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Looking for a New Distro? 10 Reasons to Try Garuda Linux

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By Wachira Faust


There are plenty of things to love about the Linux Operating system, and although it does not come off as an anyone-can-use-it option like Windows or macOS, it’s feature-rich.

Unfortunately, since most Linux distributions do not offer the familiar interface available on macOS and Windows systems, and they have a usage learning curve, it discourages many uses from switching to Linux.

Garuda Linux seeks to solve this challenge and make Linux more accessible to the layman.

What Is Garuda Linux?


Garuda Linux is a relatively new Linux distribution based on the Arch Linux operating system. It aims to provide outstanding performance and modern, attractive features for existing and new Linux users.

Despite being based on Arch Linux, it comes with the Calamares graphical installer for ease of installation. It also offers a wide selection of desktop environments including, KDE Plasma, Gnome, XFCE, and more.

Garuda Linux also features a rolling release model with regular updates and a vast collection of software packages.

Garuda Linux Flavors

Although Garuda Linux is a newly developed distribution, it is available in a ton of flavors for your most beloved desktop environment. Some examples of Garuda Linux flavors are GNOME, KDE Plasma, XFCE, LXQt-KWin, Wayfire, i3wm, Qtile, BSPWM, and Sway..

It also provides Dr460nizeD version, a customized version of KDE Plasma offering a dark, blurry interface for modern desktops. It aims to emulate a macOS with the title bar locations and the navigation menu.

Besides offering various flavors, here are ten other things that are making Garuda Linux one of the most popular Linux distros of 2021


1. Easy-to-Use Calamares Installer


Although Garuda Linux is an Arch-Linux-based distro, it uses the Calamares installer, which removes the complexity and time-consuming procedure of installing Arch-based distributions.

Installing Garuda Linux with Calamares requires only a few clicks.


2. Awesome User Experience


Once you install Garuda Linux, a welcome screen will greet you with a warm and straightforward message welcoming you to Garuda Linux. This screen also gives you the option of using the setup assistant to configure your system for the first time.

Garuda Linux provides rich UI features with familiar navigation menus and icons. As a result, exploring Garuda Linux is straightforward.

Depending on the flavor of Garuda Linux you install, you will get typical applications such as Firefox web browser, VLC media player, a terminal, GIMP, Steam, Timeshift Backup utility, and Software Market pre-installed.

The default username and password are Garuda and Garuda, respectively.


3. Easy Software Installation


Installing software packages on Garuda Linux is as simple as it can get. The distro uses the Pacman installer and a collection of software packages from the default repositories.

Garuda Linux also imports the Pamac installer from Manjaro Linux, allowing you to install software packages without touching the terminal.

Garuda Linux also offers support for Snap and Flatpack and comes with the Arch User Repository enabled by default.

NOTE: Although supported, Garuda Linux does not recommend using Snap packages.

4. Recovery Options

As a rolling release, Garuda Linux updates software packages daily. Unfortunately, doing such updates might cause your system to break, making it inoperable.

To mitigate this, Garuda Linux has an inbuilt Timeshift backup utility that allows you to take snapshots of your system. In addition, Garuda gives you access to the system snapshots straight from GRUB, which can prove immensely helpful in cases where the system fails to boot up successfully.


5. Better/Enhanced Filesystem


Garuda Linux uses the B-Tree filesystem (BTRFS) as the default. BTRFS addresses various Linux filesystem limitations like checksums, pooling, and snapshots. It also allows for easy management, fault tolerance, and repairs.

Btrfs also provides Garuda Linux with the ability to perform self-healing by using checksums and metadata to detect and repair corrupted data. Therefore, Garuda Linux having BTRFS is a considerable advantage.


6. Gaming Tools


Garuda Linux has a Gaming edition, a KDE version of Garuda Linux tuned for gamers. This Gaming edition has all the software a gamer might need. The pre-installed gaming software in the gaming edition of Garuda Linux includes Steam, Gamehub, Boxtron, WINE, Proton GE custom, Gamemode, vkBasalt, itch, Lutris, Minigalaxy, Heroic Game Launcher, Oversteer, and SteamTinterLaunch.

It also comes with gaming tools such as OpenRGB, KeyboardVisualizer, DisplayCAL, NoiseTorch, Discord, Mumble, Piper, and CoreCtrl.


7. Garuda Assistant


One feature that makes Garuda wildly popular is that it provides a simple graphical utility for managing the system and performing administrative tasks. For example, the Garuda Linux utility allows users to manage repositories, clear logs, back up the system, manage the filesystem and systemd processes in simple clicks.


8. Settings Manager


The settings manager on Garuda Linux makes Manjaro users feel at home. Additionally, the graphical tool used to manage the system, including installing a new kernel version and managing drivers, comes pre-installed in Garuda Linux.


9. An Engaged Community


Although it’s relatively new, Garuda Linux has a great community ready to help solve problems and improve the system. In addition, because it’s Arch Linux-based, the Arch-Linux and Arch-based distributions communities can help solve any issues you may encounter while using Garuda Linux.


10. Highly Customizable

Garuda Linux provides its users with a collection of customizability features. It allows users to add and remove driver versions, install custom kernels, and tweak the desktop environments to the fullest. Garuda Linux also supports the BleachIt utility, which helps you to clean the system and remove all unwanted bloatware.

Additionally, Garuda Linux comes with a barebones version that contains no extra software packages or functionalities except the bare minimum packages. Thus, Garuda Linux barebones is suitable for users looking for custom customization freedom.


Is Garuda Linux for You?

Garuda Linux is one of the new Linux distributions aiming to close the gap and make Linux operating systems friendlier to desktop operating system users. Thanks to its customization options and collection of software packages, you can feel comfortable running Garuda Linux as your daily driver.

Garuda Linux also removes the complexity of installing Arch Linux, making it easy and comfortable for new Linux users to experience it.

If you are looking for a simple Linux distribution that gets things done without much hustle, Garuda Linux might just be the one for you.