A Free and Libre OS

Netrunner is a Linux operating system for desktop computers, netbooks and ARM microcomputers.
It uses the Plasma desktop environment.
The Desktop version ships with a complete set of pre-installed software for everyday use.
The Core version allows you to build up your own system or run it on low-spec hardware like arm-boards.
Netrunner Rolling is based on Arch/Manjaro, whereas Netrunner Desktop and Core are both Debian-based.

Plasma Desktop

Netrunner is using KDE Plasma and tuning it to be as snappy and responsive as possible. We actively sponsor development of Plasma’s core and new components are included in Netrunner early on, for example:

– Simplemenu and Dash
– Task-Manager with Expanding Icons
– Desktop Workspace (icons on a clean desktop, no overlays)
– Hot-Spot “Show Desktop” in lower right corner
– Auto-started KWallet
– Simplified System Settings
– Firefox-ESR and Thunderbird with Plasma Integration
– Unified Look for KDE and non-KDE-applications via GTK-Configuration

KDE Plasma is the default desktop environment in all Netrunner versions.

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 of KWin, which allows blur and transparency even on low-end machines.

Simplemenu Launcher

Simplemenu is included and default in Netrunner Core. It is fully themeable and has features like quick mousewheel scrolling to navigate quickly within the pages.
It can easily be invoked via pressing the Meta/Windows-Key.

KDE Panel

The Panel includes shortcuts to Dolphin, Firefox and Yakuake.



Firefox-ESR w/ Plasma-integration

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

  • Add-Ons:
  • U-Block-Origin
  • Ant-Downloader



Dolphin is the default file manager on Plasma. With extra dolphin extensions included, file navigation and manipulation is as easy as ever.



SmPlayer is the KDE-compatible Frontend of one of the most versatile and responsive media players out there: MPV.



Gmusicbrowser is a very efficient music player, without draining your computer’s resources from other tasks. Drag and drop folders and individual song files, search for artists and albums in your entire music library, or create and edit your own custom playlists.



Krita is the full-featured free digital painting studio for artists who want to create professional work from start to end. Krita is used by comic book artists, illustrators, concept artists, matte and texture painters and in the digital VFX industry.



Inkscape is a free and open-source vector graphics editor; it can be used to create or edit vector graphics such as illustrations, diagrams, line arts, charts, logos and complex paintings.



A video editing GUI for KDE that provides dual video monitor support, a multi-track timeline, clip list, customizable layout support with many effects and transitions.



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


Pidgin & Skype

Pidgin and Skype are constantly developed for best integration into KDE workspace. Connect easily to MSN, Google Talk, Yahoo, AIM and other chat networks all at once.



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


Synaptic Package Manager

Synaptic Package Manager is a powerful tool, that lets you browse thousands of packages with ease and install via a click.


Steam Client

Steam Client
Steam offers an ever growing catalog of Linux games, many of which support Steam Play so you can buy once and play anywhere with all your friends, no matter from where they log in.

Minimum System Reqirements

  • CPU 1.6-GHz Intel Atom
  • RAM 1GB
  • Hard Drive Size 15GB
  • Graphics Card Intel GMA 945
  • Video Memory 128MB
  • If you want to try Netrunner in VirtualBox, please make sure to allocate 1.5 GB RAM.

A Free and Libre Platform

The Netrunner Operating System is the result of a team effort based on FOSS principles. If you like to help or get involved, join in at the Netrunner Forums.

  • 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

        • Justan

          “and allow users to build on a minimal, absolutive minimal, KDE spin . ” That’s because not all Linux users want to do that. You can’t please everyone, so instead you aim to please the majority.

  • 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.

  • FXR

    Always the same arguments. Should have this” We shouldn’t have that?

    Ideally a distro should come in three variants. Recommended, Minimal and Custom. With drop down flags to select the most popular alternatives Where selections could be defined as part of the installation. Rather than the tuning that is required after the fact. We see so many hours invested in evaluating beta releases and reports. Those observations are more often than not, only useful in search of what is better, after hours of frustrating trial and error. When the end user discovers what has already been found.

    It would serve us well to stop trying to mimic the Window world and consider; the doors, the kitchen, the living room, the backyard, the bus and the office, as separate work/life spaces, that could migrate into real world utility as as multi-mode operation of all your devices. Leaving the cloud spaces dedicated to separate aspects of your life, less bloated, giving your device specific; processors, memory and drive space, a little more room to breath.

    Ideally a virtual installation of multiple OS distros should be at the top of the want list for everyone. One install that could provide partition spaces for; Gamer’s gear, mac, pc, linux [in multiple variants] with each tailored in the install, to produce maximum efficiency in the way they are to be used. Not only would such an installer be vastly popular immediately, it would be the next big thing in computing.

    If an OS was defined by it’s strengths and weaknesses new development could focus on what is important, as need [survival] grows innovation.

    If the cloud included co-op farm storage arrays, to suspend those clouds, by investing drive space locally, in exchange for common space internationally, a virtual cloud controller array, could eliminate replications [pay ware] and time delays, provided by mutual streams [modeled after torrents]; give and get feeds, our speed and utility improvements would actually serve to serve.

    If you want to complain about what was a tremendous effort, we should all be grateful for…DONT!

    Just say thanks to the people who accomplished this distro, as a large step forward, They deserve it.

    Thanks a heap from me.

    • dineaudio

      Absolutely agreed, especially on customised installation. There should be an option to install, or not install, the most popular, or apps you like best, when you’re installing the system. Something like “customised installation”, I guess. It does bother me a little that whatever distro I install, it comes with tons of apps I don’t need or use, but it doesn’t come with apps I do need and use. It shouldn’t be down to apps that we choose the distro we like. All distros should come with an option to customise the installation of apps to some extent.

  • احمد

    we love your work

  • Eugene Wong

    Well guys you all have valid points but you all are foregetting that Linux is Linux no matter what flavour you choose. Linux has been around for about 25 years now and should be without problems. I for one after hacking Linux since 1992 look at it this way. I am tired of fixing and correcting distros. My opinion is any distro should be a solid foundation of necessary apps and secuity etc. and should operate without problems and flaws. Now the key point that I am trying to make, once you have this then tweaking should be a pleasure NOT a chore. Netrunner gives all of this which makes tweaking a pleasure. If you want to choose which apps should be in any distro and complain about apps that should or should not be included than I strongly suggest you all go back to Microsoft, there you can choose what apps you want, but of course get your wallet out because it will cost you.

    • Justan

      Not true… at all. Look at Windows or Mac OSX, even they sometimes have issues that entirely breaks the system, and in the case of Mac very little hardware support. No OS will ever be perfect, and will always have issues, the goal is to release a distro with significantly less initial issues than the rest, but trying to achieve “and should operate without problems and flaws” is impossible. Utterly impossible in every way.

      • Dimitry Prihodko

        Ha-ha… “even they sometimes have issues” – they ALWAYS have issues. Mac is limited to software and developers don’t care about supporting previous versions of this OS or applications, once a new one is released.
        Windows will never even try to become better – it is economically inexpedient. they will make their MustDie only look as good as it should be to make people think it is not worse than the competition – MacOS and Linux.

    • aSystemOverload

      Most OS become more unstable the more you use them or the more you install on or tweak them. I use Win 8.1 for work and I spent 12 months of it freezing due to over-working the hard drive and would have to take out the battery to do a complete reset.
      I eventually did a non standard install (against IT recomendations) which calmed this down. I still get Windows Indexer thrashing the hard drive every few weeks which slows everything down to a crawl for 2 hrs. IT can’t fix it. IE is still the most unstable browser, if you click a link in error and close the window that pops up before it’s finished loading it resets every open ie tab.
      Just recently OneNote has started memory leaking, taking up to a Gig of memory after a few hrs.
      At home I’m running Debian testing. I have a minor issue with my USB mouse, but apart from that, it’s as stable as it comes. Once KDE froze up and wouldn’t respond, so I flipped to the command line, killed KDE and restarted it. Sorted. If it was Windows I’d have to restart the whole machine.
      My overall point is that Linux is far more stable than Windows, sometimes you need to work to get it to being stable on a specific set up, but then it’s stable.

  • Plazma

    Its look like very nice how about bumbleblee and sleep wake etc for laptops?

    • Jeroen Evens

      should work fine like on other ubuntu-based distro’s, but you can also use nvidia-prime if you don’t mind the screen-tearing

      • Plazma

        It can be fix by vsync

        • Jeroen Evens

          nope it can’t, there’s issue’s with syncing the nvidia card with the intel GPU, which can’t be solved with vsync, you can try it, it won’t work

        • Jeroen Evens

          vsync is only for syncing between the gpu and the display, not for 2 GPU’s, which is where the syncig goes wrong when using nvidia-prime

  • Marcelo daniel Bonelli

    netrunner is everything you wanted in a working , reliable , secure, stable , away system microsof those undesirable bugs that infect my machine to die, and besides all you can do hundreds of things but I am novice Linux user , migrate and as three years of windows , but until now I realized that and struck a chord , I can record procucir music, burn to cd , dvd, make a usb bootable drive, write files , edit videos and make them , download them from the web no problem, put games from windows to roll as if this a full , absolute wonder, quite happy really am with this wonderful distro , my thanks to its designers, netrunner an amazing creation of people who need and create fundamentally that not everything in life is microsofnetrunner is everything you wanted in a working , reliable , secure, stable , away system microsof those undesirable bugs that infect my machine to die, and besides all you can do hundreds of things but I am novice Linux user , migrate and as three years of windows , but until now I realized that and struck a chord , I can record procucir music, burn to cd , dvd, make a usb bootable drive, write files , edit videos and make them , download them from the web no problem, put games from windows to roll as if this a full , absolute wonder, quite happy really am with this wonderful distro , my thanks to its designers, netrunner an amazing creation of people who need and create fundamentally that not everything in life is microsof

  • http://libatisderelicta.enjin.com Rusty Miller

    All we need now is a script built in to detect what game you installed via Steam or that runs from a .sh file type to be able to automatically pull the correct game icon from the internet and apply it when you put a shortcut link of it on the desktop. As it stands right now, games installed by Steam will leave a steam icon for it, instead of the games icon, but on Windows, it does not do that. When that is setup right, it would be absolutely perfect for me. Perfection is possible, within the limited constraints of individual human minds, not as a collective. Because each person is going to have a different perspective of what perfection is for them.

  • DutchMan

    Assume you come here, having no idea of what netrunner is (like me). Then read the “What is netrunner” General overview… It does not answer that question at all…..

    • Starbuck2001

      You’re right, we’re going to overhaul the section at some point in the near future, started today with adding a new paragraph at top.

    • Rob DeHart

      Yea seriously. I now know what software is included, and still have no idea why Netrunner exists, what it’s goals are… anything.

  • Jared Jamiatun

    KDE Plasma is a mature-and-ready DE for modern age. Put on Arch and Ubuntu, two big players, we know Linux’s at its best. A real cool option – I mean free one.

  • Tri Hakni Putra

    just love this distro for quiet times… good work. keep going dude!

  • random boy

    “we will think about one more addition to the Netrunner family, stay tuned for more” (2013)

    I expected a rolling lxde or lxqt version

  • Maciej

    it looks beautiful…LOL

  • John Lockard

    “Arguably”? Did you mean to use “Unarguably”?

    • Starbuck2001

      Well, there is also (recently updated) MPlayer, which SMPlayer makes for a well working alternative.

      • John Lockard

        Well, the use of “arguably” in this case states that it was the natural choice for a media player, and in that form, also using the terms “best media player out there”, makes me think the author meant “unarguably”, because his working really give the feeling that it was something which could not be argued with. Using the term “arguably” means that people can easily argue about this statement, and with the way people argue about things on computers such as “Mac vs Windows vs Linux”, “Gnome vs KDE”, “Ubuntu vs Fedora vs Arch vs SuSE”, “vi vs emacs”, “Chrome vs Firefox vs Opera”, etc., it’s sort of stupid to state something is easily argued about, when it’s obvious everyone is going to argue.

        Just say “VLC was a natural pick as a media player as it runs under KDE natively using Qt interface”.

  • Greg Zeng

    Instead of Firefox, could you consider SLIMJET?
    atm I’m using Version (based on Chromium 51.0.2704.84). Install “Slimjet_amd64.deb” (54.0 MB (56,630,822 bytes, created ‎Monday, ‎1 ‎August ‎2016, ‏‎11:03:45 PM) by double-clicking, then it auto-updates with an auto-installed PPA.

    In both Linux & Windows, Slimjet auto-configures all my addons: 50 / 173 of my add-ons are enabled, on whatever operating system I happen to be using the last time. My multi-booting Dell XPS-15 notebook can chose any operating system from ten (10) Linux systems, or three (3) Windows systems.

    My Firefox based browsers are very slow to load and exit, by comparison. They crash easily, especially the pure Firefox brands. In Windows, that is why I prefer Waterfox, Cyberfox to Firefox; fewer crashes.

    • Lord Obama

      Chromium based browsers suck balls…

      I suggest let you choose which one or both during the install process.

    • André Larabie

      yeah i do the same with the operating systems, 3 windows OS (XP, 7, 10, on primary partitions) then i got all my linux installed into seperate partitions which are all inside an extended partition,

      all the linux os share the same /home partition, but separated root partitions for each linux os, (netrunner, linux mint, zorin, backbox, kali, tails, lxle, libreelec) and of course the 512mb swap partition,

      and the /home parition is accessible in all my 3 windows by using a 3rd party software to read ex4 partitions to assign it a drive letter. (i also got a small ntfs extended partition that contains drivers and user documents, but i make the torrents and everything go into the /home partition so that way the /home partition is the biggest sized partition of them all which can contain everything, music, movies, software, etc)

      but as for a web browser, I much prefer firefox over chrome or any chrome-based browsers. that’s a personal preference.

  • Юрчик- И-Уррчик

    A respect this distro for having a clean (core) installation, that does not have a bloatware, like other distros. I started using it a month ago and I love it. Other distros come with tons of software, that I don;t need. Like 95% of it. Netrunner Core has THE minimum of software and it let’s me chose what I need. Thanks! Based on Debian, means it is rock-solid. Bulbmebe/Optimus works perfectly fine on it too.

  • Vladimir Šešet

    I enjoy work on Netrruner rolling 2017.07 (was on Zorin OS). Respect to developers and regards from Croatia!

    • Starbuck2001

      Thanks Vladimir!