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As the KDE team continue working full steam ahead towards Plasma 6, they're now down to a single showstopping bug for having Wayland by default. Written up in a blog post as usual by developer Nate Graham, recent work for readying Plasma 6 sounds great.

The last bug considered a showstopper is "Full sticky keys functionality does not work under Wayland", so once that's solved they will consider it ready to be default. There's various other bugs of course, with lots of users now testing and reporting from the recent huge Plasma 6 Alpha release but mostly minor issues.

Another important issue that has now been solved is that Plasma on Wayland will now actually prompt you about unsaved changes in apps, instead of just rebooting or shutting down and allowing you to lose your work. Thankfully no Wayland protocol changes were needed for this.

Found an app behaving badly? The "Kill unresponsive window?" is now fully online on Plasma Wayland and got a modern UI face-lift.

Something else that's been changed that sounds useful is that when you upgrade to Plasma 6 from Plasma 5, if there's Widgets you were using that aren't API compatible it will be shown in a "user-friendly way" so you don't think it's all just broken.

A reminder on the roadmap for Plasma 6:

  • 8 November 2023: Alpha
  • 29 November 2023: Beta 1
  • 20 December 2023: Beta 2
  • 10 January 2024: Release Candidate 1
  • 31 January 2024: Release Candidate 2
  • 21 February 2024: Private Tarball Release
  • 28 February 2024: Public Release

I'm very much looking forward to seeing everything Plasma 6 has to offer up at release next year for my desktop. And eventually on Steam Deck when Valve pull it into a future SteamOS upgrade for the desktop mode.

Is there anything in particular you're looking forward to in Plasma 6?

Pictured - KDE Plasma 5, my current desktop

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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24 comments
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BlackBloodRum Nov 27, 2023
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Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: BlackBloodRumI'm looking forward to watching it compile, the new USE flags, and possible configuration changes that may (or may not) be necessary when upgrading from P5 to P6. etc.

I'm not even joking, half the fun for me on Linux is the tweaking/tuning and generally messing around with it.
You know, I'm glad we have Linux users like you who tinker, and mess with bleeding edge stuff, finding all the pain points so people like me can use it all trouble-free a couple years later.
I consider it one of Linux's best features: The ability to adapt to the user, to find the right distro.

You can can get a distro that lets you go right to the core and tinker the smallest of details. This is great for the devs, nerds and geeks.

You can install a distro which mostly sets everything up for you, but will let you tinker. This is great for the geeks and users who want a bit more control, or new users that want to learn.

You can install a nice, easy to use distro, that sets everything up for you, but has limited customizability. This is great for those that "just want it to work".

You can stick it on a server, and run your business or website from it, and just leave it running for years (please apply updates)

Or you can go and stick an immutable Linux on it, for that system that absolutely can't fail. Perfect for the relative that might try to break it or people who want to be able to instantly fix it with minimal fuss.

There's something for everyone!
Purple Library Guy Nov 27, 2023
Quoting: BlackBloodRumYou can install a nice, easy to use distro, that sets everything up for you, but has limited customizability. This is great for those that "just want it to work".
Short of ChromeOS, I don't think there are actually any distros like this. Even Mint, which is about as "everything set up" as Linux gets, still has the command line readily available and perfectly functional. You can tinker with it fine if you want--if that was what you wanted, you probably would have picked another distro, but it doesn't in any way hinder you.
BlackBloodRum Nov 27, 2023
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Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: BlackBloodRumYou can install a nice, easy to use distro, that sets everything up for you, but has limited customizability. This is great for those that "just want it to work".
Short of ChromeOS, I don't think there are actually any distros like this. Even Mint, which is about as "everything set up" as Linux gets, still has the command line readily available and perfectly functional. You can tinker with it fine if you want--if that was what you wanted, you probably would have picked another distro, but it doesn't in any way hinder you.
That is true, which is why I said limited. There are a few things you simply couldn't change easily, without basically pulling the distro to pieces. For example, do you want to change/remove systemd? Or, changing what packages are depended on by other packages. (for example, banishing my arch nemesis, gnome-keyring, by recompiling things to not depend on it)

So, while you do retain lots of customization options, some fundamental parts of the OS simply couldn't be changed easily by the end-user.

But that's fine, because for 99% of normal users on that distro, neither of those truly matter, and they probably don't want to change it anyway.
sonic2kk Nov 27, 2023
I have been using KDE Plasma Wayland for a couple of years now, but to me, the lack of global menus for non-Qt apps is a massive showstopper from having Wayland as the default. The KDE team have gave arguments in their favour, stating that it's not a default and that a desktop-agnostic menu bar solution is the real fix, but it's the only thing I miss from X11.

I think the main problems right now with KDE Plasma Wayland are that X11 apps that apply scaling themselves look pixelated when downscaled if you have a scaled display and a display without scaling, some X11 apps that apply scaling themselves have some odd behaviours, and the Steam Overlay does not support Wayland-native games. The first two are exclusive to people with what I have seen the KDE team refer to as "mixed-scale multi-display" setups.

The "Apply scaling themselves" option in KDE allows XWayland applications to be aware of the scale factor and attempt to scale up, meaning they won't be blurry (i.e. Electron apps that don't run natively on Wayland by default, like the Heroic Games Launcher) but applications that cannot apply the scale factor will render at the "native" resolution and thus will be tiny on the scaled display, and scaled down once again to be unusable on unscaled displays (such as Wine without a DPI scaling factor applied). This option works great for fixing the blurry apps on scaled displays but results in them becoming blocky when downscaled on the unscaled displays.

For the 1st point, the Steam Client and games are the main applications suffering from this right now, and Wine is making massive strides in its Wayland support so that will get fixed soon hopefully, but older native games have no fix. Valve will hopefully eventually move the Steam Client over to Wayland and resolve the issue there too. The Steam Client currently requires the "STEAM_FORCE_DESKTOPUI_SCALING" environment variable to be set, so for my 150% scaled 4k display, I use "STEAM_FORCE_DESKTOPUI_SCALING=1.5" (for 200% you would use 2, for 125 you would use 1.25, etc). Without this, the Steam Client will render at 4k without scaling on the main display, but get scaled down and thus be very tiny on unscaled displays. Other applications have options like this, such as Electron games (or other Electron apps with no scale-awareness) allowing the "--force-device-scale-factor=1.5" option (again, adjusting 1.5 to the value you desire). But again once scaled down they look odd. These teething issues will be ironed out as Wayland-native applications become more popular.

For the 2nd point, things like the Steam Client have a couple of small graphical issues, the most notable being that the dropdown for the items along the top ("Library, Community, <username>") fade in as if they are separate windows (notably, the "Store" dropdown is unaffected). This also affects Steam's built-in menu along the top (Steam, View, Games, Etc), and affects any XWayland application with a menu bar, including Wine applications. There are some other occasional oddities, such as some XWayland applications not padding their buttons and other UI elements correctly, resulting in them becoming more cramped.

The 3rd point is minor but something not a lot of people seem to be talking about: The Steam Overlay does not work for Wayland-native games, of which there are a growing number. Any native game using a new build of SDL2 will support the "SDL_VIDEODRIVER=wayland" option. This has lower overhead and allows for games to render at the same of the current display without any of the downscaling issues mentioned above (since they're just like any other native Wayland window), and also means you can have that native rendering without having to resort to the "Apply scaling themselves" option. This option currently works for Terraria, Factorio, and Dwarf Fortress in my experience. Once Wine moves over to Wayland by default though, and once Valve adopt it in Proton, this could become an issue. However I expect Valve to address this issue before they enable Wayland for their Wine fork, and Wine landing full Wayland support is still a few months off. I couldn't find it to link to, but Valve are tracking that the Steam Overlay doesn't work on Wayland, so they're aware of it and will likely coordinate to fix these problems. I also expect the Steam Deck's Plasma Desktop to switch over to Wayland eventually given how much investment Valve have in Wayland both in their own work and the work they have sponsored, and that KDE want to make it the default for Plasma 6.

The real solution to these problems is to port to Wayland, and while I have been very happily using Wayland to solve issues I couldn't on X11 for a couple of years now, and while I support the Plasma team making Wayland the default in Plasma 6, these are some issues I ran into when I switched that I have yet to see anyone talk about in any real detail.
Mountain Man Nov 28, 2023
Quoting: Edgarins29What the hell are sticky keys. They were annoying even in Windows and I always disabled them.
Isn't it an accessibility feature that allows key combinations to be entered as consecutive keystrokes instead of having to press them all at once? If it's what I'm thinking it is, it's not intended for the typical user.
etoven Nov 28, 2023
You can consider it ready if you want. In 2 minutes Wayland going the f away just the same.
etoven Nov 28, 2023
Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: BlackBloodRumYou can install a nice, easy to use distro, that sets everything up for you, but has limited customizability. This is great for those that "just want it to work".
Short of ChromeOS, I don't think there are actually any distros like this. Even Mint, which is about as "everything set up" as Linux gets, still has the command line readily available and perfectly functional. You can tinker with it fine if you want--if that was what you wanted, you probably would have picked another distro, but it doesn't in any way hinder you.

Kde definitely has a really good onboarding experience.
CyborgZeta Nov 28, 2023
Plasma w/Wayland has been working well for me the past year. I'm ready.
afettouhi Nov 29, 2023
For me Wayland is very close to being ready but there is one show stopper and that is windows positions are not remembered in Plasma 5. I really hope that is addressed in Plasma 6 before full release.
tofuhead Nov 29, 2023
I'm a (too) long time linux user. so using KDE from the start. I am not on same boat with the comments of KDE 4, or 5 being bad. I got used to those, worked fine with my workflow. and this latest 5 being best I have used so far. so, not problems with KDE/Plasma. Loveit!
but with this 6 I am abit anxious about it sitting on this Wayland thing which I have I have no
experience at all.

Is it ready? does it work?
sorry for bothering but information seems so scattered.

My main use is graphical applications like Blender, Inkscape, GIMP, Scribus etc..

and, as this is a gaming site, I play ofourse games. will it change things?

thanks.

p.s. sorry for scattered thoughts.
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