KaOS 2024.01 Delivers a Pure Plasma 6 Experience

KaOS 2024.01 debuts with a fully migrated Plasma 6 desktop, offering enhanced performance and a modern look.

KaOS, an independent rolling-release distribution inspired by Arch Linux but entirely focused on the Plasma desktop, rolls out KaOS 2024.01, a release that marks a new era in distribution’s evolution. Here’s what it’s all about.

KaOS 2024.01 Ushers in a New Era with Plasma 6

KaOS 2024.01, the latest stable ISO, bids farewell to Plasma 5 and welcomes Plasma 6 as its default Desktop Environment.

This transition, almost fifteen months in the making, promises an enhanced user experience, moving fully to a Frameworks 6 and Plasma 6-based distribution following the release of Plasma 6 Release Candidate 2.

To clarify, the version released is not the final edition of the Plasma 6 desktop environment, which is set to be available by the end of this month. Instead, it’s the RC2 version that the KaOS developers have utilized to create this installation ISO.

KaOS 2024.01
KaOS 2024.01 Plasma 6 Desktop

They have made it clear that mixing the two environments was never on the table, ensuring users will enjoy a pure Plasma 6 experience.

Throughout its preparation for this major migration, KaOS has provided snapshot ISOs featuring ported applications from their Frameworks 6 branch, maintaining user familiarity with minimal disruption.

For applications yet to be ported, Frameworks 5 remains packaged, allowing their use within the Plasma 6 environment until their updates are ready for daily operation. With this release, the KaOS repositories will phase out all Plasma 5 packages, reaffirming the distro’s commitment to a singular, focused Desktop Environment.

Under the hood, KaOS 2024.01 is powered by Linux kernel 6.6.14. The distro introduces significant system base enhancements, including FFmpeg 6, a fully updated Boost and ICU stack, LLVM/Clang 17.0.6, Systemd 254.9, Python 3.10.13, Util-Linux 2.39.3, IWD 2.13, MariaDB 11, and PostgreSQL 16.

For the Plasma 6 desktop enthusiasts, the latest versions of Plasma, KDE Gear, and Frameworks, all built on Qt 6.6.1, are included.

In light of this, a notable feature reintroduction is The Cube for Plasma 6, alongside the updated SDDM 0.20.0, which now supports Wayland mode, signaling a future move away from X11.

The Calamares installer has been improved to offer automated partitioning options across all popular filesystems, eliminating manual partitioning to select filesystems like XFS, EXT4, BTRFS, or ZFS.

Calamares Installer
Calamares Installer

This release utilizes an XFS filesystem with enhancements for error detection, recovery algorithms, and inode allocation performance, reflecting the distribution’s emphasis on reliability and performance.

Lastly, the artwork for KaOS 2024.01, featuring custom icon themes for light and dark themes, ensures a cohesive aesthetic experience from boot-up to logout.

You can refer to the release announcement for detailed information about all changes in KaOS 2024.01. Installation ISO images are available for download from the project’s website.

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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