First impressions - the great and the jank of Garuda Linux

Hi!

I'm an artist/YouTuber/FOSS advocate currently using Manjaro KDE on all my machines. I currently work in game dev doing SFX, voice acting, video production and music - all using 100% FOSS and Linux. Ok - I sometimes boot into Windows 10, but for the past year I've never needed it to do my job - thankfully.

Someone from my community brought Garuda Linux to my attention.

What immediately struck me as great choices are:

Btrfs on root by default suing zstd compression + Timeshift snapshots before every upgrade.
This is something I've been doing manually for about a year now (maybe longer?), and it seems amazing to see a Linux distro doing that by default.

Arch-based: I love Manjaro and Arch Linux seems like an excellent base for a performant and flexible system, especially fro someone like me who lives on the bleeding edge, making videos about new software releases and testing a lot of stuff that's hard to get on non-Arch-based Linux Distributions.

At this point I've only tested Garuda in a VM (I know it's not recommeneded), but I intend to give it a go on bare metal. My home studio machine is Ryzen 7 1700 + RX480 + 32 GB of RAM for video editing and content creation.

I am interested to see how Garuda handles my workload. I capture video with OBS and edit with Olive. Also do graphics and animation in Blender, and work on games in Godot engine.

Let me now drop in some negatives :smiley:

I think the plymouth theme and the KDE log-in splash screen are not looking great. The are way too complex and the logo looks rather amature to me.

As a graphics designer, who's also been designing logos for clients I need to tell you - the eagle head logo is not a great one, and in my opinion - needs to be changed. The problems are:

  1. Too complex - the more shapes your logo has, the more difficult it is to balance them and get it to look good.
  2. Chaos - adding to the first one - the triangulation and gradients don't look good - going in all directions and looking chaotic. There's no clean intention in the logo.
  3. Badass(cringe?) factor - I think the angry eagle face the current logo has is looking rather immature and makes me think this project may not be trustworthy. Please don't take this the wrong way - that says nothing off the developers to me, though it creates an amature impression, the I did not get from the rest of the project's visuals.

My ideas on how to fix this:

  1. Use the simpler "G" logo instead.
  2. Design an entirely new logo, much simplified, monochromatic, symbolic and with minimum unnecessary parts. With logo design less is really more, and "it's not perfect when there's nothing more to add, but when there's nothing more to remove".. I could try and help with that if you'd like me to.

Some of my work in logo design, so you know I'm not talking out of my rear end here:
My own "unfa" logo
Wolf-Shaper

Anyway - I overall really like the looks you've done with KDE Plasma, and except for the logo it's given me a great vibe.

I'm really looking forward to test the performance and see how your configuration works (Zram, nohang etc...). I think I'll try to implement these into my Manjaro system as well.

Oh, another thing - after I installed Garuda in VM it asked if I want to upgrade to Ultimate. I wasn't sure what that is. I like that Garuda proposes a bunch of software to be installed, though I think it needs some work.

  1. There is no distinction between open-source software and freeware: Ardour is on the same list as Bitwig, there's no licensing distinction what so ever. I think this should be addressed. Adding "(proprietary)" to the names of software packages would probably suffice as a quick fix.

  2. Instead of a series of dialog boxes, this should be a windows with multiple tabs, so that the user can go back and forth, take their time to read up on the software etc. I know it's probably meant for advanced users who know what is what, but leaving new users on their own there is not a great move IMO.

  3. Some important software is missing:

Olive video editor 0.12 in my opinion is the best FOSS NLE out there right now (the only one consistently using GPU for image processing, and despite alpha state crashing much less than Kdenlive for many users), as it has the best performance and workflow. I'm using it all the time for YT, personal and client work (game trailers etc,) - you should totally add it to the list, and I'd even suggest putting it on top :wink:

More feedback will come as I run Garuda on bare metal and see if I can do some video production on it.

Thank you for your excellent work, and I hope my feedback will be helpful to propel this project!

HAHAHAHHAHAHAHA Good luck with that.

Dude. I just spit my coffee all over my computer. I really needed a comedy bit to start off my Sunday morning. This review is just, absolutely fantastic. I love FIST impressions.

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I don't claim to speak for the majority here, but that Logo is one among many highlights to this distro, for me, so...just...no! Nope! Uh-uh!. Never.

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LOL
Thanks for pointing out the typo in the title :wink:

Are you serious?

Deadly, yes. My taste is just that - mine. I respect your taste, of course.

So, if and when you install it, it's FOSS - feel free to change anything to your tastes - no problem here. Maybe even post it in the artwork section. :slight_smile:

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I'm not arguing about taste, especially since you're a Manjaro user. :slight_smile:

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The Eagle head is fantastic. I actually really like the logo. Can you give us some examples of your work? Have you done design for any big companies? Other distros?

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The logo in your avatar is in my opinion a much better one. Even the gradients in that are tasetful.

What does that mean?

I link examples of my work in the original post.
Though I've found a better list of my work:

https://www.artstation.com/artwork/W2oZa3

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I can see that you guys are very attached to the logo - no problem.

What about the other feedback I gave you?
What about the "Ultimate upgrade" dialogs?

I know it can be annoying when a newcomer tries to tell you what you should do with your project, and of course you'll do what you want. Please note that I'm spending my time writing this to help you out, and make Garuda more attractive to a wider audience. Which I assume is what you'd all want :slight_smile:

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As I said, it's all a matter of taste.
No point in discussing it because most people like it and I want it that way.

But since it's slowly turning into a showroom and I think everything has been said, also so that it doesn't get messy in comments, I'll close here.

You can write in Manjaro about what you don't like about Garuda.

If I know the moderators there, they will end the discussion faster than I can here.

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