Release Notes

KaOS - 2020.09

KaOS is pleased to announce the availability of the September release of a new stable ISO.

With almost 60 % percent of the packages updated since the last ISO and the last release being over two months old, a new ISO is more than due. News for KDE Applications 20.08 included Dolphin adding thumbnails for 3D Manufacturing Format (3MF) files, you can also see previews of files and folders on encrypted file systems such as Plasma Vaults now remembers and restores the location you were viewing, as well as the open tabs, and split views you had open when you last closed it.Yakuake now lets you configure all the keyboard shortcuts that come from Konsole and there is a new system tray item that shows you when Yakuake is running. Elisa now lets you display all genres, artists, or albums in the sidebar, below other items.

As always with this rolling distribution, you will find the very latest packages for the Plasma Desktop, this includes Frameworks 5.74.0, Plasma 5.19.5 and KDE Applications 20.08.1. All built on Qt 5.15.1..

For the installer Calamares, KaOS continues to move modules to QML. This release now features a complete rewrite Locale module with a real live, accurate map. This module is developed by and for KaOS, but has been accepted upstream. Using a real world map brings far greater accuracy of the location selections. Coordinates are shown on hover, and translated to locale on click. The new keyboard QML module introduced in the last ISO is improved with better visibility.

New applications added include Kdiff3 and the Keysmith (for Two-factor authentication)

Updates to the base of this distribution include Python3 3.8.5, ICU 67.1, Boost 1.73.0, Systemd 246, Git 2.28.0, LLVM/Clang 10 (10.0.1), Opencv 4.4.0, Gstreamer 1.18.0, Poppler 20.9.0, Mesa 20.1.8, NetworkManager 1.26.2, Perl 5.30.3, Xorg-server 1.20.9, Linux 5.7.19 and Qt 5.15.1.

The Midna theme used for KaOS has been redone for 2020, biggest change there is the move from QtCurve to Kvantum for the application style. Implemented is a custom Midna Kvantum theme, following the same style as used in Croeso and the Welcome application. Ksplash is simplified with less moving images, SDDM theme has better contrast. Complete new is theming for the systemd-bootloader, gone is the standard black background with white text, instead you will see a well intgrated option with the rest of the Midna theme. The grub bootloader was updated to follow a similar look as the systemd-bootloader.

Since LibreOffice 6.2, it is now possible to supply this as a pure Qt5/kf5 application. LibreOffice has thus replaced Calligra as the default Office Application for KaOS.

KaOS' creation Croeso (Welsh for welcome) for helping with configuring a new install is included. It will run on the newly installed system and offers to adjust some 15 commonly used settings, includes a custom Wallpaper selector, distribution info and the option to select packages to install from six different groups. It is written in QML and fits well with the Welcome application used in the Live system. The latter includes an Installation Guide.

There is an option to verify the authenticity of downloaded KaOS ISO files through GPG signature verification, see the Download page for further details and instructions.

A KaOS specific tool to write ISO files to USB is in use. Not only does IsoWriter write to USB it also gives the option to recover your USB stick after using it for an ISO, something that regular dd copy or the previously used Imagewriter were not able to do. It includes the option to verify the written USB in comparison to the used ISO file.

The artwork includes custom icon themes for light and dark themes. Midna and Midna Dark both create a complete unified look from boot-up all the way through logout.

This ISO uses the CRC and finobt enabled XFS filesystem as default. CRCs enable enhanced error detection due to hardware issues, whilst the format changes also improves crash recovery algorithms and the ability of various tools to validate and repair metadata corruptions when they are found. The free inode btree does not index used inodes, allowing faster, more consistent inode allocation performance as filesystems age.

Octopi 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, an option to get a paste from a complete snapshot of all info of a system with the SysInfo tool are included. 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 its own "foreign" icon in the menu-bar. When viewing package info it is now possible to click the depends of such a package. New added is the option to select custom icons for the systemtray.

For UEFI installs, KaOS uses the simple, transparent but quite powerful systemd-boot as bootloader.

To learn more about the goals and ideas behind KaOS, please read the Home, About and FAQ pages.

To avoid any misunderstanding and confusion, KaOS is not based upon, derived of, or inspired by any one particular distribution. It is completely independent, build entirely from scratch with its own repositories. To read more about this see FAQ. A rolling release distribution never has a "final" release, every ISO is merely a snapshot of the current status of the repositories. An idea what is currently available:

The ISO ships with Frameworks 5.74.0, Plasma 5.19.5, KDE Applications 20.08.1, Linux 5.7.19, Systemd 246, Kmod 27, NetworkManager 1.26.2, LibreOffice 7.0.1, Krita 4.3.0, Elisa, Xorg-Server 1.20.9, Mesa 20.1.8, Glibc 2.31, GCC 9.3.0, non-free Nvidia 450, Pepperflash and Python3 3.8.5 to name a few.

The package manager is Pacman 5.2.2, with the simple but powerful Octopi 0.9dev as GUI frontend. Default web browser is Qt based Falkon 3.1.0. GFXboot is included with KaOS artwork, Grub theme is Midna, Look & Feel is a KaOS exclusive version "Midna", redone for 2020.

Repositories of KaOS will stay limited in size and expect it to stay at the current maximum of about 2100-2200. A gist of what is available, besides the stable kernel there is Linux-next 5.7, Calligra 3.2, VLC, Vokoscreen, Blender, Kodi, Calibre, Sigil, Vulkan packages, a few games like 0ad and Knights.
A limited number of the most well-known GTK applications are available, examples Firefox 80.0.1, Chrome 87, Ardour 6.3.0, Inkscape 1.0.1, GIMP 2.10.20 and Thunderbird 78.2.2.
Complete language packs are available for KDE, Calligra, Firefox, LibreOffice and Thunderbird. For IM, Fcitx 4.2.9.6 is available as a rather complete group.

Known issues:

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