Fedora Linux 40 to Offer the KDE Plasma 6 Desktop on Wayland and Drop X11 Session

X11 applications will still be supported on the KDE Plasma 6 desktop environment via XWayland.
Fedora Linux 40 KDE

While Fedora Linux 39 is still in development, the Fedora Project published a proposed change for next year’s release, Fedora Linux 40, for those interested in the upcoming KDE Plasma 6 desktop environment.

“By bringing KDE Plasma 6 into Fedora, we demonstrate our leadership and commitment to bring the latest and greatest technologies from the KDE community to the world. ”

As you probably know, the KDE Plasma 6 desktop environment is under heavy development these days. It will likely see the light of day sometime in early Spring 2024 with its Qt 6 and KDE Frameworks 6 porting.

KDE Plasma 6 will be a massive update with major changes like full Wayland support. The Fedora Linux KDE Spin already defaults to the Plasma Wayland session, but users who have graphical issues with Wayland can switch to the X11 session with the current KDE Plasma 5.27 LTS offering.

Fedora Linux 40, due out in May 2024, promises to be one of the first major GNU/Linux distributions to offer the brand-new KDE Plasma 6 desktop environment by default with the Fedora Linux KDE Spin, but it also looks like it will drop the X11 session.

According to the devs, Wayland is fully supported by current NVIDIA proprietary graphics drivers, graphics fallback modes are Wayland-friendly and ship with SimpleDRM enabled by default, and Red Hat plans to drop X11 support in a future major RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) release.

The Fedora Linux KDE team assures users that support for X11 apps will be available in Fedora Linux 40 with the KDE Plasma 6 on Wayland thanks to the XWayland implementation, but they don’t have the resources to also maintain the X11 session.

“The KDE Plasma stack is fairly large and comprehensive. The SIG does not have the resources to maintain the KDE Plasma 5 stack beyond the lifetime of upstream’s focus,” said the devs. “The intent upstream is that KDE Plasma 5 will be EOL shortly after the release of KDE Plasma 6, so it would be very difficult to support ourselves.”

They also said that the KDE Plasma 6 will be a feature of Fedora Linux 40 only and it will not be backported to older Fedora Linux releases, and those who will upgrade their Fedora Linux systems to Fedora Linux 40 with KDE Plasma 6 will be automatically switched to the Plasma Wayland session from the X11 one.

Apart from the KDE Plasma 6 offering, Fedora Linux 40 will also come with the Anaconda WebUI installer by default for the flagship Fedora Workstation edition, a modernized live media to enable support for persistent overlays on USB drives, Kernel TLS support for GnuTLS, and DNF/RPM Copy on Write for all Fedora Linux editions.

Update 19/09/23: It would appear that the Fedora Project is considering dropping the X11 session from the Fedora Workstation flagship edition featuring the GNOME desktop environment too, starting with the Fedora Linux 40 release in 2024. More details here.

Last updated 2 weeks ago

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