Hello Garuda (or, a rambling tale of my time in linux)

Hey y'all! I'm SonarMonkey, or more usually just Sonar, and I've been using Linux for 9 or 10 years now. Strap in, because I may have accidentally written an essay here. If just a greeting will suffice for you, consider turning back now (or skip to the end).

It all began when I got my start with, as I recall, Fedora 20 on an aging dinosaur of a Compaq laptop.

For a while, I mostly just enjoyed troubleshooting and rabbit-holing on the bizarre issues that would crop up using Linux on such a relatively old computer. I didn't have any particular computing needs at the time, using it more as a hobby project and web-browser.

At some point, I took to writing fiction, and with an early high school hipster-ish fascination with the retro, I made my first foray into the bottomless hole that is tiling window managers. After god knows how many hours, I had a comfy Manjaro-i3 setup on that same old beast of a machine, which I used for quite some time. Though those configs are likely lost, I still pull the old laptop out from time to time, lifting the monster from the depths of my closet to clack away at the keyboard.

When I got the first laptop that was truly my own - a kitted-out ThinkPad - I dipped out of the Linux world for a time, chained to the unfortunate nature of the Windows ecosystem. At some point, I missed the soaring freedom that Linux offered, and dove back in, this time with the added quirk headache of dual-booting. Clinging to League of Legends and the handful of Adobe apps I used (feel free to judge, I'll understand), but yearning for the love of Linux, I distro-hopped incessantly when I had the time, occasionally settling into systems for longer periods.

In this time, I found my love split between the remarkable customization and novel, hacker-ey feel of tiling window managers, and the comfort and general nature of my first - the GNOME Shell.

I made a few brief passes at Garuda earlier in the project, but my discomfort with KDE and baseless unwillingness to use anything other than the main spin put me off. However, when I delved deeper into Arch and it's direct derivatives, I found it difficult to strike a balance between usability, and the mass of endless configuration and customization Arch afforded.

All of this brings us to now. Having grown tired of the limitations of the Pop!_OS install I'd recently settled for, and finding Windows more and more obnoxious by the day, I chose to act. I backed up my files, waved my goodbyes, and was quickly met by a fresh installation of Garuda's GNOME edition.

It was wonderful. Everything I loved about Arch, most especially the absurd and incomparable wealth of packages that come with the AUR, was all there, wrapped up in a Calamares-colored bow and dusted with the spice of the Chaotic repo. Performance was amazing, especially for a heavyweight like GNOME. Even with my respectable hardware, I'd only ever seen better from my unnecessarily minimalist Arch-BSPWM setups. The various built-in Garuda tools made all sorts of configuration effortless, even offering options I'd never seen before. The automatic snapshots, lovely filesystem configuration, well-configured default, and many more, were just icing on the cake.

My excitement was perhaps over-kindled, though, and I did as most (if not all) Linux users do a handful of times in their career - I made an absolute mess of my system. What might've been approached more simply turned into a time-sink of wiki page after bug report after guide. In my haste, I abandoned some of the common sense I'd developed over the years, and came to in a mess of unchecked and inadvisable tweaks.

I write to you all now in a fresh installation. I have my wits about me, my Garuda feet under me, and am rather more committed to achieving a functional main working machine. The excitement remains, though, and I'm finding it a remarkable experience so far.

If you've made it this far, or taken the more advisable step of skipping to the end, I'd like to say a few things. First, thank you to the Garuda devs for all of your incredible work. Everything I've seen so far tells me I've stepped into something fantastic. I'm happy to be joining what seems to be a lovely community, and am looking forward to seeing what we all do together. :heart:


There are also i3wm or the nice Sway in the Garuda desktop envirements :wink:



I am not reading all of that I refuse :joy:

1 Like

Welcome to Garuda! :raising_hand_man:t2:

Hmm I feel you, I had the same "break from Linux". I just joined as well and I'm currently in the process to kill my Win10 and move to Garuda. Including my Games (which are working) and my lovely DaVinci Resolve Studio. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

"Keeping it together" isn't that easy with all those options tho. It is fantastic how the devs accomplished it to have a full customizable distro but still super easy to manage. The assistant programs are a great concept.

I hope you have fun and a nice productive time with Garuda and welcome. :smile:
(Yes I read all like most of the ppl here I guess). :sunglasses:


@Grimy1928 pff, not even a half of a site of a newspaper. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

1 Like

I read enough binary to not wanna read anything more than a few lines long :joy:


Welcome to the forum...enjoy


Oh nice! Glad to hear video editing is a reasonable possibility, it's something I'm looking at getting back into. I have my eye on FlowBlade and a couple others at the moment. Do you have the pro license of DaVinci and/or have you used the free version of Resolve? I'm curious about performance and the practical differences between the two.

Thanks for the welcome! :smile:

1 Like

Thanks for the welcome, love the little badge! :smile: I looked into the tiling options for Garuda, and they do look lovely,, but ultimately I decided to stay with GNOME. I've already sunk a concerning amount of my life into the depths of the ~/.config/i3/config alone. :rofl: And, after so much history with Fedora and my more recent time with Pop!_OS (which was lovely, despite the Ubuntu of it all), I felt that sliding into GNOME for my one and only environment was the most comfortable and productive option.

Can't promise it'll stay that way, though. Maybe I should unsub from r/unixporn, lol

1 Like

The key to survival! Welcome.

"...just icing on the cake." - That has a whole other meaning with the younger gens. :rofl:


I've used the free version of DaVinci Resolve for almost a year and upgraded to Pro (which is the Studio Version). I saw a subtle increase of performance but in my case it kinda mixes up with my GPU upgrade. You'd benefit the most if you really need additional features like video denoising or heavy Fusion usage. All of it happened under my Win10 so I don't know about the restrictions of the free version with Linux. Some say it gets you in trouble with h.26x footage. (Which you should avoid for editing anyways xD).

I just tested Garuda for a week on a 2nd HDD and Resolve worked well for me. It even seems more stable. And you need to watch out for Latte dock. It can mess up your top menu. I wrote my experience here: A short introduction in DaVinci Resolve on Garuda with an AMD gpu

I hope that helps, all the best o/


Okay, that's awesome! I kind of expected some potential graphics nonsense, and I have no problem fiddling for that lol. In the past I've really only done hobby-level short film-making, and I don't have extremely demanding needs, so it does sound like Resolve's free version would be more than adequate. I don't use the latte dock (or KDE) so I don't think that'll be an issue, but your linked post looks like it'll be useful regardless. Thanks for the reply!

Wouldn't touch the stuff :rofl:

1 Like