Garuda LXQt-kwin Linux, Worth It?

garuda lxqt banner

I was running out of space on my OS drive, which I allowed Manjaro to partition as a single drive. Yeah, I know. Anyway, the new drive gave me an excuse to give Garuda a try again. Last time I installed their KDE version on an external thumb drive and found some design choices irritating, like the window and menu behaviors. I thought about trying Gnome, as well as a couple others, but I had never used LXQt so I chose it.

Install went smoothly so nothing at all interesting there. Once I got my software installed and setup I began the theme tweaking. I decided to go with their neon cyberpunk look. I think it look great.

The look might be cool but LXQt is a hot mess. Multiple configs that could be unified with a little work might be nice, because I spent time flipping between three with occasional conflicts. Not being able to find things was a common issue also. Like the lock screen I thought I set to my preference that changed when I closed the lid and opened it again. I was presented with a different lock screen for simply closing the lid! WTF? Finally found that. Seriously, everything is buggy as shit but once you get things the way you want it seems mostly stable with the occasional glitch.

I am on an older System 76 Oryx Pro and needed the drivers and such from AUR or the fans were crazy, no keyboard back-light, no sensor data, etc. Got all that working and it all works well. Let me just stop here and say that the next big update will likely break everything on this laptop! Period. If you want a really stable machine with miner bleeding edge headaches go with Manjaro. That’s all I will say. For now it runs great and the only thing I could not get to work is Kmail storing my SMTP password. I see it in KWallet and everything else works.

Note: I am also running this on a Dell G7 and it all works really well. That required I force NVIDIA to always run or weird things happen. It is still buggy.

Pipewire is installed by default and it is flawless so far but if you don’t have sound in Wine or Lutris games see the below image for the packages you need to get it working. I also switched to Wireplumber. The only issue left to fix around the audio stuff is with Pigments Windows VST served by Yabridge causing Bitwig to freeze, it’s not really audio related.

I will see how long this lasts for me but if you just want to get shit done without too much concern for bugs and breakage install Arch, Manjaro, or some other flavor. I might just install Mate or KDE on top of this to see how that changes things. It is pretty though! Here’s the screen shots…

garuda lxqt
Desktop
garuda lxqt terminal
Neofetch
garuda system 76 drivers
System 76 Drivers
garuda kontact
Kontact
garuda vivaldi
Vivaldi Browser
fix pipewire audio in Lutris
No sound in Wine/Lutris? Install the above.

Here’s a link to the Bitwig Studio icon I made.

Colorful Bitwig Icon

Update: Garuda Linux was a buggy mess! I had to go back to Manjaro, but wanted to keep that awesome cyberpunk neon theme.

Details:

  • Manjaro Linux 21.2.1, 5.15.12 kernel.KDE Plasma 5.23.4
  • Replaced pulseaudio with Pipewire.
  • Running Yabridge for Windows VSTs.
  • Root and home are BTRFS.Doing system snapshots via Timeshift. Snapper offered little benefit over that.
  • Home is backed up by KBackup via cron.
  • Running plank, conky, and Plasma widgets for desktop candy. I wrote some conky conf and changed the Lua script for the circular system monitor.
  • Most of the theme is Sweet. I downloaded through Plasma’s appearance settings.
  • I chained the following icons together and in this order: Sweet-Rainbow, candy-icons, and BeautyLine.
  • I found the wallpaper searching cyberpunk city desktop wallpaper.
  • Installed System76 drivers to get the power management, sensors, and back-lights working.

Here’s a screenshot of Manjaro themed.

Manjaro screenshot
Manjaro Rules