What's new with Garuda Sway?

Hi folks, as some of you may know I have recently taken over maintainership of the very excellent Sway spin. I have been working on some changes over the past few months to give the spin a refresh of sorts, and I’m overdue to call for testing and collect some community feedback.

The Sway spin was already in great shape before I started working on it thanks to @OdiousImp and others, so this is not a story of a phoenix rising up from the ashes by any means. Still, there are a lot of great changes here, and now that the dust has settled a bit (for now :wink:) I’d like to invite anyone interested to kick the tires and let me know what you think.

The new ISO is not on the downloads page yet; if you’d like to test it out in the meantime you can download it from here: https://iso.builds.garudalinux.org/iso/garuda/sway/240131/

What’s new with Garuda Sway?

ReGreet

The Greetd greeter has been changed from Qtgreet to ReGreet.

ReGreet is a GTK-based greeter written in Rust with a nice clean look. A handy feature it has is the ability to set environment variables right in the config. No more wrapper scripts needed for launching Sway!

Note: be sure to pick a default session on your first login, or ReGreet will happily give you a TTY! On subsequent logins it will remember your previous choice.

SwayFX

SwayFX is a fork of Sway which replaces the normal wlr_renderer with the project’s fx_renderer. This enables some fanciness with windowing effects like blur, shadows, rounded corners, and so on.

After all, why should Hyprland have all the fun? :wink:

The default settings for transparency are pretty tame (I hammed it up a bit for these screenshots :grin:) because at a certain point transparency can affect usability in my opinion. For those who wish to crank it up, window transparency for active or inactive windows can be configured in ~/.config/sway/scripts/swayfader.py (log out and back in after changing), or the Foot terminal has its own transparency settings that can be tweaked as well in ~/.config/foot/foot.ini (look for the alpha value in [colors]).

The fancy SwayFX settings can be tweaked in ~/.config/sway/config.d/swayfx. Adjust to your liking and reload the Sway config.

Waybar

The Waybar has been given an overhaul with some new icons and styling. Some content has been moved from the Waybar proper into the tooltips to help keep the bar from becoming too lengthy. New functionality has been added as well for the on-click features of some of the modules.

For example, click on the custom-update module to launch garuda-update:

Or right-click on it to launch Pacseek:

Except for the nwg menus on either end of the bar and the NetworkManager applet, all of the on-click applications are TUI-based apps that I find useful or fun. There is no on-click configured yet for backlight or battery, so let me know if you have any suggestions. :grin:

I have reworked the Waybar configs as well, to clean up the code a bit and put the layout of the actual config in the same order that the modules appear in the bar. This will hopefully make it easier for users to find stuff for making edits or additions on their own.

Foot

The default terminal emulator has been changed from Alacritty to Foot.

Foot is a blazing fast terminal emulator–nearly as fast as the GPU-accelerated terminals–yet it has very modest resource usage. If anyone is interested, the author Daniel Eklöf has written an article about Foot’s speediness and (and how it compares to a terminal like Alacritty) here: Performance - dnkl/foot - Codeberg.org

The new Garuda Sway iso is configured to use Foot in server/client mode, so the Foot server is launched automatically with Sway and subsequent terminals open as clients. This further reduces the overhead of having a few terminals open, since the clients can “piggyback” off of the resources of the running server.

Fuzzel

Another Daniel Eklöf gem, Fuzzel is a minimalistic application launcher that is replacing Wofi (which is no longer actively maintained) in our new Sway ISO. It is very simple (no mouse support for example), but super fast and customizable.

Fuzzel has been tied in to some other applications in the new Sway ISO as well. For example, Fuzzel now handles the Swayr functionality, for switching between tasks in the application overview or the workspace overview. Also, a new minimalistic clipboard manager cliphist has been added to the spin, and Fuzzel is configured as the picker for that application as well:

Of course, in addition to the Fuzzel launcher we also are still using the very excellent nwg-drawer, which has been given a small makeover on the new ISO and is looking better than ever:

Cheatsheet

The cheatsheet (click the keyboard icon in the Waybar to open the cheatsheet) has been completely redone from scratch, with more useful bindings and some categorization:

It doesn’t take long to memorize the frequently used keybindings, and eventually most folks end up making changes to the bindings to suit their preference anyway, so really the cheatsheet is just for folks who are new to Sway. Still, hopefully it will help make Sway a teensy bit more accessible to newcomers.

New SGS Wallpaper

SGS has done a special remix of his very own Sway Honeycomb wallpaper to use the green/yellow/orange from the Nord/Aurora color pallete:

The default Waybar theme also uses the Nord/Aurora colors, so the wallpaper really ties everything together nicely. Thank you SGS! :star_struck:

BuT WhAt aBoUt mY PrOpRiEtArY NvIdIa dRiVeRs?! :sob:

The Sway project officially does not support Nvidia drivers, however they can be made to work with a bit of additional configuration.

I don’t personally own any Nvidia hardware, but my boss at work let me borrow a couple of Nvidia laptops from the office to tinker with over the winter break (as long as I promised to re-image them when I bring them back :melting_face:). Thanks to the loaner hardware, I was able to write up a wiki article detailing how to get the drivers set up.

https://wiki.garudalinux.org/en/Install_Nvidia_Drivers_on_Garuda_Sway

Personally I think you can spare yourself some grief in the long run by sticking with the Nouveau drivers (especially with older GPUs), but if you insist then I hope you find the wiki article helpful.


Thanks for reading through this topic! If you get a chance to try out the new ISO please let me know what you think. :slightly_smiling_face:

Comments and feedback are welcome, but for issues please open a separate topic.

37 Likes

Oh my gosh, you have put a lot of time and effort into a beautiful, functional Sway. I’ve been looking for someting not quite so over-the-top, but functional. Gonna take it for a spin. :smiley: :smiley:

Thank You

6 Likes

Extremely nice job :heart_eyes: !!!

And also thanks for telling this too, we would also need to replace to fuzzel then I think :thinking:

4 Likes

Really enjoyed the Sway spin last time I ran with it, download the new one to test it out now. :slight_smile: Exciting changes, screenshots look like fantastic changes to an already fantastic spin. Is here the best spot to give feedback on it? @BluishHumility

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I congratulate you on this masterpiece. :partying_face:

8 Likes

Back to dual-booting two Garuda spins I guess :smirk:
(SAVE ME!)
:smiling_face_with_tear:

3 Likes

Interesting to see,
Users come here and get relieved from distro hopping , but then they start getting itch of flavour hopping :laughing: :joy:

6 Likes

What to do :sob:
Garuda has so many spins, all beautiful too! :face_holding_back_tears:
And I’m the most confused person here who still doesn’t know if I’ll ever settle on one DE.

2 Likes

Alright, don’t know if it’s a “me” issue or what but after installing, when GRUB appears, pressing enter on Garuda Linux instantly takes you back to GRUB.

I didn’t spot any error while Installation.

READ :slight_smile:

4 Likes

No need to sound the alarm bells or anything, Wofi still works just fine as far as I can tell. I just took a look at the sourcehut page and although there is an ominous banner announcing the project is not actively maintained, it does appear they have still put through some recent bug fixes anyway.

I wouldn’t hold your breath for any new features or anything, but it’s probably still fine to use for now.

Yes, feel free to use this thread, unless you are planning to write up something super lengthy and want to make it a separate topic.

No problem, here you go: Multiple installations on one partition | Garuda Linux wiki :wink:

If you are sharing an EFI partition between multiple installs, probably the issue you mentioned is caused by not updating the boot directory and the Grub distributor line. SGS is right though: if you get stumped please open a new topic for that.

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In case of setup specific bugs I’d also like to point out the possibility of using Gitlab issues (packaging: pkgbuilds repo, presets theming etc.: garuda-sway-settings repo). This makes keeping an overview much easier :wink:

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Can do!

I have this new Sway spin installed alongside Garuda dr4g0nized, Pop, and Windows and it’s working swimmingly!
@IUSELINUX all I did was install it to a separate partition, then go into BIOS and put the dr4g0nized GRUB back as the first boot option, boot into my KDE (dr4g0nized) Garuda, run sudo os-prober then ran sudo update-grub. After rebooting the new Garuda Sway spin showed up in my KDE grub. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Weird!
When I installed, I actually messed my XFCE (the one with which I was gonna dual boot) so I completely wiped my disk and installed Sway and it was giving me the problem (SORRY FOR NOT MENTIONING THIS EARLIER)

Anyways, I’ll try again later. Thanks!

2 Likes

There is room in the Arch-ecosystem for all to play. :smiley:

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This time I would prefer to not to do :grin:
As they have recently put some bug fixes so it means it’s not dead . :slightly_smiling_face:

Is there a way to increase the gap between the notifications and waybar? I feel like the notifications are hugging the bar a little too much, and could use some gapping to set it apart. I’m still getting used to Sway, so not sure what all config possibilities are there. Also giving feedback :slight_smile:

I’m not sure about adding a gap, but you can change where the notifications appear by editing the anchor= value in ~/.config/mako/config.

https://man.archlinux.org/man/mako.5.en

anchor=position

Show notifications at the specified position on the output. Supported values are top-right, top-center, top-left, bottom-right, bottom-center, bottom-left, center-right, center-left and center.

Default: top-right

Mako has some padding options, but I believe they are related to introducing some padding between the outer edge of the notification window and the content inside. Still, I would encourage you to peruse through the man page and see if you find alternate settings worth trying out.

2 Likes

So once I actually checked the config (thank you for letting me know the name of the notification application), I found there is a setting for margin in there. image
Once I changed it from 0, 20, 20 to 40, 40, 40, the notifications have a decent little gap between the bar and the notification itself now. Thank you! :slight_smile:

1 Like

looks great, time to give sway another shot, will report back

1 Like