How To Create A Bootable Manjaro Linux USB Drive

Manjaro Live

Introduction

Manjaro Linux is my favourite Linux distribution. It is easy to install and easy to use and because it is based on Arch Linux has full access to the Arch User Repository (AUR) which means I have access to a huge selection of software.

In this guide I will show you how to create a bootable Manjaro Linux USB drive.

If you want to follow this guide you can be using either Linux or Windows because the piece of software that I will demonstrate is cross platform which means it will run on either.

Steps Required

  1. Download the Manjaro Linux ISO image
  2. Download Etcher
  3. Install the image to a USB drive

What you will need

  1. An internet connection
  2. A USB drive

(note that the USB drive will be erased so you need to make sure there isn’t any data that you want to keep).

Download Manjaro

Manjaro Linux Download Page

The Manjaro Linux website is available at https://manjaro.org/

From the Manjaro homepage you can read all about Manjaro, about Linux and about the rolling release strategy.

The homepage is also the gateway to the rest of the Manjaro site such as the community section which links to the forums and IRC chat rooms. You can also donate to Manjaro or get involved in its development.

For this guide we are just interested in the download section and that can be found from the download menu of the homepage or by visiting https://manjaro.org/get-manjaro/.

There downloads page has a number of different versions of Manjaro available including desktop environments for XFCE, KDE and GNOME.

A desktop environment is a collection of applications and tools which allow you to use and run applications which have a graphical user interface.

A desktop environment will commonly be packaged with a display manager, a window manager, panels, a file manager and a network manager. (I will come on to what all of these are shortly).

Some desktop environments will also include image viewers, text editors, terminal emulators, audio players, media players, archiving tools and an email client.

The most prominent desktop environments are Unity, GNOME, KDE, LXDE, XFCE, Enlightenment, Cinnamon and MATE.

For more information about desktop environments and other terminology read the Jargon Buster.

The XFCE desktop environment is good on older computers or computers with less processor or memory power. It is also great if you like customising the look and feel of your system as it is highly customisable.

KDE is a more modern desktop environment and comes with a wide range of specialist software unique to KDE.

Gnome is also a modern desktop environment with a unique design making it easy to use. This is my preferred desktop of choice and the easiest of the three to get to grips with.

If you don’t like any of these desktop environments then you can click on the download menu and choose one of the community editions where you will find an I3, Mate, Cinnamon, Budgie, LXDE and Openbox edition.

For the purposes of this guide is doesn’t matter which version you go for, the process is the same.

Simply click on the relevant download link.

Download Etcher

Etcher Website

The piece of software that I use to create any Linux USB drive is called Etcher. It works on both Windows and Linux and it is incredibly straight forward.

In order to download Etcher visit https://etcher.io/.

The website automatically detects the operating system you are using and you should just be able to press the blue download button.

If the website has guessed wrong click on the arrow next to the download link and choose the appropriate version.

After the file has downloaded, double click on the zip file.

If you are using Windows you will need to double click on the executable file within the zip file and if you are using Linux you will need to double click on the appimage file.

Create The Manjaro Linux USB Drive

Etcher

The default Etcher interface looks like the image above.

Click “Select Image” and your file explorer window will open. Navigate to the downloads folder and select the Manjaro Linux ISO image.

Etcher

Click on the select drive button and click on the USB drive that you want to install Manjaro on.

Etcher

Click the “Flash” button.

Etcher will now write the image to the USB drive and after the write process it will validate the drive.

When this is complete you should be able to boot into the live version of Manjaro Linux

Alternative Etcher Interface

Etcher

On some Linux distributions the Etcher interface is completely different.

If when clicking on the AppImage you see the screen to the left navigate to the downloads folder on your machine and drag the Linux ISO onto the window.

Alternatively click on the centre of the screen and a file explorer will appear and you can navigate to the downloads folder and select the Manjaro ISO file.

Inserting the blank USB drive automatically selects it as the device to write to but if you have more than one drive inserted you can select the correct drive from the drop down list.

Click “Write” to install Manjaro to the USB drive.

When the process is finished you should be able to boot into the live USB image

Troubleshooting

After rebooting Manjaro doesn’t load from the USB drive

On some computers the system is designed to boot from the hard drive first and then the USB drive.

Reboot your computer and press the relevant function key in order to enter the boot menu of your computer:

Click here for a list of function keys for all popular makes and models

After entering the boot menu you should be able to choose the drive you wish to boot from.

Etcher isn’t working on Ubuntu (or Ubuntu based distributions)

There is a bug when running the appimage version of Etcher on Ubuntu.

Open up a terminal window (Press CTRL, ALT and T at the same time).

Enter the following command:

sudo apt-get install -y libgconf-2-4

If the above command doesn’t work then it means you don’t have the community repositories active. If this is the case search for software and updates and then when the application is running click on the checkbox for community repositories.

Click close and then allow the packages to be reloaded.

Then try the above command again.

(Click here for more information on this bug)