The KDE edition of Linux Mint 18 just passed QA and should be available as BETA this weekend.
Here’s a screenshot and some details to keep you waiting :)
There are three major differences between this edition and the other Linux Mint editions:
- The default display manager isn’t MDM, but SDDM.
- The packages for the desktop environment are not frozen and maintained by Linux Mint, but continuously backported and maintained by a 3rd party repository (in this case the Kubuntu Backports PPA).
- This edition does not ship with X-Apps (the excellent Kate, Okular, Gwenview, Dragon Player and DigiKam are maintained)
This is largely due to the fact that KDE is huge and it’s a bit of a different world and a different development target than ours. QT applications feel more native over there, frameworks around Bluetooth and Locale which were put in common in other desktop environments are handled directly by KDE here. And also since Plasma 5, we’re dealing with something which hasn’t reached the maturity of its predecessor (KDE 4) or other desktops, but which is also developed rapidly upstream and which brings significant refinements, bug fixes and either missing or new features with every new version.
Changes are kept to a minimum to keep the experience as intact as possible (we call it “vanilla” in our own jargon). The selection is cleaned up to avoid clutter but most of the traditional QT apps are present (we find Amarok for music playback, Kontact with Kmail, Korganizer etc..) and most of the look and feel is handled by Breeze, the default Plasma 5 theme.