Linux is many things to many people. For me, it’s served just about every purpose that an operating system is capable of. I’ve used it on desktops, servers, phones, tablets, the cloud, and countless embedded systems. But the most widely-used purpose for me is as a desktop operating system.
Linux has been my primary operating system since 1997, and I’ve experienced just about every distribution you can imagine. Every so often, however, I come across a distribution that makes Linux all the more special. One such distribution is Feren OS, which is based on Ubuntu and uses a customized KDE desktop as its user interface.
And let me tell you, Feren OS is beautiful. What the developer has done with this distribution is demonstrated how the KDE desktop environment can be customized to become something as lovely as it is easy to use. And with plenty of pre-installed applications, you are ready to be productive the second the OS is installed.
Out of the box, you’ll find applications like:
- Vivaldi – the default web browser
- LibreOffice – office suite
- Krita – image editor
- Geary – email client
- KDE Connect – connect Android with your desktop
- VLC media player – play audio and video files
- Okular – PDF viewer
- Koko – image viewer
And with the help of the included Flatpak universal package manager, you can easily install apps like Spotify, Skype, Zoom, and others.
What makes Feren OS so special?
Outside of a full complement of highly-respected applications, Feren OS takes the already fetching KDE desktop environment and brings it to new levels of modernity. It boasts just enough transparency to give it an extra “wow” factor (Figure 1) and a wonderful collection of global themes to choose from.
Until 2020, Feren OS was based on Linux Mint and defaulted to the Cinnamon desktop; there wasn’t a lot of variance between the two. Now, they are night and day.
Feren OS offers a more modern-looking UI and is now based on the same distribution that makes Linux Mint possible. That being said, it would be inaccurate to say Feren OS is superior to Linux Mint. It’s not. Truly, Linux Mint is one of the finest operating systems on the planet, especially if stability and ease of use are your top priorities.
If eye candy is just as important as functionality for you, however, Feren OS is hard to beat. But don’t think Feren OS is just a pretty face; it’s also quite the performer.
Even as a virtual machine (with only 3GB of RAM) the OS performs incredibly well. And because this is KDE, there are plenty of customizations you can take care of. Just open the Settings app, and you’ll find more available tweaks than you’ll ever need (Figure 2).
One thing to keep in mind is that you might find some buggy behavior with the release. For instance, I attempted to run the Web Browser manager (a tool that allows you to easily install other web browsers), but it would not open from the desktop menu. I was, however, able to run it from the command line (using the command browser-manager) and quickly install any of the nine listed browsers (Figure 3).
Who is Feren OS for?
Feren OS is a great Linux distribution for both new users and those who have just about any level of experience with the operating system. The only user-type who could slowly become frustrated with this operating system would be those who like a distribution with frequent updates and major releases.
Feren OS is developed by a single person, so updates tend to get pushed back. Even so, the developer does try to stick with the same release plan adopted by Ubuntu long ago. That means you could potentially see a new release every four months. However, the latest version (2022.07) is based on Ubuntu 20.04 and, although that is an LTS (Long Term Support) release and has plenty of life left, it’s not the latest version of Ubuntu.
The Feren OS developer is currently working on creating a new app store, which will hopefully be available for the next release, 2022.10. Should that app store not be ready, it’ll probably delay the next release.
So unless you’re one of those who demand the latest and greatest releases without delay, Feren OS is a wonderful Linux distribution to try. Even though it might have a few kinks to iron out, it’s still a joy to use and one of the most beautiful desktop operating systems you’ll find on the market.
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