TeLOS Linux is a new distribution that’s based on Debian testing. It ships with KDE Plasma 5.20.5 that has been modified in a way to make it compatible with touch screen input. This means you get a large transparent panel on the left to launch applications as well as the full screen application launcher. The release I tested shopped with the Linux kernel version 5.10. Installation was quick and easy thanks to the much loved Calamares installer. One thing I would have liked to see in the installation process was the option to configure swap using the ‘Erase disk’ option.
By default selecting this option will create you a swap large enough to enable hibernation however not everyone uses this feature. By design as soon as you start TeLOS and load the desktop it launches a full screen instance of Google Chrome. Personally I am not a huge fan of this approach but it can be easily removed from the start up applications in KDE’s system settings. The version of Google Chrome that it ships with is actually the beta version that has had performance tweaks applied with a modified appearance. You can of course install a different web browser like Firefox if Google Chrome isn’t your preferred way to browse the web. Visually, I think they’ve done a good job implementing KDE in such a way that it looks nice and is still usable on both traditional desktops and touch screen devices. Out of the box it uses an animated wallpaper that isn’t too distracting and resource hungry. They have kept it simple with the default themes and only include Breeze and Breeze dark with the dark variant being the default. For icons it uses Papirus by default.
TeLOS ships with an interesting mix of applications that are usually found on both GNOME and KDE. Some of these applications include:
- GNOME Disks
- Calligra Office Suite
- Dolphin file manager
- KDE Connect
TeLOS touts being ‘lightweight’ as one of their features and while I don’t disagree entirely I’d say it’s more middleweight than light. On a fresh boot where I removed Google Chrome from the start up I was using just over 700MB of RAM. Which in itself isn’t terrible for a fully fledged distribution intended for daily use that welcomes new users. Another interesting feature that TeLOS implements is Kodi that can be used as a separate desktop environment with its own entry in the login screen. So for those of you that use Kodi you can bypass KDE entirely and boot straight into Kodi to view and manage your media. TeLOS features out of the box support and integration with Google Drive. This makes it a lot easier for new users that rely on Google Drive to access their cloud files from the file manager.
All in all I appreciate this unique approach to KDE Plasma and I think there is an audience for this type of distribution. As with anything new there are some rough edges that still need to be ironed out but I’m exited to see how this distribution progresses. Click here to download TeLOS and try it out for yourself.
What do you think of TeLOS Linux? Let me know in the comments below!