Garuda Linux "White-tailed Eagle" (220101)

Whats up ladies and gentlemen!

First of all, a happy new year to each of you! :partying_face: :fireworks:
What can be better to start a new year with than a recap of the last one? So lets have a look at what happened in 2021!

A little recap of 2021

  • Chaotic-AUR recovered pretty well from its reset in late December 2020 and features around over 2,6k packages again
  • New developers, maintainers & mods joined the Garuda team - namely @TNE, @RohitSingh, @OdiousImp, @dalto, @filo, @zoeruda and @edu4rdshl! :slight_smile:
  • Our edition offerings changed:
    • Added: Sway, Qtile, Dr460nized Gaming & Blackarch and MATE (community)
    • Major changes: GNOME (finally went vanilla)
    • Dropped: KDE-Multimedia & Recbox
  • All packages were switched to fixed releases if possible
  • Our default browser became FireDragon, created with feedback of our community
  • A new convenient way to download (with the possibility of saving bandwidth by using existing iSO's as seed) and write iSO's to thumbdrives was created: Garuda Downloader
  • System maintenance became easier than ever thanks to Garuda System Maintenance, which notifies about partial upgrade situations, out of date systems, and allows pushing critical hotfixes (if manual interventions are required) due to Arch's rolling release nature
  • A new official way of updating Garuda was created: update or garuda-update, which also allows working around typical Arch update issues such as the recent Python 3.10 update
  • Transitions to better alternative packages and tooling occurred:
    • Timeshift was replaced by Snapper & our custom built GUI application BTRFS Assistant, (as announced in this release)
    • PipeWire was introduced to handle audio instead of PulseAudio
    • We are using zram-generator instead of systemd-swap, systemd-oomd instead of nohang and ananicy-cpp instead of ananicy in our latest builds.
  • Chaotic-AUR received a geo-mirror for better load balancing and new mirrors were provided by the nice people in:
    • Utah by ash
    • Los Angeles by @sorcerer420's IRC-Nerds
    • Spain by Ícar
    • Germany by itsTyrion
    • Germany by redgloboli
    • France by @sorcerer420's IRC-Nerds
    • Brazil by the Universidade Federal de São Carlos
    • Toronto by @freebird54
    • Mumbai by @virusz4274
    • Bulgaria by @sudoman
    • A global CDN mirror by Fosshost which also provides our official downloads
  • A way to sustain our infrastructure and secure the long term future of Garuda was established with a new donation system
  • Roughly 5.000 user visit our forum per month, almost double the amount than one year ago
  • And around 2.900 Telegram users joined our social chat, also a huge increase compared to a year ago (we don't have statistics of that time, but it should've been around 700)

These are pretty much the highlights of the year 2021 in Garuda lands. Its safe to say that the distribution as whole matured a lot during this year - all of this wouldn't be possible without the support of our amazing community though, which is why we want to say "thank you" to every one of you. Thanks for taking part in this journey with us! :heart:

Garuda White-tailed Eagle - whats new? :eyes:

Since this is a new major release, there are of course some new changes as well! This release focuses on fixing a lot of little bugs and also features improvements to our Garuda tools.

Garuda System Maintenance

Our system maintenance tool is now able to inform about partial upgrade situations and systems being out of date. Since out of date is a quite subjective term, it should be good to note that this is 2 weeks in this case. We observed that especially people who are new to Arch are either not updating the system often (which should be done on a rolling release Arch base to smooth out things) or causing partial upgrade situations which then cause applications to not work. The addition of those notifications should provide some needed help. Of course, they can be turned off individually if a user decides they do not want the additional guidance :wink:


Garuda Update / Migrations

As managing an Arch system can be challenging at times, we felt like there had to be a way to help our users with it. The result is our garuda-migrations and garuda-update. We introduced garuda-update some time ago as official way of updating our distro and lately it finally became useful! The recent update of Python to version 3.10 made re-installations of all Python related packages necessary, which was was then handled by the update command on its own. Garuda-migrations however will be used for configuration migrations exclusively to prevent manual interventions.

BTRFS Assistant

If you followed the #development category, you might have noticed that there were ongoing efforts to separate the Snapper/BTRFS part of Garuda Assistant into a new application - the result is called BTRFS Assistant. This step has been taken in order to let other distributions profit from the application as well, if they decide to use BTRFS snapshots along with Snapper. The UI and feature set stayed mostly the same, so there is no need to learn a new tool if you were familiar with Garuda Assistant already. Additionally, Garuda Assistant will notify about the functionality being removed and then offer to start BTRFS Assistant.

KDE-git edition

Since Chaotic-AUR features a whole bunch of daily built KDE/Plasma -git packages, the idea of an edition dedicated to shipping them came up lately to allow for following KDE's development and testing new changes safely. Likewise, this edition is shipped in barebones state without additional modifications to the desktop look itself. The edition will be treated as community edition and is being maintained by @alexjp while packaging will be done mostly by @IslandC0der and @dr460nf1r3. As not all of the packages in AUR are of high quality, a good amount of them are being built from Chaotic-AUR GitHub, you can have a look at the package list to find out which ones. To preserve good quality of PKGBUILDs, all of them were adapted to asp (using Arch PKGBUILD as base, adopted to git sources). Please note that this edition is still aimed at experienced users who know about the dangers of using a full -git desktop. Since the packages are being built from master branch, occasional breakages can happen naturally :warning:

Cinnamon edition

Observant main website visitors may have noticed a new addition at the bottom of our download page. Long promised to come back, the Cinnamon desktop environment provides a slick experience with lots of customization options. This edition is maintained by @Naman as community edition and features our beloved Sweet theme and Beautyline icons.

Garuda Libs

Starting with this release, our tools will now use shared code in form of the garuda-libs package. In this case, it is being used to automatically choose the right terminal to run commands or scripts in. So far, the Setup Assistant and Garuda Assistant are making use of it, integration with more apps will probably come in the future.

Performance tweaks and services

To make Garuda more appealing to not only desktop users or gamers, we decided to not pre-install performance-tweaks anymore. For people with laptops, this could cause less battery time. Even though it is easy enough to change this in Garuda Assistant, having a more "neutral" stock configuration was quite appealing. However, the Setup Assistant will detect PCs/Towers and offer to install performance tweaks during the setup to allow easy access to those tweaks during the setup process. The dr460nized and GNOME editions will be featuring power-profiles-daemon, a convenient and very well integrated way to control the devices power profile. It can be used on other editions as well, although it needs to be operated via command line then. We plan to integrate an option to control this in Garuda Assistant in the future.

Web presences

Our wiki finally received a very much needed upgrade! Most of the content was quite outdated and didn't feature our latest tools. This is no longer the case though, and all sections have been updated and looks were adjusted to be more consistent as well. Please note that this wiki's purpose is not to reinvent the wheel rather than adding Garuda specific information to the information already available in the holy bible (Arch wiki :yum:) Since it is in a pretty good shape now, translating it into other languages is a very welcome way to contribute something to Garuda! In theory, contributions could even happen via GitLab as all content is being backed up bidirectionally. We also switched our uptime notifications to Freshstatus as it allows for automatic downtime reports which can be updated with status reports which makes the official statuspage of Garuda. Eventual maintenances will also be posted there, so make sure to check this out the next time something looks down for you :slight_smile:

Minor fixes and enhancements

Apart from the already mentioned changes, a lot of little enhancements were performed. Among them are the replacement of reflector with rate-mirrors for our update command, tightening of our Polkit rules and the exclusion of snapshots during updating the mlocate database. Also, graphic configurations are now handled by Pacman using meta packages which allows us to update graphic configuration like normal packages. The dr460nized editions configurations were updated (Applying the Sweetified global theme can apply the Latte layout!) and file content indexing of Baloo was disabled to help with high resource usage during indexing. i3, Qtile, Sway and Wayfire were cleaned up and also got some fixes. Lastly, our default browser FireDragon has Firefox accounts enabled again. However, it does not sync data to Mozilla rather than our own selfhosted syncserver by default to preserve the private by default nature of the browser.

A brief update on donations

In late July, in an effort to help sustain Garuda for the long term we setup several ways to donate to our beloved project. Up to this point, we've collected roughly 1.400 €, (which is a fantastic amount for such a short amount of time). So far, we've only had to cover our yearly domain costs from this funding. The anticipated plan is to wait until we reach around the 2.000 € level. After we reach that point we will start investing in further distro resources and contribute to some of the great projects that help us provide our favourite operating system to you. Thank you for believing in us, and the future of Garuda! :hugs:

We hope you enjoy the release as much as we do! Have a good time and a happy new year :relaxed:

Last but not least, the usual exhaustive changelog! :)

Edition changes:

  • All editions:
    • Added rate-mirrors instead of reflector to handle mirrorlist updates
    • Garuda-setup-assistant & Garuda-assistant will automatically choose the right terminal to run tasks in depending on the desktop environment thanks to the new garuda-libs package
    • Garuda-system-maintenance now informs about partial upgrade situations and how to handle them as well as systems being out of date (=>14days)
    • Increased rtc & hpet freq
    • Introcing garuda-migrations: helps with needed config migrations
    • Keyrings are correctly populated in live sessions
    • Moved some depedencies from common-settings to performance-tweaks to allow uninstalling the package & no longer preinstall it. Setup assistant will offer the installation on PC/tower devices instead
    • Replaced nohang with systemd-oomd
    • Show a little wizard emoji if sudo privileges were aquired in terminal
    • Tightened polkit rules
    • Update mlocate database configuration to not include snapshots for significantly faster database updates & less clutter
  • Dr460nized:
    • Added Latte layout to looknfeel configuration to enable automatic usage of it when toggling global themes
    • Disabled file indexing in baloo to help with its high ressource usage
    • Switched to stable latte-dock package as it now provides the wanted features
  • i3:
    • Fix & cleanup for rofi as well as a new theme
    • Use new time format
  • Qtile:
    • Added default xorg session file to avoid confusion with Wayland
  • Sway:
    • Added wlrobs-hg to have obs-studio working ootb
    • Added mended lougout with nwg-bar
    • Nwg-drawer udpate
  • Wayfire:
    • Added wlrobs-hg to have obs-studio working ootb
    • Use nwg-drawer as menu
  • XFCE:
    • Set dark themeing for qgnomeplatform

Application & settings changes:

  • Asian-fonts:
    • Display bengali fonts correctly
  • Beautyline:
    • Imported a lot new icons from BeautyLine & Candy icons
  • BTRFS-assistant:
    • New distro-agnostic way to manage Snapper, snapshots and BTRFS in general
  • FireDragon:
    • Added new Librewolf patches & cfg
    • Re-enabled Firefox accounts: these sync to our custom syncserver instance, not to Mozillas servers!
    • Updated to current FF version
  • Garuda-assistant:
    • Add button for displaying the most recent pacman run from the log
    • Add power-profiles-daemon in favor of tlp & add systemd-oomd
    • Add separate common settings group
    • Fix some incorrectly translated strings
    • Removed Snapper/BTRFS options as they were moved to the new BTRFS assistant app (a notice was added)
  • Garuda-downloader:
    • Minor enhancements & writing to logfile
    • Replaced Etcher with Popsicle (much smaller)
  • Garuda-fish-config:
    • Dont run neofetch if it doesn't exist
  • Garuda-gamer:
    • Added some new applications
    • Package installation via garuda-libs
  • Garuda-graphics-configs:
    • Instead of letting mhwd manage everything, we now let pacman manage graphics configs: this allows us to update the graphics configs via normal package updates in the future (thanks @TNE!)
  • Garuda-hooks:
    • Fixed GRUB_DISABLE_OS_PROBER being added multiple times
    • Replace pcre2grep with awk
  • Garuda-update:
    • Added an automatic fix for Python 3.9 rebuilt packages
    • Added garuda-update symlink
    • Added support for rate-mirrors instead of reflector
    • Improved code
    • Improved visuals
  • Garuda-setup-assistant:
    • Add lots of new packages
    • Offer to install performance-tweaks on PC/Tower devices
  • Garuda-system-maintenance:
    • Only prompt to update garuda-hotfixes if major or minor version bumped
    • Prevent multiple instances of tray app being spawned
  • Garuda-wallpapers:
    • Moved some individual edition wallpapers to this package
  • Garuda-welcome:
    • Updated shortcuts
  • Input-devices-support:
    • Ensured libinput-gestures autostart
    • Reintroduce irqbalance

Server & infrastructure changes:

  • Uptime monitoring:
    • Changed from UptimeRobot to Freshstatus: as new way to track downtimes/incidents and related updates
  • Wiki:
    • Automatic syncing to the wiki repo to allow contributions via merge request
    • Major rework & updates to content

Downloads are available on our website or using Garuda Downloader :eagle:


What happens when there are no more eagle names?

We'll think about that when the time comes, or we'll do it like everyone else, eagle 1,2,3,4


Fortunately, variety is one of nature's prerogatives. :blush:


btw ... I have to say that so far I haven't done anything special.
mention should go to @zoeruda !!! thanks @zoeruda !!!