Garuda Linux is an Arch based distribution that ships with the Zen kernel out of the box and uses BTRFS as it’s default file system. It also comes preinstalled with Timeshift to utilize the snapshot features you get with BTRFS. They have plenty of desktop versions to choose from such as GNOME, LXQt, XFCE, Cinnamon plus many more and most of them have come in “lite” or “ultimate editions. I previously looked at their LXQt version which you can see here but today my focus shifted to their Ultimate edition of KDE.
After the installation that took around about 10 minutes using the Calamares installer I was greeted with a rather busy KDE desktop. As the base of our system is Arch we will be using the latest version of KDE which is version 5.20. The Garuda welcome screen includes steps to get you up and running such as shortcuts to update your system, open the system cleaner and more. When going through a full system upgrade Garuda will automatically take a snapshot of your system before it begins which will enable you to rollback to the previous state encase any problems arise. The selection of the packages included in this “Ultimate” edition are plenty and should have pretty much everything a user should need from the first time they boot into their desktop. Some of these applications include the latest version of LibreOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, Steam, Lutris and a whole lot more.
The default look and feel of their KDE implementation is visually attractive and the layout is mainly comprised of a Latte-dock and panel. Garuda includes many themes out of the box such as a Unity theme, Big Sure themes and even a theme that is supposed to mimic the look and feel of Windows. You can also change the layouts of your desktop by opening the lay out switcher and choosing between the preconfigured options. I found this didn’t quite behave the way I expected and was a little deflated when I tried switching to the Unity layout.
Performance wise everything felt snappy and responsive and I enjoyed the overall experience. Hibernation worked out of the box allowing me to suspend to disk and save power then hit enter and pick up exactly where I left off. There is still some rough edges here and there that need to be ironed but for the most part I think Garuda is an interesting distribution that is fun to use. What do you think of Garuda Linux KDE? Let me know in the comments below!