This is a short guide to how I personally get shit done on Manjaro Linux XFCE4, broken down to the absolute essentials for Newbies.

Clipboard manager

clipman is running in the system tray be default. To disable it, right-click the notepad-looking icon in the system tray and hit Close, then find it in the Add/Remove Software tool and uninstall it.


If your network does not automatically connect, click on the network icon on the bottom right, select your Wifi and enter the password. Detailed settings are under Edit Connections. This will launch a tool called Network Manager that is used by almost all linux distros. If you need to share your internet connection with another computer or something funky, just google for it, and you will find precise steps on how to do it. You can also find your DNS server settings in there, e.g. in the IPv4 tab of a specific network interface you can put or as an Additional DNS Server in case there is DNS issues with the DNS server your PC was told to use by the router of your local network.

How to install software
  1. In the start menu. click Add/Remove Software
  2. The settings menu is hidden in the hamburger on the top left
  3. Make sure to install the yaourt software package and to enable Check for updates from AUR in the AUR tab
  4. Now after refreshing packages lists you should also be able to install packages from AUR, which means its gonna download random stuff according to a script written by a person on the internet
  5. This even includes some windows software that will be made compatible with wild hacks.
  6. Often there is multiple packages with the same name in AUR, make sure to read the details carefully and select the highest version number one :)
  7. This GUI tools also supports updates, you will get a green arrow key in the system tray on update
  8. The command line utility for installing normal pre-compiled software packages is pacman, usually used as pacman -Su for installing updates or pacman -S foo for installing the foo software package
  9. The command line utility for installing AUR software packages is yaourt foo, for updating yaourt -Suy --aur
How to start software services
  1. E.g. sudo systemctl start sshd will cause systemd to start the openssh server that allows you to log into your machine remotely. The d stands for daemon, but usually the name of the service is the same as the name of the package, e.g. pacman -Suy apache2; systemctl start apache2
How to customize the bottom bar
  1. Right-Clicking the bottom bar anywhere except in the middle where it representsn the open windows will allow you to customize stuff
  2. Properties leads to settings about the current element
  3. Panel->Panel Preferences leads to settings about the entire start menu. You can re-arrange all the items inside the start menu under the Items tab.

The built-in terminal is not bad, but I prefer terminator. I use both splitting the terminal windows using the right click menu and multiple tabs, so that I will only have one window of terminator running. I bind CTRL+T for new_tab in the preferences.

Keyboard shortcuts
  1. Launching applications by keyboard shortcuts can be configured in the Keyboard settings on the Application Shortcuts tab. Double click on the shortcut column to change they key combination required to do an action, double click the command column to change what is launched. Note that the Windows key is called Super. In this step I install terminator and map it to Ctrl+Alt+T, scrot and map it to Print, and I also map thunar to Super+E. Note that scrot with default settings will throw the screenshots in your home directory, meaning /home/username/

  2. I must admit a small issue I have not been able to fix so far. Under windows, I can use Super to open the start menu, and Windows + Left/Right to move and resize the current application window to be half a screen in size and either on the left or right. Sadly, this doesnt seem to work on xfce4. My current workaround is mapping the xfce4-popup-whiskermenu command to a key that is not mererly Super, but rather Super + Space. If you want to move windows around using Super+Arrowkeys later, do this now, otherwise skip this and also the next step.

  3. In the Window Manager settings on the Keyboard tab, configure Tile window to the left: Super+Left and the same for right. Note that ironically it doesnt work on the window of the Window Manager itself, so if you want to try it out, click some other window. Feel free to also configure something for other key combinations such as Super+Up/Down. I usually map Toggle fullscreen to `F11`` as well.
Backups, Discs and creating installation USB sticks

Mount/Dismount: Opening thunar file manager will show you a list of mountable hard discs, USB drives and so on on the top left. The grey ones are not mounted. Clicking them will automatically attempt to mount them and show their contents. This corresponds to running the mount command. You can also unmount drives by right-clicking them and selecting Unmount, which corresponds to the umount command (note the missing n). thunar also suppports tabs, try it out. You can also manually add network drives and other fancy stuff to be mounted, just google for guides for whatever particular thing you want to mount. If you are having trouble mounting windows drives, make sure to shutdown windows cleanly before booting into whatever linux, as the linux NTFS drivers can not mount NTFS volumes that are still messed up by windows.

Viewing/Editing Partitions: gparted is a great tool. It also allows you to mount/unmount things, but it also shows you all the partions for the drive selection on the top right. Note that changes you make are not executed directly, instead they are queued up and have to be applied using the tick button on top.

Create bootable USB stick from ISO: You want to google for how to use dd to create linux live USB. It's not hard, basically you can just do dd if=mylinux.iso of=/dev/sdx, but make sure the target (/dev/sdx) is actually the USB stick and not the hard drive with all your data or something. The hard part is getting your target computer to actually stfu and boot the stick, but there is guides for that as well. Also it is possible your stick is just fucked up or the disc image is not written on the stick properly. Make sure to actually right click->Eject the stick and wait for it to finish writing before you unplug it.

Full image backup: You can copy the contents of entire hard drives, including all the partition data and whatnot, into a file using dd as well. There is a million guides that differ only in details, this one seems fine. The trick is, you dont really want the empty space of the disc to be cloned into a file, so you also compress the disc image while creating it when you run dd if=/dev/sdX ... | gzip -c > /path/to/backup.img.gz. Anyway, the gist of this is, setting up windows or dual boot stuff is highly annoying, make a snapshot of your working system when you have newly set it up and everything works. If you mess up something that is too annoying to fix, or your windows is broken, or whatever, you can boot some random linux from an USB stick, write this backup.img.gz back on the disc using gunzip -c /path/to/backup.img.gz | dd of=/dev/sdX, and your target hard drive should be reset to its old state. Note that this sort of backup is not ideal for backing up your files weekly or so, as it wastes a bunch of space. Copying your files to a USB hard drive or sending them to a remote backup location of some kind is the way to go.