Why Zen Only?

So I have been currently on EndeavourOS for the past 3 months and I was using the default arch kernel which ran perfect.

However the thought of installing zen spun into my mind as I suddenly remembered about my beloved distro Garuda .
Sparring no time , I installed the kernel and its headers. Everything seemingly ran fine but suddenly I started noticing random lags , stutters and stuff .

I had previously done a btrfs scrub and balance so I thought that could have caused it. After several restarts the issues were not improving at all.
I thought maybe I had to reinstall as there was presumably no fix online.

Then as a last attempt I thought of trying to boot into the default arch kernel and see if the issues still persisted . To my surprise , all those lags and stutters were gone.
Also Half Life 1 which was horribly getting stuck and stuttering earlier started to run just fine.

I also didn’t see any performance upgrades in zen than default arch.
Afaik , to use a kernel , all we have to do is install the package and its headers , then reboot , right ?

Weirdly , none of these issues existed on Garuda when I was using it , then the kernel version was 6.5 . I dunno about the latest 6.7

All this boils down to one question , why zen when it has no visible performance upgrades and can be unstable in comparison to arch default ? To me , this “Zen” seems more of a gimmick.

Correct me if I had installed or done anything wrong that would have caused such a miserable experience.


Nobody from Garuda claims that the Zen kernel is perfect.
But it runs very well and fast with most hardware.
Just not perfectly with all hardware.
The complaints are limited, so let’s go with the one that works for the majority OOTB.

The kernel can always be changed, as you have found out yourself. So everything is in the green zone. :slight_smile:

BTW, I read somewhere that we reduced our DE’s to please the mainstream. So we only deliver what the masses want.
To make it clear again, we can only deliver DE’s that also have a maintainer. We don’t work here for success, but for the fun of it. :slight_smile:


Then why not the arch default kernel ? Not only from my experience but from many online discussions , zen does not have any significant enhancements or benefits in comparison to arch default . Any specific reasons to use Zen over Arch Default ?

1 Like

Works on all my Hardware, from 2007 to 2021 :smiley:
Never change a running system. :slight_smile:

There really aren’t any major differences in terms of speed, as dalto has already explained.
It’s all about mass and playability.

And, every maintainer uses the kernel he likes and use. That’s it. :slight_smile:
Use Xfce and you get the Linux kernel. And so on.


Install any kernel you want and quit your kvetching.


Not necessarily kvetching , Here the default kernel was better than zen , if I had a different hardware and got a performance boost by using zen , I would have just yapped about it , saying how good it is . It’s just that different kernels interact with different hardware differently.

Moreover I was just curious what made Zen a choice over Arch Default which was answered by @dr460nf1r3

For some default may be the choice and for some zen would be , perhaps bore or xanmod .

Just because it doesn’t work for me doesn’t mean it won’t work for others . I wasn’t blaming the kernel or saying it was crap . I just said if the default kernel is more stable and has less chances of errors , then why not use it instead . Also after reading the features list Linked by @dr460nf1r3 and seeing the potential performance improvements , regarding the fact that many people except me get those improvements along with stability as answered by @SGS answers why Garuda uses zen as default.

Linux is still growing and getting better , these usual hiccups are bound to happen once in a while .

Who knows , maybe it is a bug ? Maybe some patch will be pushed to address this issue ? Maybe after some time it will work perfect . I am not blaming anything , just trying to learn a bit more.

“We don’t work here for success, we work just for the fun of doing it .”

1 Like

I am known for giving kvetchers a hard time for no known reason. Other than they kvetch. :wink:

On modern, fast computers with SSD/NvMEs the differences between kernels, other than the LTS, is largely–I believe–implied perception…“it’s supposed to be faster, therefore it is.”

Older hardware, however, may have real improvements but, again, it’s a case-by-case situation. In my case, when this 9th Gen desktop was new in 2019, the zen kernel was exceptional. But my 2014 4th Gen laptop needed the LTS. I have nothing against the plain ol’ linux kernel, either. I used to install all three on this Arch rig.

Linux, linux-zen, linux-lts, I loves 'em all. :smiley:


For me, there has not been any difference interms of stability compared to LTS kernel. Not saying all, but in many cases, the bugs have nothing to do with the kernel.


Edit. Like described in the Feature list, the kernel has little to do with most desktop bugs and errors.

As far as I understand “Zen” is the latest kernel, slightly tweaked.


Pretty much correct, optimized for desktop usage.


Sometimes you notice the effect of the average 1-2% improvement - often you don’t. YMMV. Feel free to try any other :grin:


For me Xanmod works best…

This topic was automatically closed 2 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.