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:
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.
Next, let us take a look at the desktop settings interface, this allows you to change your desktop background image, mouse actions and tweaks:
The next image shows the interface for adding and installing new widgets on your desktop.
There is also a quick shortcut menu for you to access some system menu items and other settings:
To view the system settings interface below, simply search from the system menu provided through the application launcher.
Below is a minimized interface of Discover, the software management center for Plasma 5.6:
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:
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:
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!