RANT: Reduce the default packages in Garuda

And I'm not talking about "bloat". One day on my Garuda I noticed that my paru -Qs displayed a reiserfsprogs installed. "How many people would use a reiserfs in 2021, on a btrfs distro?" Came a thought in my head. "and how many of those people are unable to install a package on Arch?".
As a long-time forum member, I noticed a lot of complaints about "bloat" and "high memory usage", and I am and always was on the developer side - Zram is cool, and it should be used by default. But does it mean that we should include software that almost nobody uses in the default installation? Probably not. That's not reasonable. I will go as far as to say that that's what might make us a Windows 10 of the Linux world in the process - lots of bells and whistles, but little to no improvement with new updates due to the actual bloat.
We also need more benchmarks of Garuda in comparison to other distros to actually stand up for a name "Gaming/Desktop Distribution". That's what everybody should contribute. I'm afraid that right now Garuda might actually be slower than Gentoo (LOL).
Sorry if I might have offended any dev in the process by assuming that Garuda isn't perfect, but I feel like I need to say this to resolve floating misconceptions that I felt in some topics.

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In my experience Garuda has been really fast. But install instructions might need some work. :thinking:

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Software installed on a disk (taking 500KB space) and not running doesn't affect benchmarks.

This said, if there is unused software installed that's not needed then make a list of it.

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Not to belittle your philosophy of minimalism, but Garuda was never intended to be a minimalist OS for old hardware. If you have modern hardware with good system specs why not take full advantage of what your hardware is capable of. I mean that's what you paid for a decent gaming rig for isn't it.

There are lots of distros targeting old hardware owners with low spec hardware. That's not Garuda's target audience. Those people with old box's can't expect to run a modern distro with a full DE with all the bells and whistles decked out for maximum bling. Those with old hardware should look elsewhere for a minimalist distro, that's not Garuda.

Garuda has already bent to the pressure of those complaining about bloat by getting rid of the Ultimate Editions and introducing the Barebones Editions. Obviously, massive packages that are not widely used do not need to be installed by default, but there's not a ton of bloat to cut IMO.

If bloat is a concern use a Barebones edition, that's why they were created.

I'm not a dev, just a user like everyone else, and that's just my personal opinion.You don't have to agree with me, we are each entitled to our own opinions. To each their own.

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Things that are not running don't use resources but Garuda compared to Arch, Gentoo, is of course bloated as its not built for a single desktop or a single persons needs.
Gentoo/Arch/Slackware is aimed at the users desktop so yes less bloat slightly faster but its only ml secs at the end of the day.
The best is to build Arch the Arch way with all the Garuda features then check again with a optimised system the difference should be small i think you will stick with Garuda.

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Of course, if you have modern hardware everything will run fast, including Windows, but that doesn't mean that the software should be badly designed or contain unnecessary parts, as it's bad both for developers and for end users in the end.

I don't want Garuda to be minimalist, I want it to be clean. It's a big difference. Clean does not equal to no desktop and no widely used packages. It means to have no software that nobody uses.

I'm not saying that Garuda has a noticeable difference in performance, I'm saying that it might get one after a while. With some other packages, that might actually run in the background in the end. And again, I don't want Garuda to be minimalist as Gentoo/Arch/Slackware. I want it to be simpler to maintain.

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Don't talk about, just start. :slight_smile:

You are constantly coming up with new great things, but you don't ask yourself whether the (small) Garuda team can implement them just like that.

The discussion alone keeps me from more important things.

Create a pull request for what you think needs to be improved.

It would be best if you support the team with finished products.

If that comes across as rude, it's because of the translation program. :slight_smile:

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

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You misread my post Bloat is a personal thing one mans bloat is another mans features, for me network manager, modem-manager is total bloatware so i don't install them, for others they are a necessity as they don't know how to connect to the internet manually. again for me KDE is total bloatware with no possible usefulness to others without KDE life is not worth living. Others will think the same about Gnome or Xfce4 . its about choice and flexability and reiserfs is actually a good file system and could be used on external drives.
Do we really want Garuda to be a walled Garden distro I don't want that do you

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reiserfsprogs almost certainly got pulled in by gparted.

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LANG=en pacman -Qi progsreiserfs | grep "^Required "
Required By     : partclone  testdisk
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Funnily enough, progsreiserfs is not the same as reiserfsprogs :slight_smile:

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image

609 kB , forget about :slight_smile:

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This is fine.

I also appreciate that you've been using Garuda and active on the forum for a while, so you've definitely done the right thing in seeing how the OS works!

I think the next step, then, is to identify the specific ways it can be improved, rather than making more general points. "Less bloat" and "more performance" are hard to disagree with, but how would those be implemented?

Therefore, perhaps it would be a good idea to start something like a "special interest group" (SIG) to specifically look at one aspect, investigate, and then to produce some suggestions?

Start a thread in #development which has a narrow focus, e.g. "what software is included that isn't needed", and work from there. In that example, you could look at the included software and identify why it is installed, whether it's useful (e.g. as you say, resierfsprogs probably isn't that useful for a distro that defaults to BTRFS, and it's easily installed by people who need it), and then identify examples that can be safely removed. Whether you do this for all editions at the same time, or look at one at a time, is up to you.

There may be other foci for other SIG, but keep each SIG narrow to make it easier to manage and easier to produce actionable suggestions.

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LANG=en pacman -Si reiserfsprogs | grep "^Required "
   # No result (exclusively installed)

Actually...
Y0507_001

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IMHO it would be a good idea if limited to long term Garuda users/experienced ones. So like a private living room, not open to the whole public and with the only purpose to HELP the devs, not to complain about stuff. Maybe something like that already exists and I just ignore that :man_shrugging:

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The #development category has some limits on it already: brand new users (TL0) can't post, basic members (TL1) can reply only, normal users and up (TL2+) can reply and create threads. Hopefully that will prevent too many immediate issues, but also the forum isn't that busy (yet) that threads would go unchecked.

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The vibe of the garuda philosophy in my observation so far is "if you don't like it enough, change it, if it's cool enough, share it, if enough people want it, distribute it." And it seems to be working when done in that order.

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I will look into packages on fresh vm's and make a list of what's probably not needed. I'll start from KDE's, so if somebody wants to help - try other editions

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Btw, you can also start with package lists. They are auto generated list of all the packages. I hope you know how to find them.

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I did notice when I installed Garuda a month or so ago it installed a ton of games despite me not checking any of their boxes. In fact a lot of applications in its list of recommendations got installed despite me not choosing them, leading to situations where I'd have multiple redundant torrent applications for example. And sometimes I'll still find a package I missed, like I just uninstalled Minetest the other day unaware it had been installed.

I feel at least the games shouldn't be getting installed by default in any edition. Sure, recommend them with the setup assistant, but unless I've set out to install Tux Kart I'm probably not going to want to download and install Tux Kart every time it updates.