A look at KDE Neon â€“ a minimal mini-distribution
So, with the news of Linux Mint no longer providing KDE in future releases, some people have started to wonder where they might turn should the need / desire to change distributions in the future arises; granted you donâ€™t have to leave LM-KDE at all if you donâ€™t want, there will just be no more ISOâ€™s being made, etc.
A little while ago, the suggestion had been made that I write up an overview for KDE Neon, and I thought this might be the perfect time to showcase it.
The machine I am using has the following specs:
- Intel i5-4210U
- 8GB DDR3
- Intel HD 4400
- Dual monitor (Laptop + HDMI to TV)
There isnâ€™t really much to say about installing KDE Neon, other than since it uses Ubuntu 16.04 LTS as its base, if youâ€™ve installed Ubuntu, or Linux Mint; than youâ€™ll be just fine...Itâ€™s the same installation software. It was simple, quick, and effective as it should be, and ran without issue.
Under the hood
KDE Neon isnâ€™t your typical distribution, where everything is installed for you, as much as itâ€™s not quite as hardcore as Arch Linux or Gentoo either.
Once installed, KDE Neon leaves you with a nearly empty system, simply running the latest KDE packages. The purpose of KDE Neon, is simply that, to give you the absolute latest and greatest of KDE. What you do beyond that, is your call. Youâ€™ll find very little preinstalled applications, only the essentials.
However, again, KDE Neon uses Ubuntu 16.04 as its base, and with that comes the Ubuntu repositories, the ability to use PPAâ€™s, .deb files, as well as Snaps and Flatpaks.
Installing software can be done via CLI as per usual using apt, and there is also the inclusion of a software manager called â€œDiscover.â€
Now, I canâ€™t say I dislike Discover, but I will note that while it does automatically install a Flatpak and Snap backend support, you canâ€™t actually search for them through Discover.
An example: searching for Spotify found nothing, but typing: sudo snap spotify, installed just fine via terminal. With that said, Discover isnâ€™t half bad for just using apt in the more traditional ways GNU/Linux users are accustomed to.
Issues I found
Sadly, the lack of big features in Discover isnâ€™t the only issue I did have while using the system, where twice I had issues with screens hanging and having to end the process. Granted, this was after first install, and before running any updates; and I have (so far at the time of writing this) had no issues further thus far.
Overall, KDE Neon is great for minimalists who want to populate their system with packages and applications themselves, rather than deal with the potential bloat of many common distributions. The downside, is that users who want a fully working, prepackaged distro that they can just install and go, will likely find KDE Neon too much for them.
As a whole however, the system runs nicely, using Ubuntu as the base has its obvious benefits and caveats just like other popular Ubuntu based systems; but if youâ€™re looking for the latest and greatest KDE packages from upstream, and you donâ€™t mind (or prefer) building your system up yourself a bit, give Neon a peek.
Now you: Whatâ€™s your favourite KDE GNU/Linux OS, and why?Advertisement