April 15, 2019

Feren OS Linux Is Moving To KDE Plasma

Some time ago, Feren OS announced a new project, called Feren OS Next. The 'Next'  part referrs to an ongoing move to KDE Plasma. Originally a fork of Linux Mint in 2015, and therefore using the Cinnamon Desktop by default, the decision was made to move to the KDE Plasma desktop and technologies for the long term of the OS. Once complete, the 'Next' part will be dropped as KDE Plasma will be the standard going forward. For those who would like to stay on the Cinnamon desktop, it will still be available under the new name "Feren OS Classic".

I recently has occasion to speak to a FerenOS developer on Twitter, and here's what he has to say regarding the ongoing transition to KDE Plasma:

"Status-wise, the Migration is going relatively well, though there is mainly just a near-completed core experience. However, there is still much to go yet, from Feren OS exclusive features to bug fixes for what is going to be there by the time the migration really starts...
Roadmap-wise... there is no real roadmap just yet, outside of Finish 'Next', move Feren OS with Cinnamon to 'Feren OS Classic', move 'Next' to being the main Feren OS flavor once done, and then make an optional migration tool for Feren OS Classic amd64 to turn it into KDE."

My Twitter conversation with a Feren OS Dev regarding moving to KDE Plasma 5
My Twitter conversation with a Feren OS Dev
regarding moving to KDE Plasma 5

This is great news for the KDE Community.

A recent blog post from the lead developer also states that
"Back-end Changes -
- The 'KDE Neon' Repository (User Edition) was added, meaning that you will now always have the latest Plasma and KApps versions at all times on supported versions of the Ubuntu base
- Another Feren OS Repository (temporary) folder called 'neon-required' has been added to provide fixed versions of packages such as 'qt5-style-plugins' and related packages for the version of Qt provided by KDE Neon's Repository
- Plasma is now at version 5.15
- 'feren-safeguards' is now in Feren OS Next, meaning your system is now slightly safer from attempts to run a certain destruction command (as well as doing it humorously)
- Most importantly: The Ubuntu Base was downgraded to 18.04"

So we can see that not only is the move from Cinnamon to KDE Plasma underway, but it also appears that a move to a KDE Neon base is also taking place, utilizing Neon's repositories (in addition to Feren's own) and the Ubuntu 18.04 base.

Feren OS as it appears today, with a
customized Cinnamon desktop,
which in the future will be known
as 'Feren OS Classic'

Some unique aspects of Feren OS

It's obvious that the Feren OS team tries to make things as painstakingly easy for the user as possible. The distribution provides tools, for instance, to migrate away from a current Windows installation as well as settings to perform security updates automatically. Many decisions appear to be with the new Linux user in mind, both now and in continuing in future releases.

Default application choices include several Office Suite options, the Vivaldi web browser, Skype, an email client, document viewer, etc.

Feren OS' default application, as they are today
Feren OS' default application, as they are today

It will be interesting to see the transformation of Feren OS going forward. While I have not had the opportunity yet to try out the OS for myself, I could easily see how it could be a good fit for new users and experienced pro's alike.

It will also be interesting to watch how Feren OS differentiates itself from, say, Kubuntu or KDE Neon. If the migration and customization tools come along into the KDE-based 'Next' version, along with unique application defaults and perhaps theming, etc., Feren OS will certainly be one to keep an eye on.

In the meantime, welcome Feren OS to the KDE family.

You can learn more about Feren OS from the project's homepage.   

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