KDE releases the beast: Plasma 6, Frameworks 6 and applications from February 2024 for a new generation of the desktop

KDE Megarelease 6

Today is the day. The day when many users of KDE They will begin to see their teeth grow. Today, February 28, 2024, was marked as the day of the Mega-Launch of 6, that is, when Plasma 6, Frameworks 6 and the applications would arrive... 24.04, February 2024, but which are linked to the rest of the sixes. Many and very important news, but in most cases we will have to wait weeks or months to be able to taste all this.

The leap is important, and there are few operating systems that will make it in the short term. KDE neon is expected to do so in a matter of hours or days, but the rest of us will have to wait. To give some examples, Kubuntu will stay on Plasma 5.27 until October, and distros that are not Rolling Release and faithful to that development model of continuous and rapid release will wait a reasonable amount of time. But the important thing is that KDE has unleashed the beast, and these are its most outstanding news.

KDE Plasma 6: upping the ante on an already stable desktop

There is a lot to tell. KDE sums it up like this:

«With Plasma 6, our technology stack has undergone two major updates: a transition to the latest version of our application framework, Qt, and a migration to the modern Linux graphical platform, Wayland. We've done everything we can to ensure these changes are as smooth and unnoticeable as possible for users, so when you install this update, you'll see the same familiar desktop environment you know and love. However, these updates improve the security, effectiveness, and performance of Plasma, as well as compatibility with modern hardware. In this way, Plasma offers a more reliable user experience, while paving the way for many more improvements in the future.«.

Going into detail, perhaps the most notable is the new general view. It is more similar to what is seen in GNOME and has been combined with the previous general view and grid view. It is what is in the header image, logically without the text.

The other point that stands out above the rest is that now, by default, the bottom panel is the floating one, but you can always revert the change. Also related to this panel, there is a new smart option that will only hide if a window touches it. KDE has decided to change several more points by default:

  • Files and folders are now selected with a single click and opened with a double click. You won't notice this if your distribution already had it like this.
  • The touchpad tap-to-click feature is enabled by default in Wayland.
  • Wayland is the default graphical session.
  • “Thumbnail Grid” is the new default task switcher style.
  • Clicking on the scroll bar track now scrolls to the selected location.
  • Scrolling the desktop no longer switches virtual desktops.

Among other changes, Breeze has been revamped, the cube is back, better searches, and everything in System Preferences has been reorganized.

KDE Gear 24.02: more capable applications

There are many new features in the applications of KDE Gear 24.02, and each application would make for a dedicated article. This is a very summarized summary:

  • Kdenlive allows you to replace video or audio of a video in the timeline.
  • Dolphin has received accessibility improvements.
  • Spectacle now allows you to record a part of the desktop.
  • PlasmaTube, application for watching YouTube videos (via Invidious) now also supports Peertube and Piped. If we have not written an article about PlasmaTube these days it is because a bug did not allow it to see anything. It is expected and assumed that it is already fixed in PlasmaTube 24.02.

Soon on your Linux distribution

Regarding Frameworks 6, they have only announced its launch along with the rest of this landing, but everything is now available... if you want to download the code and compile it yourself. That's what they offer right now, so it's best to wait for our Linux distribution to add the new packages. When they will do it depends on the philosophy of each project.

Images and more information: KDE announcement page.

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