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Garuda Linux: A Game-Changer for Rolling Release Distros with Snapshots and Rollback

by Tariq Limalia 22 Feb 2023

In the world of Linux operating systems, Arch Linux is a popular option among experienced users for its customizability and rolling release model. However, one drawback of this model is that updates can sometimes break the system. Garuda Linux, a new Arch derivative, has brought an important feature to the Arch world: snapshots and rollback. In this blog, we'll explore Garuda Linux and its features.

Garuda Linux was founded in 2020 by Indian developer Shrinivas Vishnu Kumbhar, and its name is inspired by the national airline of Indonesia and the Hindu demigod who is the flying mount of Vishnu. Garuda Linux is a rolling-release distro, and it periodically issues updated ISO images for installing new machines. It offers a comprehensive selection of desktop environments, including a Mac-like tuned KDE edition, a KDE Lite version and a KDE-Git edition, plus GNOME, Cinnamon, LXQt, and MATE, and a choice of tiling window managers: Wayfire, Sway, i3WM, and Qtile.

One of the standout features of Garuda Linux is its use of Btrfs for the root partition, with the Snapper tool developed by SUSE. This enables snapshot support, which is crucial for rolling-release distros like Arch Linux. With snapshot support, users can roll back the system state to a snapshot before an update that has caused issues, immediately restoring a working system.

Garuda Linux also enables Btrfs compression, which reduces the space required for snapshots. This combination of features puts Garuda ahead of other Arch remixes in terms of functionality.

In addition to snapshot support, Garuda Linux offers a friendly welcome screen with some helpful options to get users started. It identifies, downloads, and installs the right drivers automatically and configures GPU switching. Garuda pre-configures the pre-compiled Chaotic-AUR, which means that the same packaging tools will fetch programs from both it and the AUR. Its welcome screen integrates various other helpful tools, such as tuning Btrfs settings, installing additional programs, setting kernel and boot parameters, partition managers, and more. It has a selection of privacy-centric browsers available, anonymous search engines, online backup tools, and links to forums and various community chat channels and groups. The "Garuda Gamer" tab has a rich selection of tools to run both Windows and Linux games, multiple emulators, and a selection of FOSS games.

Garuda Linux is an impressive operating system, with excellent hardware and driver support and a range of customization options. It's smart, modern, and stylish, making it an exciting new option in the Linux world.

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