One more idea to make Neon better for end-users

read also: ⚓ T15653 Making KDE NEON the official KDE distro

I think Neon is in a really weird place because of it’s distro but also not a distro but at the same time called “user”.
it’d be fine to call Neon “the KDE Distro”, while making sure KDE strives to support as many distros as possible.
Promotion-wise and otherwise, a sensible goal would be imo to set a goal like this:

  • Neon user offers a graphical way to achieve most tasks required by the basic computer user, without needing to read documentation or installing additional packages / running additional setup. In my opinion these are:
    1. Install the most common linux applications (like your preferred browser, Spotify or Steam)
    2. Up-to-date LibreOffice out of the box
    3. Stable apps to play music, videos and browse photos
    4. Easy way to add your printer/scanner
    5. Update without the terminal
      optional +: The majority of non-developer KDE apps work out of the box without missing dependencies

Most of these Neon does, just not always reliably.

To help do this more reliably you could try moving the user edition into 2 “channels”:

  • KDE Neon - the default ISO, would update to the latest stable release, but only to the first point release to major new versions. So now you’d only get Plasma 6.0.1 instead of 6 or Gear 24.05.01 instead of 24.05.0
  • KDE Neon Latest would update to the latest stable release like now.
    Users would have a choice when installing or in systemsettings>updates.

Moving from Ubuntu LTS would probably be a good idea but I know way less than required to comment on that.

It would be more freedom-ish if they suggest these at the oobe install dialogue window , like how Garuda oobe dialogue helps users to install suggested apps. Such way it is both optional and people can set things in their desktop easily too.

To do all that reliably you HAVE to start pulling and repackaging to the Neon repo, there is no way around it, and that takes a LOT OF WORK.

As of now, everything outside of KDE and qt6 (as far as I understand it) is done by Ubuntu.

I was honestly dissapointed when “kde neon is a distro” was put onto the webpage, I think it is borderline lying to the user.

KDE Neon in my eyes is Ubuntu LTS with a separate repo for KDE and qt6 without the ability to use apt.

That statement, while completely understandable, is also quite false.

Apt, used correctly for the environment, works 100% as it should. They patched the incorrect and problematic command to give you the correct apt format to use. The wording …well, that is arguably poor. As is the decision to push the more “universal” and distro-agnostic pkcon (1) as the preferred method, imnsho.

(1) pkcon, from packagekit, is just a layer that sits on top of the native packaging tools, so it works on most any type distro - if you can use Plasma Discover or Gnome Software on your system, you can use pkcon, I believe.

One thing that may need to done is for the team to create a list of goals for the project, but also perhaps what it is NOT.

Maybe it isn’t intended to be a general purpose and “user-friendly” system.
Maybe, outside of Plasma … “here be dragons”, or something.

While it IS a project under the KDE umbrella, how many people actually work on it? (not many), so perhaps a clear set of goals and some non-goals might need to be defined at the start,

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I am the other way about this. I have been a user of KDE Neon since day one. I always found the “KDE Neon is not a distro” to be a cop out. It’s no different then other ditros, such as Bunsen Labs, etc. It might not adhere to a strict definition of a distro, but that is where we are. If it wasn’t a distro then they would allow you to upgrade automatically new the new LTS when Ubuntu releases it, but they never have. They hold it back, often until multiple point releases have come out on the new LTS. It is NOT just Ubuntu with a repo.
Two weeks ago I had to do a new re-install and I decided to try KDE on Debian. Frankly, I am glad I did as I missed all the KDE Neon Plasma 6.0 mess as a sit here on my stable Plasma 5+ system.

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All the packaging and infrastructure etc needs to be built against the new, upgraded OS. How do they do that, before that is released?

Ubuntu themselves don’t offer upgrades to LTS installs immediately, though one can manually initiate it. They offer the upgrade prompt officially after the first ISO “point” release, the following August. Neon has historically done so shortly after this (twice in August, once in October)

What about introducing another repo similar to Debian testing or Ubuntu *-proposed (StableReleaseUpdates - Ubuntu Wiki) ?

New releases go first into the proposed repo for a week before it gets rolled to all users, that way one could at least capture the most impactful bugs. Developers and powerusers can simply check this repo in apt, less adventurous users won’t (for a week grace period…)

Since KDE Neon is much smaller than Debian or Ubuntu, the appropriate grace period might be much larger, multiple weeks or a months.

not a distro

Nate has proposed and merged a change to the Neon FAQ that gets rid of this “not a distro” nonsense. It’s now also described as a distro, in addition to actually being a distro anyway.

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Making Neon the official distribution for KDE will create more unnecessary tasks for the team. Because many bugs related to packaging and updating non KDE packages will be the responsibility of the team.

A distribution is not only a desktop running on top of a kernel, it’s much more complicated with all different kernels, drivers, apps and libraries running on top of it.

I think the best choice is to use an already rolling release distribution (or relaxed one), that officially supports Plasma KDE desktop, and let the team focus on KDE related apps.

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No, that is “nonsense”, you dont need to do any of that, you can just use Ubuntu LTS for close to everything and call it a day.

This fkn pisses me off, DO NOT CALL MY OPINIONS NONSESNSE. IS KDE BEHIND THAT OPINION AND IS THAT THE WAY TO ACT?!?!?!

So @jpetso , mr “only your opinion matters”.
NVK, the open source nvidia drivers are being released in just a few weeks. Ubuntu users will have to wait close to a year because that is how that distro works, but Neon being this awesome distribution, you will let your users use it almost immediately right?

I’m sorry if it came across that way. The only thing I meant to call nonsense is what was written on the Neon website previously, and I’m glad it’s been fixed now. The fact that you and other people were quoting this (only very recently changed) statement doesn’t make your opinion nonsense in the least, and I wasn’t trying to imply any of that.

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It’s ok, mistakes can be made. I will forget it ever happened.

But could you please answer the question, it is VERY relevant if you will have access to a driver or not on a distribution.
And I’m sorry if you find this annoying, BUT IT IS VERY RELEVANT!
ESPECIALLY since this driver seems to work VERY well, if not even better in some regards compared to the proprietary unless you want to use CUDA.

You say Neon is a distro, then how is the distro neon going to package this?

I’m putting this on a knives edge to make it extremely clear.

You have 2 choices here.
Either the answer is:
“We are relying on what Ubuntu LTS is doing”
OR
“We will not package that for our users”

Using the flatpak/snap argument does not fly here.

Ofc there is the third answer: “We WILL package this”, but I find that highly unlikely since nothing else except KDE and qt is packaged by Neo.

I feel obliged to add some posts from another thread here:

I think so, too.

Otherwise people will install the KDE neon user edition based on wrong assumptions…

Additionally I have often read (this is not representative, of course) statements like:
I will install KDE neon - because it is directly from KDE and therefore must be the most stable and reliable Plasma distribution of them all.

I can make guesses like anyone else about what they’re is going to do or not, but I’m not involved with Neon so it wouldn’t really matter much :grimacing:. It’s too bad that the “KDE Developer” badge can’t be hidden for topics that one has no insider knowledge of, especially when I’d like to just ramble and discuss like a normal person. Oh well.

With that out of the way, I think my idea of a distribution is a little more forgiving than yours. As in, Ubuntu LTS and Debian stable count as distros. Not necessarily ones that I personally would use, but not terrible ones either. Ubuntu LTS works for a good number of people, that’s why Canonical puts effort into it and why it gets used as the base for lots of spin-off distros despite being severely outdated after a while. So Neon sort of counts as a distro automatically as long as it doesn’t break what Ubuntu LTS provides.

The thing about distributions is that each of them targets a different audience - I like up-to-date rolling releases with mostly unaltered upstream packages, whereas my girlfriend likes stable upgrades and not having to look after her system too often.

Neon has been squarely focused on providing up-to-date KDE software fast with minimal effort spent on non-KDE packages. From what I can tell, audiences for that kind of combination include Plasma testers, distro reviewers and other media people, packagers from other distros (i.e. getting experience and finding issues so other distros can benefit from it), and people who like getting the newest Plasma but don’t mind old packages elsewhere in apt. That’s a pretty narrow audience in the grand scheme of things.

I wouldn’t recommend Neon to my family because it prioritizes fast releases over comprehensive testing. I wouldn’t recommend it to gamers or people with the newest hardware because Ubuntu LTS is the base. I wouldn’t use it myself. But that’s okay. The point of distributions is that there are different ones out there for different people. Some have a broader appeal, like Fedora or Ubuntu (non-LTS), and get very popular in the process. Some have a very narrow appeal, like distros meant for USB recovery drives or security auditing. All of them are distros, but not all of them aim to be everything to everyone.

I would like to eventually see KDE produce a distro that I can recommend to friends & family who are not KDE fans. Maybe one day they’ll come up with this semi-rolling immutable well-tested KDE distro that I think would rock hard. But without a serious change in focus, Neon won’t be that. It doesn’t look like Neon is shifting focus, it looks like Neon is trying to stay the same but communicate better what it’s doing right now. The recent update was a start, whereas the status of apt for user software needs to be made much clearer.

So to stop rambling, my guess for the answer to your question would be “We are relying on what Ubuntu LTS is doing” because that’s what it’s been doing the entire time and that’s also what it says on the current FAQ:

No, we plan only to base on the latest LTS version of Ubuntu, this comes with Linux and graphics stack updates to keep drivers relevant. We will backport other software as needed.

Personally, as an end user I would skip Neon altogether in favor of Tuxedo OS, which has more mainstream aims and backports also non-KDE packages. But again, that’s just my personal opinion without the KDE Developer hat on. Hopefully I was able to express myself without sounding offensive this time around :relieved:

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I feel I should start with an apology.
My morning temper got the better of me, I am truly sorry for calling you out.

Does that… Are… hmm… :thinking:
Have you ever thought about that this might be the way she looks at you too?
(I AM JOKING HERE!!!)

I agree to 100% of what you are saying, except for that it is a distro. Well I guess 99% agreement then.
And to be honest, it really does not matter if it is called a distro or not.
Because what I mainly get from your post, that me and others seems to agree to, is that communicating exactly what you are saying here is very important!

The reason I brought up the NVK is because in a few weeks, when people watch a youtube about it WILL try to add repos, clone git:s and whatnot to try to implement it, and a circus session will once again commence in this forum.

I enjoyed reading the “rambling” very much.

Edit
OT about NVK.
If you are not on a fixed point distro, they are kinda asking for testers when it comes out. Brodie Robertson made a youtube about it.

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I also enjoyed the ramble, and generally share the sentiment. On that subject, stay tuned!

Back to Neon, I’ve updated its website–and especially the FAQ page–a bit to reflect reality.

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Thank you, Nate. :slightly_smiling_face:

I now have changed the footnote for non-KDE user software in KDE neon in my little overview to

Users are encouraged not to use [apps from the main repositories], and to instead get apps from Snap or Flatpak using KDE’s Discover app store. In neon, Discover is set up to only show apps from these sources, filtering out apps from the repositories. […] KDE neon focuses on KDE software, most other software is not supported and you should not be surprised if you can not install it or it stops working at any point in time due to an update.” (from the KDE neon FAQ)​

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