Linux Kernel

Why I switched to Garuda Linux

Months after doing Garuda Linux my daily driver operating system on my desktop pc, i still have no regrets. This continues to be all I look for in a Linux distribution (distro). Here’s why.

Undeniable beauty

A Garuda Linux desktop.

There is no shortage of writers, streamers, and podcasters in the Linux world expressing their poetry on the default Garuda theme, especially the Dragonized Edition with its vibrant neon colors. But it was really a huge draw for me. Just like in human attraction, looks isn’t everything, but it definitely helps.

Its aesthetic appearance, however, doesn’t say much about Garuda in particular; you can copy the theme to most other distros. Instead, Garuda is a prime example of the innate potential of Linux and other open source projects. Give some free tools to someone with a keen eye for design, and the art will follow for sure.

Designed for performance

Several applications open on the Garuda Linux desktop

Before Garuda, I used Linux Mint. The decision to leave Mint was based in part not on the distribution itself, but on the hardware I was using. The laptop that I have had for years was resource poor and therefore more useful for me with a lightweight distribution like Mint. Garuda’s Standard Edition, however, is not lightweight. In fact, it assumes you’re using a desktop PC with at least decent specs. He uses the “zen” core, a Linux kernel optimized for higher workloads. So when I had a capable desktop machine, Garuda became a more realistic and attractive option.

The zen kernel combined with several other resource management utilities ensures that I am getting the most out of my platform’s processor and NVMe drive. System freezes are rare, and I haven’t encountered any major issues with games and multimedia.

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Easy installation, easier maintenance

Post-installation setup wizard in Garuda Linux

After installing the operating system, an application called Garuda Welcome will open and you will be prompted to use their “setup wizard”. Run it and several lists of apps divided by category will appear and you will be prompted to check the boxes for the software you want. The software offerings integrate the Arch User Repository (AUR), giving you access to the best up-to-date software (more on this later). At the end of the walkthrough, you will see a script run in Terminal, automating the installation of whatever you just selected. Other distributions have similar “wizards”, but this one was the most intuitive for me.

Having said that, I suspect that the setup wizard not be intuitive for someone new to the Linux ecosystem; the brief descriptions offered for the software are mainly technical jargon. it is easy to navigate alone if you already know what you want. Or, if you have tons of hard drive space and just want to check all the boxes, you can spend a day in the field trying out new software.

Tools similar to the Setup Assistant are Garuda Gamer and the “System Components” tab of Garuda Assistant. You just check the boxes for the things you want and uncheck the boxes for the things you don’t want. By clicking on “Apply”, a script runs a script installing everything you have checked and uninstalling everything you have unchecked.

Garuda Gamer Tool in Garuda Linux

Again, these tools are handy and useful for experienced Linux users, but potentially intimidating and unnecessary for newbies. To find the best software for your needs, you might be better off searching the internet, or perhaps using Pamac Software Manager. If you know what you want, these tools make it easy to set up and customize your system.

Switch to the “Maintenance” tab of Garuda Assistant and, with the click of a button, you can perform common system maintenance tasks, such as performing a system update or clearing the system cache. package. Garuda will also alert you and sometimes offer support for low-level configuration changes that are sometimes required with Arch.

State of the art, but reliable

Another factor that kept me away from Mint was the default package base, or rather the versions of the packages available. Mint, like Debian, makes stability a high priority, thoroughly testing applications for compatibility and reliability before releasing them to users. It’s an honorable goal, of course. But it also means that the latest features and other (non-critical) updates are slow to come to Mint. Your options are then either to subscribe to unstable or “tested” repositories, or to create software from source.

With my job, however, quick access to the latest and greatest software is paramount. I don’t have time to constantly find workarounds and browse alternative software sources. Garuda fixes this problem for me by granting access to the most advanced packages by default, through the Chaotic-AUR deposit. The source code for the app is packaged and delivered to my device quickly, if not immediately, after publication.

If this sounds like a threat to the stability of these apps and my PC, that’s because it is. So how can I rely on Garuda as my daily pilot operating system? It’s simple: Garuda creates a snapshot of your system every time you update that you can easily restore in the event of a catastrophic upgrade. Combine that with regular personal file backups, and you have an operating system you can rely on for everyday use. and for the latest software.

Reading Garuda Linux update, showing snapshot backup

It should be noted however that so far I have never needed to restore a snapshot. I attribute this to the frequent updating. Conventional wisdom will tell you that avoiding updates guarantees a stable system, but the reverse is true for streaming distributions like Garuda.

Arch without the ouch

To be fair, almost everything I love about Garuda is available, in one way or another, on most other Linux distros. Some are quite comparable even without tweaks, like EndeavorOS and Manjaro. There’s nothing wrong with Mint either. In fact, I would probably recommend Mint to anyone who is considering trying Linux for the first time. It is reliable, user-friendly, and has an active community.

What sells me about Garuda, however, is that it has the tweaks and automated routines that I want. by default. Other distributions may require a lot of manual work on my part that I frankly don’t want to do. The benefits of an Arch-based system come at the cost of frequent system maintenance. But do I want to memorize all the necessary pacman flash indicators and controls? No. I just want to get to work using the latest software, it’s possible thanks to Garuda.

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