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May 25, 2024

KDE Plasma 6.1 Beta Unleashed: Featuring Explicit Sync Support on Wayland

The KDE Project announced the beta release of the anticipated KDE Plasma 6.1 desktop environment series for public testing today. This article provides a first glimpse at the major changes and new functionalities.

Arguably the most significant new feature in KDE Plasma 6.1 is the explicit GPU synchronization, which is expected to be advantageous for NVIDIA GPU users who have experienced problems with the Plasma Wayland session. As the explicit sync has now been introduced in the Mesa 24.1 graphics stack, it’s time for Plasma users to embrace a superior Wayland experience.

“Essentially, this allows applications to direct the compositor to display frames on the screen at the right time, cutting down latency and graphical issues. The impact is likely to be particularly pronounced for NVIDIA GPUs, which exclusively support this rendering style. Lack of support on Wayland previously caused random graphical issues and slow-downs,” explained KDE developer Nate Graham.

In addition to the aforementioned features, KDE Plasma 6.1 also introduces triple buffering support for smoother animations, superior integration with Flatpak applications, a new Remote Desktop page in the System Settings allowing activation and customization of RDP remote logins, improved notifications, a new “Hide Cursor” effect that automatically conceals the pointer after a period of inactivity, manual session saving on Plasma Wayland, and enhanced support for WireGuard VPNs. Users even get the capacity to carry out calculation and unit conversion directly from Kicker.

Moreover, it enables the new “Shake cursor to find it” effect by default, brings the ability to keep the backlight color in sync with the active accent color on laptops with RGB-backlit keyboards, adds support for manually updating Snap apps in Plasma Discover, adds a bunch of enhancements to the Power and Battery widget, direct scan-out for rotated screens, and improves support for XWayland apps.

On top of that, KDE Plasma 6.1 brings an experimental session restore feature for Plasma Wayland that re-opens the apps that were opened at the last logout, more modernized System Settings pages, as well as numerous UI improvements. Check out the full changelog for more details.

The final KDE Plasma 6.1 release will be available starting June 18th, 2024, yet the stable tarballs will be available for system integrators a week earlier from June 13th, so you can enjoy it faster on your favorite GNU/Linux distribution.

Until then, you can try the KDE Plasma 6.1 beta version on the testing editions of the openSUSE Tumbleweed or KDE neon distributions. However, please remember that this is a pre-release version you should not use for any production work.

Last updated 6 hours ago

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