KDE neon Developer Edition Installable Image FAQ

The tech preview of the KDE neon developer edition installable image was out yesterday.  It’s an 800MB download you can dd onto a USB disk and run live or install.


Why are there no apps?

KDE neon doesn’t have builds of applications yet, we’re doing Qt, Frameworks and Plasma for now to keep it manageable while we get it up and running. Apps will come in future weeks.

No Konsole?

No apps yet as I say, xterm is included.

How do I install software?

Appstream issues mean Muon isn’t working well, you can use apt on an xterm.

It has “stable” in the name, does that mean it’s stable?

Not necessarily, it’s built from Git stable branches, not released software.

When will the user edition be available?

No timelines, whenever we can get it done

Does this include Qt 5.6?

It comes with Qt 5.5.  Backporting Qt will be done when possible, it’s not our priority and there’s a bug with 5.6 currently anyway.

Why no Xenial?

Neon only uses a stable base, we’ll move to Xenial when it’s stable.

How do I install this?

It’s the developer edition, if you don’t know how to install it then it’s probably not for you.

Is this or is this not a distribution? You are a leader we must be told!

Look, you’ve got it all wrong! You don’t need to follow me. You don’t need to follow anybody! You’ve got to think for yourselves! You’re all individuals!


KDE neon developer edition install tech preview

To celebrate the release of KDE Plasma 5.6 we’ve made a tech preview of our KDE neon developer edition installable images built directly from developer Plasma/5.6 Git branches

Remember it’s the developer’s edition built directly from Git.  There’s still plenty bits we need to tidy up still.  Have fun with it and let us know how you get on.



KDE neon Press

Since it’s announcement KDE neon has had some pleasingly positive press coverage (and one not so positive).

First off was Swapnil’s article on CIO.com Jonathan Riddell to announce project Neon at FOSDEM

On the Rio Noguera Palasera in sunny Catalunya I learned freestyle kayak by surfing against the current on a standing wave and realized we should go to the source. Upstream is where the beauty comes from so working upstream is where we should be.

Not the force it once was but still a badge of achievement, Slashdot covered it Project Neon Will Bring Users Up-to-Date KDE Packages
KDE neon is a project to give KDE users and contributors a way to get KDE’s desktop software while it’s still fresh

I gave a talk at FOSDEM and the video is up.

For video podcast views with chatty Americans I did an interview for the Linux Action Show (start 37 minutes in).

And for English audio podcast polite chat with tea and biscuits I did an interview for Linux Luddites.

I also gave an interview to Hacker Public Radio podcast at FOSDEM.

Even Bryan “Terrible Idea” Lunduke gets a ribbing on his podcast Bad Voltage.


Neon Gains Developer Stable-Branch Builds; Plasma Wayland Update

KDE neon’s developer edition has gained builds of Git stable branches for Plasma.  These are ideal for contributors and testers who want to check out the state of Plasma 5.6 branch and check it’s still sane.  sources.list line is:

deb http://archive.neon.kde.org/stable wily main

Of course it’s not compatible with the unstable git branch packages.

And I updated the Wayland image so you can check out how well Plasma works running Wayland.  Main issue today seems to be that strangely the window decorations are blue instead of black.

FSRT Lesson Plans

Here’s some lesson plans, or at least coaching points, for the bits needed for a BCU FSRT course.


  • Assessing risks
  • How to get help
  • What kit to have to hand
  • Ask/give option to warn about medical issues
  • Group management, communication and boundaries
  • clean rope principle, one handed knife
  • safety features of boats
  • safety features of clothes and kit
  • manual handling issues


  • Shout, Reach, Throw, Row
  • Self, Team, Victim/Swimmer, Equipment
  • Communication, Line of Sight, Avoidance/Awareness, Position of max usefulness

Coach a Swimmer to Shore

  • eye contact, use name, clear instructions, be firm
  • consider hand signal to group to tell them to keep still
  • good foot grip or kneel down
  • use this for all the other rescues

Paddle rescue

  • leg stance
  • firm grip


  • accurate throw to person over 10m or more
  • swimmer on their back
  • thumbs up for hand grip
  • can be under arm, over arm or lob around. under arm usually best, hand on scruff of bag with two fingers on the bag
  • finish throw with hand pointing where you want it to go

Throwline Rethrow

  • Get it right first time, rethrows will always be rubbish
  • large coils in hand and throw all
  • large coils onto ground, get water in bag for weight, throw bag
  • large coils on ground, small coils in hand, wrap bag round small coils, throw bag

The above can all be done on the land

Contact tows

  • front or back

Sling towlines

  • watch out for putting over head or in teeth(!)


  • quick to deploy, quick to release, quick to re-set
  • know where the release is and what angle to pull it at

Boat Empties

  • like for like craft
  • boat empties can be done separate from swimmer stuff to keep people out of cold water for longer
  • for GP kayak orientate front to front using footrest bolts
  • palm roll upright
  • roll on side, one hand at front of cockpit holding it up, one hand on top at back of cockpit pushing down to gently empty
  • when all water out use knee to ratchet over your boat and sea-saw to empty
  • if the boat still has water in it get swimmer to help pull over and down
  • if can’t get swimmer to help then just leave water in it, don’t strain your back
  • you can use a sling to help you rotate and lift the boat
  • for sea kayaks/touring boats with gunwales rotate bow of boat onto your boat by rolling it away from you and sliding knee under
  • Canadians can do same as touring boats above
  • or curl method with boats parallel, using gunwale to lift other boat then throw away from you to get it upright

Deep water rescue

  • straight lift into kayak easiest
  • heel hook into kayak if not so strong, quite faffy
  • climb over your kayak, risky
  • sling around cockpit as step up
  • in canadians they sit in the boat then step into yours

Swimmer rescue

  • ensure they are calm before you approach
  • holding on to front or back
  • keep head away from front of boat
  • get them to kick legs if on back

Unconscious rescue

  • go alongside swimmer, drop paddle if you need to
  • lean onto near side of their boat, reach over and pull from other side
  • hold onto their clothes
  • first aid: shout to get them to open eyes, squeeze shoulders or hand, check breathing (if not breathing 5 CPR breaths but not much point in chest compressions)
  • get assistant to raft up with them and push both boats to shore
  • if you can’t get their boat upright them jump in the water and roll it
  • if you can’t roll it then pop their deck and drag them out

Self rescue

  • This means an eskimo rescue
  • get them to practice rolling down and up on bow of another boat if new
  • three bangs, hands outwards
  • rescuer at 45 degree approach
  • also try paddle presentation


  • unconcious person in water rescue into canadian
  • rescue and kayak from a canadian
  • rescue a canadian from a kayak
  • sea kayak paddle float


Mass Bugzilla Product Version Number Updates

There’s no API to update Bugzilla product versions. This is weird because projects like Plasma release dozens of bits of software at the same time and we need to update the version numbers in Bugzilla so people can correctly report bugs against them. Even if it was only 1 bit of software we released it would still be nice to automate that rather than click through lots of web pages.

For Plasma I’ve written a wee shell script which uses Curl to load the relevant page to update the version. It takes a list of Bugzilla products (which in KDE land don’t have any direct relation to Git archives or tars we release so this has to be maintained manually) and a cookie which you need to extract out of your web browser.


git clone git://anongit.kde.org/releaseme

Wayland Image Updated

My image for testing Wayland has had an update.

This includes the latest sources from Git master with KWin providing the Wayland compositor and built from a mix of Neon/Ubuntu/Kubuntu packages.

It’s full of obvious bugs for you to hunt down and help fix.  It’s not at all ready for every day use.

The KDE Plasma team is distribution agnostic which is described in this quote from the KDE neon FAQ,

“KDE believes it is important to work with many distributions, as each brings unique value and expertise for their respective users”.