KDE Plasma 6 Desktop Environment Promises Basic HDR Support

HDR support and and color management landed for KWin in the development branch of KDE Plasma 6.0
KDE Plasma 6 HDR

KDE developer Nate Graham reports today on the work done by KWin developer Xaver Hugl to implement HDR (High Dynamic Range) support and color management in Plasma 6 desktop’s composite and window manager.

HDR support on the Linux desktop is probably one of the most requested features these days due to the fact that 4K displays are becoming the norm while we slowly but shortly say goodbye to Full HD screens.

KDE Plasma is one of the first GNU/Linux desktop environments to receive HDR (High Dynamic Range) support and initial support was already merged for the upcoming KDE Plasma 6.0 series during the recent HDR hackfest organized by Red Hat in early May 2023 and last week’s Plasma 6 sprint in Augsburg.

HDR support in Plasma 6 will be available for the Wayland session, which will also be enabled by default in the upcoming release. “This also lays the groundwork for color management on Wayland,” said KDE developer Nate Graham in his latest blog post.

“We didn鈥檛 do a lot of hacking at the hackfest, but I did manage to drive an HDR screen with a wide color gamut and with HDR mode enabled, while having KWin do the required color conversions to make SDR content look correct,” said KWin developer Xaver Hugl on his blog. “Since then I polished up the code, fixed lots of KWin effects to do the required color conversions, and now the first bits of basic HDR and color management support are merged in KWin.”

Early adopters who have access to a KDE Plasma 6 Wayland session built from Git master and a screen capable of HDR and WCG (Wide Color Gamut) can already test basic HDR support following the instructions on Xaver Hugl’s blog. Of course, the final implementation will also feature a GUI to make it easier to enable HDR support!

Xaver Hugl also says that HDR support in Plasma 6 will be quite basic at first, so don’t expect to play video games or watch videos in HDR just yet. There’s a long road ahead for HDR to become mature for the Linux desktop, but that day will come, whether we want to accept the reality or not.

Apart from HDR support and color management in KWin, the upcoming KDE Plasma 6 desktop environment promises to ship with the Plasma Wayland by default, a Floating Panel by default, double-click for opening files, a new default Task Switcher, unified desktop plugins, better handling keyboard backlighting, and much more.

Image credits: Xaver Hugl

Last updated 9 months ago

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com