Virtual machines are a great way to run new operating systems without installing them directly on your computer. You can try out your favorite Linux distributions before switching to them permanently, given the isolated, yet easy-to-install procedures.
If you are sure about installing Manjaro directly on your PC, you can create a bootable USB/CD and use it to boot your computer. On the contrary, if you want to try Manjaro Linux before installing it on your system, you can use a virtual machine.
Here’s how to install Manjaro Linux on your PC, both directly and using VirtualBox.
Step 1: Downloading the Manjaro ISO
Manjaro Linux has recently launched a series of new desktop versions, which users can download to experience the distro’s latest features:
- KDE Plasma
Download: Manjaro ISO
Step 2: Creating a Manjaro Bootable USB
You can burn Manjaro’s ISO image on a USB drive, and use it to boot your PC. You can use Rufus, which formats USBs and CDs to create installation media from an ISO image.
If you want to install Manjaro on a virtual machine, you can skip directly to the next step.
Once you launch Rufus, it automatically identifies the flash drive and shows the associated details. You can also install Manjaro on your USB stick if you want.
Click on the Select button to select the ISO image. Rufus automatically chooses the default partitioning scheme along with the target system, BIOS, and UEFI.
Click on Start once you are ready to start the burning process. Select Write in ISO image mode in the following popup. Once the status bar stops, you will get a final pop-up message confirming the process is complete.
To load from the drive, simply restart your system, access the BIOS menu, and boot from the flash drive directly.
Step 3: Creating a Virtual Machine for Manjaro on VirtualBox
Manjaro is amongst the best Arch Linux distros and for obvious reasons. Its flexibility, adaptability, and ease of installation allow you to use it as you please.
If you’re installing Manjaro directly on your computer, skip to the next step.
First, download and install VirtualBox on your system.
Open VirtualBox; click on the New icon at the top. A Create virtual machine dialog box will open. Enter the desired name for your machine.
You can change the machine folder location if the default location doesn’t suit you. From the Type dropdown, select Linux. From the version dropdown, select Arch Linux (64-bit).
Next, you have to set the memory size for your VM. The preferred size is 2048MB.
On the Hard disk screen, leave the default setting and click Next.
Select VDI and hit Next. Choose Dynamically Allocated on the next screen, especially if you aren’t an advanced user.
Once you reach the File location and size screen, you will need to allocate the space for your virtual machine (Manjaro). You can set it to 20GB for the best results. Click on Create once done.
Since the basic configurations are in place, you need to add the Manjaro ISO image to your virtual machine, before powering it up. To add the image, head over to the Settings icon on your virtual machine screen.
Navigate to the Storage tab; click on Empty under the Controller: IDE section. Under Attributes on the right, click on the disk icon to open the browser window.
Click on Choose a disk file option from the dropdown. Navigate to the location where your ISO image is stored and add it to the virtual machine. Click on Ok, once done.
That’s it; you are all set to power up your newly-created virtual machine. Click on the machine’s name on the left side to start the VM.
After the machine configurations load, you will land on the Welcome screen. If you are happy with the default settings, press the Enter key to begin the autoload process.
Step 4: Installing Manjaro From the Desktop GUI
The first section configures the settings required to start the installation process within a virtual machine. As soon as the machine starts, you have an option to choose between open-source drivers and proprietary drivers. You can select either option at the time of installation. If you don’t choose anything, the screen will auto-pick an option and begin the installation.
Once you are on the Manjaro Hello screen, click on the Launch Installer button. This installer allows you to customize the distribution as per your needs.
If your system meets all the requirements, set your preferred language and move to the next screen by clicking on Next.
On the following screen, you can set the region and zone. The selection will determine the date and time on your system.
Set the default keyboard layout; leave it at the default value if the current layout suits your preferences. Click on Next once you have selected the keyboard layout.
On the next screen, set your disk allocation and decide how you want to allocate the different memory slots to each disk. Additionally, you have an option to either erase the disk or set it automatically.
Alternatively, you can select manual partitioning if you’re a seasoned user.
On the next screen, set some system details, like your name, username, password, and your administrator password.
You can verify all the details on the final screen before the installation begins.
If everything is in order, click on the Install button. On the subsequent popup, click on Install now.
The following screen will show you the installation progress and setup details for Manjaro. Post-installation, you’ll need to restart the system.
Select the checkbox and click on Done. This will automatically reboot your system.
For VirtualBox users, before restarting your newly installed machine, you need to do one final task. Navigate to the Settings tab on your VirtualBox interface and click on Storage.
Select the ISO image and remove it from the installation settings. Right-click on the ISO image and select Remove Attachment to remove the image.
Click on Ok.
If you’re installing Manjaro directly on your PC, you need to remove the USB before rebooting.
Now, you can start your machine and wait for it to load up. You will be greeted with a popup asking for your credentials. Log in with your username and password.
Since your Manjaro machine is ready to use, feel free to install applications and explore your system’s themes, icons, settings, and other details.
For best results, you should follow the popups and update your system’s packages, especially if you are using it for the first time.
Installing Manjaro on a PC Made Easy
Installing Manjaro on your PC and VirtualBox is relatively easy, especially if you follow all the steps carefully. You can also install Manjaro on other virtual environments, including QEMU/KVM virtual machines.
These environments are specialized and serve all users’ needs effectively and efficiently. You can pick and choose the installation option that best suits your needs.
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