With KDE’s 25th Anniversary and the release of KDE Plamsa 5.23, I got excited to check out a few KDE-focused distros.
First up was Fedora’s KDE-based RPM-OSTree distro, Kinoite. (summary after each video)
Fedora provides a nice RPM-OSTree solution for folks who want to use the tech, but don’t want to use Gnome. The install is a bit barebones and doesn’t come with Flathub pre-configured, reducing the number of KDE applications that can be installed after the distro is first installed. Once Flathub is activated and Discover is reloaded, the user can start installing KDE apps. Not a good starting distro now, but with some sensible defaults, it could be great thanks to the way that RPM-OSTree makes the system more maintainable.
Kubuntu‘s 21.10 release just came out recently. Overall, it’s got more sensible defaults packages thank either Kinoite or KDE Neon. That said, it’s a little behind from KDE Neon.
While KDE Neon is based on Ubuntu LTS (long term support), it is true to its purpose with the most recent version of KDE Plasma Desktop, Frameworks, QT, etc installed. I just grabbed the ISO yesterday and it had KDE 25th Anniversary edition even though that just came out 3 days ago. Surprisingly, considering that it’s a showcase for KDE, there weren’t too many applications installed by default. The biggest surprise was that it’s setup to use Flatpak and not Snap. It seems that the KDE project has decided to center on Flatpak instead of Snap.
As I said in the videos, I’d recommend KDE Neon to anyone who’s really into KDE or must have the latest packages at all times. (Without the complexity of running Arch Linux) Kubuntu is the best bet for a newer Linux user who is going to set it up on their own without an expert there to help them out. Kinoite is great if you want the stability of RPM-OSTree and will probably mature into something great with time.