I’m enjoying Manjaro Linux

Trying to fix problems with Manjaro can be annoying, but it’s an ultimately rewarding experience. I feel like I’m learning something, and it’s nice to know that my hardware is running on software that isn’t trying to sell me something (like those constant prompts to try Bing and Edge built into the Windows 11 desktop).

I’ve had remarkably few problems with Manjaro. I was a little concerned about how Linux might behave, or how difficult it might be to use, especially after previous experiences with Ubuntu a few years ago. Not that Ubuntu is hard to use. Not now anyway. It’s just different from Windows so there’s a learning curve and back then it didn’t run much of the same software that I was used to. Manjaro has a reputation for being a bit more advanced or complicated, but I’ve found that it’s really the most flexible and easy to use, mostly because of the Arch User Repository. Instead of needing to use the command line to install programs, a lot of stuff is just available in the package manager (basically like an app store).

Manjaro has some issues with game support but that’s coming along pretty well now that Valve/Steam has been working on producing the Steam Deck, which I think runs on Arch Linux, which is what Manjaro Linux runs on as well. The critical moment was when EAC and BattlEye said they were going to enable Linux support. Of course, that really relies on game developers enabling that option in their games, but it’s still something, and it’s what’s keeping most of the major games with online components from running on Linux.

I bring all of this up because I was having an issue with my Bluetooth working on Manjaro and I was pretty happy to work through the problem and get it fixed on my own (with some online research). At some point over the last few weeks, the Bluetooth stopped working and I didn’t notice until I wanted to use my headphones to watch Netflix. The system was acting as if there was no Bluetooth adapter installed, but I use a combination WiFi and Bluetooth PCIe card. Specifically, a TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 PCIe WiFi Card (Archer TX3000E).

systemctl status bluetooth was reporting:

Active: inactive (dead)
Docs: man:bluetoothd(8)

xxxxxx matroshka systemd[1]: Bluetooth service was skipped because of a failed condition check (ConditionPathIsDirectory=/sys/class/bluetooth).

Maybe the issue popped up when I decided to be edgy and switched to kernel 5.16? I installed a few Bluetooth utilities and switched to kernel 5.10, but it still wasn’t working. I opened the case and poked the connectors on the hardware to make sure they were plugged in the right way and then all of a sudden it worked again when I booted up the computer.

Was a cable loose? Did it just need a few reboots for everything to settle in correctly like some other people mentioned on the Manjaro forums? Who knows. I’m going to leave 5.16 alone though, just in case that was the problem. I switched back to 5.15, which is going to be a long-term support kernel and I’ll just leave it there until another LTS kernel comes along. Unless there’s some really compelling reason.

It’s odd, though. Linux is getting a lot more support for gaming, while at the same time the global silicon chip shortage is making it nearly impossible to get GPUs at affordable rates. I hardly play games at all anymore and I’ve been putting more time into other activities, which is both good and bad. It’s not that I can’t play games, but when I know that I’m getting a substandard experience, it’s really hard to fully enjoy myself, and I’m not going to spend $1600 on a GPU that should be $400.

So, I’m putting time into other activities, like reading more and catching up on shows that I’ve been putting off. Also, meditating again, and hopefully I can get back to exercising regularly. I’ve been feeling pretty worn out and rough for the last 6 months or so.

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