KaOS is an independent rolling-release distribution inspired by Arch Linux and entirely focused on the KDE Plasma Desktop and related Qt Toolkit-based software.
Although it uses Pacman as its package manager, KaOS does not rely on software repositories developed and maintained by Arch. Instead, the software is available from in-house repositories, built exclusively for 64-bit systems.
With its first update for the year, KaOS 2023.02, the distro provides its users with yet another dose of pleasant surprises. So, let’s have a look at them.
KaOS 2023.02 Highlights
To begin with the obvious – in keeping with its tradition of providing users with the best of KDE Plasma, KaOS 2023.02 ships with the most recent 5.27 release of the desktop environment giving you the exciting new feature of window tailing. Apart from that, this update also includes the most recent software release of KDE Frameworks 5.103.
KDE Gear, a collection of software maintained by the KDE community, has been bumped to the newest 22.12.2 release and features a lot of changes, including bug fixes for the Dolphin file manager, KDE Connect app that allows users to share their files between different devices, and libkdegames.
The previous KaOS 2022.12 release’s issue with installation on the XFS file system, which is the default for KaOS, has been fixed in this release. In addition, Kjournald allows you to view the systemd logs from a user-friendly GUI.
Users also now have the Ghostwriter markdown editor at their disposal, which provides a relaxing, distraction-free writing environment, including a full-screen mode and a clean interface.
Under the hood, KaOS 2023.02 ships with the Linux kernel 6.1.11. In addition, of course, a number of the other core elements have also received updates, such as Systemd 252.5, Python 3.10.10, Dracut 059, ZFS 2.1.9, GnuPG 2.4.0, and Busybox 1.36.0. Furthermore, NetworkManager has been bumped to the just-released new v1.42.0.
On the app side, users get in the default installation Falkon 22.12.2 web browser, mpv 0.35.1 media player, and Haruna 0.10.3 media player. On top of that, LibreOffice replaces Calligra as the default office application, with KaOS 2023.02 giving users its latest version, 7.5.0.
Finally, KaOS developers have started preparations for the future major release of Plasma 6, as the kde-next repository is used for a complete Qt6-based KDE stack, all Frameworks are built there on Qt6, and most Plasma and a few KDE Applications have also been ported to Qt6.
However, keep in mind that there are currently no roadmaps regarding Plasma 6, as it is expected to be released sometime next year.
You can refer to the official announcement for detailed information about all changes in KaOS 2023.02.
KaOS is a rolling distribution, so keeping up with the updates is enough to get you the latest packages. The command shown below will always give you the latest.
sudo pacman -Syu
The installation ISO image is updated every few months to keep it up to date with all the latest changes for new installations, so you are not presented with a sizeable first update.
Users can download the latest KaOS 2023.02 installation ISO image from the project’s website for those wishing to carry out a new installation.