KDE neon is Now Based on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish

KDE neon (it’s stylized with a lowercase ‘n’) has rebased on top of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, bringing many of the LTS’ foundations new features to users of this ‘not a distro’.

The developers beavering away on the KDE-centric Linux project announce they have successfully rebased KDE neon atop Ubuntu 22.04 LTS ‘Jammy Jellyfish’, the primary version of which was released back in April. With the bump to Jammy, KDE neon users unlock access to a newer set of packages, third-party tools, and hardware drivers. A more recent Linux kernel is also offered, providing improved hardware support. Although it may seem like quite a delay from April, swapping out the foundation of a “distro” is not a trivial task. It takes time (and a lot of skill) to properly co-ordinate the mix of KDE neon’s more recent KDE packages with the underlying versions in the Ubuntu Jammy archives. But, having done the handwork, everything’s good to go. As part of the rebase, KDE neon developers also had to tackle the Mozilla Firefox packaging situation. In existing neon installs the .deb version of Firefox is provided — this no longer exists. So, with the enforced transition to a Snap package in 22.04, devs ferreted feedback on the approach its own users wanted: and they chose the Mozilla Firefox Team PPA. This is now enabled by default in neon meaning there’s no Snap build. KDE neon builds using the 22.04 foundations are available to download from the KDE neon website in one of 3 distinct editions: User, Testing and Unstable. Those using KDE neon (20.04 version) will be able to upgrade to the 22.04 version starting Monday, October 24.

What is KDE neon again?

The KDE neon project (it doesn’t consider itself a distribution) ships the latest officially released KDE software, including the KDE Plasma desktop, on top of a stable Ubuntu LTS foundation. What makes KDE Neon different to Kubuntu, the official Ubuntu KDE flavor? While Kubuntu ships a frozen snapshot of KDE technologies on top the latest Ubuntu base, neon ships the latest KDE technologies on top of a frozen Ubuntu LTS base. As new KDE software is released the neon team assess quality, check for issues, and ensure it plays nicely with the rest of the KDE stack before pushing it out to users, giving them the latest KDE software, quicker. But non-KDE software in the Ubuntu archives stay on a frozen snapshot.
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