Fedora has consistently been at the forefront of innovation and progress. Fedora 40 is set to make a critical change that will impact the way users interact with the KDE Plasma desktop environment.
KDE Plasma 6: A New Era
The upcoming Fedora 40 release is set to align with the arrival of KDE Plasma 6. This major update from the KDE community promises significant improvements in the user experience environment for desktop and mobile users. While some of the changes are readily visible, such as user interface enhancements, the real magic happens beneath the surface.
KDE Plasma 6 adopts the power of Qt 6, bringing a slew of updates to QML and Qt Quick. Additionally, it extends its support to Vulkan, alongside the existing OpenGL and OpenGL ES support introduced in Qt 5. This under-the-hood overhaul promises a smoother and more powerful experience for Fedora users.
Development-wise, KDE Plasma 6 is progressing well, and it will be released in Q1 2024.
Fedora & Wayland
Fedora KDE has been fully Wayland by default since Fedora Linux 38, and this transition has now reached its logical conclusion with the removal of the X11 session in Fedora 40.
But why drop the X11 session? There are three compelling reasons:
- Xorg Deprecation: The Xorg server has been deprecated since RHEL 9.0, signalling its impending obsolescence in future Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) releases.
- Wayland-Friendly Graphics Fallback: Fedora Linux 36 introduced SimpleDRM, which made graphics fallback modes Wayland-friendly, eliminating the need for X11.
- NVIDIA Driver Support: Recent NVIDIA drivers (v495~v515) have shifted their support to GBM for Wayland instead of EGLStreams, ensuring full compatibility with Wayland.
By dropping the X11 session, Fedora can reduce support burdens and focus on enhancing the KDE Plasma stack’s quality and features.
What will happen to X11-only apps?
The removal of the X11 session does not mean the end of X11 applications on KDE Plasma. Fedora 40 will continue to support Xwayland, allowing you to run X11 applications seamlessly within the Plasma Wayland environment.
No Plasma 5 beyond 40 and no backporting of Plasma 6
With the arrival of KDE Plasma 6 and the resource-intensive nature of maintaining multiple KDE Plasma versions, the Fedora KDE Special Interest Group (SIG) has made the tough decision not to support Plasma 5 in Fedora 40 and beyond. This ensures a streamlined and high-quality experience for users while reducing complexity for the SIG.
Fedora 40’s shift to KDE Plasma 6 will not be backported to older Fedora releases. While some components like KDE Frameworks and KDE Gear may receive updates, the Plasma Desktop and Plasma Mobile software will remain exclusive to Fedora 40 and newer versions.
It’s worth noting that Fedora is making a move towards a Wayland-focused environment, leaving the KDE Plasma X11 session behind. This change is in line with the community’s desire for advancement and modernization. In 2024, Fedora promises a more powerful and efficient computing experience for Linux users.
Remember, this is still a proposal and it will go through community comments, and feedback and ultimately be approved by “Fedora Engineering Steering Committee”.
Via change proposal
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