KDE Neon - A Nice Surprise!

In the world of Linux Desktop Environments I usually gravitate towards the more "Windows-like" ones like Xfce and LXDE, or something like MATE in Linux Mint. Strangely enough, I have never been a fan of KDE - probably one of the more Window-y DEs.

Not until I tried KDE Neon, that is. This is pretty flippin' nice, I have to say. The concept behind Neon is, as they say on the neon.kde.org website, is to give you "a stable Ubuntu long-term release as its core, packaging the hottest software fresh from the KDE Community ovens."
 

The version I installed a few days ago has the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Long Terms Support) as the base, with very few installed apps, but running the latest KDE desktop and software: "Not quite [a distro], it's a package archive with the latest KDE software on top of a stable base."

I found that even though the KDE Plasma desktop (ver. 5.9.4) has things like single-click to launch apps (which I generally don't like), for some reason, the whole thing seems very pleasing to me.

Installation was straightforward and fast on my 4-5 year old laptop with an SSD drive and 6GB of RAM. The system boots quickly, and your are greeted with an empty desktop, although you can add folders and such  - which I understand is a recent change for Neon/KDE Plasma.

I did not run into any hardware recognition issues, and the laptop's (Realtek) wireless card has been working fine the past few days. Suspend/resume also works as it should, as does screen brightness/power management.

As I said, there is not much software installed, which is fine for my admittedly limited needs. It comes with Firefox and VLC player, which are both favorites of mine, and I was able to install and use OnlyOffice and Pcloud from their .deb packages with no issues through the "Discover" app. 

I also installed the Kdenlive video editor using Discover, again with no issues. I mention these as there seemed to be some bugs with Discover as recently as a few months ago, so at least it looks like the KDE folks are being responsive to bug reports.

The overall "out of the box" appearance of the OS is a clean,  modern "flat" look, with a pretty big mouse pointer. Fonts and such appear fine to me (not something I generally obsess over anyway), and the Dolphin file manager looks good and has a split screen option, which is nice for moving files around.

As I have only been running this for a couple of days, I have not done much in the area of customization, other than select another wallpaper - I tend to use the OS for a week or so before I muck around with it too much. I do understand that KDE is generally regarded as being quite customizable, so there will be time for fiddling around later.

I must say though, I do like the way the "Start button" is set up (actually it's called "Kickoff") and the overall system performance is surprisingly good - it seems to be up there with Xubuntu. This is just from my observations, I am not doing benchmarks or anything scientific like that.

I guess the best impression I can give is that KDE Neon seems well integrated and slick - it works well and largely says out of the way. I don't really go for "show off" features in an OS, I generally just want to be able to get things done and not throw me off track too much as I bumble along - and somewhat to my surprise, KDE Neon does exactly that.

Who would have thunk it? 

*Update about updates* - nice to also report that updates to KDE Neon have so far been quick and pain free after about two weeks of use. Encouraging for what is a essentially a rolling release-type OS.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

VPN Use Is Up, Up, Up

Microsoft's Mild Mea Culpa Over Windows 10 Obscure Upgrade "Choice"

Q4OS Linux On An Old Windows Laptop