KaOS 2021.08 Ships with a Better and More Controlled KDE Desktop

Being one of the best KDE focused Linux distros, KaOS has launched the new KaOS 2021.08 with an updated package base and appearance changes.

KaOS is a KDE Plasma focused, rolling release distribution primarily built upon Arch Linux tools for packaging and package management. KaOS doesn’t identify itself as an Arch-based distro.

It is built from scratch, builds its own kernel and packages, and hosts its own repositories. KaOS comes with the XFS filesystem as default.

The distro provides only KDE’s Plasma Desktop Environment, as the developers believe this is the best desktop environment, along with the toolkit it is built upon, Qt.

What’s New in KaOS 2021.08

KaOS 2021.08

The main changes in this edition of the KaOS are related to the appearance. For the Plasma desktop, the latest Plasma 5.22.4 and Frameworks 5.85.0 are included.

The default Midna theme has been redone, this includes a uniform look for SDDM and lockscreen with a transparent sidebar, cleaner splash-screen, and darker logout look.

The application menu has moved from the long-used cascading menu option to the all-new Application Launcher introduced with Plasma 5.22.

KaOS 2021.08 Application Menu

KaOS 2021.08 adds another two new QML converted modules, the Users and Summary pages to the Calamares installer. As a result, the QML move gives Calamares a much more modern and uniform look with the other KaOS QML applications. In addition, Calamares has the ability added to carry over the network settings from the Live system, so no longer a need to enter the WiFi password again on booting into the newly installed system. 

Packages and Applications

Above all, in KaOS 2021.08 you will find KDE Applications updated to 21.08. Highlights of this new major version include animated sequence of previews in Dolphin if a folder contains a lot of previewable files.

Konsole has color and image previews added, just typing a color will show it on hovering and it has an SSH plugin added to work with machines you regularly connect to. In addition, in Kdenlive, changing the speed of a clip is now a keyframeable effect.

Updates to the base system on KaOS 2021.08:

  • Kernel 5.13.11
  • Systemd 249.3
  • Curl 7.78.0
  • IWD 1.16
  • NetworkManager 1.32.8
  • Mesa 21.1.7
  • Poppler 21.08.0
  • Vulkan packages 1.2.187
  • Udisks 2.9.3
  • MLT 7.0.1
  • Openexr 3.1.1.

KaOS 2021.08 includes a specific tool to write ISO files to USB named ISO Writer. It not only does write to USB, but 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.

KaOS 2021.08 ISO Writer

New in this version is the ability to verify the integrity of the written USB flash drive in comparison to the downloaded ISO file. This can be done in Dolphin too, right-click the ISO file, select Actions then select Verify ISO Write.

Croeso helps first install user to customize and “post install” the KaOS distribution. 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.

KaOS Croeso App

For additional information about KaOS 2021.08, you can refer to the project’s release announcement.

Download KaOS 2021.08

The ISO Live image is available on the KaOS download page. Once you have done that, copy the ISO image to a USB stick, boot that and you will be running KaOS Live. Once you are satisfied that KaOS is working properly on your system and you want to install it, just click the “Install KaOS” button in the Welcome panel.

Of course those who already have KaOS installed do not need to reinstall. The command shown below will always give you the latest.

sudo pacman -Syu
Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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