Zen or lts for Dedicated server

Hey all, forewarning, new to linux and this is my first distro.

I decided to take this venture and attach it to a hobby, Ark Survival. Kind of a motivation. And my plan is to run a dedicated server cluster.

I started with Dragonized and launched the cluster, setup nomachine and moved it to laundry room. Everything works fine.

Fine isn't good enough... or I like pain.

So I saved and cluster and I'm looking at the "Welcome to Gaurda Linux" of the barebones edition.

I know there is no support for barebones but my question is of the Kernal and the topic, which Kernal Zen or lts, will give me the best performance for an Ark Dedicated Server Cluster. I run a I5 4core 4 threads(I know :frowning: ) at ~4.2 with 64 gigs. They system is just to run ark, nothing else, hence the barebones. Zen was my first choice due to the suggest performance and low latency and it's effect on gaming and I am unsure if that translates to the server side of the game.

TLDR: Zen or lts for Dedicated Ark Survival Server.

If you must ask, do not use it.

Why do you make it so difficult for yourself?
There is enough to learn in the user-friendly versions.

As to the question, take what is better for your computer.

Next time, also post the output of inxi -Faz as text



I get that, I'm also motivated by a challenge... provided it involves not wearing pants. :poultry_leg:

I thought the user-friendly one, dragonized or wayfire would provide that but I didn't learn anything outside of git clones, pacman, iptables, services and cronjob... which I found how crontab defines time * * * * * interesting.

Perhaps if I tried doing more then just a dedicated server cluster. But until I find another purpose.

Anyways, thank you for the welcoming. Already blown away by how active and the staff is. :clap:

Here is the loadout, as per request.

System:    Kernel: 5.10.76-1-lts x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 11.1.0
           parameters: BOOT_IMAGE=/@/boot/vmlinuz-linux-lts root=UUID=aed212c5-c954-4e8e-b8a3-196d94f416fe rw
           [email protected] quiet splash rd.udev.log_priority=3 vt.global_cursor_default=0
           systemd.unified_cgroup_hierarchy=1 loglevel=3
           Desktop: KDE Plasma 5.23.2 tk: Qt 5.15.2 wm: kwin_x11 vt: 1 dm: SDDM Distro: Garuda Linux base: Arch Linux
Machine:   Type: Desktop Mobo: MSI model: Z170A GAMING M5 (MS-7977) v: 1.0 serial: <filter> UEFI: American Megatrends v: 1.I0
           date: 06/26/2018
CPU:       Info: Quad Core model: Intel Core i5-6600K bits: 64 type: MCP arch: Skylake-S family: 6 model-id: 5E (94)
           stepping: 3 microcode: EA cache: L2: 6 MiB
           flags: avx avx2 lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx bogomips: 27999
           Speed: 4202 MHz min/max: 800/4200 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 4202 2: 4200 3: 4203 4: 4200
           Vulnerabilities: Type: itlb_multihit status: KVM: VMX disabled
           Type: l1tf mitigation: PTE Inversion; VMX: conditional cache flushes, SMT disabled
           Type: mds mitigation: Clear CPU buffers; SMT disabled
           Type: meltdown mitigation: PTI
           Type: spec_store_bypass mitigation: Speculative Store Bypass disabled via prctl and seccomp
           Type: spectre_v1 mitigation: usercopy/swapgs barriers and __user pointer sanitization
           Type: spectre_v2 mitigation: Full generic retpoline, IBPB: conditional, IBRS_FW, STIBP: disabled, RSB filling
           Type: srbds mitigation: Microcode
           Type: tsx_async_abort mitigation: Clear CPU buffers; SMT disabled
Graphics:  Device-1: NVIDIA GM206 [GeForce GTX 950] vendor: ASUSTeK driver: nvidia v: 495.44 alternate: nouveau,nvidia_drm
           bus-ID: 01:00.0 chip-ID: 10de:1402 class-ID: 0300
           Display: x11 server: X.org 1.20.13 compositor: kwin_x11 driver: loaded: nvidia unloaded: modesetting
           alternate: fbdev,nouveau,nv,vesa resolution: <missing: xdpyinfo>
           OpenGL: renderer: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950/PCIe/SSE2 v: 4.6.0 NVIDIA 495.44 direct render: Yes
Audio:     Device-1: Intel 100 Series/C230 Series Family HD Audio vendor: Micro-Star MSI driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel
           bus-ID: 00:1f.3 chip-ID: 8086:a170 class-ID: 0403
           Device-2: NVIDIA GM206 High Definition Audio vendor: ASUSTeK driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus-ID: 01:00.1
           chip-ID: 10de:0fba class-ID: 0403
           Sound Server-1: ALSA v: k5.10.76-1-lts running: yes
           Sound Server-2: JACK v: 1.9.19 running: no
           Sound Server-3: PulseAudio v: 15.0 running: no
           Sound Server-4: PipeWire v: 0.3.39 running: yes
Network:   Device-1: Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2400 Gigabit Ethernet vendor: Micro-Star MSI driver: alx v: kernel port: d000
           bus-ID: 04:00.0 chip-ID: 1969:e0a1 class-ID: 0200
           IF: enp4s0 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter>
Drives:    Local Storage: total: 1.05 TiB used: 7.96 GiB (0.7%)
           SMART Message: Unable to run smartctl. Root privileges required.
           ID-1: /dev/nvme0n1 maj-min: 259:0 vendor: Western Digital model: WDS500G3XHC-00SJG0 size: 465.76 GiB block-size:
           physical: 512 B logical: 512 B speed: 31.6 Gb/s lanes: 4 type: SSD serial: <filter> rev: 102000WD temp: 39.9 C
           scheme: GPT
           ID-2: /dev/sda maj-min: 8:0 vendor: Kingston model: SV300S37A120G size: 111.79 GiB block-size: physical: 512 B
           logical: 512 B speed: 6.0 Gb/s type: SSD serial: <filter> rev: BBF0 scheme: GPT
           ID-3: /dev/sdb maj-min: 8:16 vendor: Seagate model: ST3500418AS size: 465.76 GiB block-size: physical: 512 B
           logical: 512 B speed: 3.0 Gb/s type: HDD rpm: 7200 serial: <filter> rev: CC38 scheme: GPT
           ID-4: /dev/sdc maj-min: 8:32 type: USB vendor: Patriot model: N/A size: 28.88 GiB block-size: physical: 512 B
           logical: 512 B type: N/A serial: <filter> rev: PMAP scheme: MBR
           SMART Message: Unknown USB bridge. Flash drive/Unsupported enclosure?
Partition: ID-1: / raw-size: 465.46 GiB size: 465.46 GiB (100.00%) used: 7.96 GiB (1.7%) fs: btrfs dev: /dev/nvme0n1p2
           maj-min: 259:2
           ID-2: /boot/efi raw-size: 300 MiB size: 299.4 MiB (99.80%) used: 576 KiB (0.2%) fs: vfat dev: /dev/nvme0n1p1
           maj-min: 259:1
           ID-3: /home raw-size: 465.46 GiB size: 465.46 GiB (100.00%) used: 7.96 GiB (1.7%) fs: btrfs dev: /dev/nvme0n1p2
           maj-min: 259:2
           ID-4: /var/log raw-size: 465.46 GiB size: 465.46 GiB (100.00%) used: 7.96 GiB (1.7%) fs: btrfs dev: /dev/nvme0n1p2
           maj-min: 259:2
           ID-5: /var/tmp raw-size: 465.46 GiB size: 465.46 GiB (100.00%) used: 7.96 GiB (1.7%) fs: btrfs dev: /dev/nvme0n1p2
           maj-min: 259:2
Swap:      Kernel: swappiness: 133 (default 60) cache-pressure: 100 (default)
           ID-1: swap-1 type: zram size: 47.02 GiB used: 0 KiB (0.0%) priority: 100 dev: /dev/zram0
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 39.0 C mobo: 29.8 C gpu: nvidia temp: 43 C
           Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A gpu: nvidia fan: 0%
Info:      Processes: 199 Uptime: 3m wakeups: 0 Memory: 47.02 GiB used: 1.75 GiB (3.7%) Init: systemd v: 249 tool: systemctl
           Compilers: gcc: 11.1.0 Packages: pacman: 1080 lib: 271 Shell: fish v: 3.3.1 running-in: konsole inxi: 3.3.08

As SGS say,s

There are better ways of doing this ?
I run multiple server running the best operating system suited to the task they are doing?

1 Like

And here I was waiting in anticipation hoping you had a an answer to my question. :frowning: With your experience of running multiple servers, which do you think will run a gaming server better, zen or lts? ofc based the output above. :slight_smile:

lts and a different distro?
Google? :smiley:

The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

We are here to solve possible Garuda Linux problems but cannot help with every programme or server solution.

We are not Mint or Ubuntu or W... oh no, there is no help either, you should always ask a good friend or the system admin :smiley:


Fair point, zen or lts isn't specific to Garuda. That's on me. If the answer was obvious, google would have been of more help. Going to keep searching and take a chance that, within the sarcasm, TrilliDie was kind enough to answer my question. So thank you.

On a side note, I noticed Garuda Assistant, settings manager, is finicky when changing kernels or is missing a step. Installing the kernel through konsole and manually editing the boot grub or selecting the kernel on boot did the trick.

Tested on Dragonized/Wayfire/Barebones all hung on launch and failed when changing kernels with the Garuda Settings Manager, Kernel "click/install". Tried on fresh, with the above output.

I have a servers on Arch Linux on the last Zen kernel. Everyone works well

1 Like

I think it's stupid not the wisest decision, a newcomer to Linux running a dedicated game server ontop of an Arch spinoff, of all things.

What will you do when things turn South and your gamers turn ugly on you? You don't even know the terminology.

1 Like

Servers save every hour to an external drive
cronjobs are set to backup to an external and reset every 12 hours
services are set to launch everything in the event of a restart
Red-discord bot is setup as a shell for some server management
Nomachine is setup in the event of failure as secondary precaution
Snapper, which I like more then Timeshift, should limit system change errors

In the event all hell break loose, I have a mirrored backup that can be selected from the grub that would be, at most, a 60min window of lost information. I've played on dedicated server before and that's far more then they ever offered.

If there is something that can go wrong, besides power failure, that I didn't plan for, please let me know. I would like ensure as worry free of an experience as I can.

Ya, after a bit more research, I stayed with Garuda Barebones on the Zen kernel.

1 Like

Hi there, welcome to the community.

I know my suggestion is a bit late, but here it is.

Why don't you just benchmark? There are a lot of nice benchmarking tools out there. You can check and compare various kernels, and find the most suitable one for your hardware. On my hardware, Zen performed around 5% better than LTS.

Also, if maintaining a server is your sole aim, then Linux-server is worth having a look at.


I just wanted to say....it is like we are kindred spirits. :warning: :no_entry_sign: :jeans: Welcome to Garuda. :wave:

1 Like

That was my thoughts exactly, hence a 5hr response time. It was the Garuda Linux Benchmark Comparison Versus Solus by ordinatechnic.com that came up while researching which distro to pick for my first. And while some might say to tackle a base arch, I'd rather dip my toes before taking the plunge so this make sense, to me at least.

As well, I found Zen to preform better, but that was before the lts kernel update yesterday. I did noticed a huge difference in file transfer between Barebones and Dragonized, with the former being a lot slower. I chalked this up to missing support, maybe gen4, or a library I needed to add and my lack of experience.

So far, I have enjoyed learning much and already found certain preferences.

I've been using nice cross reference table for package management sheet for when documentation comes from another families.

Thanks for the welcome!! :partying_face:


This also might help a bit with package management terminology across the major distributions, though I see it mentioned in that article. pacman/Rosetta - ArchWiki
It's a reference that begs mentioning.

The Arch Wiki is considered by some to be the 'bible' of Linux references, even though it is specifically for Arch. The Pacman Rosetta is just a small part of it.