KaOS, the renowned independently developed rolling release desktop distribution, is back with its September-2023 i.e. 2023.09 release. This update is a significant milestone for KaOS, marking the transition from Plasma 5 to the eagerly awaited Plasma 6 desktop environment.
Here’s what’s new.
KaOS 2023.09 Features
A Shift Towards Plasma 6
The spotlight of KaOS 2023.09 is undoubtedly on the transition to Plasma 6. While the previous versions were built on Plasma 5, the development efforts have shifted gears towards Plasma 6, making this release the last based on Plasma 5. This transition promises an enhanced user experience with a plethora of new features and improvements.
Under the Hood
KaOS 2023.09 doesn’t just bring a shiny new desktop environment but also comes packed with major updates to its system base. Notable upgrades include the move to OpenSSL 3.1.3, a fully updated Boost 1.82.0/ICU 73.2 stack, Alsa packages 1.2.10, and a kernel upgrade to Linux 6.4.16. Additionally, Systemd has been updated to version 253.10, Python to 3.10.13, Util-Linux to 2.39.2, IWD to 2.8, OpenEXR to 3.2.0, and Libarchive to 3.7.2. These enhancements ensure that KaOS remains at the forefront of cutting-edge Linux technology.
Plasma desktop 5.27.8
For fans of the Plasma desktop, KaOS 2023.09 has you covered. It features the latest Plasma 5.27.8, KDE Gear 23.08, and Frameworks 5.111.0, all built on Qt 5.15.10+. The KDE Gear update brings a host of improvements, such as GLSL language support in Kate and NeoChat’s ability to display location events with integrated maps. Skanpage, KDE’s scanning utility, now offers more adjustment options, including brightness, contrast, gamma, and color balance.
Plasma 6 Preview ISO
Excitingly, alongside the stable ISO, KaOS 2023.09 introduces a Plasma 6 preview ISO. While it’s not yet ready for full installation, it’s a promising step towards embracing Plasma 6. This ISO also includes various KDE Applications that are now compatible with Qt 6/kf6, along with a Qt6/kf6 version of Octopi.
SDDM in Wayland Mode
KaOS is moving steadily away from X11 with the introduction of SDDM 0.20.0, which now offers the option to run in Wayland mode. The shell used for Wayland mode is kwin_wayland, which aligns with the upstream default of using Weston. This move towards Wayland is a significant step forward in enhancing graphics performance and security.
KaOS 2023.09 includes Croeso, which means “welcome” in Welsh. Croeso assists in configuring your new installation, offering adjustments for 15 commonly used settings, a custom Wallpaper selector, distribution information, and the option to select packages to install from six different groups. Written in QML, Croeso seamlessly integrates with the Welcome application used in the Live system, which also includes an Installation Guide.
As we wrap up our quick highlights of KaOS 2023.09, it’s clear that this release brings a blend of usual upgrades and a few user-centric features.
To get your hands on this release and dive into it, head over to the below link to download KaOS 2023.09 and preview Plasma 6 ISO.