KaOS is a KDE Plasma-oriented rolling distro and it always ships with the most recent version of the popular and modern desktop environment. Powered by Linux kernel 5.11, KaOS 2021.03 users the KDE Plasma 5.21 series by default, along with the KDE Frameworks 5.80 and KDE Applications 20.12.3 open-source software suites.
On top of that, the KaOS 2021.03 release comes with a new version of the kcp command-line utility for installing and managing KaOS community packages that has been rewritten from the ground up to support configuration via the config files located in the $HOME/.config/kcp/ directory.
Not only that, but kcp is now much faster at updating the database of packages and when parsing PKGBUILD files, supports another temporary directory than /tmp, it lets you define a locale different from the one used by KaOS, and supports SSH or HTTPS protocols for the clone method during install or download operations.
Also updated in this release is the Calamares graphical installer, which now features QML-based Finished and Usersq modules, though the latter is only offered as a preview and it’s not used as the default users module.
KaOS 2021.03 puts an end of the non-free NVIDIA 340.xx proprietary driver support. Users of older NVIDIA GPUs prior to 2014 will have to either switch to the modesetting driver or install the open-source Nouveau driver.
Under the hood, KaOS 2021.03 ships with Glibc 2.32, GCC 10.2.0, LLVM/Clang 11.1.0, systemd 247.5, Mesa 20.3.4, Python 3.8.8, Protobuf 3.15, Proj 8.0.0, Poppler 21.03.0, ZSTD 1.4.9, X.Org Server 1.21.10, Qt 5.15.2, Git 2.31.0, NetworkManager 1.30.2, and a new app, VSCodium, a free binary distribution of Microsoft’s VSCode editor.
Last but not least, with this release of KaOS all installs are now using Fosshost‘s worldwide network of mirrors, which means that you will no longer have to adjust a mirrorlist to get the fastest connection for your area.
The new ISO image is available for download right now from the official website and it’s used only for new installations. Existing KaOS users can update their systems by using the sudo pacman -Syu command.