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KDE's 6th Megarelease - Alpha

Wednesday, 8 November 2023


En route to the new Plasma, Frameworks and Gear

Every few years we port the key components of our software to a new version of Qt, taking the opportunity to remove cruft and leverage the updated features the most recent version of Qt has to offer us.

It has been nearly 10 years since the last big release of our flagship Plasma desktop environment, and the time has come again. KDE is making available today the Alpha version of all the software we will include in a megarelease scheduled for the end of February 2024.

To ensure all parts of KDE's software stack are working together, we are releasing all our major bundles at the same time. Today sees the start of that journey with the Alpha releases of Plasma 6, KDE Frameworks 6 and the KDE Gear bundle of apps.

For more on what we mean when we talk about "Alpha Software", see the What is Alpha software section below. But, to summarize, this is a very early preview intended for developers and testers only. We hope it will be picked up by rolling unstable distros, but it is far from being ready for day-to-day use yet.

Read on to find out more about KDE's 6th Megarelease, what it covers, and how you can help make the new versions of Plasma, KDE's apps and Frameworks a success now.

Plasma

Plasma is KDE's flagship desktop environment. Plasma is like Windows or macOS, but is renowned for being flexible, powerful, lightweight and configurable. It can be used at home, at work, for schools and research.

Plasma 6 is the upcoming version of Plasma that integrates the latest version of Qt, Qt6, the framework upon which Plasma is built.

Plasma 6 incorporates new technologies from Qt and other constantly evolving tools, providing new features, better support for the latest hardware, and support for the hardware and software technologies to come.

You can be part of the new Plasma. Download and install a Plasma 6-powered distribution (like Neon Unstable) to a test machine and start trying all its features. Check the Contributing section below to find out how you can deliver reports of what you find to the developers.

KDE Gear

KDE Gear is a collection of applications produced by the KDE community. Gear includes file explorers, music and video players, text and video-editors, apps to manage social media and chats, email and calendaring applications, travel assistants, and much more.

Developers of these apps also rely on the Qt toolbox, so most of the software will also be adapted to use the new Qt6 toolset and we need you to help us test them too.

Frameworks

KDE's Frameworks add tools created by the KDE community on top of those provided by the Qt toolbox. These tools give developers more and easier ways of developing interfaces and functionality that work on more platforms.

Among many other things, KDE Frameworks provide

KDE's Frameworks also rely heavily on Qt and will also be upgraded to adapt them to the new version 6. This change will add more features and tools, enable your applications to work on more devices, and give them a longer shelf life.

Contributing

KDE relies on volunteers to create, test and maintain its software. You can help too by...

What is Alpha software

Alpha software is only suited for developers and testers. Alpha software is unfinished, will be unstable and will contain bugs. It is published so volunteers can trial-run it, identify its problems, and report them so they can be solved before the publication of the final product.

The risks of running alpha software are many. Apart from the hit to productivity produced by instability and the lack of features, the using alpha software can lead to data loss, and, in extreme cases, damage to hardware. That said, the latter is highly unlikely in the case of KDE software.

The version of the software included in KDE's 6th Megarelease is alpha software. We strongly recommend you do not use it as your daily driver.

If, despite the above, you want to try the software distributed in KDE's 6th Megarelease, you do so under your sole responsibility, and in the understanding that the main aim, as a tester, you help us by providing feedback and your know-how regarding the software. Please see the Contributing section above.

About KDE

KDE is an international technology team that creates free and open source software for desktop and portable computing. Among KDE's products are a modern desktop system for Linux and UNIX platforms, comprehensive office productivity and groupware suites and hundreds of software titles in many categories including Internet and web applications, multimedia, entertainment, educational, graphics and software development. KDE software is translated into more than 60 languages and is built with ease of use and modern accessibility principles in mind. KDE's full-featured applications run natively on Linux, BSD, Windows, Haiku, and macOS.


Trademark Notices.

KDE® and the K Desktop Environment® logo are registered trademarks of KDE e.V..
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group in the United States and other countries.
All other trademarks and copyrights referred to in this announcement are the property of their respective owners.


Press Contacts

For more information send us an email: press@kde.org


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