Introducing Project Neon 5 ISO’s

Everyone working on KDE Frameworks Five and Plasma Workspaces 2 is eager to bring you the next iteration of the desktop experience. However, wouldn’t it be awesome if you could play with all the shiny stuff just a bit earlier? ;)

I’ll assume you’re nodding your head right about now, so without further ado I give you Project Neon 5 ISO’s which are designed to give you a glimpse into how things are shaping up in the Frameworks 5 and Plasma Workspaces 2 world. Complete with an installer!

Neon 5 Live Env

However, I *highly* recommend NOT installing this directly onto your machine, as it’s not even meant to be a tech preview, but more of a this *will* eat kittens release. If you really want to install it, I’d recommend using KVM or VirtualBox. Out of the box you get the Neon 5 daily PPA, upgrade and things might not work, the only supported path for upgrades is reinstalling the next ISO that comes out.

If you’re interested in the nitty-gritty details of how the ISO is made, you can checkout the scripts over here.

There’s also a known bug where plasma-shell crashes on boot, we’re still investigating that and the best way to fix it is to either start plasma-shell via the xterm window or just rebooting your virtual machine a couple of times.

About shadeslayer

Software Engineer working on KDE and Kubuntu at Blue Systems

46 responses to “Introducing Project Neon 5 ISO’s

  1. meh

    An x86_64 image? Intended to run on Virtualbox? Come on.


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  4. Happy Heyoka

    Thank you for your work, it’s good to see the “port” to the newer Qt etc going well… I got the Neon5 image running in VirtualBox no problem; I also had to start plasma-shell from console.

    One thing that bothers me about KDE at the moment (I’m on Kubuntu 13.10) is that a considerable amount of “snappiness” has gone in the last few major releases… no; it’s not my machine (8 core Xeon, 16GB DDR3 RAM, fast Nvidia card etc) this machine benchmarks pretty well; all the OpenGL stuff runs correctly etc.

    I’m not sure if the Plasma Desktop stuff is to blame; I find it hard to name all the KDE subsystems accurately :-)

    I wonder what kind of instrumentation is available (compile time switches?) to accurately diagnose latency in the user interface? I wonder if there’s been some effort at pinpointing exactly which subsystem are eating the cycles (eg: is it X11 eating it all? compositing?)
    Lastly I wonder if there is some deliberate hysteresis (time delays) introduced to allow time to actually see the effects – and that I am interpreting this as busy code?

    (oh, and feel free to point me to somewhere more appropriate for KDE performance questions…)


    • I’d use the nvidia binary blobs, though actually the open source drivers should be good enough to get a smooth Kwin experience. Set the Qt Graphics system (under the advanced tab of Desktop Effects settings) to Raster and Compositing type to OpenGL. I have three systems using quite different hardware and I have not noticed any slow down in snappiness over the last million releases (exaggeration). One computer’s an AMD A10-5800K with Radeon 7660D graphics (a year old), another is an Ivy Bridge Core i5 with HD 4000 graphics (half year old), and another is a geezer Core Solo ULV (one core, ~1Ghz, ~6 years old). Even the Core Solo performs pretty well!


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  6. Steve

    Are there more than one Plasmas?


  7. henry

    Trying an install with kvm , vm-install says there is no valid boot sector on the iso.
    Most likely I am going about it wrong.
    Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

    My setup: kvm in opensuse 13.1


  8. henry

    Installed. Not much to see, screen display hard to see. I cannot see a kickoff menu. Attempted to change desktop settings, but the buttons do not respond.

    …my experiences so far.


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  10. Pp

    Hello, where can I get the latest image? The link in your post has no informations about the iso, it only says “an HTTP and WebDAV client library”


  11. henry

    @Sebastian Kugler: Thanks for to info. Looks great with virtual box.


  12. Diederik

    Which version of live-build are you using to generate the images?


    • shadeslayer

      I’m using 3.0~a57-1ubuntu9 from Trusty. Technically speaking, it should also work with the live-build from Saucy.


      • Diederik

        That sounds like an odd version number (~a denoted alpha, while 3.0 has been released with Wheezy and currently 4.0~ax is in development), but ok.
        The reason I asked was that I’d like to try to create sth like you have, but then for Debian.
        But there’s a reasonable chance that it’s out of my league ;-)


      • shadeslayer

        Ubuntu usually is super slow with updating live-build since it’s a huge task to merge changes from Debian. And sometimes things go wrong. So I have to make do with what I have.

        Regarding making one with Debian, It’s not trivial, but but very difficult as well. Just needs a custom repo where you can throw KF5 packages, include that repo in config/archives and voila you can make a KF5 Debian ISO


      • Diederik

        Then you may consider using upstream’s versions on The manual explains clearly how to do that and since there aren’t many dependencies wrt live-build, it shouldn’t be a problem. And when you do hit an issue wrt debian-live, there’s a very helpful ML to turn to:
        Whether you bother with it, is up to you of course ;-)
        When/If I try to build one for Debian, I’ll post my config on


      • Diederik

        Disregard my last comment, it looks like “mode ubuntu” is not (really) supported.
        I’ve had a go at it, but it consistently fails in the “lb binary_syslinux” phase, because the vmlinuz is in ‘binary/casper’ dir and not in the ‘binary/live’ dir. It maybe easy to patch, but it’ll be to much hassle for me.


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  14. I get a 403 error when I try to download


  15. Johnd977

    Hahahahahahaha, this politics related YouTube video is actually so comic, I liked it. Thanks in support of sharing this. cfdkbedcckde


  16. Lupus

    What is the password for the ‘Live Session User’? I am trying it under VMware, and a very nice KDM splash screen appears, which prompts me to enter the password. I tried ‘neon’ but it does not work.

    Liked by 1 person

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  19. Tony

    The password ‘kubuntu’ does not work for me. Has it been changed?


  20. sunny

    Missing wifi options in kde 5 neon


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