Early July ’15 Status

Early July ’15 Status

A major Qt update is moving to all users today, so a good time to combine that with one of these monthly status reports.

An early Qt 5.5 release entered the kde-next repositories almost three weeks ago so all needed rebuilds and new KDE versions could be build on this version. Now that Qt 5.5.0 final has been released all is ready to move to the stable repositories. Qtwebengine 5.5.0 is a major step forward of getting Qt based web-browser ready to use the chromium engine and will hopefully lead to a much more complete Qt base web-browser. Kf5-Qupzilla is an early port of Qupzilla away from qtwebkit to qtwebengine.
TellicoThis move includes Plasma 5 5.3.2 and KDE Applications 15.04.3. KaOS has been able to help to get some of the KDE packages ready for the Qt 5.5 move, about a dozen patches send upstream where accepted to make all build as should.
The move to Qt 5.5 also means that gstreamer0.10 is finally complete obsolete, nothing in the KaOS repositories needs this version anymore, so all gstreamer0.10 packages are removed.
The freed up space left vacated by this group gave room to have some new Kmahjonggapplications enter the repositories. This includes Tellico, newly ported to frameworks 5. Another just ported that entered is the Kmahjongg. A FOSS game, Megaglest, that is in the process of making the switch from wxwidgets to Qt5 is also added in its Qt5 version.
Slowly but surely more plasmoids are becoming available for plasma 5, new for the KaOS repositories is Gmailfeed an email checker & feed plasmoid.
Welcome page
Work continues steadily on Calamares, branding option is expanded to a Welcome page image implementation. Since its start Calamares has depended on the KDE partitionmanager, cooperation between Calamares & KDE partitionmanager developers has led to changes for partitionmanager which is now split into two components, the core libraries and the GUI part. This will make future partitioning improvements much easier to implement.

Xorg has moved to 1.17, all that depend on it were rebuild. Also moving today is the Glib2 2.44.2 stack update, this effected some sixty packages including gtk3 moving to 3.16.
In all a good 600 packages have moved so as always make absolute sure your mirror has synced before updating to all this latest.


KaOS ISO 2015.06

KaOS is proud to present the 2015.06 ISO. The policy is, once a first pacman -Syu becomes a major update, it is time for a new ISO so new users are not faced with a difficult first update. With the magnitude of changes the last two months, that new ISO is more than due.
Most notable major updates are the Boost/ICU stack, Gnutls/Nettles stack, a new Glibc 2.21 & Binutils 2.25 based toolchain, a move to Libpng 1.6 series, Linux 4 (4.0.5) and Systemd 220.
The latter now made the logical step to merge a bootloader with an init system. With this ISO KaOS moves to the Systemd provided Systemd-boot for UEFI installs, Gummiboot is depreciated.
With Linux 4.0.5 a much simpler way for users to make sure their intel microcode is always updated on boot is implemented. The needed in-kernel modules are now built in such a way that Systemd can handle the microcode updates.

kscreengenie
As for the desktop this ISO brings all the latest of Plasma 5 (Frameworks 5.9.11, Plasma 5.3.1) and KDE Applications 15.04.2. All build on Qt 5.4.2. Plasma-volume-control has replaced kmix for sound plasmoid, Kscreengenie has replaced Ksnapshot. Many more applications are now fully ported to Midna sddmQt5/Frameworks 5, biggest among those is the Calligra Suite. Also moved to Qt5 and back on this ISO is Clementine. New additions to the repositories includes applications very recently switching to Qt5, examples are Avidemux, Mixxx and Kup. The Midna artwork has expanded to now also provide a custom, modern flat icon set and a new sddm theme written in QML for KaOS.

Calamares, the used installer framework, has received a lot of work. Highlights of the additions:

  • Automated EFI support for partitioning and boot loader
  • Switch from Gummibot to Systemd-boot for UEFI systems
  • More robust partition detection and mounting/unmounting
  • Swap partition support in automatic partitioning
  • An improved Python modules API
  • User experience improvements, including all new Welcome and Summary pages
  • A greatly improved branding mechanism, with QML and translations support

Calamares_UEFI
Current KaOS users, please give your mirrors time to sync before updating, well over 300 packages are moved with the release of this ISO.

Known issues:

  • If you want to use a GPT partition table on a BIOS system, make sure to set it up following this Guide, the installer’s partitioner can only handle GPT correctly for UEFI
  • Installing on RAID, LVM, LUKS is currently not possible
  • When a drive contains a LUKS partition, Calamares will not start, see LUKS Bug report. It is needed to remove the LUKS partition before starting the installer

To create reliable installation media, please follow the instructions from the Download page. KaOS’s ISO’s do not support unetbootin, and DVDs need a burn speed no higher than 4x.


Early June’15 Status

This time quite early in the month a status post. Reason is this is just not news, but also a warning that a new way of building Calligra is finally moving to all users.
With your next upate you will be asked to replace all of the split Calligra with one combined “Calligra” package. This is a first Plasma 5/Frameworks 5 version for stable users. Make sure to answer “Yes” to all replaces questions.

karbonKarbon Frameworks 5 based working on the new Midna icons

Also moving to all users today is KDE Applications 15.04.2, a monthly bug fix release.

KaOS user MerMouY has been so kind to provide a much needed second European mirror. This one is located in France. You will notice a new pacman-mirrorlist package with your next update, make sure to merge
the mirrorlist.pacnew file if you plan to use this new mirror.

To complete the Plasma 5 artwork set, work has started to provide a “Midna” icon set. It combines influences from Emerald icons, the previously used KaOS flattr icons and newly created icons based on these two.

Calamares is making big strides forward. Automating all installs is now almost implemented, meaning that UEFI installs no longer need to use the manual option only.cala_auto_uefi Image shows the “Replace” option, also notice the much expanded summary page.

Among the many updates and worked on the last month, a few more need mentioning here. First one is systemd 220. This is a first release where this init system makes the logic combination of including a bootloader. Gummiboot is now depreciated, systemd-boot wil be the UEFI bootloader for KaOS from now on. This is a first step to get secure boot implemented. Another feature added with systemd 220 and UEFI installs, there is no longer a need for a /boot entry in fstab. Anytime the boot partition is needed, systemd will mount it automatically, unmount it after two minutes of no use. This came in quite handy working on some internal test ISOs and the Calamares changes……
Second is a new toolchain. A glibc 2.21, binutils 2.25 based new toolchain includes a new way way of building gcc. It is a build more in line with LFS, no longer split in six different packages, it is now just two.
Third change effects the kernel build. How intel microcode is loaded has changed some lately. Instead of having the user make all kinds of bootloader changes to have the microcode load correctly, the build of the kernel was adjusted so all is automated. Systemd can now handle the microcode update loading from the kernel modules. This change is currently only in linux-next, but will move shortly to the stable kernel too.
av4
Quite a few more applications made the Qt5 move last month. Mkvtoolnix is one that moved from gtk to Qt5, new added to the repo Avidemux also made such a move. Clementine & Suse Imagewriter moved from Qt4 build to Qt5. Kup, a back-up program is fully plasma 5 integrated, also among the newly added.
Font selection is now very complete for KaOS. Smaller font packages added are ttf-ms-fonts & cantarell-fonts. One package that adds a huge amount of fonts is the ttf-google-fonts package.

From all the above, it is clear a new ISO is very much needed soon, expect the first minimal test ISO to be up within the next 24-48 hours.


Libpng 1.6 update

KaOS has stayed with libpng 1.5 for as long as possible (and while that version was still fully maintained).
With 1.5.22 it seems maintenance has come to an end so there is no choice but to move to 1.6.
Libpng effects virtually all applications in the KaOS repositories so a large rebuild was needed (poppler was also effected, thus updated, which also triggered a rebuild of all depending on poppler).

With your next update you will receive this libpng change.
Reason to make this a news time though is this update will break most of your applications you build yourself (KCP or otherwise not from the KaOS repositories). Make sure to rebuild your non-repo packages depending on libpng after this update.


Early May ’15 Status

With Frameworks 5.10.0 moving to all users today, time to announce the many changes again.
Last week Plasma 5 5.3.0 became available for all KaOS users, today also adds Calligra 2.9.4 and LibreOffice 4.4.3.
Most users will have noticed larger updates then the usual, those were triggered by major updates to boost, icu, nettle and gnutls. All those required rebuilds for all that depend on them, so those four alone created updates to a good two hundred.
Then there is an ongoing update/rebuild for any older package in the [Main] repository, as per KaOS policy no package should go longer then one year without any rebuild should no update be available during that time. So far this has involved a good two hundred and fifty packages the last three weeks.
Midna sddm
Though as will be clear from the above, most work went into packaging, artwork received some updates too.
The sddm theme used so far was a slightly modified upstream default “Maui”. Now there is a brand new “Midna” sddm theme written in qml for KaOS. If you would like to use it, either editkdesu kate /etc/sddm.conf look for the [Theme] section and change to Current=midna, or adjust in system-settings > startup & shutdown > login screen > select Midna and save.

The translations of the KaOS website has moved to Transifex too joining all translation projects. The previous way of handling translations became impossible to maintain and with more translators interested in helping to add more languages, a change was needed. Transifex_live is a very new way of handling website translations, hopefully this will be the best long-term solution.
kscreengenie
Some interesting new additions to the repositories from the last four weeks include vnstat (Console-based network traffic monitor), kde-dev-scripts (Scripts and setting files useful during development of KDE software) and an all new Screenshot Utility “kscreengenie” has replaced ksnapshot in the KaOS repositories.
Vokoscreen and seafile-client are the latest applications who have been fully ported to Qt5.

Quite a large amount of packages is moving with this announcement, including some vital core packages that received major updates and will break your install should you try to update without your mirror being synced. So please check in Octopi or run mirror-check before updating, better yet, wait a day.


KaOS ISO 2015.04

A nice way of celebrating the second anniversary if this distribution is releasing KaOS 2015.04.
The previous two releases were the result of some drastic and fundamental changes to this distribution (new DE, new installer, move to UEFI). With this release it is finally back to a much more simple focus as always intended for this distribution.
MidnaMost attention has gone in updating and rebuilding well over 1200 packages the last two months. This includes updates to base packages like pacman, kmod, openssl, openssh, sudo, util-linux, cmake, ruby, nano, tzdata, full update of the complete glib2 stack and perl. PHP moved to the 5.6 series and has a much simpler build and install working.

As for the desktop this ISO brings all the latest of Plasma 5 (Frameworks 5.9.0, Plasma 5.2.95) and KDE Applications 15.04.0. All build on Qt 5.4.1. Many more applications are now fully ported to Qt5/Frameworks 5, among those re-added since their port became available are Skrooge, Kid3, Choqok and Kgamma. New additions to the repositories includes applications very recently switching to Qt5, examples are Wireshark, Frescobaldi and Musescore. The Midna artwork has a complete new look and recieved a good dozen bug fixes to integrate much better in Plasma 5. Issues to run AppsKaOS in virtualbox with guest-additions and sddm are fixed.

What was not foreseen two years ago when this distribution started that although it is limited, there seems to be a much larger user-base looking for what KaOS offers then was expected. The server in use was no longer capable to handle the tremendous increase in traffic. A second server is now deployed, the main server has moved to a much larger system. With all those infrastructure changes, the website did not stay behind, it too got a complete overhaul to show in a direct way, with clear focus what this distribution is about. Added is a Knowledge Base page which gathers many tutorials, tips, video presentations in one central place.Calamares

Calamares, the used installer framework, has added options in the partitioning stage, an expanded overview in the summary page, more translations added and an optional debug window. Gone is the issue with partitions not being properly unmounted.

OctopiOctopi is becoming a very crucial part of full system maintenance for KaOS. It is not just a GUI frontend to pacman. Tools like making sure a mirror is synced before starting any update, looking at the pacman logs were already included. Added now are an option to get a paste from a complete snapshot of all info of a system with the new SysInfo tool. Also included are very simple ways to open files, like copy to clipboard the file path shown in Octopi. To make sure the system doesn’t start using too much disk space for the pacman cache, but still giving the user the option to retain some recent packages, the cache-cleaner tool is a great addition. The built-in tool to access KCP has now a much clearer place with the addition of it’s own “foreign” icon in the menu-bar.

Known issues:

  • When using a ms-dos partition-table with extended partitions, the manual option to partition will fail to mount the needed target. Either click on the intended target partition in Dolphin prior to starting the installer (that will mount the partition), or select any of the automated partitioning options
  • For UEFI installs it is not possible at this time to use any of the three automated partitioning options, only the fourth options can be used
  • If you want to use a GPT partition table on a BIOS system, make sure to set it up following this Guide, the installer’s partitioner can only handle GPT correctly for UEFI
  • Installing on RAID, LVM, LUKS is currently not possible

Current KaOS users, please give your mirrors time to sync before updating, well over 300 packages are moved with the release of this ISO.

For further info about the ISO please see the Release Notes and the Download page.
Remember, KaOS ISOs are NOT compatible with unetbootin, and for DVDs, no write speed higher then 4x.


Early April ’15 Status

With so many news post leading up to the full Plasma 5 move and new ISO late last February, March was skipped for these monthly status reports.
Now that all is settled after all those massive changes, it is nice to bring you a monthly status report again focusing on what this distribution is about, not just reporting all the changes for a new Desktop Environment and installer.

The last six weeks so a tremendous amount of updates to all of the KaOS repositories. Updates and changes that had to wait until the full plasma 5 was done were all implemented. For the base of the system the most noticeable were systemd 219 and pacman 4.2.1. The latter brought a change in the databases which needed a manual update from the user. For Octopi it was the first time in it’s two years existence that such a change occurred. The message to manual update the database did not come through, thus needed a change in Octopi. For future such events, Octopi is now prepared.

SysinfoSpeaking of Octopi, that was not the only change it received. Major code changes were implemented to speed up all processes, what used to take 4 seconds, takes now 0.4 seconds.
A much needed addition to Octopi is the Sysinfo tool. This powerful tool makes it possible to create a full report of your system, including hardware info, what ISO was used, which repos activated, a pacman log among them. You will find it under the “Tools” menu. After clicking it (or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Shift-S while in Octopi), Sysinfo will gather all needed info, paste it and returns with a link to the paste. KCP has its own icon in Octopi now, it is no longer (somewhat) hidden among all the groups.

That brings us to KCP for which the kcp tool received a great addition. Whenever you want to submit new files to KCP you can now automatically verify the correctness of your PKGBUILD by running pckcp in the directory of your PKGBUILD.

When all was moved away from KDE 4 that also meant a major clean-up of no longer compatible packages and Frescobaldiremoving of packages that had not seen any maintenance for years. That created room in the KaOS repositories for new packages. Some came from KCP where they were used by many (examples frescobaldi, vorbis-tools, lilypond-doc) , some replaced no longer available applications (example coulr), others are just new additions for previous not available options like transifex-client and the now fully Qt5 ported wireshark.Wireshark

A change most of you probably already noticed is the complete redesign of the KaOS website. Previous design was focused on text and reading with colors easy on the eyes and minimal navigation needed to get to large amounts of text. That design did not get the needed info out clear enough, many just skipped reading and missed the major points about what this distribution is and what it it is not. The new layout tries to correct that, with a much more visual design and short, quick bursts of text to get the major points across.
That doesn’t mean the need for better info and good articles was forgotten. The new site has a much clearer way to get all kinds of articles, tutorials, guides and links. It is all in one central place from now on, see the Knowledge Base page.website


KaOS ISO 2015.02

KaOS is very proud to announce the availability of the February release of a new stable ISO. This release brings the end of KDE 4 as the default Desktop Environment for KaOS. Almost ten months ago work started to fully migrate to a Frameworks 5, Plasma 5 based distribution and with the release of Plasma 5.2.1 this migration is now deemed ready to bring a better user experience then KDE 4. From the unset of this migration there was never a plan to mix the two environments. What you will see on this ISO is a pure Plasma 5 based environment.
Plasma 5
As many might have noted KDE Applications 14.12 did not contain more then a handful of Plasma 5 applications. KaOS though has been shipping all ported applications from their frameworks branch in the many snapshot ISO it has released to get ready for this migration. Just about all applications that users have become used to seeing in a KDE 4 version are available as a Plasma 5 port. A few though are not ready yet, and those will be missing from the KaOS repositories until their ports are ready for daily use. An example is the application Skrooge, users are advised to use the fully ported Kmymoney until Skrooge can return back to the repositories.splash4
To give you an idea of what is available in the KaOS repositories from the well over 150 framework ports, kde-baseapps (including Dolphin, Konqueror, Kdialog), Okular, Choqok, Kdepim, Kdenlive, Ktuberling, Marble, Kpat, Kcmsystemd, Digikam, Kipi-plugins, Quassel, Kget, the KDE-telepathy packages and Kamoso. Support packages ported to Qt5/Frameworks 5 for this include mlt, opencv, qca and frei0r-plugins.
Look & Feel is a KaOS exclusive version “Midna”, fully redone for the Plasma 5 move.

Calamares, the used installer framework, reached its first stable release early February. Since the December ISO where this installer was used for the first time, it received well over forty bug fixes. A few more of the planned features are implemented, this includes a proper closing page and the presentation of a slideshow during the install.
For UEFI installs, KaOS uses the simple, transparent but quite powerful gummiboot as bootloader.
snapshot2
Octopi received a new tool “Cache Cleaner”, with it you can selectively remove packages from your pacman cache. That cache can grow to a significant size if never cleaned.

All current KaOS users, with the release of this ISO all packages needed to move your system to Plasma 5–see kf5 move News— will be moved too. Make sure to give your mirror time to sync before attempting this update, or wait 1-2 days before doing this update.

Known issues:

  • For UEFI installs it is not possible at this time to use any of the three automated partitioning options, only the fourth option can be used
  • If you want to use a GPT partition table on a BIOS system, make sure to set it up following this Guide, the installer’s partitioner can only handle GPT correctly for UEFI
  • If for any reason the install fails, the installer currently does not unmount the partition it needed to use for the install. Before restarting the install either umount manually or restart the Live mode
  • Installing on RAID, LVM, LUKS is currently not possible

For further info about the ISO please see the release notes and the Download page.


Kf5 move, KDE 4 removed

Anyone slightly familiar with KaOS knows this announcement was coming.
Tomorrow, February 24th, this full move will take place. This will mean the end of the KDE 4 desktop for KaOS. All parts of the KDE 4 desktop will be fully replaced by Plasma 5.

What does this mean for KaOS users?
With your next update, you will see that many package will be replaced, this can be anywhere between 80 to well over 200 packages being replaced.
If you run this update with pacman, it will ask you for each replace to confirm, all defaults are correct (“Yes”) so you can hold the “enter” key to confirm all.
If you use Octopi, then all is automated, Octopi selects the default answer for you.Plasma 5

During this update a helper application will pop-up, it will give you some more info about what is happening, gives instructions in case you already use sddm as login manager and gives you a GUI to be able to reboot or shutdown once the update is completed.

Theming for Qt4 applications, remaining KDE 4 applications and GTK based applications will slightly change. To integrate all, best option right now is to use QtCurve. This update will automatically install qtcurve and qtcurve4 for you, if you use GTK applications, install qtcurve-gtk too.
A good way to integrate all is to create a symlink from your Plasma 5 settings to the old kde4:
ln -sf ~/.config/kdeglobals ~/.kde4/share/config/kdeglobals
That way, anytime you make changes to Plasma 5 settings, they will automatically be applied to all.
If some Qt4 apps do not integrate well, you can apply the qtcurve settings for those with:
qtconfig

Right from the start of this move in May last year, simpler naming and removing artificial split packages was implemented too.
You won’t find names like kdegraphics-gwenview or kdeutils-ark anymore, they follow the simple upstream naming as in just gwenview and ark.
Same is done for packaging, all is set as KDE ships. That means there is no longer a split package “kde-baseapps-dolphin or kdepim-kmail. Those are all shipped as one package by KDE, so dolphin is part of kde-baseapps (just like konqueror), kmail is part of the one complete kdepim package.
Others have been split by KDE, example is kdepimlibs, it is now split into 20 different packages.

As has been warned for four months, this update will fail if you have packages that are not from the KaOS repositories that depend on the KDE 4 desktop. Make sure to remove any you might still have remaining. Check your install with:
pacman -Qm
If any package that the above command returns depends on KDE 4, remove prior to this update. KaOS cannot and never will be responsible for packages you install not from the official repositories.

Another News post will follow tomorrow once the move is done and the new stable, Plasma 5 based ISO is released.


Early February ’15 Status

This time a short News post.
So much work is happening in the background not visible to the regular that it doesn’t make sense to expand too much on that.

KDE 4 was updated to KDE Applications 14.12.2, which included lts version of 4.14 and 4.11 based kdelibs, pim packages & kde-workspace. This was the final build for KDE 4 in KaOS.

The full move to Frameworks 5, Plasma 5 and KDE Applications kf5 based is in full swing. There no longer is a separate repository in use for it, all has moved to the [build] repo so the fully automated move from a KDE 4 based desktop to Plasma 5 based can be tested by many who have the [build] repo enabled.

Now is also the time to warn one more time to check all your packages you have that are not from the KaOS repositories. Any that depend on the KDE 4 desktop will have to be removed or check if upstream has a frameworks 5 port ready. If the ONLY depend your application has for KDE 4 is kde-runtime, rebuild it with replacing kde-runtime with kdelibs.

Expect the kf5 move to stable to happen in about 10-14 days. This update will fail if you don’t follow the advice posted above for non KaOS maintained packages. One more News post will follow, one day prior to all packages moving to stable.