Screenshot of KaOS 2021.01 with style "Midna"
OS familyLinux (Unix-like)
Working stateCurrent
Source modelOpen source[1]
Initial release2013.9[2] / September 2013; 10 years ago (2013-09)
Latest release2024.01[3] / 2 February 2024; 3 months ago (2 February 2024)
Package managerpacman
user interface
Official websitekaosx.us

KaOS is a desktop Linux distribution that features the latest version of the KDE desktop environment, the LibreOffice office suite, and other popular software applications that use the Qt toolkit.[4]


The first version of KaOS was released as "KdeOS" in 2013. To prevent confusion between the distribution's name and the desktop environment KDE, the name was changed to "KaOS" in September 2013.[5]


KaOS is distributed via an ISO image, and exclusively supports 64-bit x86 processors.[6]

KaOS is a desktop rolling release, built from scratch with a very specific focus. The focus on one desktop environment (KDE Plasma 5), one toolkit (Qt), one architecture (x86 64), with an emphasis on evaluating and selecting the most suitable tools and applications.[7]


The default applications include:[7]


Phoronix wrote in 2016, "Overall, I was quite pleased with it for being a niche distribution. KaOS was easy to install and was quickly running on a bleeding-edge KDE Plasma 5 stack. Overall, it was a fun and pleasant few hours spent with KaOS."[8]

FossMint stated in 2017, that KaOS "is a modern, open-source, beautifully designed, QT and KDE-focused Linux distro. It is a rolling release that ships with KDE Plasma as its default Desktop Environment, uses Pacman as its package manager, and has a 3-group structure repository on GitHub." and "The fact that it is a rolling release means that you will never need to worry about future updates the moment you have a version installed like in the case of Ubuntu and the like where you would need to consider whether to perform a clean installation of another “major version” or not."[9]

Hectic Geek reviewed KaOS in 2014, and wrote that the distribution was not very fast, but included all necessary applications.[10]

Jesse Smith from DistroWatch Weekly wrote a review of KaOS 2014.04.[11] Smith said the features of KaOS worked well.

Robert Rijkhoff reviewed KaOS 2017.09 for DistroWatch Weekly, and he said that "KaOS seems to be trying a little bit hard to be different".[12]

ZDNet wrote a hands-on review about KaOS 2014.06:[13]

KaOS doesn't intend to be, or claim to be, a general-purpose Linux distribution for everyone, or a dead-easy distribution for complete newcomers to Linux. But if you are interested in a solid, carefully focused KDE-specific distribution for 64-bit systems, then I think KaOS could be a very interesting choice.

Dedoimedo reviewed KaOS 2014.12:[14]

KaOS 2014.12 is a very slick, very beautiful product. But it is not the most refined operating system out there. Sure, in terms of friendliness and accessibility, it's right there among the big names, offering everything a user might want or need. Still, to get to that point, you will need to sweat a little. Printing, installer errors, availability of software, all these are potentially critical obstacles that must be addressed before KaOS can become a familiar and well-recommended family name.

Jack Wallen from Linux.com stated his opinion about KaOS in 2016, and said that the distribution is beautiful.[15]


  1. ^ KaOS · GitHub
  2. ^ KaOS 2013.9 ISO released with KDE 4.12.0
  3. ^ "KaOS 2024.01". 2 February 2024. Retrieved 4 February 2024.
  4. ^ DistroWatch. "DistroWatch.com: KaOS". distrowatch.com. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  5. ^ "Early September Status". kaosx.us. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  6. ^ "32bit Applications". kaosx.us. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  7. ^ a b Hunt, Adam (30 September 2022). "Review - KaOS" (PDF). Full Circle magazine. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 September 2022. Retrieved 30 September 2022.
  8. ^ "KaOS Offers A Nice KDE Linux Experience - Phoronix". www.phoronix.com. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  9. ^ "KaOS - A Modern, Beautiful & Lightweight KDE Distribution". FOSSMint: Everything About Linux and FOSS. 2017-11-27. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  10. ^ "KaOS (2014) - Fresh, Beautiful, Responsive & Worships KDE". Hectic Geek - Best Operating System Reviews (Mostly 'Linux') & App Tips. 2014-01-24. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  11. ^ DistroWatch. "First impressions of KaOS 2014.04. DistroWatch.com: Put the fun back into computing. Use Linux, BSD.". distrowatch.com. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  12. ^ DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 733, 9 October 2017
  13. ^ Watson, J.A. "KaOS Linux: Hands-on with this solid and focused distribution | ZDNet". ZDNet. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  14. ^ "KaOS 2014.12 review - Chaos and anarchy". www.dedoimedo.com. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  15. ^ "KaOS Brings Serious Relevance Back to KDE". Linux.com | The source for Linux information. 26 August 2016. Retrieved 2018-08-07.