Garuda Linux Releases “Bird of Prey” with Plasma 6 Integration

The latest Arch-based Garuda Linux release, "Bird of Prey," features Plasma 6, major Sway updates, and a new FireDragon base.

Garuda Linux has just released its latest version, “Bird of Prey,” marking the first update of 2024. If you’re unfamiliar with this distribution, let us briefly introduce you—it’s worth your attention.

Garuda is a rolling release Linux distro falling under the category of Arch-based ones, designed to deliver a user-friendly experience right out of the box. However, the style with which they do this makes it stand out from such distributions as Manjaro or EndeavourOS.

There is also Calamares, an easy-to-use installer with a seamless installation that even first-time Linux users would fall in love with when they want to sample what the Arch ecosystem offers. But then, the going gets different.

The distro features a heavily customized KDE Plasma desktop tailored to the developers’ vision. It emphasizes a colorful and “draconian” aesthetic, a signature trait of the distribution. On top of that, Garuda bets on the Btrfs file system and the Fish shell.

It also features an in-house-developed suite of applications designed to ease its use. Finally, Garuda runs the Zen kernel, which is renowned for its large performance improvements and a must-have for Linux gamers.

That said, let’s see what the brand new “Bird of Prey” edition has in store for us.

Garuda Linux “Bird of Prey” Highlights

Garuda Linux "Bird of Prey"
Garuda Linux “Bird of Prey”

Powered by Linux Zen kernel 6.8, the highlight of this release is the upgrade to Plasma 6 (6.0.4), which brings a lot of improvements, with the main one being:

  • Build on top of the Qt 6.7 and Frameworks 6.1
  • Wayland as display server protocol by default
  • The latest in the KDE Gear 24.02.2 app collection
  • Partial HDR support
  • New floating panels and  redesigned panel’s settings
  • Return of the Desktop Cube effect
  • New Overview effect
  • Settings to choose your preferred sound theme
  • New default Task Switcher
  • More relevant Accent Colors
  • Improved search functionalities and better Night Light
  • Accessibility improvements

Additionally, this update has seen multiple plasmoids being ported or replaced to align with KDE 6, enhancing the overall user interface without altering its fundamental appearance.

In parallel, other desktop environments such as Sway and Hyprland have also received substantial updates. Sway introduces a new login experience with ReGreet and various desktop enhancements, including updated visual effects, a new default terminal, and an updated launcher. Hyprland continues to progress, with recent video showcases highlighting new developments.

On the app side, one of the notable updates includes FireDragon, Garuda Linux’s web browser, which has been rebased on Floorp, offering extensive customization options that greatly enhance browsing speed and user experience.

FireDragon Browser
FireDragon Browser

Behind the scenes, the build system for the Garuda repository has received significant updates. The introduction of Chaotic-AUR infra 4.0, the custom repository used by Garuda Linux, promises a streamlined and more efficient package management system, benefiting both users and developers.

Refer to the release announcement for detailed information about all changes in Garuda Linux “Bird of Prey.”

Lastly, if you want to try the new Garuda release, remember that the system requirements are slightly higher than for other Linux distributions but still well within normal limits.

  • 30 GB storage space
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Video card with OpenGL 3.3 or better
  • 64-bit system

For those interested in trying out or upgrading to the new “Bird of Prey” release, ISO images are available for various desktop environments directly from their website.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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