Top 5 Linux Distributions to Try the KDE Plasma 6 Desktop Right Now

KDE Plasma 6 distributions

With the KDE Plasma 6 out in the world, here’s my list of the top 5 GNU/Linux distributions that offer the latest Plasma desktop environment out of the box, for those of you who want to use it right now.

KDE Plasma 6 was officially released on February 28th, 2024, and brings Wayland and Qt 6 support by default, a new Overview effect, initial HDR support, color blindness correction filters, a floating panel by default, a refreshed Breeze theme, reorganized Settings, 3D desktop Cube effect, much-improved search, and more.

If you’re tired of waiting for your distro to package the KDE Plasma 6 desktop environment and want to use it right now on your personal computer, you’ll need to download and install GNU/Linux distributions that come with KDE Plasma 6 pre-installed by default, so here’s my top 5 list.

KDE neon is derived from Ubuntu LTS releases but follows a rolling release model for KDE software, which means that you’ll get access to the latest Plasma releases as soon as possible. Being maintained by a prominent KDE developer, KDE neon is the recommended distro for trying out the latest Plasma releases.

The User Edition of KDE neon is what you want to download right now if you want to use the latest KDE Plasma 6 desktop environment on your personal computer. KDE neon uses the popular Calamares project as its default graphical installer for installing the distro on your PC.

openSUSE Tumbleweed also offers a rolling release model, but for the whole distro, which means that you install once and receive updates forever. It offers regular ISO snapshots that you can download and install on your PC with the very latest KDE software releases.

openSUSE Tumbleweed uses the RPM package management system and offers an advanced, in-house graphical installer for tech-savvy users. Go to the “Alternative Downloads” section on the download page below to get the latest KDE LiveCD ISO image.

KaOS Linux is an independently developed GNU/Linux distribution that offers a unique take on the KDE Plasma 6 desktop environment. The latest release, KaOS 2024.03, comes with the latest Plasma 6 updates pre-installed, as well as the KDE Gear 24.02 and KDE Frameworks 6 software suites.

KaOS Linux follows a rolling-release model as well and, just like KDE neon, it also uses the Calamares graphical installer to provide users with a great and painless installation experience. While it comes with a custom desktop layout and theme, KaOS Linux promises a pure Plasma 6 desktop experience.

Derived from the latest Ubuntu LTS release, TUXEDO OS is optimized for TUXEDO hardware but you can install it on any other computer without issues. It also uses the Calamares graphical installer and lets you choose between X11 and Wayland sessions right from the start.

TUXEDO OS features a dark style by default, which I have to admit that it looks very sleek. It also comes with the Mozilla Firefox web browser pre-installed as a DEB package for a performance boost, support for Web Apps, and a great selection of default apps.

CachyOS is a user-friendly and highly-optimized Linux distribution based on Arch Linux, which means that it also follows a rolling-release model and offers regular ISO snapshots with the latest KDE Plasma 6 desktop environment with the Wayland display server by default.

It also uses the Calamares graphical installer, rebased for Qt 6 to better integrate with the Plasma 6 desktop, promising a seamless installation process. CachyOS also offers a wide range of customization options to personalize your Plasma 6 desktop experience, has its own Firefox fork called Cachy Browser, and uses a dark style by default too.

NuTyX GNU/Linux is a flexible and complete distribution targeting advanced or motivated users. It includes some unique features you’ll only find in NuTyX GNU/Linux, such as its own CARDS package manager, allowing you to install packages from their sources, which will be integrated natively into the system.

NuTyX GNU/Linux comes with no less than 14 flavors, including a dedicated and live KDE Plasma image that has now been updated to the latest KDE Plasma 6 desktop environment series. The live ISO features both X11 and Wayland sessions and offers a pure KDE Plasma 6 desktop experience.

Last updated 2 weeks ago

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