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Nobara 39 Gets A Boost with KDE Plasma and Gaming Tweaks

Learn about the new features and improvements of the Nobara 39 release.

Fedora Linux is a popular distribution known for its bleeding-edge software and focus on open source. However, some users find that it can be a bit rough around the edges when it comes to gaming and other multimedia tasks. This is where Nobara comes in.

Nobara is a community-maintained Fedora spin that adds a number of fixes and improvements specifically for gamers and content creators. The latest release, Nobara 39, is based on Fedora Linux 39 and includes a number of new features and improvements.

Nobara 39 (official edition)
Nobara 39 (official edition)

Key highlights of Nobara 39

  • Improved gaming performance: Nobara 39 includes a number of patches to the Linux kernel that reduce latency in games. It also includes the latest releases of Mesa and Wine, which are the graphics and compatibility layers used by many games.
  • Better support for content creation: Nobara 39 comes with a number of packages that are useful for content creators, such as OBS Studio, Steam, Lutris, and additional Wine dependencies. The Blender package includes support for FFmpeg and the HIP ray tracing library, and there are also additional dependencies installed for Davinci Resolve.
  • KDE Plasma by default: In Nobara 39, KDE Plasma is used in the main assembly instead of GNOME. This is a change from previous versions of Nobara, and it should provide a more polished and gaming-friendly desktop experience.
  • Other improvements: Nobara 39 also includes a number of other improvements, such as improved session performance based on the Gamescope composite server, improved performance of the Steam client and OBS Studio package, and improved interfaces for installing updates and logging in.

About KDE Plasma in Nobara 39

While releasing the project, the team outlined a few advantages of KDE Plasma over GNOME, which compelled their rebase decision. Recently, the KDE Plasma team improved a lot with huge updates in terms of complex gaming needs, for example:

  • Smoother Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) support: KDE has built-in VRR functionality, while GNOME still requires patches that can cause issues.
  • Ready for VR with DRM Leasing: KDE already supports DRM Leasing, a requirement for VR in Wayland, while GNOME’s implementation is still in progress.
  • Enhanced fractional scaling: KDE provides full fractional scaling support for desktop resizing, while GNOME’s implementation is still marked as experimental.
  • Convenient drag-and-drop from archive manager: KDE’s Ark archive manager allows drag-and-drop functionality, which is not yet available in GNOME’s File Roller.
  • Stronger integration with Steam: KDE is the default desktop environment on Steam Deck, benefiting from Valve’s active development and updates for better gaming compatibility.

Download and upgrade

That said, you can download this latest release from the official website.

If you are running an earlier version of Nobara 38 (which is GNOME by default), and upgrading, read this guide for detailed upgrade steps.

Additional notes:

  • Nobara is not an official Fedora project, but it is a well-respected community-maintained distribution.
  • Nobara includes a number of proprietary components, such as multimedia codecs and drivers. This is necessary to provide a good out-of-the-box experience for gamers and content creators.
  • Nobara is available in a number of different editions, including one with KDE Plasma and one with GNOME. There are also variants of these images with proprietary NVIDIA drivers.
  • A Fedora few packages in Nobara are customized for gaming needs, so keep that in mind.

Via release announcement

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