This is my review of Garuda Linux. I've been a user of Corel , Mandrake, Debian, Ubuntu, Manjaro linux. I don't switch distributions very often and usually stick with it for years. Manjaro was what I was using for the last few years and it was by far the best distribution offering modern software and relative ease of use with the support from Arch wiki.
So what's the good the bad and ugly of using Garuda Linux?
My initial impressions after just a few days.
First let's start with the ugly. The default interface has some issues with me not being able to see buttons in the gnome control Centre. Like turning on and off the Bluetooth is not really visible unless I happen to know where it is and where to look for. It needs a bit more contrast on the background of the button sliders. The interface is very colourful and very nonstandard icon set but in the end it works except for the lack of contrast for the buttons background.
So what's the bad with it. Well so far most of my problems have been associated with the fact that I run it on three different machines but they are all dual-boot. I am very aware that this distribution does not support dual-boot but it should since people like me have no choice but to have that sort of configuration. One machine had problem that when I installed it Windows 10 would not shut down and kept rebooting and it was easily fixed by me turning off fast boot in Windows. The second machine had problems loading grub but then eventually all I did is shutdown the machine now grub works and everything works. The third machine I'm still struggling with is again a dual-boot machine and with Manjaro I was able to pair my Bluetooth speakers Manjaro, then I paired it under Windows 10 and then I would change the key to match the windows pairing key for Bluetooth to make the speakers work while under both Windows and Manjaro. For some reason this does not work in Garuda, am able to use the speakers and Windows 10 but it will not connect even with the bluetooth key changed to windows one in Garuda. By far the only hardware issue was the fact that my laptop which is an Intel and Nvidia graphics card is only using driver for the Nvidia graphics card not the hybrid Intel and Nvidia driver and there seems to be no option to select that.
So what is the good about it. There is plenty good and I am using Garuda Gnome. First it's very fast even on a 10 year plus old laptop. Lots of little details like transferring over Wi-Fi setting when installing from the live version to the installed version by default. Having VPN shared across all users by default. Those were the little details that Manjaro is missing. Aside from the blistering speed, all the little workarounds for when things go bad with Packman for example are built into the assistant page which I think is brilliant. Things like unlocking the Packman database or even messing with some of the settings it's just brilliant. The main reason for me switching to distribution was the use of copy on write BTRFS so I can have a time stamp and boot from it from grub when things go bad. That is absolutely essential for a reliable system. I love the fact that in most cases it uses the most modern solution for almost everything, all the software it tries to use the most modern version, eg fish comand line. The fact that it uses Arch official repositories means it's easier to maintain in the repositories download a lot faster. Did I say that blistering fast performance makes a difference. I tried connecting to a samba network and it worked flawlessly, tried installing a printer and it worked flawlessly. Definitely the system is fast and responsive and most of my machines have plenty of RAM so I don't care how much of uses because most of it doesn't get used. Overall my initial impression is extremely positive, aside from the Bluetooth speaker problem and it would be nice to be able to use a hybrid driver on my laptop it's definitely not a dealbreaker. I'm extremely impressed with this distribution, it literally builds on top of Manjaro and solve some of its problems. It's still not a distribution for complete newbie, but pretty darn nice for an experienced user. It may not be perfect, but it's the best distribution I have used so far.