KaOS 2020.02 Released with KDE Plasma 5.18 LTS and Linux 5.5, New Features

KaOS 2020.02

The development team behind KaOS, a KDE-focused, desktop-oriented independent GNU/Linux distribution, released today KaOS 2020.02 as February 2020’s live ISO snapshot with all the latest software updates and technologies, as well as new features.

KaOS 2020.02 is here almost two months after January 2020’s snapshot and brings many of the recently released GNU/Linux technologies and Open Source software, starting with the KDE Plasma 5.18 LTS desktop environment.

In fact, KaOS 2020.02 includes all the latest KDE software, such as the Plasma 5.18.1 update, February 2020’s Applications update, and Frameworks 5.67.0, all compiled against the Qt 5.14.1 open-source and cross-platform application framework.

On top of that, this release introduce a new installer feature to allow user to install an office suite (currently only LibreOffice is supported), and the ability to do a minimal install so you can fully customize the final installation with the apps you really need.

KaOS 2020.02

For that, KaOS now offers a new option in the welcome screen to let you install packages from up to six predefined software groups. All these changes will reduce the size of the ISO image.

The default Midna theme has received some attention as well in this update and it’s now using the Kvantum theme engine instead of QtCurve. The systemd-bootloader now has a theme too, and the GRUB bootloader was updated to reflect that.

Under the hood of KaOS 2020.02

Under the hood, KaOS 2020.02 is the first release to switch to the ZSTD (Zstandard) compression algorithm for packages, which promises faster decompression, thus faster install and update times.

Another cool thing about the KaOS 2020.02 release is that it’s powered by the latest Linux 5.5 kernel series. Linux kernel 5.5.6 is included in the snapshot and should vastly improve hardware support for new devices.

Other updated components worth mentioning include the ALSA 1.2.2 sound system, systemd 244 init system, Mesa 19.3.4 graphics stack, GNU nano 4.8 text editor, NetworkManager 1.22.8 network connection manager, Pacman 5.2.1 package manager, X.Org Server 1.20.7 display server, and Sudo 1.8.31, patched against the latest critical vulnerability.

You can download KaOS 2020.02 right now using the button below. But since KaOS is a rolling release distro, you can update your installations using the built-in package management system. All you have to do is run the sudo pacman -Syu command in a terminal emulator and you’re all set.

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