Nearly 10 years after KDE Plasma 5.0, the launch of KDE Plasma 6.0 is approaching and a first "Megarelease - Alpha" is out now for testing. KDE Plasma is the desktop environment used on the Steam Deck's desktop mode, and my current favourite for my own desktop with Kubuntu.
This Alpha release includes KDE Plasma 6, lots of updates to all the KDE Gear applications (file explorers, music and video players etc), upgrades to KDE's Frameworks (for devs to build apps) and moving as much as possible over to Qt6, the framework upon which Plasma is built.
It's difficult to list everything that's going to be new and improved because there's just so much of it. Expect better Wayland support, better performance, an improved Discover software centre, the return of the Desktop Cube effect (pictured below), the Spectacle screenshot tool finally has an option to remove shadows, new and improved colour-blind accessibility options, various improvements to System Settings layout and the list just goes on and on. Reading Nate Graham's blog goes over a lot.
This is the current roadmap:
- 8 November 2023: Alpha <-- you are here
- 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
See their full announcement here.