Feren, The OS I overlooked for a long time
Feren is Plasma + ubuntu-base. There are lots of things to like, and fewer to not
I'm back with another distro test.
You may have noticed, while in almost every Linux-related live stream, forum, or youtube channel. A user with the name 'Feren dev' is there. This dude is very active in Linux communities and you can't help but admire his great passion.
I heard about FerenOS a long time ago but back then and until recently, every ubuntu-based distro turn me off. Also that too much exposure to the name Feren everywhere also steer me away. It's a personal thing, I tend to lose interest in what's popular, viral, or shoved down people's throats (Ho do you think I ended up finding Linux haha).
Then, as you may know, I've been re-evaluating my judgment of Ubuntu and Ubuntu-based distros lately (I won't be limited to the Ubuntu-base in my hopping, there will be other distros) that led me to do the same with FerenOS. I thought I should give it its chance and have an opinion based on an actual experience with it.
I have FerenOS installed on my main machine as every test I do for about 5 days.
The installation process went smoothly, no issues there neither.
FerenOS uses KDE Plasma, It's been a bit of time since I used this DE. MAN! The customization possibilities of Plasma are almost endless. I enjoyed toying with customizations a good part of 3 days experimenting with different configurations until I got lost, then got back on track to put an acceptable look for me.
And GNOME PEOPLE take note and add the possibility to modify the window's title bar size! I'm thrilled that I could finally narrow that.
System updates went smooth, not a single issue.
FerenOS joined many other distros in the quest of ditching Firefox for Vivaldi, a gorgeous and fast browser that also offers multiple configurations for privacy. The blueprint theme puts a nice contrast compared to my theme and I liked that. However, my use of Vivaldi was just to install Brave, my go-to default browser.
During my distro-hopping, I keep my /home partition untouched, FerenOS automatically detected some of my software installed there and autostarted the ones installed. I use KeePassXC and I do that with their AppImage which is already in my ~/AppImages. So, It just worked out of the box at first boot, EXCELLENT!
Of course, being on Plasma, I used KDE Connect with my phone, just like Zorin connect from my last article, It's fantastic.
The system also detected other things like the game Awesomenauts from Steam and a Windows App with wine then added them to Games and Wine respectively in the apps menu. Still, these won't launch of course until I installed the needed programs for them of course.
I’m writing this article using Kate, The lines and column counter at the bottom is a nice touch. But, what I like the most is the completion suggestions based on what’s already typed in the file. If you’re typing the initials of words you already used, you’ll have it pop up under the word you’re typing, then you navigate to your choice with arrows and click TAB to insert the word.
Oh, one more thing, Koko is now my favorite image viewer/editor. Seriously, give it a try!
However, not everything is roses and flowers - or mint and verbena, I'm not judging -. There was a bit of barbed wire plant in the garden (FYI; Yes, there is such a thing called barbed wire plant a.k.a. Calocephalus).
Again, that WiFi issue thingy. I would have doubt on the compatibility or the quality of my WiFi card but I never had an issue with WiFi on Arch-base or Solus, and I did run those on my laptop for a long time. I would also think I'm just having bad luck with the Ubuntu-base, but few other people confirmed these random issues with WiFi under Ubuntu. Maybe a driver issue? I tried to check the logs on my previous installations but nothing special popped up. Or maybe I'm not doing it right. If anyone reading this is familiar with debugging and logs, please contact me, I'd appreciate being corrected.
I think these next issues or inconveniences are just Plasma related and not specifically Feren-related:
I find it weird that the applications menu doesn't and can't use the meta (Windows) key, one simple click, like in many many DEs out there. I went to add the keybinding and it didn't accept one key. So I added Meta + Space.
On the icons pop up, Lock keys Status shows the CapsLock when activated but nothing for the NumLock. Clicking on System Maintenance in the same pop-up does not bring anything.
One thing that was really annoying for me when using Konsole, is the tools bar. I roamed on all menus and preferences, tried everything, checked KDE's documentation, there is no way to get rid of these buttons. Just to appease the clunkiness, I moved the tools bar to the left and changed it to icons only. I don't like cluttered windows as you can tell from how much joy shrinking the size of the window's title bar brought me.
Speaking about clunkiness, I also tried to eliminate text from the indicators of the open programs in the panel and keep only icons but couldn't find a way to do that too.
Despite these letdowns, I still enjoyed ALOT Feren and Plasma, especially for the sheer amount of customization possibilities. There are so many options I even went to the excess of changing my default fonts. Not that It doesn't exist in other distros, but the limitations that I encountered with the other DEs discouraged me from looking into changing the fonts there.
You may notice that the fonts are thin and small, that's of course just a personal preference, I like it that way and I have no issues with reading small text neither on my computer or my smartphone. It's a big advantage on small screens.
You and your hardware are okay with an Ubuntu-base? Give FerenOS a spin, It's a nice straightforward OS with nicely done default theming options.
As always, I hope this was informative and see you in the next one. Thanks for reading.