It has been a very busy few weeks for KaOS. The last ISO has only been out a little over three weeks, but a new ISO is already planned.
Reason is a much larger than usual amount of updates, partially due to a new GCC 10.3.0, Glibc 2.33 & Binutils 2.36.1 based Toolchain. This Toolchain was very difficult, because it broke an obscure package (Fakeroot), which in turn broke a huge amount of build packages (fakeroot is used for building all packages, since all is build in a chroot). The whole
base group was rebuild on the new Toolchain, trying to figure where the failures were coming from (all this happened in the [build] repo only, stable users were never effected).
So now pretty much the entire
core repo is updated/rebuild.
Also new is KDE Applications 21.04, which has been tested since 21.03.90 (RC candidate). Of course the usual monthly Framework updates and latest Plasma is also up.
Another big change is the moving to a fork of Qt 5.15. Qt company no longer supports Qt 5 (lts version are only closed source, paid support now), thus KDE had decided to fork 5.15 and makes patches available. This changed the whole Qt build/update process, since they don't make any releases, it is up to the distro to decide which parts has needed patches & apply them.
This caused an awkward situation for Frameworks 5.81.0, it needed a rebuild on patched Qt 5.15, but the new Toolchain was already up. This Framework rebuild broke the install for stable users (see https://forum.kaosx.us/d/2796-unable-to-login-after-update-glibc-233-required), since it moved without it being possible to move the Toolchain.
This triggered the setup of two mirrors as fallback mirrors, this way any update can easily be reversed (or in case just one or a few older packages are needed). One mirror now syncs only once a week, another only once a month. Both these mirrors are owned/serviced by KaOS devs:
Make sure to include those two in your
/etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist. Leave them commented out, but move them to the top of your mirrors should the need ever arise to get older packages.
The last ISO also contains a few bugs from the installer
Calamares, those have been fixed upstream now, so it will be good to get the fixes on a new ISO.
Another noteworthy item is the start of a move to Dracut (away from Mkinitcpio) for initramfs creation. The linux-next kernel already defaults to Dracut for kernel image creation (if Dracut is installed on your system). This move is automated, no changes needed from the user side. ISO creation relies on AUFS, moving that to Dracut will take some time, so the next ISO won't be ready yet for that move.
Stickying this topic for a while since it contains a few important notes that every users should read.