System maintenance

Hello everyone at Garruda!

I’m just in the process of downloading the iso so will most likely go off-line soon to try and do the installation. I just had a couple of questions. I’ve dabbled with linux here and there over past few years. Years back I did manage to install Arch linux but got put off as I never really felt competent at managing .pacnew and .pacsave files or maintaining the system. So most time I’ve really spent on linux has been on debian based distros,

I wanted to ask what system maintenance is required with Garuda Linux? Will I be having to manage .pacsave and .pacnew files? is it necessary for me to be checking the Arch wiki before doing updates to see if there’s manual intervention I may have to do?

Also I noticed somewhere that snapper is used for snapshots, is that correct? Is there an easy gui for snapper or is it command line? with a snapper snapshot does the kernel version get saved with the snapshot or is it important when rolling back a snapshot to make sure I have the kernel that was in use at the time of the snapshot?

If there are any other routine maintenance which is needed to be done with Garuda I would very much appreciate knowing so I can make my decision on whether I feel capable of being able to maintain the system.

Many thanks,

All your questions have a one stop solution the garuda wiki. Just for a little more clarity I will add my verbose here.

We use the command


to update system. It is a script written by devs to automate the job of refreshing mirrorlists and updating system along with supplying resolutions if possible to system breakages brought by updates.

Not necessary, but recommended. You can use meld to compare the two files and decide which new configs to keep and which not to.

If you are regular on forum or social chats you would notice that when such a thing happens the forum and chat rooms are flooded with help requests regarding the exact same topic. But for the few unfortunate times that you do end up being the first victim you can just roll back a snapshot (read wiki). You can also subscribe to the arch RSS feeds if you want.

No, its not. If other kernels don’t have regression bugs of their own then you don’t need to bother. You can use any kernel post restoration of snapshots.

For all other queries you have I would redirect you to wiki. Please read it, especially the after install section.

Don’t worry, the wiki is quite small and hardly a 30 minute read.


Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions.

lol going to try the installation, hoping it all goes well and I can join the Garuda community.

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In terminal

sudo -E DIFFPROG=meld pacdiff

Or make an alias in shell config.

# Compare .pacnew & .pacsave files
alias pacdif='sudo -E DIFFPROG=meld pacdiff'              

Yeah I do know about meld.

lol My issue really is that I don’t have a clue what to keep and what not to. I don’t or won’t understand the differences.

I think if I know that I haven’t edited the config file in question then I’ll most the time just opt for keeping the .pacnew file so I have the new default configs from the developer. Would you agree that would be okay?


lol not the answer I was hoping for.

Is there a practical way then for someone who doesn’t understand the code to be able to merge the files?

lol maybe i’ll just ask chat-gpt

Would others disagree with what kiss-my-axe said then or maybe I misunderstood him? He said it’s not necessary to manage .pacnew and .pacsave files but recommended.

Btrfs Assistant provides an easy GUI for managing Snapper snapshots, see here:

You can restore snapshots, or even restore individual files out of snapshots without needing to learn the associated terminal commands.

Btrfs Assistant also has functionality related to other aspects of filesystem maintenance, not just Snapper and snapshots.

Yes, in Garuda /boot is on the Btrfs partition so the kernels and initramfs images are included in the snapshots. You can actually boot to a snapshot right out of the Grub menu if you want to because of this (as opposed to systemd-boot, which cannot do this because it stores the kernel and images on the EFI partition).

You get a .pacnew file if the config you have is different than what the package provides. In some cases, you will have a config which has been modified by Garuda (not you). For example, /etc/pacman.conf includes additional repos and settings that deviate from the config provided with the Pacman package. If it gets updated, you will get a .pacnew even if you never change this file.

I would agree, it is recommended but if you aren’t sure it is generally fine to run the old (existing) version of whatever the config is. Occasionally a .pacnew file must be dealt with immediately (a case with /etc/mkinitcpio.conf comes to mind), but when this happens usually there is a warning or similar in the terminal to make you aware some action needs to be taken.

Replacing the existing version of a config with a .pacnew should only be done if you have inspected the files and know that you aren’t overwriting anything important.

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Thank you very much BluishHumility for your in-depth reply, lol and you understood exactly what I was asking about the snapshots and kernel. I knew what I wanted to ask but didn’t really know how to ask it. I had had an issue with fedora trying to boot a snapshot but didn’t have the kernel which was in use at the time of that snapshot. It’s good to know that wouldn’t be an issue on Garuda, lol if I can get it installed.

From what I remember there’s some sort of warning isn’t there with every .pacnew or .pacsave file in the terminal output. When a .pacnew file must be dealt with what would the warning be like?

Just going to try another installation now.

I think this is an example of what you are thinking of:

( 9/14) Orphaned package notification...
cython 0.29.33-1
debugedit 5.0-5
deepin-wayland 1.0.0-1
perl-parse-yapp 1.21-5
python-hid-parser 0.0.3-1
(10/14) Checking for .pacnew and .pacsave files...
.pac* files found:
Please check and merge
(11/14) Updating icon theme caches...
(12/14) Updating the desktop file MIME type cache...

These are not warnings, more just informational notifications. You can think of them as like a “heads-up”. Dealing with orphans and .pacnew files is generally not urgent, just something that should be eventually dealt with when you have time.

The example I was thinking of was like this (Plymouth problem after update?):

The following was displayed after the update:

warning: /etc/plymouth/plymouthd.conf installed as /etc/plymouth/plymouthd.conf.pacnew
WARNING: The 'plymouth-encrypt' and 'sd-plymouth' hooks are no longer exist in the package. 
You should replace them with 'encrypt' and 'plymouth' hooks in your 'mkinitcpio.conf'. 
The 'lxdm-plymouth.service', 'lightdm-plymouth.service' and 'sddm-plymouth.service' systemd service files are no longer exist in the package. 
You should enable 'lxdm.service', 'lightdm.service' or 'sddm.service' instead.
New optional dependencies for plymouth
    gtk3: x11 renderer [installed]

Those are warnings, as you can see (they literally use the word “warning”). This example was from back in March. It was a case where the .pacnew files represented changes that needed to be merged immediately. Users who overlooked this message were not able to reach the desktop after rebooting, and had to restore a snapshot to do the needed maintenance.

Are you trying to use the “gaming” edition of garuda? It’s ISO has some issues that prevent some users from installing it for some reason. Try using the “normal” dr460nized version or whatever else version of garuda you are using. You can install everything gaming edition has using the package garuda gamer.

Aside from this try using ventoy to make bootable USB and follow the pre-install instructions given on the downloads page :

  • Disable fastboot and secure boot. It may not be possible to disable the latter explicitly - try clearing the secure boot keys instead. Check the manual of your device/motherboard for further info.
  • Make sure that your device’s SATA controller is set to AHCI mode in your device’s setup utility. Otherwise, the Linux kernel may not be able to detect your drive.
  • If your firmware supports UEFI then configure your device to use UEFI only in its setup utility. UEFI is much preferred over BIOS whenever possible.

If none of these help you can try these garuda ISO’s with LTS kernel as well it is qutie possible the latest zen kernel are not compatible with your hardware.

Mmmhhh lol grave information. But thank you for clarifying it for me.

So generally I can ignore these .pacnew or save files unless there’s a warning right?

And if there’s a warning I can try to work out how to merge using google lol or chat etc or ask here on the forum?

Just a thought, if I wasn’t able to boot into my system and I had been using btrfs assistant to takes snapshots I’m assuming there would be some commands I could look up online to be able to rollback a snapshot from the terminal right? Maybe I’d need to use the live usb and mount the drives or something.

Hi @NaN,

Yes I have tried twice with the zen kernel and it failed both times now. I was just downloading the lts kernel version of Garuda but the download failed for some reason. I have made sure to disable secure boot and set AHCI.

works fine here

It’s currently on 83% so hoping it’ll work this time

Lol it’s still at 83%.

Had no issue downloading the zen versions

I think it’s going to fail again. I downloaded from here:

Yep it failed

It’s failed 4 times for me now. I’m getting 34mbps download have hard wire connection. Does anyone know if I can get the lts version via a torrent or another method?

Yeah 5th attempt to download it failed for whatever reason.

Could this possibly be a network issue. In that case do verify your checksums after download.

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Don’t worry about .pacnew & pacsave etc, when you have been updating a couple of months it all becomes much clearer.

Keep at it with Garuda and don’t give up to easily.

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Thanks for the advice @Hamster1962.

issue i’m having atm is i cant even download the lts version of garuda to try that install

Oh, now that would be a problem.

lol for sure is. don’t know why it’s the case. i’m on my 6th attempt now. had no issue downloading the zen versions but they wouldn’t boot

Might try on another laptop. We’ll see, if i have time.