Review KaOS 2019

Review of KaOS Linux,


The install process was clean and easy as is expected in a proper and good Linux distribution these days. KaOS is another in a handful of Linux distros that use the Calamares installer. According to the Calamares website:

Calamares is an installer framework. By design it is very customizable, in order to satisfy a wide variety of needs and use cases.

Calamares aims to be easy, usable, beautiful, pragmatic, inclusive and distribution-agnostic.

Calamares includes an advanced partitioning feature, with support for both manual and automated partitioning operations. It is the first installer with an automated “Replace Partition” option, which makes it easy to reuse a partition over and over for distribution testing.

Reboot and updating:

Reboot went fine and updates listed 189 updates. The update processed seems to be slow compared to other distros I’ve used but not painfully slow. The package manager is Octopi which is very clean and nice and integrates very well with the KDE Plasma desktop.

Installing software and gaming:

Using Octopi I searched for Chrome and there it was. A simple right click and select install and apply provides Chrome. Lutris turned up nothing, and the fact that I am Low Tech Linux I can’t figure out how to install Lutris.  The alien head button doesn’t work (which did in Manjaro) and a quick google search on “KaOS Lutris” doesn’t turn up much of anything. Same for trying to install Steam. Nothing. Any new user that comes along is going to be just as lost as I am. If it doesn’t “just work” or at least have a path to “just work” new users are just not going to stick around.

KDE Software Version Versus (as of 10-09-2019):

Kde Plasma Version: 5.16.4
KDE Frameworks Version: 5.62.0
QT Version: 5.13.1
Kernel: 5.2.13-1

Compared in order to my beloved Kubuntu 5.16.5, 5.62.0, 5.12.4, 5.3.0-13 and Compared to OpenSuse Tumbleweed in order: 5.16.5, 5.62.0, 5.13.1, 5.3.1-1

Kaos (Kubuntu 19.10)
KMyMoney 5.0.7-2 (5.0.6-1)
LibreOffice (6.3.2)
Octave 5.1.0-2 (4.4.1-6) (Snap store has Octave 5.1.0)

Overall Opinion

Pros: Absolutely love KaOS. They are the only one I’ve seen put their own really real little touch on KDE Plasma default setup. They really push to have KDE Plasma and KDE apps as the center piece (and for the most part only part) of this Distro. They have also added their own little touch  with icons that are quite nice. If you want a truly KDE Centric Distro, KaOS may be the way to go.
Cons: It’s disappointing that Lutris and Steam aren’t easier to set up and install. I have no doubt it isn’t hard to do but from a complete new user point of view it isn’t obvious and search results seem limited.

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