The important things first: KaOS does not identify itself as an Arch-based distribution. The project argues that it borrows aspects not only from Arch but also from various other projects and identifies it with one would be wrong.
Instead, KaOS refers to itself as a distribution built from scratch, as all packages in each of its repositories are compiled by the project for the distribution.
The real difference between the two is that, unlike Arch, KaOS is not afraid to make decisions on behalf of its users. The distribution is aimed at KDE users who prefer quality over quantity and who are satisfied with a limited set of quality tools for a specific purpose rather than a collection of them.
About this article
This review first appeared in Linux format Magazine, Issue No. 270, published December 2020.
KaOS ‘approach to putting a distribution together is the opposite of Arch. KaOS is what we call a semi-rolling release. You can still update your installation without ever reinstalling it, but not all repositories move as quickly as some of their counterparts.
The apps repository is fully operational unless a program needs to be built using libraries or components in the core and main repositories.
In this case, the applications will be withheld until the other components are given the green light. The core repository is carefully rolled out only after thorough testing, as it contains packages that are essential for the stability and performance of the installation.
On the other hand, many of the packages in the main repository, which consists of important libraries and drivers, are updated after about a week of testing.
Another differentiating aspect of the distribution is how the two versions of the kernels it supports are rolled. All new main kernel releases are tested as Linux next kernels for at least six weeks.
If the upstream activity slows down in the version and the developers consider this stable enough, the Linux Next kernel will be used as the new stable KaOS kernel.
Don’t collect moss
KaOS also regularly releases ISO versions so users can jump on the bandwagon without facing a massive first update. The September 2020 release is the latest of those snaps, which brings updated apps and some new changes.
In terms of the desktop experience, KaOS uses the Calamares installer and forces the use of XFS as the default file system. Once installed, the Croeso tool (Welsh for “welcome”) welcomes you and provides links to documentation and offers to customize 15 frequently used settings. It’s one of the most comprehensive greeters that you can use to set up and configure all the major aspects of the installation.
The one thing that defines KaOS through and through is the placement of the application launcher on the right side of the screen. We tried to get used to it but couldn’t. Fortunately, it can be relocated easily.
In terms of programs, KaOS has the usual set, with a few exceptions. The only major victim of bias for anything KDE / Qt related is the web browser. KaOS is shipped with the Qt-based Falcon.
That said, it has several non-Qt tools in its mirrors (with the Qt non-brand equivalent), and you can use the usual mainstream tools with either Croeso or from Octopi, the graphical front-end to the Pacman- Package management system.
In addition to the official sources, the distribution has a community-maintained repository called KCP, which contains many more non-Qt tools. If you don’t share KaOS ‘fetish for Qt, you can browse and install the KCP package list in the browser by copying a single command thanks to the integration of KCP with the distribution’s package management system.
Source link : https://www.techradar.com/reviews/kaos/