I hope KaOS will be the best KDE distro that is out there. If you don't mind, I have a great idea how to beat the hell out of Manjaro KDE and surpass them on distrowatch. As a maintainer of a few boxes, I have experience with maintaining them and improving speed, reliability and visuals that people envy (!). Nothing fancy but tested and proven technologies (upstream kernel takes money from MS and Intel, so if Intel wants you to buy their flash storage or MS wants you to buy new computers with flash storage, clearly they don't need competiotion from BFQ, right, so no upstream, until now, albeit with change. The old saying is: "Who pays is the boss". And the boss (Intel and MS) want the sales number, but not people sticking to old computers.
I. SPEED AND RESPONSIVENESS
Improve responsiveness and speed of KaOS by applying Linaro patches to the kernel, or create udev rules for the system to use appropriate I/O scheduler depending on the type of hard drive: (BFQ for spinning drives, mq-deadline for SSDs). My real life experiences:
a) Manjaro uses Linaro patches and uses geniuine Linaro BFQ scheduler. Mainline kernel (starting from 5.2.x) uses BFQ-mq (using confusingly BFQ name for BFQ-mq);
b) My Arch box with openRC (old computer) uses udev rules I created and the results are amazing;
c) The big daddy of distros- Fedora uses mq-deadline. By my tests GIMP starts significantly faster.
I have never experienced any trouble with BFQ or udev rules or Linaro patched kernel. Its extremely robust and is adequate for September release. The I/O scheduler was always a bottleneck in Linux. Now we have reliable and tested solution. Just apply the either solution.
Lecture and tests by prof. Paolo Valente:
Improve greatly fonts to surpass anything that is currently available by any distro including Ubuntu (!).
Please let me explain how I did achieve it on the aforementioned Arch box:
#Font Fix - Part One#
$ xrdb -query | grep Xft
--> should be: antialias: true, autohint: false, dpi: 96, hinting: true, hintstyle: hintslight, lcdfilter: lcddefault, rgba: rgb
$ cat /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d/xft-settings.sh
--> should be: antialias: 1, autohint: 0, dpi: 96, hinting: 1, hintstyle: hintslight, lcdfilter: lcddefault, rgba: rgb
$ echo "$XFT_SETTINGS" | xrdb -merge > /dev/null 2>&1
Just to be on a safe side create a "dotfile" in your 'home' directory
should be: $ cat .Xresources ---> all Xft.dpi/antialias/hinting/hintstyle.... as above
#Font Fix - Part Two#
Now for the fun part, you need 3 packages and appropriate setting (BFW:
without seettings it WILL NOT WORK!):
$ git clone https://github.com/pdeljanov/infinality-remix.git
$ cd infinality-remix/freetype2-infinality-remix
$ makepkg -sci
$ cd ../fontconfig-infinality-remix
$ makepkg -sci
$ makepkg -sci
#Font Fix - Part Three#
Set it exactly like this:
Location of settings: /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d/infinality-settings.sh
BFW: If you do not set it EXACTLY like in the above screenshot all will be for nothing.
In the above geany screenshot observe:
a) number 3 - achieves the best resaults
b) lcd color filtering - set to 40
c) use known settings for known fonts
d) use varoious tweaks
e) use gamma correction from whole scale
Leave other settings unchanged.
In order to achieve the best results with fonts please adjust your dpi (accordingly to your screen- everyone has different!).
LIVE ISO SPEED AND RESPONSIVENESS
Achieving good speed and responsiveness leaves good impression on people who will try KaOS as live environment. First impression matter. Good live speed and responsiveness will be an indicator for the distro quality if installed. If it's going to be bad, then people will not consider using it.
The new version of GRUB can utilize f2fs file system. F2fs is open source file system created by Samsung (one of the biggest flash storage manufacturer). Its faster than FAT32 and designed with flash storage in mind (speed and wearout). Since we want fast and robust, it would rock (remember, we're trying to surpass Manjaro) if the .ISO was created with f2fs. Lesser compression of ZSTD would also greatly improve live environment. Those first impressions do matter. Having fast live environment gives also versaitlity and KaOS could be used more often in a live environment or as a backup (HDDs do fail) or as a demo for MS Windows infidels.
Tip: How to format your usb stick with f2fs file system:
$ sudo wipefs -a /dev/sdX
$ mkfs.f2fs -o2 /dev/sdX
KaOS would greatly improve if it included f2fs-tools
IV. FINAL PRODUCT SPEED IMPROVEMENTS:
Who else knows better than Intel themselves about their own pruducts! They even created their own distro which wins all the speed tests on phoronix. Fortunately its libre software, so we can take it, study it and copy their solutions to improve KaOS:
Intel in its own distro uses technology called Intel Fast Boot. Not only its robust, greatly improves the boot speed, but its also pleasant to the eye and gives the distro quality and professional look. Big daddy- Fedora (used by Linus Torvalds himself) also uses it by default. According to my tests its production ready.
Who knows better then Intel themselves how to utilize their hardware. Their GPU drivers are even open source. Great, but unfortunatly many distros (including Fedora, Manjaro) forget that Intel provides a library for their GPU memomy management. Looking at Intel's own distro, that wins all the phoronix tests, clearly (sic!) has it installed as a dependancy for hardware accelerating video decoding library: gstreamer-vaapi has dependancy of "gmm" library. GPU Memory Management. KaOS should have it as a default dependancy.
V. CLEAN LOOK
Decluttering the desktop and pleasant look is not on the mind of many distros. Its often overlooked aspect. People are visual and having nice, clean, decluttered and predictable desktop is not only pleasant to look at but also makes you more productive. Fortunately KDE is here.
With a few tweaks and leaving the rest to default, KaOS can achive great reasults of being the best KDE implementation out there.
How NOT TO set up your desktop:
KDE Tip 1: please use shorcuts to start apps on KDE (set them to your own!)
META+F = Dolphin (FILE manager)
META+B = Firefox (BROWSER)
META+T = SMTube (YouTUBE)
ctrl+alt+T = Konsole (TERMINAL)
KDE is famous for shortcuts. If you're not using them and not setting your own you're missing BIG TIME.
KDE Tip 2: please use Krunner as your launcher to everything (after login just type without clicking on anything or press ALT+ SPACE).
Krunner should be your "do everything" application. Its always there, just start typing. If you're not using it, you're missing BIG TIME.
With this two tips you will not need any shortcuts on panel or desktop whatsoever, leaving them clean an decluttered:
THEMES AND FIRST IMPRESSION:
First impression matters. We already know that. But what can we do? Easy, because KDE is almost perfect by default. By changing the setting below to be the defaults in KaOS we can impress all those pesky Manjaro Xfce dudes (and even those on Manjaro KDE!):
The most complete themes without anny errors and constantly tweaked and improved are the ones included by default in KDE. There's almost no need to change them (vide: Xfce).
Workspace Theme --> Breeze Dark
Look and Feel ---> Breeze
Colors ---> Breeze
Icons ---> Breeze
Application Style ---> Breeze
Firefox ---> Plasma 5 Breeze Dark
SMTube ---> Style 'Breeze'
Result: Clean material look with undisruptive dark panels and window decorations, but light insides that don't mess up text and forms on websites.
a) right click on panel and chose: "unlock widgets"
b) right click on desktop and chose "desktop settings"
c) change layout to: "Desktop"
d) lock widgets again in order not to mess up your panel.
e) chose a maching non disruptive minimalist wallpaper of your chosing that mach breeze colors.
Result: Digital declutter.
a) go to System Settings
b) go to Window Management
c) go to Task Switcher
d) Under Visualization chose "Cover Switch" from the dropdown menu
e) click apply in the right bottom.
e) press ALT+Space and type "kate", open it
f) press ALT+Space and type "gwenview", open it
g) press ALT+Space and type "dolphin", open it
h) press ALT+TAB and navigate with both arrows, left and right, or just keep pressing ALT+TAB
Result: Better, isn't it?
a) go to System Settings
b) go to Hardware
c) go to Display and Monitor
d) chose Compositor
e) chose Rendering backend: OpenGL 3.1
f) click Apply
Result: If you're using a computer made in the last 5 years, you have just switched to a newer technology that utilizes your hardware more efficiently.
a) right click on "Pager" plasmoid (desktop/workspace switcher)
b) chose Configure Virtual Deskopts
c) udd more desktops to the total of 4
d) under Show animation when switching chose "Desktop Cube Animation"
e) navigate between Desktops
Result: Better, isn't it?
Tip 3, 4 and 5 don't really take more RAM or CPU cycles. The system stays very light on resources and is still impressively responsive.
KDE PAPER CUTS:
a) right click on the panel and chose "Configure Taks Manager"
b) go to "Behavior"
c) check the following to be ON: "Show only tasks from the current screen", "Show only tasks from the current desktop", "Show only tasks from the current activity"
Result: When you switch to another desktop, it will be void of any windows/running apps. Congrats, you have just reinstated the old "workspaces" paradigm.
a) right click clock in the tray
b) chose "Configure Digital Clock"
c) chose time display: "24-Hour"
d) click Apply
Results: Congrats! You're just using 24 clock. The way overwhelming majority of the world has been already doing.
What else can be achieved with a little bit of fantasy?: