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KDE Plasma 6 Sets a New Standard for Linux Desktop Environments

KDE Plasma 6 release is now officially available. Here’s what’s new.

The KDE community is thrilled to announce the arrival of the next mega release – Plasma 6, Frameworks 6, and Gear 24.02. This release continues to solidify KDE Plasma’s reputation as a modern, feature-rich desktop environment for Linux-based operating systems.

Known for its sleek design, customizable interface, and privacy-focused ethos, Plasma 6 introduces several groundbreaking features that enhance both user experience and system performance.

KDE Plasma 6
KDE Plasma 6

KDE Plasma 6: Key Highlights

With Plasma 6, the KDE team has executed two major upgrades, transitioning to the latest version of the application framework, Qt, and migrating to the modern Linux graphics platform, Wayland. While the changes might seem under the hood, users will benefit from improved security, efficiency, and performance. These upgrades also pave the way for enhanced support for modern hardware, ensuring a more reliable computing experience.

For users who prefer the legacy X11 session, the KDE team ensures continued support, allowing flexibility for those who wish to stick with the familiar.

Plasma 6 introduces a seamless integration of Overview and Desktop Grid effects, significantly improving touchpad gestures. The consolidation of these effects streamlines the user interface and enhances overall usability.

KDE Plasma 6 overview effect (Credit: KDE team)

Plasma on Wayland now supports High Dynamic Range (HDR), providing users with richer and deeper colours for games, videos, and visual creations. Users can set an ICC profile for each screen individually, allowing Plasma to adjust colours accordingly. Additionally, the introduction of colour blindness correction filters enhances accessibility for users with protanopia, deuteranopia, or tritanopia.

In Plasma 6, the panel now floats by default, providing a modern and dynamic look to the desktop. For users who prefer a traditional setup, the KDE team has redesigned panel settings, making it easier to configure everything to personal preferences.

Panel settings
Panel settings

Plasma 6 introduces new default settings for a more user-friendly experience. Some notable changes include single-click selection and double-click opening for files and folders, touchpad tap-to-click enabled by default on Wayland, Wayland as the default graphical session, and a new default Task Switcher style named “Thumbnail Grid.”

The Breeze theme undergoes a facelift in Plasma 6, featuring a more modern look and feel with fewer frames and consistent spacing, enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal.

The Settings app receives improvements for enhanced user-friendliness, reducing the number of nested pages and relocating buttons to the toolbar. Users now have the option to customize their sound theme, with a new default theme named “Ocean” replacing “Oxygen.”

After a temporary hiatus, the famous cube effect is back in Plasma 6. This visually striking feature allows users to clearly visualize multiple desktops, adding a touch of flair to the desktop environment.

Transform your desktop with the captivating ‘Scarlet Tree’ wallpaper by axo1otl. This artwork captures the dynamic interplay between the sun’s vibrant energy and the comet’s celestial dance, adding a touch of visual splendor to your computing environment.

Plasma Search now allows users to customize the ordering of search results and convert between time zones. The KDE team has focused on improving the speed and efficiency of Plasma Search, making it faster and more resource-efficient.

Plasma 6 introduces simultaneous support for password and fingerprint authentication on the lock screen. Additionally, the calendar applet now supports Astronomical and Umm al-Qura Calendars, expanding support for various calendar systems.

These are just the highlights of key items. For a detailed feature guide, read my exclusive article, covering more.

To experience this, you need to download KDE Neon 6 ISO from the below link. Fedora 40 will feature this version when releases on April 2024. Ubuntu 24.04 LTS will NOT feature this version, unfortunately. Arch Linux packages are already updated with KDE Plasma 6. You can refer to this guide to install it.

What a great release!

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