How I settled with KDE Neon, for now…

Recently I discovered KDE Neon, a GNU/Linux distro based on Ubuntu LTS but with the bleeding-edge KDE plasma.

Neon actually suits my computing requirements exceptionally well, since all I really wanted is a up-to-date desktop environment on a stable operating system. I don’t need the latest and greatest packages for most part - I’ve got Nix for that. Archlinux has been a time drain for me in the past. It’s okay when I was at university, but definitely too much work/tinkering nowadays.

Before Neon I was on NixOS, a unique operating system based on the philosophy of reproducibility. Unfortunately it was a bit too rigid given my limited Nix-fu. Also the philosophy of declarative desktop environment broke down for me because a desktop is more like a workbench, very different from a production server. In the former you want flexibility and mutability, testing out new ideas and installing random packages easily, whereas in the latter, you want reproducibility and stability. There are also many bugs related to build steps that makes installing software harder than it needed to be. I am still using NixOS on my VPS though, and possibly for future app deployments.

So I left NixOS but took Nix with me. With nix-shell and nix-env, as well as home-manager, I already got what I need the best from Nix anyways.