dell precison 3440 dualboot windows manjaro

Dell Precision 3440 Install Manjaro Gnome

A few days ago, I managed to pick up an inexpensive Dell Precision 3440 computer. The first thing I did was remove the existing hard drive and replace it with an 500 GB Samsung NVMe M.2 SSD.

Update!

If you plan on installing Manjaro with the “encrypt disk” option then I strongly recommend to use Ubuntu instead. Manjaro is a rolling distribution and as such receives several updates per week. My Manjaro installs broke on every machine after the first update and instead of going to their support forum and risk being schooled by those who know much less than I do, I’ve decided to stick with what works. I am happy to say that Ubuntu can handle upgrades just fine.
The take-away is simple.
If you want to encrypt the hard drive then it’s best to use Ubuntu. If cutting edge software is important then go with Manjaro.

With that out of the way …. here is the original post.

Installing Manjaro Linux instead of Ubuntu

Ubuntu, in my opinion, is the best overall Linux distribution that gets many things right. This is especially true for those who are new to Linux. For power users, Ubuntu might not be ideal and therefore, I’ve installed Manjaro Linux on my machines. Officially, Manjaro comes in three flavors:

  • Gnome
  • KDE
  • XFCE

Until recently, I have used the XFCE DE (desktop environment) on all of my Linux boxes. Setting up a WACOM tablet on a dual-monitor workstation can be tedious so when I discovered that the Gnome desktop has a ready-made setting, I switched.

Dual-booting Windows 10 and Linux

If you have never dual-booted a computer need to proceed carefully. I read a lot of well-meant advise on various forums but often, the way dual-booting is described, will not work. Here is how it’s done.

First, Windows 10 needs to be installed and then the second operating system can be installed.

Linux distributions (Ubuntu, Manjaro, Mint, MX Linux and the like) all feature an easy-to-use installer. Right after the USB flash drive with the Linux ISO boots, one can pick the language, keyboard layout and geographic location. Then comes the most important step. Linux wants to know where it should be installed to.

Manjaro and Ubuntu are smart. As soon as an existing Windows 10 install is detected, an additional options (check box) is presented which allows for “installing Linux alongside Windows”. For new users, that option is the best choice.

If the install alongside Windows options is selected, the installer will partition (divide) the main hard drive into two equal chunks. This is done automatically and after confirming the selection a few times, the practitioner will proceed and automatically install the Linux operating system plus the boot loader.

Grub boot loader

Most modern Linux flavors use Grub which boots the computer and presents a handful of options. The first is usually the Linux operating system (default) and the last is Windows 10. To select anything else but the default, you simply use the keyboard up and down arrow keys to navigate. Once the desired option is selected (highlighted) press ENTER and ether Windows or Linux will boot.

Manjaro is fast

Manjaro runs very fast on the new Dell Precision 3440 computer. Unlike Ubuntu, Manjaro features a newer kernel and cutting edge software. Ubuntu is a bit more conservative and a bit behind but eventually, Ubuntu too will offer the same versions. The reason for the delay are simply based on testing and stability which do matter for productive people.

There are tons of YouTube videos out there which show how to download Linux as well as create the bootable USB flash drive. All the distros have reviews which will help you decide the best one for your needs.

For web and graphics design, Manjaro is quite good. I have stopped using Windows a long time ago and was delighted when I learned that my Dell Precision 3440 no longer includes a Windows license. All of my other machines do which is a waste since I don’t use it.

I realize that everyone will have a different setup and therefore, I invite you to simply post your specific questions below and I will do my best to point you in the right direction.

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