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.

46 thoughts on “Introducing Project Neon 5 ISO’s

    1. x86_64 is more or less the future, if you want a i386 image, please checkout the scripts, I’ll add documentation on how to make i386 images to the README.


  1. 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…)


    1. 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!


  2. 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


      1. You won’t have much luck with KVM, I’d recommend virtual box. KVM isn’t really suited for the more advanced graphics we use, and the system hasn’t been optimized at all yet for the “no hw accel at all” case.

        I’ve tried it, and suitably failed for these reasons.


  3. 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.


  4. 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”


      1. 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 😉


      2. 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


      3. 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


      4. 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.


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


  6. 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

    1. Hi There is no password, just hit enter at the login screen.

      Regards Rohan Garg

      On Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 4:04 PM, shadeslayer's Blog wrote:



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