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Lenovo Carbon X1 Gen 7 + Manjaro Linux

Sun 12/29/19


x1-carbon.jpg

I recently got a new laptop:

I debated what to install on it for a while. I run Arch on my desktop PC, and in the past have ran Ubuntu on my laptops. I find pacman easier to use than apt, but I like the ease of installation and device support with Ubuntu.

For a laptop this is specifically important. I don't enjoy configuring media keys, or finding why closing the lid doesn't make the machine sleep. I also don't have the patience to configure system themes.

I chose Manjaro because it's based on Arch and claims to be user friendly. Here are some differences between Arch and Manjaro.

Installing

I downloaded the Manjaro Architect disc image. It took me a while to figure out how to get the flash drive to boot. Eventually I went into windows and did system recovery which finally gave me access to the bios.

The live media OS is impressive. It walks you through the installation process in a CLI. You don't need to type bash commands like you would in an Arch install (manual gparted commands are scary!). I chose minimal desktop installation with i3. Be careful as there are lots of menus to go through. I recommend having another computer available with an installation guide open.

Make sure to check mirror speeds before starting the package installation, I didn't do this my first try and it went really slow. So much that I started over again.

My second try everything worked except that it wouldn't boot due to a mistake with systemd-boot. Luckily I was able to fix it with the live media.

Tips on fixing an installation from the Manjaro Architect live environment:

After logging in do $ setup. This lets you easily configure an internet connection. Exit the installer after configuring the network.

Now mount the installed system. Use # manjaro-chroot -a instead of # mount /dev/xxx /mnt && chroot /mnt /bin/bash. This will keep your internet connection and devices working properly. Now you can install or fix packages.

The Good

The bad

Fixes

Unfortunately, it looks like I'll have to do some serious fidding to get the mic to work. I'm just going to think of this as a security feature. (EDIT: mic fix https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=249900)

I made a few changes in /.Xresources to fix scaling issues.

Scale the DPI up: Xft.dpi: 140

Make terminal font size bigger: URxvt.font: xft:TerminessTTFNerdFontMono:pixelsize=23

Installing pulse audio $ install_pulse fixes audio, but adjusting it via the applet on the i3 bar doesn't work. Fix for volume controls worked for me.

Here's a screenshot after the above fixes with everything else default.

manjaro-i3.png

And… back to Ubuntu! I couldn't resist trying the new Ubuntu 20.04 release. The machine is working a fair amount better now. I still think Manjaro is a nice distro worth trying. It would be especially good on a deskop without hardware to support.

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