KaOS 2018.01 KDE-focused Linux distro now available with Spectre and Meltdown fixes


It can be difficult to find a quality Linux distribution that meets your needs. This is partly because there are just too many operating systems from which to choose. My suggestion is to first find a desktop environment that you prefer, and then narrow down your distro search to one that focuses on that DE. For instance, if you like KDE, both Kubuntu and Netrunner are solid choices.

With all of that said, there is another KDE-focused Linux distro that I highly recommend. Called "KaOS," it is a rolling release, meaning you can always be confident that your computer is running modern packages. Today, KaOS gets its first updated ISO for 2018, and you should definitely use it to upgrade your install media. Why? Because version 2018.01 has fixes for Spectre and Meltdown thanks to Linux kernel 4.14.14 with both AMD and Intel ucode.

"This ISO uses the CRC and finobt enabled XFS filesystem as default. CRCs enable enhanced error detection due to hardware issues, whilst the format changes also improves crash recovery algorithms and the ability of various tools to validate and repair metadata corruptions when they are found. The free inode btree does not index used inodes, allowing faster, more consistent inode allocation performance as filesystems age," says The KaOS Team.

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The team also shares, "As always with this rolling distribution, you will find the very latest packages for the Plasma Desktop, this includes Frameworks 5.42.0, Plasma 5.11.5, KDE Applications 17.12.1...Besides running Plasma on KaOS, a new option is added, Liquidshell. This is a lightweight environment currently in development, but already added so its progress can be followed."


The KaOS Team shares some of the most significant updated packages below.

  • Systemd 236
  • Linux 4.14.14
  • LLVM/Clang 5.0.1
  • Qt 5.10.0
  • Mesa 17.3.3
  • Boost 1.66.0
  • ICU 60.2
  • Protobuf 3.5.1
  • Glib2 2.54.3
  • Libcdio 2.0.0
  • OpenCV 3.4.0
  • Ruby 2.5.0

Keep in mind, because KaOS is a rolling release, existing users do not need to download the ISO and run any kind of upgrade. Who should download ISO 2018.01? Those that are planning to do fresh installs and want to have updated media on hand. Of course, those that are new to KaOS would download it too.

If you want to download the new ISO, you can grab it here. Please note that there is one major known bug -- it cannot be installed to storage set up with RAID.

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