What is the best (rolling) KDE distro

Jepp @Justin .
In general I will be great if there is an overview on Distros supporting KDE with remark about the used KDE-Plasma/-Framwork/-Gear version, and if it is (KDE/Plasma) Rolling, standard or LTS. Additional it is required from my point of view to give some, pros and cons, as well a short idea about the potential users (e.g. Office, Professional, (KDE-)Developer and so on.

I have often in my LUG history a lot of questions which will be a good KDE/Plasma distro.

It’s YMMV, so in the end it’s what ever floats your boat. I started my Linux Journey on Mandrake, back in 2000, I had briefly operated a SuSE box under long distance instruction from it’s owner back in 1999, to back up our teams work.

manjaro has more fresh than arch (only for dev or tests)

exists kde-unstable branch and iso:

for me, it’s 10 years with archlinux (9 with plasma) and also some years with manjaro

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Arch Linux has a kde-unstable repo too - https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Official_repositories#kde-unstable


not same repo ! same name but not for the same workflow. with arch is empty (now) is used only sometime, in manjaro : 445 packages

I like Tumbleweed and Arch both, but I do find Tumbleweed to be more stable and just as fresh. Running them side-by-side, you don’t know which one will get a newer package first. It can go either way. At least with Tumbleweed, you don’t have to worry about Manjaro hosing the AUR, or other things.

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That’s true… but one of the reasons that the Arch kde-unstable repo is empty compared to the Manjaro one is that the KDE packages in the Manjaro repo have already been rolled out as stable in Arch (and EndeavourOS etc.).

Two examples:
The breeze package is at version 5.27.4 in Manjaro stable and at 5.27.5 in Manjaro kde-unstable. You’ll notice at the top of the page for 5.27.5 in Manjaro kde-unstable that the maintainers with @archlinux.org email addresses are listed. This is because Manjaro takes its KDE packages from Arch Linux. The breeze package in Arch Linux stable is already at version 5.27.5 and was updated to this five days ago. There is no need for it to be in any kde-unstable repo in Arch Linux.

The same for ark - v23.04.0 in Manjaro stable and v23.04.0 also in Manjaro kde-unstable (note again the Arch Linux maintainers listed at the top). In Arch stable ark was updated to v23.03.1 three days ago.

Because Manjaro takes its packages from Arch Linux, it never has “more fresh” than Arch.

That said, there are lots of happy users of Manjaro, and as stated above “there is no factual best, only best for a user’s specific use case”.


A full overview of all Distros will be at kde.org


NO ! the reason : kde-unstable is not the same repo as archlinux ! manjaro is a git repo and archlinux is a release repo. Compare release and git doesn’t make sense :wink: For manjaro it’s not a pre-release but an alternative repository (always available even in the stable branch)

In Arch stable ark was updated to v23.03.1 three days ago.

ark 23.04.0.r5077.g4a862763-1 (kde-unstable manjaro)

not always ! more than 1300 packages don’t come from archlinux. For example, since some days we have linux 6.3.2 and manjaro stable is with 6.3.3 (Build Date : Wed 17 May)

Nice overview! Although it is missing Distris that ship Plasma but don’t have a default DE; Like Debian and Arch.

Unrelated fun fact: Plasma is the most used DE on Arch (atleast of those who have installed the pkgstats package. pkgstats.archlinux.de


All the Manjaro KDE packages come from Arch Linux :wink:

Seeing the Arch Linux maintainers at the top of the majority of the Manjaro PKGBUILD files does make sense. it’s why Manjaro is described as an Arch Linux derivative :wink:

Again, that’s not not saying that Arch, Manjaro, Debian or Hannah Montana Linux are the best.

Not even remotely true cause it’s a true pain to find all ones software. Best distros for KDE / Plasma are Arch based, cause so easy to find all your apps.

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I think this is an important point - especially with the advent of Flatpaks and Snaps, one doesn’t really need a “rolling release” model distribution in order to take advantage of up-to-date applications from the KDE world. Even Plasma can be included in that with some fairly simple steps - I was using Plasma 5.27 on Kubuntu 22.10, thanks to the Backports PPA.

Just checking through Discover search results on my Kubuntu 23.04 install, I can see that there are the latest and greatest 23.04.1 versions of the big KDE apps I can think of (Kate, Kdenlive, Dolphin) available if I choose, either through Flatpak, Snap or both, and I’m sure that’s the case for more than the few I happened to search for.

IMO it really opens up the choices for folks, as you can choose your distro based on your preferred approach to things that are harder for you to change, and then layer the apps you want on top of that, rather than having to make huge compromises in one direction or another.

Personally, I prefer native package management to Flatpaks and I would never even consider using Snaps, since snapd behaves a lot like malware (gathering statistics on installation and usage of packages) and its backend is proprietary.

Flatpaks are okay, but the main issue I have with them is the fact they are statically linked, consuming a lot of storage space and not benefiting from security updates to their dependencies.

On Arch Linux I have never experienced the need to use Flatpaks, and Snaps aren’t even officially supported (of course, you can easily get them to work, but why bother?). Also, I have never needed to use a third-party package repository (what is in the 'Buntu world known as a PPA), and that makes security much easier to manage, since the group of people you need to trust is limited only to distro maintainers. While it may not be for everyone (no distro is), the bleeding-edge rolling release is a perfect model for all of my use cases. I can update it several times a day, or go without an update for several months. The stories you sometimes hear about it being prone to breakage are just myths, at least in my experience.

I occasionally use an Appimage when I need to run an older version of some program (for example, when backwards compatibility is broken in a new version of Kdenlive), but that’s about it, everything else is either installed with native package management, or stuff I built myself from source.



Let’s try that again. First not everything is going to be released as Flatpaks or Snaps. Second read the title of the thread.

I hadn’t heard much about OpenSUSE until this thread (maybe I need to get out less?) but you’ve inspired me to make the jump from Debian and give Tumbleweed a go. Some initial observations…


  • KDE is minty fresh, as promised :tada:
  • zypper is rather nice. Took about 10 minutes to find the apt equivalents. I like how the repo management is built into the CLI, and the tabular output of zypper search is reminiscent of aptitude search, which I always preferred to plain old apt.
  • The installer was pleasant and smooth. The disk encryption setup worked perfectly, which has been a recurring hassle for me in kubuntu in particular. The UI for setting up network interfaces is a little odd but workable.

Weird problems I’ve never seen before: (no advice needed, it’s off-topic, but if you want to message me feel free :grinning:)

  • GRUB hangs for a long time with a message about decrypting a master password. No biggie, I don’t boot very often.
  • Nvidia drivers appeared to cause boot to hang - it seems the LUKS prompt for unlocking my swap partition was on the integrated graphics? I had to turn off “multi-monitor” mode in UEFI settings.
  • Nvidia drivers stopped sddm from launching and I had to follow instructions on Reddit.

With those teething problems out of the way things are looking pretty stable - already seeing the benefits of some bugfixes from the latest KDE and related apps. :slight_smile:

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Hi, I have been using Void Linux (glibc) 64-bit on my laptop with KDE for all tasks for the past 4 years.

During this time, there have been numerous kernel updates, KDE/Plasma updates, and in my opinion, they have always been promptly incorporated into the Void repositories after their release. As an example, I would mention the latest Firefox. It was rolled out on a Monday, and by Wednesday, it was already available in the sources for updating. The same goes for KDE and kernel updates, and I have never encountered any dependency issues or conflicts. It simply runs rock-stable.

I highly recommend everyone to give it a try and test it out for themselves.

It is worth mentioning that KDE Discovery is not compatible with xbps and therefore does not work on Void Linux. The only graphical package manager available is Octo-xbps (similar to Synaptic). Personally, I can do without Discovery since I don’t install programs frequently, and when I do, I find it just fine to use the terminal.


The images should at least show KDE/Plasma, right?

LC_ALL=C systemsettings kcm_about-distro




I’d ask about both at https://forums.opensuse.org/, since the community there tends to inform me quickly about current issues I face and how to remediate them.

Does a report exist at bugzilla.opensuse.org? If not, I implore you to report it.