KaOS Linux Kicks off the Year with a New 2022.01 Release

The distro targets KDE users who prefer quality over quantity

KaOS is a rolling release Linux distro focused exclusively on the KDE Plasma desktop. The distro was influenced by Arch Linux, uses Pacman as its package manager, but does not rely on software repositories developed and maintained by Arch. Instead, it labels itself as a built-from-scratch Linux distro since all packages in each of its repositories are compiled by the project for the distro.

Now the first release for this year of this Plasma-focused Linux distro is out. So let’s give it a shot and see what’s new.

KaOS 2022.01 Highlights

KaOS 2022.01 Plasma Desktop

We start with the fact that there are three major changes in the Calamares installer. The biggest one is the addition of a bootloader selection module.

For UEFI installs it is now possible to select between systemd-boot, rEFInd, or no bootloader, all presented in a nice, QML based GUI. For those unaware with rEFInd, it’s a boot manager designed to be platform-neutral and to simplify booting multiple operating systems.

On top of that, there is added interactive keyboard preview in the keyboard setup page on the Calamares installer, which is a pretty handy feature.

In addition, Calamares received initial support for ZFS. For now, the only kernel that supports ZFS filesystem in KaOS is the linux-next kernel.

Under the hood, with the latest release, you can also find updated packages that include:

  • Python 3.9.9
  • Systemd 249.7
  • Curl 7.80.0
  • Mesa 21.3.3
  • Vulkan packages 1.2.203
  • Wayland 1.20.0
  • Sudo 1.9.8p2
  • OpenLDAP 2.6.0.

KaOS 2022.01 ships with KDE Gear 21.12 set of apps. The Dolphin file manager has received some clever features that allow you to locate and identify files and folders easily and quickly, and the option to choose a list or grid view for all apps.

The default screenshot app Spectacle has improved the look of the images as you drag and drop them from Spectacle’s preview panel to Dolphin to save them or to an online image storage site to share them. And we can’t fail to mention that Kdenlive free video editor has added the slip trimming mode or ripple trimming mode.

KaOS 2022.01 ships with KDE Plasma 5.23.4. The distro is powered by Linux kernel 5.14.21 for additional hardware support.

For detailed information about all changes, you can refer to the official announcement.


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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