Garuda Linux Provides a Hassle-free Arch Experience With a Beautiful Neon Look [Review with Video]

Many Arch-based Linux distributions have mushroomed lately. I am pretty much satisfied with Manjaro and Arch Linux, so I couldn’t care less until I came across Garuda Linux. This beautiful Linux distribution shows some promises.

Garuda Linux is fairly new to the Linux world and is aiming to provide the greatest performance, offering all the modern and attractive features. Even though you can choose various desktop environments, it is clear that their flagship desktop is a heavily customized KDE Plasma with a dark, neon look. Cyberpunk, anyone?

Its Ultimate edition is optimized for gaming, and the recently introduced Dragonized (Dr460nized) version is aesthetically “lavish”.

Arch Linux installation can be a milestone for many Linux users, let alone to optimize your system at the level that Garuda Linux offers behind the convenience of Calamares installer.

As I like a more traditional desktop, I started to test the MATE version of Garuda Linux, but I ended up taking the screenshots to the beautiful Dragonized edition.

Garuda Linux Review: Beauty and the Arch

We made a video showing Garuda Linux in action. The video is not a review but it highlights the main features of Garuda Linux KDE edition.

Now, let me my experience with Garuda Linux. There are so many desktop environment options available with Garuda Linux:

  • KDE Plasma
  • Xfce
  • GNOME
  • Cinnamon
  • LXQt
  • MATE
  • Deepin
  • UKUI
  • Wayfire
  • BSPWM
  • i3WM

I settled with MATE and KDE Plasma for my testing. I am including KDE screenshots because that’s the one which looks the most beautiful of them all, in my opinion.

Easy installation with Calamares installer

Though I encourage everyone to install Arch Linux the “traditional” way as part of their learning process, I can understand that this task is time-consuming and intimidating to some users. Like the most popular Arch-based distribution Manjaro, Garuda Linux is up and running within a few clicks, thanks to Calamares installer.

Garuda Installer
Garuda Installer

B-tree file system (BTRFS)

“Better F S” as I prefer to pronounce it, might not be used by default to the majority of Linux distributions. It is more than a decade old and considered stable although. It was introduced to address a number of lacking features of the Linux file system like snapshots and checksums.

Garuda Linux comes with BTRFS as the default filesystem.

Automatic snapshots accessible from GRUB

Garuda Linux is a bleeding edge rolling release and less tested software might break your system after an upgrade. Timeshift backs up the system automatically before each update, and you can access the latest 5 snapshots of your system directly from the GRUB. Now that’s something cool, right?

Garuda Snapshots
Garuda Snapshots

Pamac package manager

Inherited from Manjaro, graphical package manager Pamac is a great alternative to command line package manager pacman. Support for the AUR is enabled by default, and you have also the option to enable Snap and Flatpak support.

Garuda Pamac
Garuda Pamac

Garuda Assistant to easily access admin settings

Garuda Assistant is a graphical interface that makes the operating system’s administrative tasks, a simple point and click process. In the example below, you can see how easy is to enable the systemd services.

Garuda Assistant
Garuda Assistant

You can also use it to update your system, clear logs, remove database lock, refresh mirrorlists and edit repositories. It’s handy tool for those who don’t want to go into terminal.

Garuda settings manager

Manjaro Linux users will have a deja vu once they open Garuda Settings Manager, as it is identical to Manjaro Settings Manager. Though Arch wiki offers a solution to every problem, the convenience of selecting a different kernel or the proprietary Nvidia driver through Garuda settings manager is second to none.

Garuda Settings Manager
Garuda Settings Manager

Garuda Gamer – GUI for curated gaming packages

Arch Linux is a distribution that made me to stop distrohopping but when it comes to gaming on Linux, my suggestion to a new Linux user is Pop OS. The package selection of the Garuda Gamer GUI can make the Linux gamers to chuckle when they open it.

Garuda Gamer
Garuda Gamer
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Garuda

Trivia

In Hindu mythology, Garuda is the king of birds and vehicle mount of Vishnu, one of the principal Hindu Gods. Garuda is a cultural symbol in India, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia.

Now, you can understand why Garuda Linux uses a Hawk/Eagle-kind of bird for its logo and mascot.

Conclusion

Garuda Linux is one of the Linux distributions that represents a real passion from the developers side, and this can be observed from the amazing selection of tools, features and configurations.

The focus on providing GUI applications for most common tasks makes Garuda Linux an ideal choice for users who want to try Arch Linux but not comfortable using terminal all the time.

With only one extra repository on top of Arch Linux repos, it is very close to pure Arch. I have to admit that I was amazed by Garuda Linux, and definitely extend my testing period to unravel every hidden spot.

Have you experienced Garuda Linux? How’s your experience with it? If not, after reading this Garuda Linux review, will you be willing to give it a try?



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