be set up, but without all the headache of troubleshooting every single piece of hardware and software to get it set up that way, if I had to configure it myself. But the community is starting to give me bad vibes. For the past week, there’s been a Discord update in the Arch repositories which isn’t making its way into the Manjaro repositories, and anyone who asks about it just gets a snarky deflection in response

You will see that EndeavourOS is mentioned quite often as yet another alternative.


As you may have noticed from the graph above EndeavourOS has been on a steady climbup at the same time as Manjaro was losing usage share. While we don’t have hard data apart from the above from a few comments of folks on Mastodon, it does look like there’s some flow of users from Manjaro towards EndeavourOS.

EndeavourOS was born from the ashes of Antergos (the other Arch based distro that came with an installer, but that broke so often that it was highly unreliable). Apart from the ease of installing EndeavourOS, it comes with a set of 6 different environments to install, while Manjaro only offers 3 official ones. Manjaro comes with its own repository (which are delayed from Arch ones) while EndeavourOS abides to staying as close to Arch as possible by using the Arch ones.

EndeavourOS also comes with some options to make it easy to support proprietary Nvidia GPU at install time, and several customizations on the desktop environments it can pre-install for you.

There’s also always Arch (that does include an install these days too!) if you want to do it by yourself from scratch. This is still my favorite way of getting an Arch system, because it’s just a 10 mins piece of work in the end, and you know exactly what you did under the hood to get there.

Bye Bye Ubuntu?

Arch Linux is still going strong with a very stable share overall between 22% and 24% on ProtonDB. Ubuntu seems to still be on the decline, and that may be aggravated by the recent decision to double-down on snap and drop flatpak by default, and also to include ads in the terminal for their paid services such as Ubuntu Pro so that you get security updates faster! (lol)

I mean why not, but exposing your non-paid users to security vulnerabilities longer on purpose is a good way to get rid of your non-paying customers, or to let them know to look for other options!

Till Next Time

That’s all for this time, we will be back again in a few months again once there’s some new trends to talk about.

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Interesting. I’ve been using Manjaro on my main desktop for a few years now and aside from that absurd certificate issue (lol, indeed) I just didn’t have any reason to complain. Pure Arch is too potentially unstable for me (at least for my main machine), I prefer the additional safety afforded by the Manjaro team doing their own checks before pushing updates. In the end, I’m probably quite distro-agnostic and could roll with pretty much anything. My laptop is using Garuda, for example. As long as a distro has very recent drivers (so not the Ubuntu model where so much… Read more »


Have you seen any advantage to Garuda? It to me seems like Manjaro, but just with more gaming apps stuffed in. Also, Flatpak doesn’t play super-nice with it.


I switched to endeavouros from Manjaro, my machine was immediately snappier and my experience generally has been excellent – no looking back.


You should consider Garuda Linux also, as confy as Manjaro but is more coherent. Garuda has lively and friendly community. And Garuda has dedicated Gaming Edition too.


I use Fedora on a daily basis. I’ve approached Manjaro a few times now because I like it and I’m curious. The problem that personally seemed insurmountable to me was printing and scanning support. Most drivers support DEB or RPM packages. a script would be useful to make it easier to adopt drivers. Although it’s quite possible that it’s my lack of knowledge about packages in Manjaro… but not everyone has time to immediately spend the whole weekend studying the documentation to get the printer up and running


You should be able to install most drivers via the AUR. There are scripts which automatically convert deb or rpm packages to Arch/Manjaro packages, that’s mostly what will happen with the AUR.


I’m not surprised. I’m actually one of the people who liked the Manjaro experience- they have their own sets of issues but I liked when they delayed the glibc update that broke EAC and then immediately pushed the hotfix as soon as it’s there, so we only had a week or so with that update, as well as the testing and stable update layers allowing them to catch the grub issue before they effect the wider userbase (and their matray app is a good way of making sure news landed on user’s systems – that was how I found about… Read more »


The amount of times I’ve had my DE is broken after a kernel/driver update on manjaro is laughable. I just always assume I’m going to have to reinstall something after every major update.
There’s some serious issues with their updates and at this point everyone knows it.

Whenever valve finally releases a desktop iso for steamos I’ll check it out and then decide if I want to switch to it or to base Arch. Reinstalling kernels and GPU drivers gets old after a while.


I’ve been using Manjaro on my main system since about 2018 and it’s been the most stable distro I’ve used by far (and I have other distros on other laptops currently for comparison, all of them at some point). My recollection was that Manjaro use exploded when DXVK came out and the only way to run it was to have literally up to the day or two driver updates, and the only distros that were keeping up with that at the time were Arch and Manjaro, and Manjaro was the waaaay easier alternative (later PopOS broke from Ubuntu in keeping… Read more »


»Which is why I would expect the Manjaro share to slightly erode while the Arch user base remains strong. If anything, Arch users will move to something superior to Arch if they find it, while Manjaro users are more likely to fall back on something easier for them

Very good analysis!

Ricky Sauce

I tried Manjaro for about a month some years back. Didn’t love it. The installer was nice but the rest of the experience wasn’t that great. Went back to Gentoo.

I’m running vanilla Arch now but after a few years on it, I think I’m going to go back to Gentoo again. Not because I dislike Arch but I just prefer portage and I’m looking to change my filesystem from ext4 to btrfs.


No Nobara? Interesting.


I use base Arch and I have been on the same install since 2018. Kept it all super vanilla and tweak-free out of preemptive paranoia. I’m convinced the update issues are a myth/meme. The most I’ve ever had to do was edit a pacnew and in Aug 2022 learn how to reinstall/reconfigure grub after it updates. My experience with Manjaro is similar to a user quoted- tried it, broke after updates, never touched it again. I don’t see the point in EndeavourOS existence either when it is no easier to maintain post-installation, and Arch has an installer anyway. Having Endeavour… Read more »