10 Essential Things to do After Installing Garuda Linux

Although Garuda Linux is highly configured by default, there are still 10 essential things to do after installing Garuda Linux.

1. Configure Timeshift

Security first! Before we apply any customizations it’s important to have a system snapshot in place in case something goes wrong. Garuda Linux comes with Timeshift and we just need to configure it.

Timeshift → Wizard → Select BTRFS as a filesystem → Next → Select hard drive where the system resides → Next → Configure backup snapshot frequency to your liking → Next → Enable BTRFS groups → Next → Finish

Configuring Timeshift back-up frequency on Garuda Linux

Also, we can create a system snapshot manually at any given point by clicking Create button.

2. Install Drivers

Drivers are necessary to every system since they allow the system to take full advantage of the hardware. We can easily install them with Garuda Settings Manager.

Garuda Settings Manager → Hardware Configuration → Click Auto Install Proprietary Drivers → Yes

Installing proprietary drivers on Garuda Linux

3. Improve AUR Download Speed

We have configured the mirror list for the official Garuda Linux repositories when we did the initial system setup. However, that mirror list does not affect the AUR repositories. The steps below show how to configure AUR for the fastest speed possible.

Open the mirror list file by executing the following command:

sudo micro /etc/pacman.d/chaotic-mirrorlist

Then comment out all mirrors in front of the one you want to use - which should be the one closest to your location. Note, don’t comment out the CDN mirrors.

Press CTRL + S to save, CTRL + Q to exit the editor.

Refresh the database using the new mirror:

sudo pacman -Sy

Configuring AUR for the best download speed on Garuda Linux

4. Enable Firewall

While Linux is very secure by default it’s advisable to enable a firewall that protects against network intrusions. On Garuda Linux the UFW firewall is installed by default and it just needs to be enabled.

Enable firewall it with the following command:

sudo ufw enable

Check the status of the firewall:

sudo ufw status verbose

Enabling firewall on Garuda Linux

It should be active. The default configuration denies incoming connections and allows outgoing connections which should be fine for the vast majority. However, if you use some apps that require open ports in order to receive a connection (i.e. KDE Connect), then you would need to open that port in firewall.

Some flavours of Garuda Linux come with firewalld pre-installed instead of ufw, you can enable it with this command:

sudo systemctl enable --now firewalld

5. Enable TRIM for SSD

TRIM optimizes the performance and ensures the longevity of your SSD by minimizing write amplification. It isn’t enabled by default. so enable it with the following command:

sudo systemctl enable fstrim.timer

Enabling SSD TRIM on Garuda Linux

6. Install Microsoft Fonts

Even if you are not a fan of Microsoft, you’ll likely deal with Word documents at one point or another. In that case, you’ll need to have Microsoft’s fonts installed.

Software Manager → Search for ttf-ms-fonts → Install

Installing Microsoft Fonts on Garuda Linux

7. Enable Night Color

Night color is a Linux application that protects your eyes by reducing the amount of blue light at night. It’s better for the eyes and sleep. A very crucial app for all of you working at night.

Settings → Display & Monitor → Night Color → Activate Night Color → Apply

Enabling night color on Garuda Linux

8. Disable GRUB Delay

If you have only Garuda Linux on your machine, then the GRUB menu asking you to select the system to boot is redundant. It also makes the boot process slower. We can easily disable it right from the Garuda Boot Options.

Garuda Welcome → Garuda Boot Options → Set menu timeout to 1s

Reducing GRUB menu timeout to 1 on Garuda Linux

You will still see the GRUB menu for 1s just in case of emergency, for example, if you need to select another Linux kernel to boot from.

9. Clean Your System

Garuda Linux offers a few places where we can tidy up our system and free more space.

The first thing we can do is to remove orphans. Orphans are unused dependency packages. I recommend doing this from time to time.

Garuda Welcome → Garuda Assistant → Remove orphans

We can also clean the package cache to free up some space.

Garuda Welcome → Garuda Assistant → Clean package cache

Lastly, we have BleachBit. It’s a more advanced app so I would advise you to be careful when cleaning stuff with it.

Bleachbit on Garuda Linux

10. Check for Errors

This is a more advanced tip that I believe will come you in handy. Garuda Linux is crippled with problems so I recommend not skipping this one.

Check for failed systemd services:

sudo systemctl --failed

Check for errors in logfiles:

sudo journalctl -p 3 -xb

Logfiles will often show some errors, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that something is broken. If you do see something there, that you expect to work, then it’s time to research more about the issue and try to fix it.

journalctl command output on Garuda Linux

Conclusion

These were essential things that I believe everyone should do after installing Garuda Linux. However, we can always use a few more extras. Let me know your tips in the comments below!s

Also, if you wonder about my opinion on Garuda Linux, check out my Review of Garuda Linux

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Vladimir Mikulic
Vladimir Mikulic Freelance Software Developer | Linux Enthusiast

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