KDE Plasma 6 Desktop Environment Officially Released, This Is What’s New

KDE Gear 24.02 and KDE Frameworks 6 software suites are now also available with many new features and improvements.
KDE Plasma 6 Desktop

The KDE Project announced today the general availability of the highly anticipated KDE Plasma 6 desktop environment, along with the KDE Gear 24.02 and KDE Frameworks 6 software suites.

Powered by the modern Wayland Linux graphics platform and ported to the latest Qt 6 open-source application framework, the KDE Plasma 6 desktop environment introduces initial HDR (High Dynamic Range) support, support for color blindness correction filters, and a new look and feel with floating panel by default.

Users will be able to easily change the look of the panel with the redesigned panel settings and a new intelligent auto-hide mode called “Dodge Windows” that makes panels hide when windows touch them.

KDE Plasma 6 also introduces a new Overview effect that combines the old Overview and Desktop Grid effects to offer improved support for touchpad gestures, reintroduces the famous Cube effect, and overhauls the Breeze theme for a more modern look with fewer frames and more consistent spacing.

On top of that, Plasma Search has been updated in this release to let you customize the ordering of search results and convert between timezones. In addition, Plasma Search now matches the text in both the current system language and English, lets you trigger “Hybrid Sleep”, and lets you search in Codeberg and PyPi.

The KDE Plasma Settings app has been overhauled and the various settings pages were reorganized to be more user-friendly. Existing KDE Plasma users will have to get acquainted with the new Settings app because the settings are now in different locations than they were in previous KDE Plasma releases.

“You now have the option to customize your sound theme, and a new default sound theme named “Ocean” has been introduced to replace the “Oxygen” sound theme,” said the KDE Project. “Another addition is that you can now easily configure preferred applications for broad file types, such as all kinds of music and video files.”

The KDE Plasma 6 desktop environment comes with new defaults that existing users will have to familiarize themselves with. For example, files and folders are opened with a double click, touchpad tap-to-click is enabled by default on Wayland, “Thumbnail Grid” is the new default style in the Task Switcher, clicking on the scrollbar track now scrolls to the clicked location, and scrolling on the desktop no longer switches workspaces.

Other noteworthy changes in KDE Plasma 6 include improved fingerprint authentication from the lockscreen, support for more Islamic calendars, support for the legacy X11 sessions, a new default home screen and a welcome screen for Plasma Mobile, and a new wallpaper called “Scarlet Tree”.

Also today, the KDE Project released the KDE Gear 24.02 software suite which ports numerous of the default KDE apps to the Qt 6 framework and introduces a more frameless look to their user interfaces.

Highlights of KDE Gear 24.02 include a redesigned Dolphin file manager that makes it easier to open a folder in a split view by right-clicking on it, improved recording features in the Spectacle screenshot utility, as well as new security and privacy in the Kontact suite (KMail, KOrganizer, and Kleopatra). In addition, the KMail email client now supports a few offline and open-source AI features that are disabled by default.

KDE Gear 24.02 also brings improved usability and new features to the Itinerary travel assistant, adds support for replacing the audio or video of a clip in a timeline in the Kdenlive video editor, adds a welcome page that handles multiple accounts in the NeoChat chat app, and adds support for syncing watch history in the PlasmaTube YouTube client.

Last but not least, the Tokodon client for Mastodon makes it easier to write new posts, lets you add images in the composer via drag and drop or copy/paste, and gives you more control over what you see in Mastodon. In addition, Tokodon for Android now supports color themes.

The Elisa music player, Kate text editor, Kasts podcast player, KClock alarm app, Konsole terminal emulator, and KDE Connect also received various improvements. Check out the release announcement page for more details about the new features and improvements introduced in the KDE Plasma 6, Plasma Mobile 6, KDE Gear 24.02, and KDE Frameworks 6 releases.

You can try a pure KDE Plasma 6 experience right now by downloading the KDE neon 6 distribution. KDE Plasma 6 will also be available as an update for openSUSE Tumbleweed, Arch Linux, OpenMandriva Lx, and Fedora Linux users in the coming days or weeks. Distros like KaOS Linux and TUXEDO OS also offer the KDE Plasma 6 desktop.

Image credits: KDE Project

Last updated 2 months ago

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