Libpng 1.6 update

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.
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

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.
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:

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.

kf5 ISO 2015.01.25 a Release Candidate?

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

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/
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

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.