My personal notes on setting up Manjaro Cinnamon

As much as I like using Linux for personal use, I have to admit that it is not as straightforward to set up as I’d like it to be; but after setting it up properly, it does feels more personalized.

You also get this sense of freedom because you find that you can adjust the OS to your liking.

So I’d like to share my personal notes on what I usually do every time I set up Manjaro Cinnamon, my current favorite distro.

I had to search and refer to these notes a few times in the past, I’m sharing it now in hopes that it can help others.

How to auto enable Bluetooth

I don’t know why but by default, you have to enable bluetooth everytime you turn on the laptop, which is a hassle if you use a bluetooth keyboard, for example.

To auto enable Bluetooth, open /etc/bluetooth/main.conf and set AutoEnable=true.

If text is too small

Go to Accessibility and turn on Large text

You can also use Fractional scaling on Display settings, but for me, turning on Large text is enough.

How to modify mouse buttons

I use Kensington Expert Wireless Trackball, and I want to be able to modify its buttons.

In order to do that, you can install Key-Mapper from the package manager.

I personally modify a couple of my Kensington buttons to be like this:

Button SIDEBTN_MIDDLEI prefer the middle click on the top right button
Button MIDDLEcontrol_l+alt_l+DownShow the window selection screen

How to set up trackpad gestures

When using the trackpad, I want to have a better gestures so it’s more similar to what you can find on Mac and Windows laptops. Here’s how you can do that:

First, make sure that libinput is installed. Then install gestures from the package manager.

Then, add user to input group. Go to terminal and type sudo gpasswd -a user input where user is the username that you use on Manjaro.

Next, open gestures app, so you can setup, well, gestures. I set up mine like this:

3-finger swipe leftxdotool key ctrl+alt+RightGo to workspace on the right
3-finger swipe rightxdotool key ctrl+alt+LeftGo to workspace on the left
3-finger swipe downxdotool key super+dShow desktop
3-finger swipe upxdotool key ctrl+alt+DownShow the window selection screen

I also found that I have to add gestures to Startup Applications in order to activate the gestures after every start up.

Change alt-tab style

Go to System Settings -> Windows -> Alt-Tab tab -> change Alt-Tab switcher style. I personally set up mine to Icons and thumbnails.

Lock the laptop when waking up from suspend

I recently did a fresh install. Closing the lid will suspend the system, and I expected for it to also lock the system when I wake the computer, but apparently suspend doesn’t automatically lock the system by default.

If you want to lock the system after waking up from suspend, go to Screensaver setting and turn on Lock the computer when put to sleep.

How to set up battery charge threshold

On ThinkPads, you can limit the batteries to only charge up to a certain percentage of its full capacity.

The batteries can have a longer lifetime when not kept at maximum charge at all times. I personally limit the charge to 50% if I use my laptop in “desktop” mode (connected to a charger most of the time), or to 80% if I still use the laptop off the charger from time to time.

To do this easily, install tlp and tlpui from the package manager.

Go to ThinkPad Battery and change the START_CHARGE_THRESH_BAT0 and STOP_CHARGE_THRESH_BAT0. In my case, using the T480 with internal and external battery, I also need to change the START_CHARGE_THRESH_BAT1 and STOP_CHARGE_THRESH_BAT1.

Always connected to chargerSTART_CHARGE_THRESH_BAT045
Occasionally off the chargerSTART_CHARGE_THRESH_BAT075

How to set up SysRq so you can reboot gracefully

When the system freezes, don’t do hard reset by pressing and holding the power button. It’s better to use REISUB (reboot) / REISUO (turn off). This method will let you reboot or shut down your computer gracefully.

In order to do that, first you have to unlock the SysRq key:

  • Add to your /etc/default/grub in the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT parameter the sysrq_always_enabled=1 variable.
  • Execute echo kernel.sysrq=1 | sudo tee --append /etc/sysctl.d/99-sysctl.conf
  • Execute sudo update-grub
  • Reboot

On T480, the SysRq button is Fn+S.

To reboot, press Alt + SysRq (Fn+S), release Fn+S, then type R E I S U B slowly.

To shut down, press Alt + SysRq (Fn+S), release Fn+S, then type R E I S U O slowly.

Full explanation here.

These are the things I usually need to do after a fresh install. Hope it helps!

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