Manjaro-Arm for the Raspberry Pi and embedded devices is shutting down

After struggling mightily for at least the past year, the project is ending.
Written by J.A. Watson, Contributor on

I really like to make positive, interesting, and informative posts here. Unfortunately, the real world does not always cooperate with me on that. Today is one of those days.

Image: Manjaro-Arm Project

According to announcements on the Manjaro and Manjaro-Arm websites, the Manjaro-Arm project is being shut down. A longer post in the Manjaro-Arm Forums explains the details about why this is happening, and what is going to happen to the existing distribution and infrastructure.

I am really sad to see this distribution go. In my opinion it is the best of the non-Raspbian distributions for the Raspberry Pi, and my recent posts about running it on the Raspberry Pi 2 & 3, and especially on the Raspberry Pi 1 and Zero, showed how much I enjoyed it.

The end of the distribution reveals two important facts. First, producing and maintaining a Linux distribution is very, very hard work. It requires a lot of dedication, a lot of time, and a lot of knowledge. I recall when the SolydXK distribution went through something like this a couple of years ago, and the SolydXK Forum post at that time sounded very similar to Manajro-Arm today.

Fortunately, some talented and dedicated people stepped up to help with SolydXK and it survived that difficult time. I hope that the same might happen with Manjaro-Arm.

Second, I think this shows that providing an alternative to Raspbian GNU/Linux on the Raspberry Pi is extremely difficult. There will always be a small number of people (like me) who are interested in non-Raspbian distributions, but finding a user base beyond those people will be extremely difficult.

So, I will take this opportunity to say thanks very much to the people who have put a lot of time and a lot of hard work into the Manjaro-Arm project. I have found it fun and interesting, and it has helped me to show some people what the potential of the Raspberry Pi is. I wish everyone who has worked on the project well.

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