| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 985, 12 September 2022
Welcome to this year's 37th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
In the Linux community, some distributions strive to push the limit, test new technologies, and be on the cutting edge of software development. Others stick to a tried and true approach, opting to adhere to established standards and familiar ways of doing things. This week we share views on both ends of the spectrum, starting with Garuda Linux, an Arch-based distribution on the cutting edge. Garuda Linux implements filesystem snapshots, compressed RAM for swap space, ships with a modern, cyber-punk theme, and strives to make it easier to access a wide array of games. Our Feature Story offers details on this interesting project. Then, in our News section, we talk about other projects on the forward edge of development. We discuss Fedora upgrading the project's package manager and elementary OS implementing responsive application design. On the more conservative side of things, Slackware is overriding a change to the GNU grep package in order to stick with traditional standards. Plus we report on UBports becoming an official operating system on the Fairphone 4 while Debian updates its install media. Next, in our Questions and Answers column, we talk about using the root account for system administration versus using an authentication tool like sudo. Do you run a distribution which uses the root account for system administration or is your root account locked? Let us know in this week's Opinion Poll. Plus we are pleased to share the releases of the past week and list the torrents we are seeding. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Garuda Linux 220808
Garuda Linux is a rolling distribution based on the Arch Linux operating system. Unlike Arch Linux, Garuda Linux comes with a graphical installer (Calamares) for easy installation, and other advanced graphical tools for managing your system. Garuda includes several tweaks and custom tools. Some of the many tweaks include using zRAM, a performance CPU governor, and automated Btrfs snapshots. Garuda Linux has striven to provide system stability by including the Timeshift backup utility.
The project's website mentions some of the other key features which Garuda offers:
While being a rolling release distro, our goal is to ensure that your system will not be left in an unbootable state after a problematic update. Thus, we use the Btrfs filesystem integrated with Snapper which employs an automatic snapshot feature, backing up the system configuration before each update. You can access recent snapshots directly from GRUB.
The project also reportedly ships with a custom web browser: "We ship our own browser, FireDragon which is forked from LibreWolf. Amongst its features are privacy-friendly defaults, enhanced KDE integration and a small collection of useful addons."
Garuda ships with the Zen build of the Linux kernel and includes custom tools for managing both kernels and drivers. It also offers a graphical utility for installing a wide selection of games.
The project offers several desktop editions, including: KDE Plasma, GNOME, Cinnamon, Xfce, MATE, LXQt, Wayfire, Sway, i3, Qtile, KDE Lite, and KDE-git. I took the first KDE option as it seems to be the default. The download for the KDE edition was 2.4GB in size.
Booting from the live media gives us the option of booting with proprietary NVIDIA drivers or with open source drivers only. I don't have any machines currently with NVIDIA cards and felt safe taking the open source drivers only option. Then the KDE Plasma desktop loads. The desktop has an icon in the upper-left corner which will launch the Calamares system installer. At the top of the display is a thin panel which holds the application menu and system tray. This top panel also holds a unified menu bar - applications display their menu bar in the top panel rather than inside the application window. This may take up less total screen space, but it means we need to move the mouse further whenever we want to transition between a window and that window's menu. At the bottom of the display is a dock with application launchers.
Application windows place their control buttons (such as close and maximize) to the left side. The whole layout gives a certain Ubuntu-running-Unity feel with a dose of macOS thrown in.
Straight away, a window opens which offers a cross in functionality between a welcome screen and a settings panel which can be used to launch configuration tools. I'll come back to this window later as it also runs on the distribution once the operating system has been installed.
Garuda Linux 220808 -- The welcome window
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Early on, I noticed that the system was sluggish to respond and was running a bit hot (ie the fan on my laptop was running more than usual). I'll talk about this in more detail later, but what I found was the KWin window manager was consuming a lot of CPU cycles and causing my system to run hot. This can be fixed by changing the default theme.
Garuda uses Calamares as its graphical system installer. This makes the initial install a smooth and quick process. We're quickly walked through the usual steps - selecting our language from a list, picking our time zone, and confirming our keyboard layout. We're offered a friendly, manual partitioning screen along with a guided option. The guided approach offers to take over available space and set up the distribution on a Btrfs volume. The guided approach does not set up a swap file or swap partition. Then, once we make up a username and password, Calamares installs packages to our hard drive and offers to restart the computer.
When booting into my installed copy of Garuda I noticed the boot menu has options for booting into older snapshots (boot environments) of the distribution. To date, openSUSE and FreeBSD have been two of the few projects I have used which have supported booting from filesystem snapshots. It's nice to see another open source system support boot environments, and it's especially nice to see it happen with a rolling release platform like Garuda where things change quickly.
Garuda boots to a graphical login screen. Signing in brings up the same dual-panel desktop as we saw in the live environment. The welcome window also opens again and will continue to appear at each login unless we dismiss it.
As mentioned before, the two-panel, left-aligned layout reminds me of macOS and modern versions of Ubuntu's Desktop edition. The system defaults to using a dark theme with white text. I like this contrast. However, the icons (and some text) tend toward low-contrast or reddish colours which I find hard to read on the dark background. This is compounded by the font being relatively small. The theme, icons, and font can be changed, but it makes for some hard to read and hard to distinguish visual elements out of the box.
When I first started experimenting with Garuda I was running the distribution in a VirtualBox instance. I found Garuda didn't integrate automatically with VirtualBox and its KDE Plasma desktop wouldn't resize dynamically with the VirtualBox window.
More concerning for me was the fact the KWin window manager constantly consumed more than 50% of the available CPU resources, causing the host computer's CPU to run hot and its fan to run hard. The Garuda desktop was sluggish. A quick investigation revealed the default theme was the problem. Switching from the default Sweet theme to the dark Breeze theme reduced CPU consumption to below 5%, even with transparency, window animations and visual effects still enabled. This makes me think there is something flawed in the Sweet theme which causes it to consume ten times more processing power than other themes.
Garuda Linux 220808 -- The window manager consuming resources
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When I was running Garuda on my laptop computer the system didn't consume nearly as much CPU power (top showed my CPU consumption was closer to 10%) and the desktop was more responsive. However, my system was still running hot, which makes me think the strain on the CPU was merely offloaded to the video card. Again, switching the theme from Sweet to the dark Breeze theme fixed this and allowed my laptop to cool.
Garuda takes about 730MB of RAM when logged into the Plasma desktop which makes it one of the heavier distributions I have run recently. It takes up 6.3GB of disk space for a fresh install. This statistic seems to factor in the zstd compression the distribution reportedly offers by default.
Garuda doesn't set up swap space, preferring to enable zRAM - a compressed section of memory held in RAM which acts like swap. This sort of arrangement can be useful and faster than traditional swap space, but it risks poor system behaviour if a memory leak fills swap (zRAM). To counteract this potential issue, Garuda ships with systemd-oom, an out of memory service which will try to kill off memory-hungry processes before they cripple the operating system. During my trial I didn't run into any situations which would trigger the out of memory (OOM) service.
Custom tools and features
Garuda ships with several configuration utilities, along with custom tools and features. Most of these are presented to us through the welcome window. This welcome window provides links to on-line resources, such as the project's website, wiki, and source code. It also provides launchers for accessing Garuda's many utilities along with some configuration tools. Some of the more common configuration tools include a network manager and partition manager. There is also a launcher for the project's package manager.
Then we have the custom tools such as a system cleaner, Garuda Assistant, Garuda Gamer, Btrfs Assistant, and the Garuda Settings Manager. These are the key features of the distribution which set it apart from the few dozen other Arch-based, Calamares sporting spins. I'd like to give a quick overview of these custom tools as I think most people will find them to be useful.
The Garuda Settings Manager is a small control panel which provides us with access to other tools. Specifically tools which help us adjust low-level settings like changing the keyboard layout, removing old kernel versions, installing language packs, and creating user accounts. These functions all worked for me without any issues.
The System Cleaner tool started by launching a virtual terminal to run the pacman package manager. I was asked to confirm it was okay for the system to install the Stacer package. I agreed and then this program was installed and launched. Stacer is a system monitor so I wasn't sure, at first, why it was being installed when I'd selected the "System Cleaner" utility. I realized, with a little poking around, one of the tabs in Stacer handles finding and removing cache files. This doesn't seem to be explained anywhere, we're just expected to search around until we find the right tab in the system monitor utility.
The Btrfs Assistant tool is one of the more useful, in my opinion. It will help us create, browse, and restore Btrfs snapshots. This is particularly useful if a package upgrade breaks something on the system. The snapshots can also be used to restore damaged or deleted files. All of this is handled through a fairly nice, streamlined desktop application.
There is a tool called Garuda Gamer which presents us with a window split into three tabs. The first tab lists several gaming portals and tools used for gaming such as Steam, WINE, and Lutris. We can click a box next to each entry to queue it for installation. The second tab works the same way, but lists games (mostly open source games) we can install directly. These install such items as SuperTuxKart, Endless Sky, Nethack, and many classics.
The third tab also works the same way (we can check boxes next to items we want to install). The third tab lists game emulators and related tools such as ZSNES, Anbox, and DOSbox which will help us run games (and other programs) built for other platforms.
I tried installing a few items and they mostly worked. I ended up with a few games and emulators. However, the Steam launcher gave me trouble. The Steam package installed, but when I tried to run it from the application menu the Steam installer/updater window appeared and failed to fetch the Steam software. In short, it looks like I successfully fetched the Steam installer tool, which would run, but failed to complete the Steam setup process.
Garuda Linux 220808 -- Fetching games with Garuda Gamer
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I like that the Garuda Gamer window will show us a brief description of each package it makes available. All we need to do is hover the mouse pointer over an entry to see its write-up.
The final custom utility I want to talk about is Garuda Assistant. This seems to be an eclectic grab bag of functionality - things which didn't fit anywhere else. The window is divided into six tabs. There is a Maintenance tab which offers to clear caches, re-install all packages, reset package configurations, and find fast repository mirrors.
Garuda Linux 220808 -- The Garuda Assistant window
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There is a Btrfs tab which reports its functionality has moved to a separate tool (the Btrfs Assistant I mentioned before). There is a button in this tab we can click to try to launch the Btrfs Assistant. This fails with a report the utility we are trying to launch requires root access.
There is a System Components tab which appears to be a random collection of services and programs we can install by checking a box next to each item we want. This works much the same way the Garuda Gamer program functions. Some of the items we have access to include sound servers (ALSA and PulseAudio), virtual machine tools (libvirt and VirtualBox), printing support, Bluetooth, firewall front-ends, media codecs, and Samba for network shares.
There is a Settings tab which helps us adjust low-level settings. These include picking our user's shell, choosing which DNS service to use, enabling the systemd out of memory service (this is actually on by default). There is an option to enable a guest account (which works beautifully), and an option just called "Performance tweaks" with no explanation.
There is a System Specs tab which just dumps hardware and configuration data. I suspect this is intended for use during help requests and bug reports. The final tab provides access to system logs, such as the systemd journal and the package manager log.
Along with the custom utilities I mentioned above, Garuda also ships with a customized web browser. This browser is a member of the Firefox family, through LibreWolf, which has been further tweaked and renamed FireDragon. As far as I can tell is basically Firefox with a dark theme, a different default search engine, and some privacy features enabled.
Garuda Linux 220808 -- The FireDragon web browser
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The distribution also ships with the Okular document viewer, the Dolphin file manager, and KDE Connect for syncing with mobile devices. The MPV media player is included along with codecs for both popular audio and video formats. The KDE System Settings panel is included to help us customize all aspects of the desktop. There are a few text editors included and the Snapper Btrfs snapshot manager. Digging deeper we find the GNU command line utilities, manual pages for included programs, and the GNU Compiler Collection. Garuda runs the systemd suite and version 5.18 of the Linux kernel.
The amount of software included with Garuda is relatively small. I found it generally worked well too. Most people will end up added more applications later (more on software management in a minute), but what is included mostly worked without any problems.
I say "mostly", because I did run into a few issues, almost all of them involving the virtual terminal. The distribution uses the fish shell which includes about 40 command line aliases. Some of these are probably useful. For example, using the command "untar" will extract almost any archive. There are some directory listing shortcuts too which might be useful. Other aliases are there just to be cute. For example, "please" is an alias for the sudo command. A few aliases got in my way. For instance, "wget" gets translated to "wget -c" which can produce quite different results and I found "ls" is aliased to "ls -la" which usually isn't what I want. Likewise, running "cat" gets translated to the bat pager which acts differently and it's a bit jarring to realize I'm using a pager, not dumping text to the terminal. All of this is to say, I'd prefer if distributions stopped including so many aliases by default which break (or greatly alter) common command line functionality. I don't like to debug basic Linux commands to find out why something isn't working.
By default, the fish shell uses a colourful, mostly red scheme. I didn't like looking at this and so tried to change it in Konsole's colour profile. I soon found fish didn't respect the Konsole profile colours. The bash shell does. However, changing shells isn't entirely straight forward. There are a few ways to change which shell a person uses. As an example, I tried the low-level approach of running the chsh (change shell) command and passing it the complete path of the bash shell. (The bash shell is stored at /usr/bin/bash on Garuda.) Trying to change the shell this way failed because /usr/bin/bash is not listed as a valid shell in the system's /etc/shells file. That file lists the bash shell as /bin/bash which, according to chsh isn't valid. This is odd as /bin/bash does exist and is identical to /usr/bin/bash. I had to manually edit the /etc/shells file to include the proper path before chsh would work. Even then, when using a virtual terminal such as Konsole, we need to change which shell it runs separately as fish is set as our shell in the default settings profile for Konsole. As a footnote to this exploration in changing shells, we can also change which shell we use in the virtual terminal in the Garuda settings panel.
Apart from the custom tools for adding applications mentioned earlier, Garuda ships with the Octopi graphical package manager. Octopi has a fairly simple layout and acts as a low-level package manager. Octopi will perform basic searches for packages and we can right-click on a package name to queue it for installation or removal. Octopi is also able to upgrade packages.
Garuda Linux 220808 -- The Octopi package manager
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While Octopi is fairly basic in its functionality and not much to look at (compared to modern software centres), it works quickly and I encountered no errors while using it. Even on the first day when I upgraded 151 packages, Octopi worked smoothly and quickly.
Should we wish to, we can also run the pacman command line package manager. Flatpak and Snap support are not included by default, but Flatpak is in the main repositories if we wish to install it.
One of the things I find fascinating about using Linux distributions, especially ones with smaller development teams, is it gives insight into the mindset of the developers. Where a distribution places its focus tells us about the priorities, interests, and maybe hardware of the developers.
As an example, Garuda ships with a utility entirely dedicated to installing and setting up games. There seems to be a strong assumption that we're going to want access to a wide range of games, kernels configured for performance, and gaming portals. There is no office suite, e-mail client, video conferencing software, or tools for installing such items. Garuda defaults to not using traditional swap space, instead taking up room in RAM for compressed memory (zRAM). The default behaviour to is enable CPU-consuming themes and effects. In short, it seems this distribution is targeting people with higher-end equipment that spend a lot of their time gaming and probably not a lot of time using their computer in job-related tasks. It may not be stated explicitly that this is the case, but that seems to be the niche of the distribution.
In a similar vein, the distribution looks like it belongs in a high-tech dystopia (the interface would fit right into cityscapes of recent episodes of the Obi-wan Kenobi series or The Orville). The dark backgrounds, neon colours, and small fonts all suggest a young, cyberpunk-loving target audience.
I'm not young, a gamer, or interested in flashy desktop effects and my hardware leans toward the more modest end of the spectrum. Which means I'm not the target audience of this project. However, I did still find a lot of things to like about it once I got the desktop to settle down, switched to a theme that didn't cook my laptop, and switched to a command line shell that wasn't trying to outsmart me.
Garuda Linux is one of the few Linux distributions which is trying to drag the community (or the Linux ecosystem) forward. A lot of Linux developers (and users) are my age or older and we're often set in our ways, or adverse to change. As such the community at large has been reluctant to adopt newer approaches and technologies, even when the benefit is obvious. For example, Garuda is one of a very few number of projects adopting automatic Btrfs snapshots to help protect data files and system functionality. Not only does the system automate snapshots for us, but also when we boot into an older snapshot (to recover the system) a window will pop-up and ask if we want to restore this snapshot, rolling back the operating system to an earlier point in time.
Garuda Linux 220808 -- Managing Btrfs snapshots
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Garuda also does something else differently that I found key. Most Linux distributions ship with a lot of third-party (upstream) packages such as Firefox, LibreOffice, and VLC while offering very few custom utilities. In other words, what we can get from one distribution we can often get from another. Garuda does the opposite, shipping lots of custom configuration tools and assistants while leaving us to install third-party software from the repositories. This works fairly well, especially with the custom assistants which help us install more software. It's a refreshing approach as it highlights what Garuda does as opposed to what we can find on almost every other distribution.
Some aspects of Garuda are quite well thought out, like the filesystem snapshots we can select at boot time. There are others too. For example, when I noticed Garuda defaults to using zRAM instead of classic swap space options, my first thought was to worry about memory leaks bringing the system to its knees. But then I found an out of memory killer is enabled which takes care of this concern. The developers were already anticipating the issue.
On the other hand, I ran into little issues like problems with the fish shell not respecting Konsole settings and errors when switching shells. Having the Garuda Assistant try and fail to launch the Btrfs utility was a clear issue and one which made me wonder if anyone had tested the launch button before the code was shipped.
In the end, I came away from using Garuda with mixed feelings. The distribution is not one which is targeting me or people like me who mostly use their machines for work. It's not aimed at people like me who want quiet, efficient user interfaces. It's not aimed at middle-aged and older people who need to squint to see small text and flat, neon icons. In short, a lot of the distribution's presentation rubs me the wrong way.
On the other hand, Garuda is probably one of the better distributions for appealing to gamers. It's probably one of the few which is truly embracing both rolling release cutting-edge technology and the security of boot environments. It's one of the few which is trying to look like it's modern and aimed at people under the age of 40. It may not suit my desires, but Garuda is filling an important niche: trying to drag the ageing Linux community - kicking and grumbling - into the future where features, fast machines, colourful animations, and integrated components are common.
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Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was an HP DY2048CA laptop with the following
- Processor: 11th Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-1135G7 @ 2.40GHz
- Display: Intel integrated video
- Storage: Western Digital 512GB solid state drive
- Memory: 8GB of RAM
- Wireless network device: Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 + BT Wireless network card
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Visitor supplied rating
Garuda Linux has a visitor supplied average rating of: 8.4/10 from 221 review(s).
Have you used Garuda Linux? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Fedora plans to replace DNF, elementary OS introducing responsive design in its apps, UBports to be officially supported on the Fairphone, Slackware reverses change to GNU grep, Debian updates install media
Next year we may see a version of Fedora with an upgraded package manager. The DNF package manager, which has often been criticised for its poor performance, will likely be replaced by DNF5. "The new DNF5 will provide a significant improvement in user experiences and performance. The replacement is the second step in [the] upgrade of Fedora Software Management stack. Without the change there will be multiple software management [tools] (DNF5, old Microdnf, PackageKit, and DNF) based on different libraries (libdnf, libdnf5), providing a different behavior, and not sharing a history. We can also expect that DNF will have only limited support from upstream. The DNF5 development was announced on Fedora-Devel list in 2020." Details on the change can be found in the DNF5 proposal.
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The elementary OS team have published a newsletter which provides an overview of work going into the distribution. One of the key areas being worked on is with responsive application layouts. "Firstly, if you're not familiar with the term 'responsive design' it refers to designing interfaces in a way such that they respond to changes in the size of the window or display. Typically when folks talk about responsive design, they're thinking in terms of shrinking things down to fit on mobile displays, but it can also mean making them work better for large desktop displays including ultrawide formats, and for us it means designing for resizable windows - including tiling. We've heard, both from people who use elementary OS and from our downstreams like System76, that there's a desire for tiling both simple and complex apps and even on smaller laptop displays. We've also heard for many years a desire to run elementary OS on tablets and phones, which would require us to make apps that can work on even smaller displays and in vertical layouts as well. So I'm excited to say that we've started to make progress towards this goal and future designs will keep responsiveness in mind."
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The UBports team have announced the Fairphone 4 will not only run the UBports mobile operating system, UBports will be an officially supported operating system on the Fairphone platform. "It was announced not just that the Fairphone 4 will have UT but that UT will be officially supported by Fairphone for that device. That is great news! The phone has a notch and the corners are very round, so we have a bit of UI work still to do. When the build is at a 'retail ready' standard, it will go into the official Fairphone store as a pre-installed option. The phone has 5G connectivity. There are two size variants. It also can operate with an eSIM. That is not something we have worked out how to support but that is another challenge for us. It has great camera modules. A point of interest is that it is based on Halium 11, so a big advance. Another exciting and unusual feature is that the FP4 has a USB display port! Sad news, no headphone jack. To support the FP4, the installer will be updated." Further information on UBports running on the Fairphone, along with other developments, can be found in the project's newsletter.
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The GNU project raised some eyebrows earlier this month with the release of GNU grep 3.8 which altered the normal functioning of egrep and fgrep that included a message telling users to no longer use these commands and, instead, use plain grep. While most people are changing their scripts and workflows to match, Patrick Volkerding plans to restore the commands to their normal, functioning status: "Folks, I rarely veto upstream, but I'm not going to entertain this nonsense. The egrep and fgrep commands were part of Unix since the 70s, continue to be included with the BSDs, and frankly, aren't hurting anything. GNU grep declared them deprecated in 2007 and when they were changed into shell scripts around 8 years ago I figured that's where it would end. I can see no logical justification to have these scripts start making noise and then to eventually pull the rug out from under any code that might be using them, so I've placed non-noisy versions of them into the package sources and will be installing those during the build. Given that the -F and -E options are part of the POSIX standard, these scripts will continue to work fine."
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The Debian team have published updated install media for both Debian 10 "Buster" and Debian 11 "Bullseye". The new media do not offer new versions of Debian, but provide install media with updated packages and fixes. "The Debian project is pleased to announce the thirteenth (and final) update of its Old Stable distribution Debian 10 (codename Buster). This point release mainly adds corrections for security issues, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories have already been published separately and are referenced where available. After this point release, Debian's Security and Release Teams will no longer be producing updates for Debian 10."
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These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Using a root account versus sudo
Granting-access asks: When installing Mint it asks you for one password. You will use this password for logging in to your account and for doing sudo stuff. Manjaro, on the other hand, gives you the possibility to create a separate admin password. I did this, but sudo commands would still only take the user password. When using Mint should I also set a separate root password?
DistroWatch answers: When you are installing the Linux Mint distribution it asks for just one password, for your regular user, because the root account (the traditional system administrator account) is locked. The idea behind this boils down to two main points. One is that most home users will just need one account and they'll do everything from that one account. Therefore using sudo to perform administrative actions makes more sense than having the added complexity of second account.
Having a separate root account gives attackers a well known target
for a brute-force attack. When you have one user account, with a custom name you selected, it means remote attackers need to guess both your username and password if they want to break into your account.
In short, locking the root account and using sudo instead keeps things simple and locks down an avenue of attack. The Ubuntu documentation has an overview of the benefits and drawbacks of using sudo.
Some other distributions, including Manjaro Linux, give people the option of having a password protected root account. This can be useful if you want to keep more of a barrier between your regular account and the root account. It also means that if your regular account gets locked out (perhaps due to a forgotten password) the root account and its admin powers will still be available to you.
In short, there are trade-offs. For most environments I feel it makes sense to lock the root account and use authentication tools such as sudo and doas to perform administrative actions. These tools offer more flexibility (such as passwordless access to certain common functions) and logging of commands.
In my opinion, for most people it makes sense to stick with Mint's default behaviour of locking the root account and using tools like sudo to perform admin tasks.
I'd also like to clarify that authentication tools such as doas and sudo always use the password of the user running these utilities, not the credentials of the target user. In other words, when using sudo always provide it with your password, not the root user's password.
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Additional answers can be found in our Questions and Answers archive.
|Released Last Week
Salix is a Slackware-based Linux distribution that is simple, fast, easy to use and compatible with Slackware Linux. The distribution has published Salix 15.0 which includes the Xfce 4.16 desktop, much larger package repositories, and Flatpak support. "On a high level, this release includes Xfce 4.16 as the main environment! This is now based on GTK+ 3 and almost everything else that comes with a default installation has been upgraded to use GTK+ 3. This includes all our graphical system tools, which have received significant updates and a more modern look. The default software selection hasn't changed much, but of course everything has been upgraded to their latest releases, including Firefox 102ESR, LibreOffice 7.4, GIMP 2.10 and more. Whiskermenu is used as our default panel menu now. There have been extensive discussions in our forums with respect to how the new release will look and everything has been revamped, including a new GTK theme, a new icon theme, a new window manager theme and a default wallpaper, especially tailored for Salix 15.0. While the light versions of the above are used by default, dark versions are readily available. In general, our users will find themselves in a modern but familiar environment." Details can be found in the project's release announcement.
Salix 15.0 -- Running the Xfce desktop
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
The table below provides a list of torrents DistroWatch is currently seeding. If you do not have a bittorrent client capable of handling the linked files, we suggest installing either the Transmission or KTorrent bittorrent clients.
Archives of our previously seeded torrents may be found in our Torrent Archive. We also maintain a Torrents RSS feed for people who wish to have open source torrents delivered to them. To share your own open source torrents of Linux and BSD projects, please visit our Upload Torrents page.
Torrent Corner statistics:
- Total torrents seeded: 2,769
- Total data uploaded: 42.4TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Opinion Poll (by Jesse Smith)
Is your root account unlocked?
In this week's Questions and Answers section we talked about using sudo to manage system administration tasks versus logging into a root account. Many distributions these days lock the root account to prevent common avenues of attack against the operating system. We'd like to hear if your system leaves the root account locked or if you can sign in as the root user.
You can see the results of our previous poll on using the Linglong repository provided by deepin in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Is your root account unlocked?
|Yes - I can sign in as root: ||810 (50%)|
| No - I cannot sign in as root: ||491 (30%)|
| I use some systems with an accessible root account and some without: ||333 (20%)|
DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 19 September 2022. Past articles and reviews can be found through our Article Search page. To contact the authors please send e-mail to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews/submissions, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, donations, comments)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Sudo (by Mallory on 2022-09-12 01:09:01 GMT from Austria) |
In the ideal world a typical home user should not have a need to use `sudo' or similar tools. Privileged actions should be done using GUI with PolicyKit as an authorization broker. `Doas' is useful for running programs on behalf of other unprivileged users though.
Conceptually running superuser programs in a user session is difficult to implement securely as you can see looking at the rich history of exploitable vulnerabilities in `sudo' (and especially considering the lack of sufficient isolation between X clients). Having an unlocked root account is not more insecure than having an unlocked user account belonging to the `admin' group. Of course, SSH and other ways of remote access should be disabled for root.
2 • Sudo (by Mallory on 2022-09-12 01:18:58 GMT from Austria)
It is actually possible to configure `sudo' (cf. `man sudoers') to ask for the password of the target user, not the password of the invoking user.
3 • @2 (by Mallory on 2022-09-12 01:27:24 GMT from Luxembourg)
I apologise for using `cf.' instead of `vid.' or just `see'. Please do not repeat this common mistake.
4 • Roots (by Friar Tux on 2022-09-12 01:40:38 GMT from Canada)
For me, Mint's system (right click) menu's "Open As Root" is all I ever need. It uses my user password and that works for me. Don't really ever need to root around in the system EXCEPT in the "usr/share/theme" folder for non-default themes I want as system themes. That's it!
5 • su versus sudo et al (by Bobbie Sellers on 2022-09-12 03:50:38 GMT from United States)
Well I find "sudo" a pain as it usually not properly configured. I can enter root account though I usually reserve that for emergencies. Ordinarily I stick with "su" which I can use to enter a root terminal to deal with restricted commands or with Synaptic where I I am requested to enter the
root password to deal with updates... When I started with Linux as Mandriva 2006 entering passwords to do certain things was PIA but I have gotten over that and my typing has improved so that it is no longer such a pain. On my previous systems to 2006 my C=64, C=128 and
Amiga I was essentially running as root all the time with full access to all commands, which
seldom resulted in insoluble problems. But with connections to the Internet the Amiga was
only saved by its obscurity. I could chose to do auto-login but that is insecure so I leave it
alone, happy to know that no one else without my assistance can login to my very personal
bliss - brought to you by the power and ease of PCLinuxOS
the Perfect Computer Linus Operating System(for me),
and a minor case of hypergraphia.
Free Registration at very finest sort of forum.
"The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane." (Mark Twain)
stolen from the very nicest Distrowatch site.
6 • Root functionality (by Romane on 2022-09-12 05:00:23 GMT from Australia)
For system type schtuff I use su - in, do what I have to, and out. Mostly it is using Synaptic for updates.
Distro's that lock me out of the root account, forcing me to use sudo and etc, are always immediately wiped from my computer. Personal thing, so please don't lecture me about "security" and such - been there, done that, and always with the result that the person doing so is quickly placed on my ignore list.
That, and using a white-list in the router to access my network and computers seems to work quite effectively - white-list implemented when "someone" (I know who) tried to get into my system - Windows exclusively user, so he had no idea what was looking at. White-listing stopped him completely and immediately. And I do check the router log files regularly insure no untoward activity going on.
7 • @6, Root functionality (by Wally on 2022-09-12 05:35:17 GMT from Australia)
"Distro's that lock me out of the root account, forcing me to use sudo and etc, are always immediately wiped from my computer." What distros are those? All it usually takes is: open the terminal, type "sudo passwd root", enter a password twice, and the root account is available.
If someone tries to get into my system, it will be my wife, and she has all the passwords.
8 • Garuda Linux (by OpenSourceFeeder on 2022-09-12 05:57:38 GMT from India)
"The default theme in Garuda causes 10 times CPU usage comparing to the standard KDE theme". This is quite surprising. I wonder if the team is aware of this issue. I think, either they are not aware or they don't care.
9 • sudo vs. root (by Microlinux on 2022-09-12 06:02:07 GMT from France)
Of course, you *can* work as plain root, or rather use sudo whenever you need admin rights. The crucial difference here is that using sudo will leave a trace in /var/log/secure or whatever log file is configured in your distribution for that purpose. The "Unix and Linux System Administration Handbook" has a detailed chapter about the root vs. sudo question.
10 • No need for garuda or btrfs (by rb on 2022-09-12 06:22:48 GMT from United States)
I use Arch with Timeshift running once daily as a cron job. (I use EXT4 FS.) I have had to restore my system, usually to the previous backup a handful of times. It usually takes 5 min or less. I keep a rotation of 7 daily backups on separate drive. I do not see BTRFS and snapshots on boot as the only way forward. If a package has ill effects, I can also restore it to previous version from the Pacman cache.
I use Bottles to run games, usually with a Proton GE prefix.
I really like the Octopi notifier in the system tray. I do not like the atari pacman type ghost icons that are default and have my own. It runs at login and informs me when there are updates. Octopi package manager is a lot like synaptic on Debian.
As for root, I do like the poster #7 said and type "sudo passwd" to set a password for root and then su to get a root prompt (#). I mostly use sudo at the command line unless I am trying to view folders like "ls /boot/EFI" and a root prompt is needed.
I have 32GB of RAM and have not used a swap file or partition in over 2 years with no ill effects. I reboot every 3-4 days at least. I do not have systemd-oom or any other out of memory manager and it has not been needed on my system. I think that is an answer to a problem I do not have.
11 • Root account (by Dr.J on 2022-09-12 06:57:11 GMT from Germany)
I think today's question is not precisely worded, because it is not about whether a root account exists or you create one, but about whether a distribution should "care" about it. And it should not. It's up to me how I build my system from a security point of view. If we continue down this road, we'll soon be back to Android, Windows, etc. and their attitude of taking away people's thinking and making large parts of the system opaque and inaccessible to them.
12 • grep, egrep, fgrep (by Wojciec on 2022-09-12 07:48:06 GMT from Czechia)
I'm not a "Linux pro" myself, but even I learned quite a while ago that `egrep` is supposed to be ditched for `grep -E`, and `fgrep` is supposed to be ditched for `grep -F`. I don't understand why it is so hard; basically you just do a `sed -e s/egrep/grep -E/g; s/fgrep/grep -F/g' on your shell scripts. (And if it looks OK, you replace `-e` with `-i`.) I guess it's people like these who cannot migrate from Python2 to Python3, even when the end of support date was announced 10 years prior. I think this is a typical case where "progression" is warranted *and* can be achieved with little effort.
13 • @12 - [ef]?grep (by luvr on 2022-09-12 09:52:06 GMT from Belgium)
I have never used egrep or fgrep myself, but I always run grep with the applicable option, although I tend to favour the long option format (--extended-regexp or --fixed-strings), especially in scripts.
I do not get, however, why egrep or fgrep should be removed when they are such an integral part of history, every other Unix-like system continues to provide them, they continue to work fine, and they don't hurt anything.
Why not just leave them alone?
14 • Garuda (by pfbruce on 2022-09-12 10:36:45 GMT from United States)
Interesting review. I installed Garuda xfce on my Dell Inspiron 15, and never saw any previous install as fast as Garuda. The only slow part is startup, where systemd provides "A start job is..." THAT takes a very long time.
15 • got root? (by Trihexagonal on 2022-09-12 14:00:47 GMT from United States)
I never log in a root directly on any system.
I use su to become root on FreeBSD and very comfortable in that role.
On Kali GNU/Linux I use sudo in the default configuration.
I've never installed sudo or doas on any of my machines and used sudo for the first time on TridentGumOS maybe 5 years ago. It took some getting used to but is no problem to use. I've never used doas.
16 • @12 grep et al. (by Wojciec on 2022-09-12 14:07:56 GMT from Czechia)
I don't mind the existence of `egrep` and` fgrep` as shortcuts to the corresponding grep form. What I do mind is their being in shell script form. If I'm not mistaken, the original `egrep` and `fgrep` were separate `grep` binaries compiled for their particular use cases, but when later their functionality was moved within one `grep` binary, `egrep` and `fgrep` became shell scripts. (Not even "real" scripts in the sense that they are often just wrappers that pass their arguments to a `grep -[EF]`.) Given that `grep` now supports the `egrep` and `fgrep` functionalities, the latter two should be aliases, but not scripts (let alone stand-alone binaries). As for using them in scripts, it would be better to explicitly declare their aliases at the beginning of the script; or even better yet, to use the proper `grep -[FE]` forms -- just like you prefer long-options in scripts. (After all, "readability counts". =) )
17 • Aliasing basic system-level commands is a HUGE deal (by Kingneutron on 2022-09-12 14:18:43 GMT from United States)
> A few aliases got in my way. For instance, "wget" gets translated to "wget -c" which can produce quite different results and I found "ls" is aliased to "ls -la" which usually isn't what I want. Likewise, running "cat" gets translated to the bat pager which acts differently
That's a HUGE no-no, it's one thing to do it for destructive commands like 'rm' but that's pants-on-head a bad idea for things like LS and cat. Somebody needs thwacking with a ClueBat over there.
18 • Root login (by Otis on 2022-09-12 14:22:31 GMT from United States)
Several months ago I landed on a review site that was testing AlmaLinux. Embedded in the review were sayings about "not having to set up a user account." The writer was strictly a root user, and lamented ever using distro versions that required user accounts.
I admit to starting off that way in my Linux journey. "It’s MY system on MY
computer, how DARE this developer FORCE me to not have 100% access
to ALL of it?!
I still feel that way, but not as thoroughly now ad then. They’re protecting
us from ourselves, and protecting support staff from potential hordes of
shouting users who’ve bricked their equipment.
But, yeah, the feeling is still there. I make user accounts and do sudo.
19 • @18 root or no root (by Kazlu on 2022-09-12 16:01:09 GMT from France)
Puppy Linux and the family have an interesting way of managing that. The user is root and everything is run as root, except a few critical applications facing the Internet, like the web browser (which essentially gets kinda sandboxed). This makes sense, especially in the context of Puppy which has a read-only core OS and is designed as a single user OS. Should you want to have several users, each user is supposed to bring along their Puppy save while the base OS remains untouched.
The philosophy has its merits. And I actually find strange to not see it more elsewhere. Not that it is the most important thing out there, just an interesting thought.
20 • Tcvo su or not to su... (by tom joad on 2022-09-12 16:26:00 GMT from Netherlands)
When I started with Linux I did pretty much what was suggested with users. I setup an admin account and
later I would setup an ordinary user, harmless account. That worked fine until one time my 'daring doo' got me deep, deep in the weeds. At the boot prompt my regular sudo password would not work. The system demanded a *root* password. And since I had followed the rules I didn't have that.
For that reason I have three accounts now.
( BTW, I have notice this little text box has changed. The word wrap is not working correctly. I notice that in my text and other text displays that same issue. I had to add extra space to make the text look correct. )
21 • Slackware/grep (by gnintingyes on 2022-09-12 17:42:41 GMT from Puerto Rico)
I noticed this first on ALT Sisyphus "unstable", one of the nightly builds, while using Synaptic install/remove program. This was in the first week of 08/2022. Warning message about one version of "grep" being "obsolete" and suggesting another version. Each operation seems to have finished without problems though. I don't go much beyond "grep -i" anyways.
22 • Future (by Mallory on 2022-09-12 20:35:35 GMT from Norway)
`... The future where features, fast machines, colourful animations, and integrated components are common.'
Well, we've already had fast machines, colourful animations and integrated components 15 years ago. Speaking of features: we still have not got good integrated desktop search engines installed by default, there are AFAIK no distributions featuring any kind of assistant controlled by natural language commands.
The only P2P applications installed by default are usually BitTorrent clients. We have such a lot of computing resources which can be used for far more advanced P2P applications... The user interface can still be sluggish on desktop while Android strives for 60 fps and more with their GPU-optimized UI on phones. Not sure if anything like Miracast is available for GNU/Linux. The Canonical's dream of `convergence' has not come true. Btrfs snapshots are similar to System Restore points that Windows XP and later versions have.
Most of development of advanced features seems to be for cloud platforms now, it's sad that the desktop GNU/Linux is relatively stagnating. We need a real commercial (but not proprietary) desktop distro.
23 • Past (by Leon on 2022-09-12 21:24:13 GMT from France)
See it the positive way ...
Whatever you prefer, you have to stay realistic.
Garuda at least tries to go with time and offer what 'human beings' want.
Otherwise, you forever stay with some junk (like Salix from the last week), and you never move forward.
24 • @22 • Future [was yesterday] (by Mallory from Norway [by VPN]) (by Leon on 2022-09-12 21:56:26 GMT from France)
"We need a real commercial ([strike]but not[/strike] [AND] proprietary) desktop distro."
What we do not need is 300 'junkstributions' ...
25 • world status (by grindstone on 2022-09-12 23:39:14 GMT from United States)
Is it just me, or is this the most comforting thing in this crazy world--a grep issue by volkerdi in 2022.
Congrats to all of us for still being here :) Thanks to all for all the work!
26 • Garuda at least tries to go with time and offer what 'human beings' want. (by rb on 2022-09-12 23:02:48 GMT from United States)
"Garuda at least tries to go with time and offer what 'human beings' want.
"Garuda doesn't do or offer anything I want automatically. I can get better control and customization with Arch itself, Endeavour or Manjaro in that order. I run games just fine without Garuda and I think their theme is futt-bucking ugly. I don't need anyone to have a theme for me, totally pointless as I am gonna uninstall it and change it anyway. I don't need btrfs clogging up my drive with shadow copies. I handle it just fine myself using ext4 and timeshift to separate drives. If you drive gives out or crashes, all those btrfs backups are not going to do you a bit of good. If I wanted Linux to be Windows, I would just use Windows. Kids, smh.
27 • su vs sudo (by Charlie on 2022-09-13 06:24:26 GMT from Hong Kong)
I used to find su is more handy for me.
But after reading some articles I understand the rationale behind a locked root account. Everyone knows root is the username for the admin account, so what a hacker does is only to crack the root password. No root account, no password, no problem :p
28 • sudo -i (by MInuxLintEbianDedition on 2022-09-13 09:09:13 GMT from United Kingdom)
for root, in regular terminal, I use sudo -i
It gives me root for as long as I want it, exit returns to user
Surprised nobody mentions this, only the sudo -i request is logged, the root session has usual dangers.
29 • Garuda and the future of Linux (by Dr.J on 2022-09-13 13:09:10 GMT from Germany)
on the one hand I'm afraid you're right: the future of Linux is a colorful blink blink which only works with voice commands (like Alexa and Co.). The kids want that. On the other hand, this is no future,
because nothing new is created here, but only the old technology of the 70s/80s is trimmed behind a polished facade to new. I'm not one of the under-40 group, but I've arrived completely in the
21st century and am not stuck in the old worlds of the 20th century. The only thing is: this whole
polished facade is simply nonsense. It's nothing new, just a lot of blink blink behind a neon curtain. I'll make any bet that none of these souped-up "OK Google systems" can match a modern Linux system with its ancient tools in terms of speed and functionality. In the time I ask the system to find me something, my "find command" has already found it. And in the time I tell my virtual avatar to shrink, clone, backup or copy my virtual hard disk, my rsync command is already through. Thanks to bashrc, all it
takes to do this is to enter a 3-letter alias. And shadow copies are certainly not something we really need in the Linux world. My cronjobs do data backups and disk images reliably and automatically, day after day, week after week. So: I don't think Linux is unfashionable just because it doesn't come with a new colorful facade every week. And I don't think Linux has to join Apple, MS, Google and co. in providing the holy grail of GUI with ever new packaging.
30 • root ou sudo (by Grognux on 2022-09-13 14:34:47 GMT from France)
root c'est comme l'euthanasie c'est l'homme qui choisit.
31 • @29 Find and rsync (by Mallory on 2022-09-13 21:22:14 GMT from Austria)
Do you use `find' for text-based file formats only? For binary files there is `tracker3' (and probably KDE Baloo utilities), it can use an index speeding up search operations a lot.
BTW, why don't distributions use the rsync delta-transfer algorithm for providing incremental updates for large packages? Or do they?
32 • Find and rsync (by Jesse on 2022-09-13 22:06:29 GMT from Canada)
@31: The find command works on all files, not just binary ones. The find commands doesn't care about contents. The grep command works on text files.
Most systems these days are more likely to use "locate" rather than "find" as its indexing makes it a lot faster.
Some distributions have tried using delta-transfers for package management. Fedora being a prime example. It hasn't really caught on. Probably partly because of the time and CPU power involved doing the delta. It's basically slower and more expensive to perform the delta than it is to just download the larger package in the background and then apply it when the user wants it.
Delta downloads make a lot of sense for slow/metered networks, but not high speed, stable networks.
33 • @32 (by Mallory on 2022-09-14 00:07:22 GMT from United Kingdom)
I thought that `find' is usually used together with `grep' or other traditional text-oriented Unix tools (to analyse or process file contents) because for searching file names `locate' is faster indeed (however it does not find files newer than the index database).
I believe that for large enough packages the delta algorithm is often still faster. The difference between two subsequent versions can be precomputed on the server and the resulted delta stored as a file to download and apply. Mozilla still uses this technique for Firefox and Thunderbird updates. I've found that there are `debdelta' utilities and `Cupt` APT replacement, and they are still maintained, Have any distribution used them as a supported or primary update method?
34 • find and deltas (by Jesse on 2022-09-14 00:23:39 GMT from Canada)
@33:The find command can be used with other tools, like grep, to locate files and filter things based on their contents. The find command is ideal for situations where you either need real-time results or complex filters. Such as finding files of a certain size or age. The locate command is faster and more commonly used when you're looking for files based on their name.
It is true locate doesn't find files newer than its database, but that's usually only a window of a few hours so not an issue in most situations.
The delta approach to working with files _can_ be faster. It's just not worth it in most scenarios. On most modern networks, where you can download a small package in under a second and giant packages in under a minute, there isn't much incentive to do all the work to make and distribute delta packages. Why make your client (or server) do all that work when most people will hardly notice the difference in speed?
35 • Delta updates (by Mallory on 2022-09-14 00:55:06 GMT from United States)
@34: I don't understand why debdelta is not an integral part of Debian. Providing delta updates for web browsers, kernel modules and other relatively large and frequently updated packages certainly would improve user experience for those on slow or metered networks for small additional costs. Debdelta is already available, not that much additional space on mirrors is required (but it reduces bandwidth usage).
36 • Garuda Linux - innovation, yes, but least favorite of Arch-based distros (by 1-DOT.com on 2022-09-14 04:29:12 GMT from United States)
Over the past few months, I took a look at several KDE Plasma Arch-based distros. Garuda was my least favorite compared to ArcoLinux-B, EndeavourOS, RebornOS and relatively new CachyOS.
While Garuda's automatic Snapper (forced BTRFS only ) backup after every update is innovative and potentially compelling, It is, for me, far outweighed by a distro just trying to be too different. For me, the "dragonized" look was horrible. So, naturally, I then tried to make it more "normal" by removing the unwanted Latte dock and doing some basic theme changes. Result: a broken system that was just not worth more time to troubleshoot.
Next, I tried Garuda's (unsupported) KDE Lite. This semi-barebones version was much more memory-efficient (similar to other Arch-based KDE Plasma distros). KDE Lite theming was more to my liking, Unlike Garuda "KDE Dragonized", my subsequent theme customizing did not break any desktop functionality. Even so, there were some display quirks (color set errors) not found in similar distros. Unfortunately, I also found no notable advantage over other more complete Arch-based KDE distros.
37 • Garuda KDE Plasma - my experience (by 1-DOT.com on 2022-09-14 04:35:43 GMT from United States)
"YouTuber Troy Holt (eBuzz Central) raves about Garuda Linux. My experience on a 12 year old Lenovo notebook was not as positive. Even so, there are quite a few features to recommend Garuda for many Linux fans."
38 • @35 -> "I don't understand why debdelta is not an integral part of Debian" (by OuiDa on 2022-09-14 10:28:30 GMT from Poland)
"I don't understand why debdelta is not an integral part of Debian. :
35: Very much like for RPMFUSION for Fedora/RedHat model, and so far Nvidia dastardly attitude towards Open Source and Linux, the main and only reason is "LEGAL"... it is for the commercial companies using theses open sources, to avoid being endlessly dragged in costly and time consuming legal battles.
Hence there are several mostly good variations and equivalents of the GPL.
Note: adding manually a repos is really no big deal, it is made very simple, so why not after all?
39 • @38 (by Mallory on 2022-09-14 18:45:11 GMT from Luxembourg)
It has nothing to do with legal restrictions, debdelta is not a repo, it is a tool to speed up updates on slow networks. Debian is not like RedHat, it hosts `non-free' packages on regular mirrors, and open but patent encumbered codecs are available in the default installation, I believe. It seems that nobody complains about that.
40 • su user (by AdamB on 2022-09-14 22:33:30 GMT from Australia)
I use the root account a lot, whether or not the particular installation has a desktop environment. Using 'su -' gives a more predictable and customisable environment for root.
On machines which do not have a desktop environment, I just log in as root directly.
SSHd is configured to not allow root logins.
41 • distro rave reviews... (by sensei on 2022-09-14 23:39:43 GMT from New Zealand)
@37 you should take most YouTube and FB "reviews" with a bag of salt. They exist as Clickbait for revenue and to upload content on a schedule. Content VALUE comes in dead last. Slowly, tragically too slowly, people are waking up from the social media haze.
42 • Garuda (by Garuda User on 2022-09-15 02:03:27 GMT from Brazil)
I installed Garuda while keeping the /home partition from another distribution. Upon reboot I wasn't greeted by any wizard and my theme was Breeze-Dark. Still, Firefox (I uninstalled Firedragon) had some strange graphical glitches that went away by changing theme.
I didn't experience any hangup in the systemd boot process as someone else mentioned, and I love the snapshot feature.
The fact that it's so opinionated is it's biggest drawback for me. I'm not a fan of the default visuals, the default browser coming out of the box so tuned with extensions. Also it's somewhat biased towards gamers but still, the browser is kinda biased towards privacy adepts. That's two target audiences right there, true they often intersect, but like I said, too opinionated.
As far as I can tell this is, at least in its defaults, a distro aimed at beefier desktops.
Honestly, I "tamed" Garuda so it works more or less like my previous EndeavourOS setup overall, so it doesn't even look like Garuda, just for the nice BTRFS snapshot functionality and other performance tweaks. Perhaps I should have sticked to the KDE Lite version. Making it "inherit" a home folder also avoided the multitude of fish aliases (though it's my favourite shell by the way, but I like rolling with my own aliases, thanks).
It's so opinionated in fact, that it feels like it was aimed at just a handful of friends. Its target audience is limited, niche even (for the main edition at least).
It's been worth it so far to "tame" it, so I get the snapshot functionality and all these Garuda utilities, they're wonderful.
It's one of these "if it fits your use case...", and for me, so far, it does.
Number of Comments: 42
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|• Issue 1028 (2023-07-17): KDE Connect; Oracle, SUSE, and AlmaLinux repsond to Red Hat's source code policy change, KaOS issues media fix, Slackware turns 30; security and immutable distributions|
|• Issue 1027 (2023-07-10): Crystal Linux 2023-03-16, StartOS (embassyOS 0.3.4.2), changing options on a mounted filesystem, Murena launches Fairphone 4 in North America, Fedora debates telemetry for desktop team|
|• Issue 1026 (2023-07-03): Kumander Linux 1.0, Red Hat changing its approach to sharing source code, TrueNAS offers SMB Multichannel, Zorin OS introduces upgrade utility|
|• Issue 1025 (2023-06-26): KaOS with Plasma 6, information which can leak from desktop environments, Red Hat closes door on sharing RHEL source code, SUSE introduces new security features|
|• Issue 1024 (2023-06-19): Debian 12, a safer way to use dd, Debian releases GNU/Hurd 2023, Ubuntu 22.10 nears its end of life, FreeBSD turns 30|
|• Issue 1023 (2023-06-12): openSUSE 15.5 Leap, the differences between independent distributions, openSUSE lengthens Leap life, Murena offers new phone for North America|
|• Issue 1022 (2023-06-05): GetFreeOS 2023.05.01, Slint 15.0-3, Liya N4Si, cleaning up crowded directories, Ubuntu plans Snap-based variant, Red Hat dropping LireOffice RPM packages|
|• Issue 1021 (2023-05-29): rlxos GNU/Linux, colours in command line output, an overview of Void's unique features, how to use awk, Microsoft publishes a Linux distro|
|• Issue 1020 (2023-05-22): UBports 20.04, finding another machine's IP address, finding distros with a specific kernel, Debian prepares for Bookworm|
|• Issue 1019 (2023-05-15): Rhino Linux (Beta), checking which applications reply on a package, NethServer reborn, System76 improving application responsiveness|
|• Issue 1018 (2023-05-08): Fedora 38, finding relevant manual pages, merging audio files, Fedora plans new immutable edition, Mint works to fix Secure Boot issues|
|• Issue 1017 (2023-05-01): Xubuntu 23.04, Debian elects Project Leaders and updates media, systemd to speed up restarts, Guix System offering ground-up source builds, where package managers install files|
|• Issue 1016 (2023-04-24): Qubes OS 4.1.2, tracking bandwidth usage, Solus resuming development, FreeBSD publishes status report, KaOS offers preview of Plasma 6|
|• Issue 1015 (2023-04-17): Manjaro Linux 22.0, Trisquel GNU/Linux 11.0, Arch Linux powering PINE64 tablets, Ubuntu offering live patching on HWE kernels, gaining compression on ex4|
|• Issue 1014 (2023-04-10): Quick looks at carbonOS, LibreELEC, and Kodi, Mint polishes themes, Fedora rolls out more encryption plans, elementary OS improves sideloading experience|
|• Issue 1013 (2023-04-03): Alpine Linux 3.17.2, printing manual pages, Ubuntu Cinnamon becomes official flavour, Endeavour OS plans for new installer, HardenedBSD plans for outage|
|• Issue 1012 (2023-03-27): siduction 22.1.1, protecting privacy from proprietary applications, GNOME team shares new features, Canonical updates Ubuntu 20.04, politics and the Linux kernel|
|• Issue 1011 (2023-03-20): Serpent OS, Security Onion 2.3, Gentoo Live, replacing the scp utility, openSUSE sees surge in downloads, Debian runs elction with one candidate|
|• Issue 1010 (2023-03-13): blendOS 2023.01.26, keeping track of which files a package installs, improved network widget coming to elementary OS, Vanilla OS changes its base distro|
|• Issue 1009 (2023-03-06): Nemo Mobile and the PinePhone, matching the performance of one distro on another, Linux Mint adds performance boosts and security, custom Ubuntu and Debian builds through Cubic|
|• Issue 1008 (2023-02-27): elementary OS 7.0, the benefits of boot environments, Purism offers lapdock for Librem 5, Ubuntu community flavours directed to drop Flatpak support for Snap|
|• Issue 1007 (2023-02-20): helloSystem 0.8.0, underrated distributions, Solus team working to repair their website, SUSE testing Micro edition, Canonical publishes real-time edition of Ubuntu 22.04|
|• Issue 1006 (2023-02-13): Playing music with UBports on a PinePhone, quick command line and shell scripting questions, Fedora expands third-party software support, Vanilla OS adds Nix package support|
|• Issue 1005 (2023-02-06): NuTyX 22.12.0 running CDE, user identification numbers, Pop!_OS shares COSMIC progress, Mint makes keyboard and mouse options more accessible|
|• Issue 1004 (2023-01-30): OpenMandriva ROME, checking the health of a disk, Debian adopting OpenSnitch, FreeBSD publishes status report|
|• Issue 1003 (2023-01-23): risiOS 37, mixing package types, Fedora seeks installer feedback, Sparky offers easier persistence with USB writer|
|• Issue 1002 (2023-01-16): Vanilla OS 22.10, Nobara Project 37, verifying torrent downloads, Haiku improvements, HAMMER2 being ports to NetBSD|
|• Issue 1001 (2023-01-09): Arch Linux, Ubuntu tests new system installer, porting KDE software to OpenBSD, verifying files copied properly|
|• Issue 1000 (2023-01-02): Our favourite projects of all time, Fedora trying out unified kernel images and trying to speed up shutdowns, Slackware tests new kernel, detecting what is taking up disk space|
|• Issue 999 (2022-12-19): Favourite distributions of 2022, Fedora plans Budgie spin, UBports releasing security patches for 16.04, Haiku working on new ports|
|• Issue 998 (2022-12-12): OpenBSD 7.2, Asahi Linux enages video hardware acceleration on Apple ARM computers, Manjaro drops proprietary codecs from Mesa package|
|• Issue 997 (2022-12-05): CachyOS 221023 and AgarimOS, working with filenames which contain special characters, elementary OS team fixes delta updates, new features coming to Xfce|
|• Issue 996 (2022-11-28): Void 20221001, remotely shutting down a machine, complex aliases, Fedora tests new web-based installer, Refox OS running on real hardware|
|• Issue 995 (2022-11-21): Fedora 37, swap files vs swap partitions, Unity running on Arch, UBports seeks testers, Murena adds support for more devices|
|• Issue 994 (2022-11-14): Redcore Linux 2201, changing the terminal font size, Fedora plans Phosh spin, openSUSE publishes on-line manual pages, disabling Snap auto-updates|
|• Full list of all issues|
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