I'm thinking of ditching PopOS for manjaro i3... My primary use for the computer is music making and coding. I want to waste less resources with my desktop environment... Any advice? Anything else I should consider?

@xinniw Hi, it’s been long, I was installing OpenBSD, but I had trouble with my former laptop so I had to exchange it with someone else. Now I need to force push the “a” character which is inconvenient, so I’m writing this from a library computer.

Manjaro is an Archlinux derivative and honestly I don’t really know why you would run this instead of Archlinux directly. The distribution is fine; the issue I find personally is with the wiki which might make you want to learn everything at once and mixed together, from recompiling your kernel to file systems to WM configuration, and from WMs to aesthetics and color theory.

Another issue I have with Archlinux is that they provide packages directly from the upstream with as little patching as possible, it’s part of the Archlinux philosophy. For example the mpd.conf file shipped with mpd(1) in OpenBSD is dead simple, it was preconfigured for sndio(7) and all I had to do was to configure the music directory. With Archlinux I’d expect you to read the entire file and maybe additional documentation; personally and years ago, I’d found helpful documentation after several weeks on the Crunchbang forums.

I wouldn’t recommend you OpenBSD though if you care mostly about resources management. But if you want a minimal WM, why wouldn’t you try Debian directly, or MX Linux with Fluxbox (or another WM)?

I’m curious as to why you need to spare resources on a music production system, because I’ve had a good experience with Fedora and they maintain a version for music production (Fedora Jam).

About PopOS!, it’s awful. For example Aral has lost his local notes because there are several package managers which are poorly integrated and may conflict with each other.

I’ve always been cautious about System76, wondering what they tried to bring to the Linux ecosystem and why they’d develop a separate distribution at best, and this blog post confirms my main fear: it’s all about PRs, they don’t respect the Linux ecosystem and community.

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@af Thanks for the detailed reply! I thought about arch but I have to admit I am a bit intimidated by it. I had a friend who ran arch and it seemed like he regularly was fixing pieces of his system that would break with upgrades. My cartoon is that Manjaro keeps things far enough from the bleeding edge so as to make this less frequent while still providing a rolling release. At least that seems to be the idea on paper...
Debian is a really good suggestion. It seems to have a reputation for being stable and fairly lean. I have some virtual boxes going with distros that people have recommended. I should spin up a Debian (or MXLinux) one with i3 and see what happens.
You're right, my interest in resource use probably doesn't have very much to do with music but rather extending the useful life of my technology and avoiding upgrading the hardware for as long as possible.
The blog post about System76 was entertaining (in a dark way). Its almost like complaining on twitter isn't a productive way to communicate. :)

Thank you again for taking the time to answer my question!

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@xinniw Hi, you may read this on Gemini: gemini://drewdevault.com/2021/05/06/Praise-for-Alpine-Linux.gmi

@xinniw Personally I run OpenBSD now and I love it, but this is because I’ve read Absolute OpenBSD

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