Garuda Linux is an Arch based distribution that has already made a few appearances on the Tyler’s Tech YouTube channel. I’ve previously taken a look at their LXQt, Wayfire and KDE Ultimate offerings. This time I took a look at another variation of KDE which has been dubbed “Dr460nized”. You can download this version in two different flavors. One of them being a standard edition which will be suitable for most users. The other is geared towards Gaming and that’s the version I opted to install. The ISO size for the Gaming version was around 3.5GB making it a fair bit heavier than the standard version which weighed in at roughly 2.2GB.
Booting up the ISO you’ll see that it defaults to the non free drivers. Once you’re in the live environment you can begin the installation process. It uses the Calamares installer and much like all of the other versions of Garuda uses BTRFS as its default file system. While you’re choosing which drive to install your system to you will also be able to choose if you want a swap partition with or without hibernation. I opted for a swap partition with the ability to hibernate which worked flawlessly on Garuda Linux. All in all installation took under 10 minutes from start to finish on my machine.
The first time you boot up your newly installed system it will give you the option to run the Setup-Assistant. This will guide you through upgrading your system and installing some additional packages. One thing I was happy to see during this process was when I was given the choice of setting up AppImage integration. AppImages are a universal packaging format that will run on any distribution. Which I actually prefer in certain cases over Flatpak or Snap (which aren’t included out of the box). However, as this is an Arch based distribution you should find that the AUR (Arch User Repository) will have you covered.
Visually Garuda Linux have done an excellent job at making a beautifully designed out of the box desktop experience. It uses the “Sweetified Plasma” global theme and “Beautyline” icons which gives you plenty of bright colors and dark windows with transparency. The dock at the bottom of the screen as well as the panel at the top are provided by Latte-Dock.
You’ll find that out of the box it comes installed with a whole host of applications to get you up and running. It also includes Timeshift which it will utilize for full system snapshots using BTRFS. Automatic snapshots are configured to take a new snapshot every time you perform a system upgrade. This should give you added peace of mind in case any issues arise. As you would expect from a distribution thats focused on gaming it also ships with many gaming applications. It uses the Linux-tkg-bmq kernel and general performance in games felt smooth and responsive.
This version of Garuda Linux uses fish as its default shell instead of something like bash or zsh. The minimum system requirements are 4GB of RAM and 30GB Storage space. I found that on a fresh boot I was using a little over 1GB in RAM which is to be expected for a distribution of this class. Overall my first impressions of this distribution are better than I expected. This is definitely a distribution I would be happy to recommend to anyone looking for a beautiful desktop with decent gaming capabilities.
What do you think of Garuda Linux KDE Dr460nized? Let me know in the comments below!