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Plasma 6 optimized for Wayland gaming, plus compositor crash recovery

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KDE developer Nate Graham has two quite interesting updates in regards to the upcoming Plasma 6 desktop release, including some fun optimizations landing. The KDE team are pushing hard for Wayland right now, so it's no surprise to see a focus on improving performance.

In an update posted a few days ago Graham mentions how work was done to improve cursor responsiveness for Plasma Wayland so it's "really very responsive now". The initial bug report noted how "When the kwin_wayland compositing can't keep up, it doesn't just make the desktop stutter, it also makes the cursor stutter" so this has now been improved. Graham mentioned that work "also substantially improved latency in general, especially for games" which linked to another bug report on how certain latency options on Plasma would cause frame drops when gaming so they've improved that too.

Various other improvements are coming like Discover having release data for SteamOS system updates displayed in a "prettier and more comprehensible way", plus the About page in Discover has been refreshed to look better.

They also changed the Activity Switcher shortcut to Meta+A as Meta+Tab is going to be used for something else that's "coming soon".

Lots more fixes came in recently too like Spectacle now properly taking Rectangular Region screenshots correctly when you're using any screen scale factors less than 100%, fixed a rare case where KWin would crash in the Plasma Wayland session when waking from sleep, while updating a lot of Flatpak apps at the same time, discover can no longer exhaust the system’s set of available file handles and then fail and more.

Another blog post from Graham also goes over what's really going on with Wayland, that's worth a read, giving a bit of a quick history lesson and going into where things stand right now including some issues it has noting that KDE, Valve and Blue Systems have been funding work to improve various areas.

On the subject of Wayland and Qt that you might also find interesting is that developer David Edmundson showed off seriously impressive work in a blog post and videos "to make Qt clients more robust and seemlessly migrate between compositors, providing resistance against compositor crashes and more". In one video Edmundson showed killing off Kwin and having it properly recover everything that was open:

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Just as exciting is the ability to switch the entire desktop environment, while keeping everything open. In the below video Edmundson starts off on KDE Plasma with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive open and starts just jumping through other desktops with it. Very cool!

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Some seriously good stuff going on for Linux and Wayland right now, great to see!

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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About the author -
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
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25 comments
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StalePopcorn Sep 18, 2023
Looking forward to these improvements in my favorite DE!
Siinamon Sep 18, 2023
It will be great to give Plasma 6 a whirl!
Cybolic Sep 18, 2023
It's amazing work and I'm particularly looking forward to the work on application-level suspension. It could take the concept of Sessions/Activities to a whole new level where you could store the app-state of your entire "Work" activity when you switch to your "Playtime" activity for some gaming after work and then jump immediately back into exactly where you left off the next day.
Shmerl Sep 18, 2023
What exactly is the difference between compositor latency settings in the current System Settings?
seven Sep 18, 2023
i'm on debizn, i'm looking forward to see these improvements around the year 2035 ;)
sonic2kk Sep 18, 2023
Been using Plasma 5 for gaming for quite a while now and it already works just as well as X, looking forward to even more improvements!
devland Sep 18, 2023
If Wayland were a pie it would be filling up the house with a delicious aroma right now.
It still needs some more time in the owen but it's smelling good. :D
const Sep 18, 2023
Quoting: devlandIf Wayland were a pie it would be filling up the house with a delicious aroma right now.
It still needs some more time in the owen but it's smelling good. :D
At least if you are not on Nvidia. My last wayland test on my old 980TI on 3 screens was not just rough, more like a fever dream gone crazy wrong.


Last edited by const on 18 September 2023 at 6:29 pm UTC
minfaer Sep 18, 2023
Quoting: devlandIf Wayland were a pie it would be filling up the house with a delicious aroma right now.
It still needs some more time in the owen but it's smelling good. :D

Been using it as my daily driver for 5 years, and have not had any issue beyond having to set a manual launch option for GoldenCheetah in almost 4. Though that has been mostly Gnome, even on Fedora KDE spin it was working well enough when working with that.

What I am trying to say is - sure, it does not work for everybody yet, but everybody should give it a try! And maybe report stuff that is not working...
Izaic Sep 18, 2023
I got a AMD GPU early on to run Plasma Wayland after finding my GTX 1050 TI to be lackluster on Linux, and let me tell you its been a great past five or so years seeing the massive improvements land. Plasma Wayland went from crashes and clipboard issues and artifacting, to a stable environment packed with even more features and better performance than X11 ever had. Can't wait to see where things go from here!
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