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I am looking for a stable Linux - I mean stable not necessarily because based on stable releases like Ubuntu LTS, but because well supported by maintainers and community — one that would be focused on Plasma/KDE desktop as their flagship DE in the way Ubuntu is on Gnome (and especially was on Unity), Mint (especially) on Cinnamon, Solus on Budgie, Elementary on Pantheon, Bodhi on Enlightenment, and not just a "flavor" in Ubuntu's sense, or a "spin" in Fedora's — one that is not just "flirting" with KDE-Plasma, but is "married" to it, so to speak... Thus, although Kubuntu and Fedora KDE deserve a mention in this context, the question here is not about this type of distributions.

  • Why not Neon?

Just read their FAQ:

What is KDE neon? KDE neon is a rapidly updated software repository. Most users will want to use the packages built from released software which make up our User Edition. KDE contributors and testers can use the packages built from KDE Git in the Testing and Unstable Editions. It uses the foundation of the latest Ubuntu LTS (20.04).

Is this "the KDE distro"? Nope. KDE believes it is important to work with many distributions, as each brings unique value and expertise for their respective users. This is one project out of hundreds from KDE.

...

Is it a distro? Not quite, it's a package archive with the latest KDE software on top of a stable base. While we have installable images, unlike full Linux distributions we're only interested in KDE software.

I had tested Neon and quickly found it one of the most unstable Plasma desktops, no matter the unshakable enthusiasm of adventurers who would quickly become bored with a stable Linux. (On my latest try it stopped working after changing the locale to "default" and logging out. That instability may be a freak event related to my hardware etc but it is significant). Neon is latest Plasma possible put on top of a stable Ubuntu and its purpose is that of testing the continuous changes of the desktop environment, and not that of building a KDE Linux distro. (There are indeed a lot of good reviews of how good and stable Neon is and I don't really know what to make of them, maybe people are pleasantly surprised by the stability after a day or a week, when they anticipated havoc...)


Plasma was always for me the most complex, interesting and intelligent desktop - one that deserves a better promotion than the one it gets (and the newcomers do experience) in Neon and other "bleeding edges". Plasma is worth an exclusive focus from the part of a Linux distribution.

Are there such distributions?

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UPDATING LIST:

KaOS

It is build from scratch, uses pacman and Octopi as software managers. It is rolling but very stable — in that, and other aspects, similar to Solus — and completely focused on Plasma. Uses systemd-boot as boot loader. Looks like "the one" for now.

Feren OS

Feren OS is based on Ubuntu with a pseudo-rolling-release nature, featuring the KDE Plasma desktop. (For me the installer became unstable, could not install. I'm thus mentioning it because it's promoting Plasma, but not recommending it before Kubuntu, Solus KDE and the others mentioned below.)


As said, Kubuntu, Fedora KDE, OpenSuse, Solus Plasma must be mentioned but are not "it". The same stands for MXLinux KDE, and of course Manjaro KDE; (I am reticent about Manjaro for stability reasons, based on my own experience; pushing latest software, including in the desktop environment, it becomes naturally more focused on coping with the effects of that than with the desktop as such. I'm aware I should give it another try soon, for the very reason that things change so fast there, but I remember that the only time even Xfce felt shaky to me was on Manjaro…)


Nitrux Linux uses a modified version of Plasma desktop, called NX Desktop. It should stand as a good competitor here. But some of their basic decisions to me are demoralizing, especially that of replacing the file manager Dolphin, the rest being in the same vein. While the changes in Plasma as such are cosmetic and overstated, the replacement - called Index - tunes down or alters the Plasma experience.


Concerning stability:

In judging that, one should stay away as much as possible from third party widgets, which are too easy to promote and install in Plasma (while being far less necessary than "extensions" are to Gnome). I have recently noticed how severe (although relatively rare) cases of instability (like complete freeze, with absent panel, without any solution but reboot) were triggered by panel widgets. Some are not tested (and/or updated) enough and while working well with a version of Plasma become nastily buggy with an older or a newer one.

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