KaOS ISO 2015.02

KaOS ISO 2015.02

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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.
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

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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:

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

Category : Uncategorized

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.

kf5 ISO 2015.01.25 a Release Candidate?

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Since May last year there have been 2-3 monthly snapshot ISOs based on the ongoing work to port all of KaOS to the all new Frameworks 5, Plasma 5 and KDE Applications based on those two. None of these ISOs were ever announced to the public, always kept for internal testing by only just discussing those in the forums
KaOS-kf5-2015.01.15 is a first ISO were it looks like kf5 is getting to a point were it might be ready to replace KDE 4 within a month or so. That is why a first ever announcing of a not stable release ISO in the News.

With this post, hopefully two things will be accomplished. First, by announcing to a wider audience more testing might happen. That would show if more new and possible show-stopper bugs are present.
Second, by releasing a very complete, fully Plasma 5 based ISO feedback might come for a general opinion on whether kf5 is now ready to replace KDE 4.
One thing KaOS has done quite different from most/all other distributions who are in the process of moving to kf5 is from the start the choice was made not to mix the two Desktops. It was never planned to use kf5 on top of KDE 4 based applications. Once Frameworks 5, Plasma 5 and KDE Applications kf5 based are deemed ready for stable, all of KDE 4 will be removed from the repositories, and KaOS will go back on focusing again on one Desktop Environment only.
This ISO contains the stable release of frameworks 5.6.0 packages, plasma 5.2.0 based packages, KDE Applications 14.12.1 based and for all applications that do not have a stable kf5 release yet, but are in various stages of being ported, git builds of such packages are included. Examples of those that do not have a stable release yet but are included, are Dolphin, Digikam, Kdenlive, Marble, Ark, Kmix, the whole kde-telepathy group, Kget and Kompare.
Two complete Look & Feel packages made for KaOS kf5 are available, Midna & Midna-dark, where Midna is default at this stage.
midna dark
This ISO is not just for showing kf5 though, the new installer Calamares has had a good thirty bug fixes since the last stable ISO from December. New features are also implemented, this includes having a slideshow during the install and for UEFI installs, finding other installed Operating Systems that did use UEFI-GRUB.

For any comments/questions/discussions/known-issues on this ISO:
Forum link

This ISO is no longer available, stable kf5 ISO will be out shortly
Testing ISO is up for this at:
KaOS test ISO

To create reliable installation Media:
Remember, KaOS ISOs are NOT compatible with unetbootin, and for DVDs, no write speed higher then 4x.

Early January ’15 Status

Category : Uncategorized

Quite a lot of news to relay this time.

But first it is needed to place a warning. With your next update a conflict will arise from libspnav. Any user that has either Calligra or freecad installed will have this conflict. Old version of libspnav left an orphaned symlink. When you get the conflict error with your next pacman -Syu, just remove the old file:
sudo rm /usr/lib/libspnav.so.0
then run pacman -Syu again

With that out of the way, it is time to explain the transition phase KaOS is in now. Since May last year work has been done to get ready for Plasma 5 as the default and only DE. It was never planned to have Plasma 5 and KDE 4 co-exists. Since the middle of December all Frameworks 5 (moved to 5.6.0), Plasma 5 (moved to 5.2 beta) and KDE Applications 14.12 (kf5 based, currently at 14.12.1) have been rebuilt in such a way that the update from a KDE 4 install to Plasma 5 will be fully automated. That is not finished yet, but about 80 % ready.

For a good amount of time it was not clear at all if KDE would still maintain the base packages from KDE 4, but with the release of all of 14.12.1 (kf5 and KDE 4 based), things have become a lot clearer. This release also included LTS versions of kdelibs, kdepimlibs, kdepim-runtime, kdepim and kde-workspace, plus kde-runtime is part of 14.12 releases. This means the base of KDE 4 will see (some) maintenance until August 2015, that is when it is officially end of life.

With the discussion of last October in mind, there was quite a bit of urgency then to move to Plasma 5, since it looked like KDE 4 would not be maintained. That urgency is gone now. The full move to Plasma 5 can be done now when it is ready. Plus with the clear goal of KaOS to focus all work on one DE only, hopefully it is understood maintaining both KDE 4 and Plasma 5 is not a desirable situation.
As you can expect, the real focus is now on Plasma 5/KDE Applications plasma 5 & frameworks based.
It is now truly a full functional DE, all major apps are working. All those are ports to plasma 5. Some examples of the last 4-6 weeks, digikam, kdepim, kde telepathy packages.kdepim
For an office suite, Calligra now runs on Plasma 5. It is not fully integrated, since this is a KDE 4 version build with only kdelibs (4), so it does not pick native colors and text, but it is stable and fully functional.
Getting the artwork integrated in Plasma 5 is coming along very nice too.
A complete Look & Feel Midna package is created for KaOS. Plus a darker version is included in the midna-themes meta package. Here an example, image of ksplash. splash4
And an image of the plasma 5 theme “Midna Dark”
midna dark
So what does this all mean for the users of the stable repositories? Expect no changes for January and at least most of February. You will receive all monthly updates that KDE brings.
But anyone using packages from KCP that are based on KDE 4, now is the time to check if there are ports to frameworks available, or start preparing to remove/replace those. Anything you have from KCP based on KDE 4 will cause the update to fail once kf5 moves to stable. You have about two more months to get this sorted.

Anyone wanting to have a more thorough review of the upcoming Plasma 5, a new snapshot ISO will be available later tonight. Use it in Live mode to see what works for you and what not yet. Install it if you want to help determine when it is ready to replace KDE 4 for all users. Input from many is needed to determine the best time.

About 300 packages will be moved with the usual monthly KDE update in a few hours, so make sure to give your mirror time to sync. Of course all the normal updates as you can expect from KaOS have continued. Major groups updated were glib2 (including all gtk packages), poppler and mesa. Security fixes for openssl, curl, libevent, file and bash. Firefox 35.0 will be available with your next update too.

Concerning kcp, work was done during the last month to make the requests safer and faster. The update of the database takes around 4-5s, so it can be used each day. octopi fully integrates these modifications, and the system updating button will update the kcp database, too. Moreover, octopi implements the –list and –outdated options of kcp, now.

KaOS ISO 2014.12

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calamaresKaOS is very proud to announce the availability of the December release of a new stable ISO. This ISO marks two major milestones for this distribution. Since it’s inception almost two years ago, a need to be ready for UEFI installs has always been a priority. That was tied though to getting a modern Qt based installer that could handle such UEFI installs. With this ISO, both are implemented.

The new, Qt5/python3 based installer is a joint effort of several distributions. In May of this year, developers of Netrunnner, KaOS and Manjaro got together to discuss the possibility to work jointly on a brand new, Qt5 based installer. The idea was born to create Calamares. By June the coding started and by August a first, raw usable version was put into testing for KaOS-kf5 based ISOs. Currently, Calamares is being developed with contributions from BBQLinux, Fedora, KaOS, Kubuntu, Manjaro, Maui and Netrunner.partitioning
Calamares is an installer framework, entirely modular. Being that modular shows on this ISO, since it uses about 25 % of the modules that are KaOS specific, but all stays entirely integrated. Please understand though, Calamares is not at a stable version yet, it is at beta stage, and certain parts are not implemented yet. To see Calamares in action see this video.
For UEFI installs, KaOS uses the simple, transparent but quite powerful gummiboot as bootloader.EFI partition

This ISO is a first to have the split way of releasing from KDE. The applications are KDE Applications 14.12.0, bringing new features and bug fixes to more than a hundred applications. The base of KDE is more in a frozen state now, those are at 4.14.3, were the lts kde-workspace is at 4.11.14.

The all new Qt 5.4.0 is bringing new features like the chromium based qtwebengine and qtwayland. The Qt5 based KDE Frameworks 5 packages are starting to get integrated into the KaOS repositories. Examples of packages using frameworks are the default web-browser Qupzilla, package-manager Octopi and the installer Calamares.

The base of the system underwent quite some change. An all new GCC 4.9.2 and GLIBC 2.20 toolchain was build. Systemd moved to 218, with that move firmware loading is no longer handled by systemd, but is now done by the kernel. Linux 3.17.7 was build in such a way that it can accommodate those changes.

Cellix keeps improving the KaOS Community Packages helper “kcp”. It is now go based, can do searches for outdated packages, list all packages, list the packages by popularity, much faster searches and improved handling of building & installing packages.

The default media-player, smplayer, added a new backend. It now can not only use mplayer, but also mpv. With mpv full streaming integration is implemented, the list of sites it can now handle in smplayer is large

Known issues:

  • 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
  • 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
  • Presenting a slideshow during the install is not implemented yet
  • Installing on RAID, LVM, LUKS is currently not possible

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

Early December ’14 Status

Category : Uncategorized

With a late October post about how to proceed with kf5 and the announcement of a new stable ISO November 6, last month was skipped for one of these “Early Month” posts. Resuming it again this month.

It is a bit of a chaotic situation for packagers regarding KDE, many things are very unclear, so for KaOS, just trying to do the best with the limited info that comes from KDE devs.
KDE for all stable users was updated to 4.14.3, with kde-workspace staying at 4.11 (currently 4.11.14), kactivities no more releases for KDE 4. KDE-workspace is supposed to keep getting releases until August 2015, but nothing is posted anywhere for such releases after the November release, see the bottom of the 4.11 release schedule.
Frameworks 5 is quite clear how it is released, and is fully stable, so no issues there.
Plasma 5 is getting regular releases, but not clear what is supposed to be in Plasma 5 (pretty much most of the old kde-workspace), some parts are needed for applications, like a kf5 version of kdepimlibs, but that one is not part of Plasma 5, nor are there any stable tars for it, no mention were it will go in the future, Plasma 5 or KDE Applications…..
And mentioning KDE Applications, there it gets really unclear. First release with the naming scheme of year_month is due next week, 14.12.
The beta and rc versions of the kf5 parts of that release have been build for KaOS, and are available in the kde-next repo, but only 12 applications are kf5 based, all the rest is still KDE 4, BUT, very large parts of the old KDE 4 are NOT released with 14.12. Completely unclear if they will be released at all anymore, if they will be released as another 4.14.xx release, maybe 14.12, only documentation available are these release notes, try to figure how this is supposed to be packaged and when…..
Kden port
With all this being so unclear, the goal of moving KaOS fully to kf5 by late February is really taking shape so the focus can go back to just one Desktop Environment, and tons of work toward that has been done the last 4-6 weeks, including the release of KaOS-kf5 2014.12.04 test ISO. Dozens and dozens of early ports have been added to kde-next, many Qt5 builds have been done to get ready as soon as possible for Qt 5.4, Plasma 5.2 will be based on that and (5.2.0 is due to be released early February). Calligra has made a schedule to start their major move to Qt5 in January, then they will use the 1-2 months after that move to try and stabilize all, so it looks like there will be a working Calligra Qt5 version available be late February.
Calamares Locale
The new installer Calamares has seen hundreds of commits over the last one plus month, and is ready for KaOS to be used. Not bug free or fully complete, but the best option available to come with an UEFI ready stable ISO and install.

For the rest, the usual updates for this rolling distro have come in at there normal pace. One bigger update to mention is the new toolchain, based on GCC 4.9.2 and glibc 2.20. That new toolchain was delayed somewhat by the major known issues in GCC 4.9.0 and 4.9.1, which made those no candidates for KaOS, see one such comment of the state of gcc 4.9.

KCP added a few more functions. Cellix created the option to use bash-completion with kcp, show the full content of KCP with kcp --list-all and –help can show the version.

KaOS ISO 2014.11

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KaOS is proud to announce the availability of the November release of a new stable ISO. Since August updates were done to a good 1200 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.

Testing for this ISO took longer then usual, due to the fact that getting ready for an UEFI capable ISO is a must.  For that, the interim installer is not a good option, so a lot of work was done to try and get the new Qt5 based installer, Calamares ready, but it is just too early to use on a stable ISO. So this is one last time a BIOS only ISO.
At the base of the system some of the updates this ISO has, linux 3.16.7, gcc 4.8.3, llvm 3.5.0, Qt5 5.3.2, openssl 1.0.1.j, mesa 10.3.2, bash 4.3.030, poppler 0.26.1, systemd 216 and xorg-server 1.16.1.

The latest KDE 4.14.2 version is available on this ISO, the second in a series of monthly stabilization updates to the 4.14 series. More than 35 recorded bugfixes include improvements to E-Mail client KMail, Umbrello UML Modeller, the document viewer Okular, the plot drawing application Kmplot and the file manager Dolphin.
Large rebuilds were needed for the boost 1.56.0/icu 54.1, ffmpeg 2.4.3 and libimobiledvice/usbmuxd updates.

Major apps that were updated to their latest include Calligra 2.8.6, LibreOffice 4.3.3, Google-Chrome 40, Firefox 33.0.2
The move to gstreamer 1.0 only in the KaOS repos is almost complete, with that, Clementine is back on this ISO since it too moved to gstreamer 1.0.
New to this ISO is the Qt5 webcam app “webcamoid” and the opensource, Qt5 based, file sharing client Seafile

About 200 packages will be moved with the release of this ISO, so for all current users, give your mirror a few hours to fully sync, or wait until tomorrow to do your update.

Plasma 5/Frameworks 5 plans & test ISO

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There has been a lot of internal talk since May this year, and lately discussions on the forum and on the KaOS G+ channel about when and how to move to Plasma 5/Frameworks 5. Following those discussions, you know KaOS switching to Plasma 5 is getting closer.
From all that was said in those discussions, it was getting clear a good target date for this full switch to a pure Plasma 5/Frameworks based KaOS will be somewhere middle January to early February, with the release of Plasma 5.2 (planned to be based on Qt 5.4).
To get fully ready, the kf5 test ISOs will get their own forum threads from now , so it will be easier to discuss the findings from each ISO.

Latest test ISO, KaOS-kf5 2014.10.30 is based on Qt 5.4, meaning intel issues are present (and known upstream). To make it usable for many more intel users, kwin is set to use XRender as default, not OpenGl. For those with other then intel gfx, it is easy to switch in systemsettings > display & monitor.
This ISO is also quite complete in regards what apps will be shipped in the final version. Many more were ported to Frameworks, added to this ISO from that are kget, kruler, kcharselect as a few examples. Qt 5.4 brings a stable qtwebengine, Qupzilla on this ISO is an early qtwebengine port. Missing is (and probably will be on the final version too) an office suite. Calligra won’t be ready anytime soon, libreoffice works very nice now on Plasma 5, see LibreOffice for Plasma 5, but needs GTK for that.

With this ISO, branding for KaOS has started, no more vanilla Plasma 5 as shipped by KDE. The Midna theme shows now throughout, just wallpaper set is not possible at this moment, just one of the known bugs. List of known bugs (mostly upstream bugs at this point):

  • opening a second document from Dolphin in Kate, or trying to create a new folder/document with right click fails KDE bug 337889
  • Wallpaper settings not applied KDE bug 337757
  • kdeconnect crashing on clicking systemtray icon KDE bug 338420
  • kactivities is curently broken, so far a KaOS only issue, most probably due to Qt 5.4 though
  • many just ported apps miss a correct .desktop file, so can’t be launched from the menu, need to be launched from krunner or the terminal (.desktop has an erroneous % still there)
  • Logout/reboot/shutdown from GUI is non-functional, KDE bug 338360

Calamares has gotten quite a bit of work again, but the 2 main features missing are not resolved. Working now are setting the hostname as a variable, if a selected EFI boot partition is not labeled as such yet, it does get that needed label. Theming is improved, also following the Midna theme. Text is added in areas were previous testers showed things were unclear.
BUT not implemented yet are:

  • setting the correct locale and keyboard
  • proper shutting down the installer, once the install is finished
  • unmounting on a failed install still has to be done manually (or by rebooting), before a next install can be attempted.
    issue 97
  • the link to “Known Issue” just leads to the download page, no section there yet for known issues
  • Calamares can’t correctly create a GPT partition table on a BIOS system issue 2

ISO sets the needed repos by default for these next few months, so it is easier to use for more users.
To download:
KaOS-kf5 2014.10.30 ISO
Versions on this ISO:
linux 3.16.6
Qt 5.4 Beta
Frameworks 5.3.1
KDE Applications (soon to be 14.12), git versions only

Early October ’14 Status

Category : Uncategorized

It probably looked like a quiet four weeks for most. And it is true no major visible changes have occurred, but things were far from quiet.

As with the goal of this distribution, packaging took most of the time. Major groups were updated, resulting in well over 600 packages build. Expect new boost and icu to land in the stable repositories within a few days, all perl packages moved there about a week ago. Systemd moved to 216, new make, cmake, ruby were among the many core packages updated. New nvidia, gstreamer 1.0, mesa, xorg-server and mono were among those updated in main. Of course the new KDE 4.14.1 were build, as did libreoffice and calligra.

The shellshock bug found in bash caused a whirlwind of updates for that package. Partially because it took many people to find a good, final solution for that bug, and another part was because of finding the shellshock bug, bash code was reviewed by hundreds, maybe thousands. Inadvertently that actually became a nice side effect, with that many reviewing, many bugs were found and fixed.
The new installer Calamares has been used successfully a few times to install KaOS into UEFI systems. That part is not fully automated yet, neither is locale setup, but the last four weeks saw tremendous improvements for that installer, it is even hopeful it can be used as the default installer for the next stable ISO later this month.

Frameworks moved to the 5.3.0 release, plasma 5 to 5.1 beta, both were built on the pre-release of Qt 5.4. It is a pity plasma 5 is not fully usable or stable yet, since it is looking so good compared to KDE 4…….
Expect a new kf5 ISO as soon as plasma 5.1 has moved to a stable release (should be in 1-2 days). Image shows just two of the many, many new things you will find, widget style “breeze” and the option to just use right-click to switch the taskmanager style.