Netrunner – Overview

Two Versions, One Vision

Netrunner comes in two variants:
The Standard Release is based on Debian package management (Kubuntu)
while the Rolling Release is based on Arch package management (Manjaro).
This overview shows you the shared philosophy and common software components used by both variants.

features-desktop-and-netbook

KDE Plasma Desktop

The Netrunner Team is focused on making the KDE Desktop as snappy and responsive as possible.
Sponsoring parts of the KDE development, we also concentrate on new technologies
and include them in Netrunner as soon as they are ready for useage, for example:

– Kicker Startmenu (Drag’n’Drop-Sidebar, Windows/Meta-Key-Popup, Search enabled)
– Task-Manager with Expanding Icons
– Netrunner Desktop Workspace (classic icons-on-a-clean-desktop, no overlays)
– Hot-Spot “Show Desktop” in lower right corner
– Auto-started KWallet
– Simplified System Settings
– Optimized KWin, so Open-GL-FX work on most low-end machines
– Pulseaudio
– Firefox with KDE Integration
– Unified Look for KDE and non-KDE-applications

 

The Desktop Components

Netrunner Desktop Containment


Netrunner Desktop is the default desktop surface.
It comes with a bottom-panel and side-panel, which gives you access to multimedia and sound controls.
The side-panel can be shown/hidden by pressing the F11-key, or using the left/right-mouse-swipe.

Plasma Themes and Window Decorations

Netrunner ships several Window- and Desktop-Themes to choose from, so you can start customizing right away.
For most of our Window Themes, we are using the Aurorae-3 Engine for KWin, which allows blur and transparency on even low-end machines.

Kicker

Kicker is the new startmenu, which on first look resembles the classic menu, but is fully themeable and has some features added to it, like a Drag’n’Drop Sidebar.
It can easily be invoked by the Meta-/Super-/Windowskey.

KDE Panel


The Panel has shortcuts to Yakuake and Krunner (the gearwheel). With Krunner, you can easily submit one-line commands to the system, for example “install programxy” or “kill programsxy”.


 

The Applications

Firefox-KDE

The Firefox-KDE-Support package allows for native file-dialog-and-mimetype-extension for the KDE Workspace.

Dolphin

Dolphin, a slick yet sophisticated tool is the default file manager for KDE.
With some shortcuts added, file navigation and handling is as easy as ever.

VLC

VLC, arguably the best media player out there, is a natural pick as it runs under KDE natively using Qt interface.

Clementine

Clementine, also a KDE native application, is Netrunners default music librarian supporting local collections as well as internet radio stations like shoutcast.

Krita and Karbon

The Duo is part of the Calligra Suite and allows pixel and vector-based image creation.

Kate

Kate is KDEs clean, simple, yet powerful text-editor. It has gotten a “mini-map” on the right and a document loader on the left.

Telepathy & Web-Accounts

Telepathy and Accounts are constantly developed for best integration into KDE workspace.
Netrunner ships Telepathy with XMMP support for VOIP.

Yakuake

Netrunners terminal is another Qt-native application and always within a clicks reach.

A Free and Libre Platform

Netrunner is an ongoing community-centered team-effort based on the FOSS principles. If you like to help or join, go to the forums or github:

https://github.com/netrunner/


  • http://azulviviendo.wordpress.com/ Gerson

    I would remove Krita, Karbon, Telepathy and Yakuake and let the user choose to install or not.

    • anthaet

      Personally I don’t use Kate (Mousepad instead), Dolphin (Thunar instead) and few more apps. Everyone could remove/add something.

      I think the better way would be to relase some lite version of kde netrunner with only most essential apps. Ideally could be possibility to check/uncheck of what I want to install during installation.

      But I am satisfied with Netrunner as it is right now, great distro.

      • Starbuck2001

        A Lite version would indeed be great, if we can make it very customizable, like flesh out Manjaros Turbulence in a way to allow picking browser, apps, games, etc. Let’s see in the future. Just give Kate another try, we customized it a little more, so you might like it.

        • Ariel

          As an Ultimate version would also be great, with lots of applications installed by default. Kademar could be used as source of inspiration for the software package (like I said in an older post), but not necessarily limited to. Maybe somewhere in the future you will take into consideration this variant, too.

          • Jakk Hakk

            Like PCLinuxOS does with their Full Monty.

      • ELF

        Mousepad and Thunar are not native KDE apps

    • aliquis

      I guess there’s room for both. Personally I kinda don’t want to have anything picked for me unless there’s a good way to remove packages and their not-used-by-others dependencies but even I could get ideas from some pre-picks. Then again I don’t really see why I’d pick a distribution like this in the first place and the people who are interested in these kind of things are likely interested due to promises of themes, wallpapers and application choices which they agree with / find interesting and those wouldn’t be pulled in by something plain with nothing picked from the start. (You can easily do a basic netinstall/X only of opensuse, fedora or something such and then throw in what you want on top of that.)

      In reality unused software doesn’t “cost” that much to have installed anyway, while it may bloat the menus and bring duplicates in functionality sometimes you simply prefer another application for a specific task (I for instance might had preferred to have any multimedia application use gstreamer as is or through phonon rather than bring its own libraries and possibly have those installed anyway but obviously both vlc and mplayer are pretty good at what they do, then again if I say wanted to play music VLC may not be my first pick (and while I think Amarok is a bloated mess if Clementine doesn’t share meta data with other things KDE that’s a disadvantage to me, but then again I don’t even want KDE to keep track of the meta data but I want the files themselves or a separate file like back in the Amiga days a file.info-file which could for instance have parameters. I don’t see much joy in say having play counts and ratings on my music files just to have it all gone if I move the files or reinstall the OS and bring the files back in again.)

    • Jakk Hakk

      The Netrunner Yakuake is one of my favorite things about the distro! It’s the way they do it. If yu just install it from the repository, it will Not work the same way.

  • D Edwards

    I tried netrunner but left. Too many apps preinstalled that I don’t use. Thing is, CHOICE is what linux is all about. What don’t you extend your efforts into developing the peformance ,artwork and theme,AND linux’s best of class software manger interface and allow users to build on a minimal, absolutive minimal, KDE spin .
    What really pisses me off is when you wrap up an app in the desktop virtual package which means I can’t remove it. Crap. If you did the aforementioned… Well, now your above Mint in the distrowatch !!!

    Wake up and smell the coffee

    • Starbuck2001

      Hey D Edwards, I understand the thinking. Goal of KDE5 is to de-tangle and modularize things, we hope to have a much more minimal desktop shell and distro ready for the next release after LTS.

      • D Edwards

        Hi StarbuckS ! Great news. I am 46 and have been tinkering with linux since 1992 and have worked at BSD for some years. Linux is (has been – almost) ready to take over where MS Windows is currently. What we need to do is consumerize linux in the sense that it needs to/MUST be a system that “just works” out of the box, high quality artwork, and a lean minimal distro that software can be incrementally added to from the repos. But to do this a given distro needs to be centric around minimal install with a super easy “i-tunes” like software store. Once we get there, then we really will have a fine linux distro
        I love netrunner and am currently spending days tweaking it but I really shouldnt need to – an operating system just needs to work so that the user can worry about integrating apps and configuring them to work across the cloud and nets. so GREAT NEWS. keep up the good work and I cant wait for KDE5-Netrunner

  • fuzzlogue

    I like the way Netrunner’s Frontier Distro is laid out. It is a Distro for the general Linux user.The included applications have been chosen carefully for general effective use by the Netrunner team. Applications can be installed and removed easily using ‘Muon Discover’ and it is based on the LTS cycle supported by Kubunto. It is smooth, fairly quick, and brings fresh ideas to Kubunto-KDE. The Netrunner team has done a great job. It has multimedia codecs, Flash and Java plugins, and a polished look conducive to easy tweaking and an easy work environment. Netrunner have left little room for complaints here.

    For some that might complain about how Netrunner chose the applications and utilities because they want more choice as to which applications should be included should remember that it is aiming at an aesthetic, intuitive work environment. If you really want a basic Distro where you have “more freedom” to choose what you want, then you should consider a Distro from the independent branch such as Arch Linux, or one of Arch’s descendants, or even Netrunner’s own Rolling Release implementation but then it would not be a Distro made for the general user would it.

    If you have spent as much time as I have practicing the joy of Distro-riding, you would get to be an expert at knowing which Distros can allow you to do work and which Distros allow you to blissfully click-tweak your time away.

    After having tried Netrunner’s KDE Frontier distribution with a beginner’s mind, I have come to my personal conclusion that it is a polished, productive Distro for my desktop. That makes it a productive Linux Distribution.

  • jason mazzon

    I personally like the aesthetics of Netrunner’s Linux offering and the desire of its team to continue to improve on things, but I personally do not see the ‘big’ difference between, let’s say, the Manjaro and and Netrunner’s rework of Manjaro.

    There has to be a major ‘raison d’etre’ for Netrunner to consider itself unique in some way. It could not just be a few simple tweaks here and there. I just hate when Distros do this because it just confuses the Linux issue and the Linux user. If down the line we get a spinoff of Netrunner’s rolling release implementaton from some other Linux quarter would that help Linux. You say is not possible?

    I have been using the excellent Manjaro Distro and would gladdly consider a more solid reason to switch to the Netrunner’s rolling release offer. I can also appreciate some of the work that the Netrunner’s team has done so far and this work is very much appreciated.

    I gues what I am trying to say is that, philosophically speaking, the Netrunner’s team has not yet made exactly clear to me. at least, where they are taking this and where they differ or intend to differ from Manjaro’s established distribution.