Ubuntu Derivatives

Meet KDE Neon, A New Linux Distro Based on Ubuntu Linux

KDE Neon Linux Distro
Written by Aaron Kili

KDE Neon is the latest and probably the best technology the KDE Community has developed, and I stand to be corrected if it is not so. You can call it a new Linux distro but KDE Neon is basically built comprehensively on Ubuntu Linux as the core, to bring the latest and hottest software developed by the KDE Community in a rolling release format to KDE desktop environment users.

The KDE Neon project is intended to provide users cutting-edge features on a highly configurable and yet stable desktop in a single package. The packages made in KDE Neon are based on Ubuntu and are not compatible with other Linux distros such as Arch Linux and OpenSUSE as stated by Jonathan Riddell, one of the project heads and who was previously in charge of the Kubuntu Linux project.

There is more to KDE Neon, especially details on how the project came about; but here, we shall take an overview of some of the features present in the current beta.

KDE Plasma 5.6 users probably already have a picture of how KDE Neon actually looks like and works but if on the other hand you don’t, you can download the user edition images from KDE Neon homepage, to install or test.

In its current state, KDE Neon includes:

  • Package archives for KDE Frameworks and also Plasma which are developed from Git-stable and unstable branches of KDE Community members(contributors and testers) on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS(Xenial Xerus)
  • Qt 5.6 packages in all Neon archives
  • Package archives built from KDE software for users
  • Images that users can install made from the above three package archives
  • Also yet to come, packages of KDE apps and other software

Some of KDE Neon’s features as seen in the screenshots

After installing and restarting the machine, you will be able to see the login screen below:

KDE Neon Login Interface

KDE Neon Login Interface

After logging in, you get to the desktop and one of the first things you can check is the application launcher as seen below. The default menu options include the Favorites menu where you can easily launch you favorite applications.

Applications menu which allows you to find all the installed applications under different categories, Computer menu where you can locate your home, network, root user’s folders and trash folder, History menu stores latest applications you have used and folders that you have visited and lastly, the Leave menu option to control your login session and system.

Application Launcher Interface

Application Launcher Interface

Next, let us take a look at the desktop settings interface, this allows you to change your desktop background image, mouse actions and tweaks:

Desktop Settings Interface

Desktop Settings Interface

The next image shows the interface for adding and installing new widgets on your desktop.

Add and Install Widgets Interface

Add and Install Widgets Interface

There is also a quick shortcut menu for you to access some system menu items and other settings:

Desktop Shortcut Menu

Desktop Shortcut Menu

To view the system settings interface below, simply search from the system menu provided through the application launcher.

System Settings Interface

System Settings Interface

Below is a minimized interface of Discover, the software management center for Plasma 5.6:

Discover-Software Management Center Interface

Discover-Software Management Center Interface

One of the important features of a desktop is a file browser and below is an interface of Dolphin, the default file browser in Plasma 5.6:

Dolphin File Browser

Dolphin File Browser

To easily get a summary of your KDE Neon system information including information about memory, energy used, file indexer monitor, devices, networks and graphical information, you can look at the Info Center interface below:

Info Center Interface

Info Center Interface

Status and Notification menu in the Panel

Status and Notification menu in the Panel

Dolphin Splitview

Dolphin Splitview

Dropdown Terminal

Dropdown Terminal

Session and System Control Interface

Session and System Control Interface

Visit KDE Neon’s Homepage

In conclusion, the KDE Neon project is really nothing new other than an independent platform setup for users to easily get KDE software as soon as they are available. Browsing through the images is not enough, you’d have to download the images from the links provided above and fully experience it yourself.

You can use the Mutisystem USB creator tool to copy the image to your USB drive. No other tool seems to work with it.

We hope this brief review has helped you to understand what to expect from KDE Neon project; however, if you do have any additions or questions, you can drop a comment as usual in the right down below!

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About the author

Aaron Kili

A Computer Science graduate who is most enthusiastic about Linux and FOSS. Aaron has been using Linux for over two years now and loves to share his ideas and knowledge he's acquired with other Linux users around the world.

  • Jonathan Riddell

    “new other than an independent platform setup for users to easily get KDE software as soon as they are available” and that’s what’s new 🙂

    • Jesse Afolabi

      right of course..

    • Aaron Kili K

      The individual platform here is in the sense of a new Linux distro, but the features just carry on the works of KDE Plasma.

  • ukbeast

    Is there like a PPA or repository to get Neon to work on Debian?
    I enjoy KDE Plasma 5 and I want to try Debian with the current version released, (I am currently on Antergos which uses the latest version)

    • Jesse Afolabi

      At the moment, it is recommended that you install it over Kubuntu…while you may try it on debian, i wouldn’t recommend you doing that on your work system…but rather in a virtual machine or even better, download the image..http://neon.kde.org/

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  • I’ve been using KDE Neon for a few weeks now as a daily driver and I’ve just been wanting to tell everyone how much I love it – It’s got the stability of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS under the hood for everything but the DE, but then all the user interface aspects (KDE packages) are updated on a rolling basis. Stable while being incredibly modern and updated – seems like the best of both worlds to me! It’s been rock solid for me and hasn’t exhibited any glaring deficiencies, and for those of us who like to have the latest and greatest in UI but not have the hassle and problems associated with trying to update DE packages, it’s the perfect answer. It just works!

  • Moyo Freeman

    how is it different from KuBuntu