• September 10, 2014 - Early September '14 Status - Two things stand out for the last 4-5 weeks in the development of KaOS. - A move to UEFI capable ISOs has been in the works for about 5 months, but there finally is a working version available. The KaOS-kf5 2014.09.06 test-iso is a first that fully boots in BIOS, EFI and UEFI capable systems, using... More →
  • August 20, 2014 - KaOS ISO 2014.08 - With KDE releasing the new major version KDE 4.14.0, offering primarily improvements and bugfixes, KaOS is happy to be able to present you a new ISO with KDE 4.14.0 the same day it is released. KDE Applications 4.14 is not about lots of "new and improved stuff". As with KaOS, many KDE developers... More →
  • August 11, 2014 - Early August '14 Status - Last 4-5 weeks no visual major changes, weeks were more marked with update, rebuild and prepare. - Preparation is in full swing to be ready for KDE 4.14 later this month, latest RC is build and currently tested on an ISO. KDE 4.13.3 is the latest currently available to all KaOS users. - Lots of... More →
  • July 6, 2014 - Early July '14 Status - Another month passed where a lot of interesting things happened in KaOS. - First the most visual change. The website has undergone a complete overhaul, this to get easier navigation, have all the navigation menus being fully compatible with Qt5 browsers and have more info about this distribution... More →
  • June 12, 2014 - KaOS ISO 2014.06 - KaOS is proud to announce the availability of the June release of a new stable ISO. The last two months updates were done to a good 1100 packages and to stay with the policy that a first pacman -Syu should be an uncomplicated one for new users means a new ISO is needed. - At the base of the system... More →
  • June 6, 2014 - Early June '14 Status - A very busy month for KaOS is behind us. To start with the usual, though it was a bit more then normal, a good 700 packages were updated, this combined with the 500 or so more the month before, makes it clear, a new ISO is needed soon to stay with the policy to have the first pacman -Syu for new... More →

A lean KDE Distribution

About

Moving away from proprietary Operating Systems to open source options (Linux-based, BSD based, Solaris based) is about wanting freedom and choice in almost all cases. But should any such Operating System or Distribution not make some choices of what it believes is the best fit? KaOS sees a lack of focus in that respect. To create the highest quality Distribution possible, there needs to be a focus to make sure the user gets the best possible for whatever choice they made.
It simply is not possible to package any and all to work perfect for every Desktop Environment or Toolkit.

Choices

KaOS has made the choice to use the Linux kernel as a base (though the Illumos kernel is under constant evaluation, and a future switch is a wish). After that choice, the best available package manager, most flexible way of package building, repository maintenance is pacman/makepkg for a rolling distro like KaOS.
As for the Desktop Environment, there will never be a change, whether it is Linux or Illumos based, KDE will be the choice, Qt the Toolkit.
With those choices in place, April 2013 package building for this independent distribution was started. KaOS is a build from scratch distribution, every package in every repository is build by and for KaOS. By July 2013 the initial goal of about 1500 packages was reached.

Other Toolkits

Making the choice for KDE/QT does not mean KaOS loses sight of the importance of having the best tool available for the job. Most of the time it is believed KDE/Qt provides the superior tool, but there are a few applications were the GTK option is the only available of that kind (Inkscape, Ardour to name two), or in the case of web-browsers for example, the Qt options do not stack up to their GTK counterparts. For those instances, GTK applications are available, though their number will stay limited.

Repositories

The repository layout is simple, and consists of three groups, Core, Main and Apps. A regular complete system update will always give you the latest available, without the need for any re-install of the system.
“Core” has the base packages needed for a system to boot-up, communicate with the BIOS connect most hardware and set basic shell options. Example packages are the kernel, systemd, toolchain for building and basic command-line tools. This repository is carefully rolling, since any upstream update not thoroughly tested greatly affects the stability of the system.
“Main” repository consists of all the needed libraries, extra drivers and firmware needed to make the Desktop and Applications function. Many of these can be fully rolling and will move to the end-user after a seven to ten days testing period. Some more vulnerable packages will enter after enough upstream feedback is available that no regressions have occurred.
“Apps” consists of all packages seen and used by the users, including KDE and any needed tools. It is fully rolling and you can expect updates to reach this repository after a short testing period, unless it needed to be built on newer versions of Core or Main packages, than it will have to wait until those are ready to come out of their testing period.
“Build” is were all packages start, whether it is a rebuild, update or new addition, all goes to build, once gone through the proper testing, than they are moved to their respective repository.