April 28, 2019

Netrunner Rolling 2019.04 Arch-based KDE Distribution Sees A New Release

The KDE Plasma-focused distribution Netrunner Rolling has seen a new release. For those new to Netrunner, it's a dual-distribution that comes in two 64-bit varieties, as well as for ARM. These include Netrunner - based on Debian Testing, and Netrunner Rolling, based on Manjaro / Arch.

For those who refer a rolling release model, the Netrunner team released the 2019.04 image for your use.

Netrunner Rolling 2019.04 screenshot
Netrunner Rolling 2019.04 screenshot

What's new?

New in Netrunner 2019.4 are the following:

  • Latest Plasma, Frameworks, and Applications
  • Qt 5.12.2
  • LTS Linux Kernel 4.19.32
  • Firefox Quantum 66.0.3
    • Includes KDE integration including media controls, KDE dialogue boxes (system handler) and more
  • Firefox is pre-loaded
  • New dark  theme by default using Kvantum engine
  • Updated readme docs
  • Webapps as a menu category
  • OpenDesktop (i.e. store.kde.org) integration in the system and in Firefox, via ocs-url

Also new and interesting for Netrunner is a modified system settings layout, whereby all things having to do with UI are moved to a new section called "Plasma Tweaks". I rather like this idea, as one complaint often heard about KDE configs are that they appear to be scattered all over different parts of the settings GUI. This appears to be an attempt to address this. I'd be curious to see some feedback on it.

Netrunner's OpenDesktop integration, as seen through Firefox
Netrunner's OpenDesktop integration,
as seen through Firefox

About Netrunner

Netrunner is developed by the team over at Blue Systems, who's employees also work on other parts of KDE outside of the Netrunner project itself. According to the website, the OS lives by the following principals:
  • Power-up, don’t dumb-down
  • Include useful Add-ons, codecs, customizations
  • Avoid lock-ins, favor libre alternatives
To that end, the distro comes pretty loaded with hand-selected apps, thus providing a full user experience out of the box. Examples of this would be including several Dolphin extensions by default, and enabling Firefox to be in "always ready" mode by default.

Steam, Skype, Kdenlive, Inkscape, Krita, and others are also included, along with the interesting choice of GMusicbrowser for music management. This is a nice touch, especially on the Steam front.

More information can be found on the announcement page.

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