This month in Manjaro (September 2021)

This is my periodic posts on whats going on in Manjaro land.

It's a small collection of notable changes, updates and community news in and for the Manjaro community.

As I am a Manjaro ARM developer, some of the information will probably be ARM-biased.

See this as a Manjaro Podcast, but in written form.

Week 1

New updates

This week both regular and ARM branches of Manjaro had stable updates. It was big ones, so they contained lots of updates for all kinds of things. The ARM one had one pretty serious regression though, namely that ether on rk3399 boards where broken on kernel 5.14. So that is boards like RockPro64 and the Rock Pi 4's.

Kernel 5.14 released

Kernel 5.14 was also released this week. The main thing it contains for ARM is some driver support for the hardware in the rk3566/rk3568 boards like the Quartz64. Sadly it also contained the regression mentioned in the previous section.

Week 2

RK3399 Ethernet fixed

This week we patched our ARM kernel to get working Ethernet on our supported RK3399 based ARM boards. Hopefully it gets fixed properly upstream soon, as our fix is a revert of the troublesome commit.

Manjaro Cinnamon edition switches to Vivaldi

This news almost broke the internet the first day it was announced. The maintainer of the Cinnamon edition (Oberon) worked together with the Vivaldi team to get a great Vivaldi experience on Manjaro. At the end of this effort, he announced that the Cinnamon community edition would switch to using Vivaldi by default, instead of Firefox. Mostly as a test. All the news outlets quickly jumped on this, stating that Manjaro has switched away from the Open Source Firefox, to the partly Closed Source Vivaldi. It's not true. Only the Cinnamon community edition did so.

Phosh Beta 14 and Plasma Mobile Beta 7 available

As these images are gonna get updates pretty regularly I won't be mentioning all of them, but this week we had a couple of more updates. Most noticeably they contain Phosh 0.13.1 and Plasma Mobile Gear 21.08 apps.

Week 3

Manjaro 21.1.3 released

This week we saw a new point release for Manjaro. It contains mostly package updates, but also a couple of fixes.

Plasma Mobile starts implementing ModemManager support

The KDE developers have considered switching from Ofono to ModemManager as the mobile/modem implementation for a while now, at least since June. This week commits to the software applications that require it, started landing for initial ModemManager support. So far only Plasma Phone Components and the Cellular KCM in Plasma Settings are ready, while the two big missing pieces are Dialer (calling) and Spacebar (sms/mms). The KDE team plans to have it all ready for when Plasma 5.23 releases in October.

Week 4

Manjaro 21.1.4 released

Shortly after the 21.1.3 release, the 21.1.4 ISO's where made available. These ISO's have the new Calamares version 3.2.44 and many other updated packages.

Phosh gets MMS support

The last couple of weeks have also been busy for the PinePhone Phosh edition. Some updated packages, including mmsd-tng and Chatty brings in preliminary support for MMS.