Garuda White-tailed Eagle released with a new Cinnamon Edition, BTRFS assistant, and more goodies

The Garuda Linux development team has kicked off the new year with a new release of the Arch Linux-based distro that comes with some interesting new features and improvements.

Garuda Linux distribution is a modern Linux distribution whose first version was released in March 2020, and thanks to the hard and outstanding work of the developers of the distribution, it has gained great popularity among users of the Linux operating system, ranking 8th place in DistroWatch website (at the time of writing this article).

Garuda Linux provides a set of useful tools and packages for users out of the box and receives updates directly from Arch repositories, which makes it an excellent choice for those wishing to migrate to Arch Linux without having to do a complex installation from the command line or do any extra task after installing the distribution. 

These tools include the graphic Calamares offline installer, a pacman.conf GUI editor, the Chaotic-AUR Repository (which includes most of the known AUR software pre-assembled and ready to install when needed), Garuda Settings manager (to help you install proprietary drivers, language packs, different Kernel versions, etc.), and the most importantly, Garuda assistant.

Garuda Assistant helps you manage your OS and doing multiple system maintenance tasks can be performed by simply toggling the option (Update the system, refresh the mirror lists, refresh the keyrings, remove the database lock, remove orphan packages left behind after uninstalling a package, Clear cache, and package cache to get back storage space...). You can also reset some installed applications to their default configurations, enable and disable system features and software support (Bluetooth, Printing, Input methods, Audio, Firewall...), choose another DNS server, and install either performance or power-saving tweaks depending on what you prefer.

The new Garuda White-Tailed Eagle release includes several changes and bug fixes, such as two new commands, the first of which is to update the system (garuda-update), to help ensure that the update process goes through successfully and without any problems. The second command is dedicated exclusively for configuration migrations to prevent manual interventions (garuda-migrations).

The Garuda system maintenance tool is now able to report instances of partial upgrades and systems that have become outdated (if the system has not been updated in more than 2 weeks).

These two options are supposed to enable users to ensure that their operating system is constantly updated due to the rolling nature of Arch, which requires updating periodically to get the latest version of packages with the latest bug fixes, as well as alerting them when causing partial upgrade situations that subsequently lead to applications not working. These two options can also be turned off if the user wishes to do so.

With this new release, the Snapper/BTRFS part of Garuda Assistant has been separated into a new application called BTRFS Assistant. This step has been taken in order to let other distributions profit from the application as well if they decide to use BTRFS snapshots along with Snapper. 

The UI and feature set stayed mostly the same, so there is no need to learn a new tool if you were familiar with Garuda Assistant already.

The KDE-git edition is treated now as a community edition, as it contains a bunch of daily built KDE/Plasma -git unstable packages, and since the packages are being built from the master branch, occasional breakages can happen naturally. 

This edition is shipped in a barebones state without additional modifications to the desktop look and is aimed at experienced users who know about the dangers of using a full-git desktop.

To make Garuda Linux more attractive not only to desktop users or gamers, the distro development team decided to not pre-install performance-tweaks anymore, as it may cause less battery time for people with laptops. However, the Setup Assistant will detect PCs/Towers and offer to install performance tweaks during the setup to allow easy access to those tweaks during the setup process.

The Cinnamon edition is finally back with Garuda White-tailed Eagle and provides a slick experience with lots of customization options. It features Cinnamon 5.0.7, Firedroagon (the default Garuda web browser, forked from LibreWolf), Sweet theme, and Beautyline icons. On the other hand, some other essential does not come pre-installed by default with the Cinnamon version, such as the Pamac package manager, a mail client, and GIMP, or any other program for drawing or editing pictures.

Besides all these changes, lots of small improvements have been made as well, among them replacing the reflector with rate-mirrors for the update command and excluding snapshots while updating the mlocate database. The graphic configurations are now handled by Pacman using meta-packages allowing them to be updated like normal packages.

Both dr460nized (based on KDE Plasma) and GNOME versions will have a power-profiles-daemon, a convenient and well-integrated way to control a hardware power profile. This can be used in other versions as well, but it will have to be run via the command line afterward.

Dr460nized version configurations updated to allow applying global Sweetified theme to apply the Latte layout as well. i3, Qtile, Sway, and Wayfire editions have been cleaned and got some fixes. Finally, Firefox accounts are enabled in the default browser FireDragon again. However,  it does not sync data to Mozilla rather than Garuda's own self-hosted sync server by default to preserve the private by default nature of the browser.

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