KaOS notes

While reviewing KaOS in a recent post, I indicated that I expected to add some comments in another post.  Here are those comments.

I’ll first note I am primarily an openSUSE user, so my experience with KaOS is rather less than that with openSUSE.

Software notes

The KaOS software selection is different from that of openSUSE.  For example, it uses Calligra for office software, instead of LibreOffice (used by openSUSE).  I should add that LibreOffice is in the repo, so I could install that if I preferred.  And, for that matter, if I add the KDE-extras repo for opensuse, I’m pretty sure that I can install Calligra.

I did experiment with Calligra on a spread sheet.  It seemed to work pretty well.  But I don’t actually use a spreadsheet very often, so this is not a thorough test.

KaOS does not automatically install “konqueror” or “firefox”, though both are available.  It uses “qupzilla” as its default browser.  I have not extensively used “qupzilla”, but it does seem to be a fine browser.

Package manager

KaOS uses “pacman”, the Arch linux package manager for command line work.  And it uses “octopi” as a graphic package manager from the desktop.  Since installing KaOS, I have used “octopi” several times for installing additional packages.  And I am often using via the update applet, to keep this rolling distro up to date.

I think my first use of “octopi” was to install “xterm”.  I later installed some additional packages.

I mentioned using a spread sheet.  My spread sheet is actually on the home NFS server, so I wanted to access it from there.  The obvious step was to setup “autofs”.  But the configuration files were not there, so I checked in “octopi” and installed “autofs”.

After setting up “autofs”, I found that it still did not work.  So I searched the repo for “nfs” (using “octopi”).  This turned up a package that I needed.  After installing that, and restarting “autofs”, access to the home NFS server is working well.

My experience, thus far, is that “octopi” works pretty well.  However, KaOS comes with less standard software than I am used to seeing with openSUSE.


KaOS does come with Wayland support for a graphic session.  This is perhaps the most significant difference from openSUSE Tumbleweed.  With Tumbleweed, Wayland works very well for Gnome.  But it is not currently available with KDE unless I add additional repos.

So I tested out Wayland on KaOS.  The Login screen normally has a “K”.  If I click on that, I can switch to Wayland.  And, thereafter, the login screen has a W in place of that K (until I switch back).

My normal desktop with KaOS comes up with a “konsole” window at the bottom left of the screen.  And I have the panel at the bottom of the screen set to “auto-hide”.

When I login with Wayland, the “konsole” window appears near the top left of the screen.  And then, as I move the mouse around, the “konsole” window disappears.  But a check with the “ps” command shows that “konsole” is still running.  It’s window has been lost.

I then look at the panel.  And, in Wayland, “auto-hide” is not working.  So I try to navigate to the setting for “auto-hide”.  But I can never get there.

My conclusion:  Wayland with KDE is not yet ready for use.  It is still a work in progress.  So I switched back to using Xorg for future desktop sessions.


About Neil Rickert

Retired mathematician and computer scientist who dabbles in cognitive science.

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