The developers at KDE neon recently announced that their “installable Linux” is now based on Ubuntu’s 20.04 Long Term Support edition. KDE neon does not see itself as a distro but rather a rapidly updated software repository featuring up-to-date packages of Qt and cutting-edge KDE software. This makes for a highly interesting proposition as users can enjoy modern software on a well tested and very stable base.
This latest version is a 1.57 GB download and features KDE Plasma version 5.19.4, KDE Frameworks version 5.72, Qt version 5.14.2 and Linux kernel 5.4. After booting up, htop indicated RAM use at 618 MB with 71 tasks and 143 active threads. These are the usual and very welcome low figures we’ve come to expect from KDE neon systems.
I particularly appreciate how this system comes with only the most essential tools and software by default. There is no pre installed office software, only the document viewer Okular. For browsing the Internet we get the usual Firefox, here in version 79. The standard file manager is of course Dolphin, here in version 20.04.3. For multi media playback we get VLC and for image viewing Gwenview. Additional software can be installed using the Discover software center.
Appearance wise we get the usual default “Breeze” theme with an overall blue/grey color scheme. These can be easily changed within the System Settings which offers a wide range of customization options. KDE Connect is also installed and available in the System Settings which is a great way to connect with your Android phone.
KDE neon first appeared in 2016. It was started by Jonathan Riddell who was previously responsible for Ubuntu’s KDE flavor Kubuntu. It has steadily matured since and has become a very popular system with a large and active community. This is a system that will be around for a long time and one can count on it’s continued aggressive development. So, If you’re looking for a modern yet traditional looking system that is both light weight and powerful, then you should give this serious consideration.
You can direct download the latest release from their website. KDE neon also comes pre installed on the sleek KDE Slimbook with a powerful Ryzen 4800 processor. The 14 inch version with 8 GB of RAM and a 250 GB NVMe SSD currently sells for EUR 949.