i did not manually create the sddm.conf file, i found it in the etc folder when i looked for it after investigating the numlock issue and found the man page i linked earlier.
i tried to set the numlock to be 'on' in the system settings like normal, but it didn't stick, hence my investigation.
i used the Garuda Dragonized Gaming Edition 210809 iso and when i got to the desktop, the theme was initially set on breeze rather than the sweetified plasma as it should have been.
i had to change the global theme and when i logged in for the first time.
a number of issues manifested with getting it to look like it should, kvantum dark was the same as kvantum visually, there was no difference when switching them. i also had an issue with certain system app windows not using the visuals from any application style theme - the terminal window and the window for the system settings itself.
this seems to have fixed itself with a recent update.
initially the default terminal app was set to bash and when loaded it was an empty window with a command prompt. when i switched the default terminal app to fish with garuda assiatant, the normal garuda 'G' look returned minus the color scheme which is now green, white and yellow instead of red and the command prompt itself contains no text, it's just a cursor.
immediately after installation i added another ssd to automount at boot in fstab - this particular action i did during the live session before restarting and logging in for the first time.
once logged in i changed the background image in grub, the login screen and the desktop and downloaded a splash screen from the list of available stuff in the system settings.
i'm experienced as a windoze system admin, but i'm a linux nub so i avoid messing with stuff without thorough research so i don't brick my rig.
i think a glitch happened during the installation procedure, i have not encountered anything like this before and i was at reinstalling a number of times over a couple days due to the open source driver hanging at random, so i tried a few different iso's.
i think this hang happens to me because i have an nvidia SLI setup, but i can't be sure. (godforsaken nvidia)
i also recreated my partition scheme every time i tried an install to avoid problems.
another potentially related issue is when i try to install a package with garuda assistant's 'add/remove software', i get an error message:
[ unable to satisfy dependency 'python-qtpy>=2.0.1' required by guiscrcpy-git ]
but if i install the chosen app from terminal, it proceeds no problem and i have confirmed that i have this python-qtpy package already installed.
i am of the mind that these issues are related, perhaps a read/write permissions thing?
thank you for your time, i know you folks are busy.
sorry for the long-winded 'novel'.
to create my livestick i used balenaEtcher version 1.1.7 from Windoze 7, which i have installed on another separate ssd.