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Plasma 6.1

Your Future Desktop is Ready

Plasma 6.1 brings improvements and powerful new features to every part of your desktop

Tuesday, 18 June 2024

empty laptop with an overlay

Plasma 6 hits its stride with version 6.1. While Plasma 6.0 was all about getting the migration to the underlying Qt 6 frameworks correct (and what a massive job that was), 6.1 is where developers start implementing the features that will take your desktop to a new level.

In this release, you will find features that go far beyond subtle changes to themes and tweaks to animations (although there is plenty of those too), as you delve into interacting with desktops on remote machines, become more productive with usability and accessibility enhancements galore, and discover customizations that will even affect the hardware of your computer.

These features and more are being built directly into Plasma's Wayland version natively, avoiding the need for third party software and hacky extensions required by similar solutions implemented in X.

Things will only get more interesting from here. But meanwhile enjoy what will land on your desktop with your next update.

What's New

Access Remote Plasma Desktops

One of the more spectacular (and useful) features added in Plasma 6.1 is that you can now start up a remote desktop directly from the System Settings app. This means that if you are sysadmin who needs to troubleshoot users' machines, or simply need to work on a Plasma-enabled computer that is out of reach, setting up a connection is just a few clicks away.

Once enabled, you can connect to the remote desktop using a client such as KRDC. You will see the remote machine's Plasma desktop in a window and be able to interact with it from your own computer.

Customization made (more) Visual

We all love customizing our Plasma desktops, don't we? One of the quickest ways to do this is by entering Plasma's Edit Mode (right-click anywhere on the desktop background and select Enter Edit Mode from the menu).

In version 6.1, the visual aspect of Edit Mode has been overhauled and you will now see a slick animation when you activate it. The entire desktop zooms out smoothly, giving you a better overview of what is going on and allowing you to make your changes with ease.

Persistent Apps

Plasma 6.1 on Wayland now has a feature that "remembers" what you were doing in your last session like it did under X11. Although this is still work in progress, If you log off and shut down your computer with a dozen open windows, Plasma will now open them for you the next time you power up your desktop, making it faster and easier to get back to what you were doing.

Sync your Keyboard's Colored LEDs

It wouldn't be a new Plasma release without at least one fancy aesthetic customization features. This time, however, we give you the power to reach beyond the screen, all the way onto your keyboard, as you can now synchronize the LED colours of your keys to match the accent colour on your desktop.

The ultimate enhancement for the fashion-conscious user.

Please note that this feature will not work on unsupported keyboards — support for additional keyboards is on the way!

And all this too...

  • We have simplified the choices you see when you try to exit Plasma by reducing the number of confusing options. For example, when you press Shutdown, Plasma will only list Shutdown and Cancel, not every single power option.

  • Screen Locking gives you the option of configuring it to behave like a traditional screensaver, as you can choose it not to ask you for a password to unlock it.

  • Two visual accessibility changes make it easier to use the cursor in Plasma 6.1:

    • Shake Cursor makes the cursor grow when you "shake" it. This helps you locate that tiny little arrow on your large, cluttered screens when you lose it among all those windows.

    • Edge Barrier is useful if you have a multi-monitor setup and want to access things on the very edge of your monitor. The "barrier" is a sticky area for your cursor near the edge between screens, and it makes it easier to click on things (if that is what you want to do), rather than having the cursor scooting across to the next display.

  • Two major Wayland breakthroughs will greatly improve your Plasma experience:

    • Explicit Sync eliminates flickering and glitches traditionally experienced by NVidia users.

    • Triple Buffering support in Wayland makes animations and screen rendering smoother.

…and there's much more going on. To see the full list of changes, check out the changelog for Plasma 6.1.

Package Downloads

Distributions have created, or are in the process of creating, packages listed on our wiki page.

Note that packages of this release might not be available on all distributions at the time of this announcement.

Package download wiki page

Supporting KDE

KDE is a Free Software community that exists and grows only because of the help of many volunteers that donate their time and effort. KDE is always looking for new volunteers and contributions, whether it is help with coding, bug fixing or reporting, writing documentation, translations, promotion, money, etc. All contributions are gratefully appreciated and eagerly accepted. Please read through the Supporting KDE page for further information or become a KDE e.V. supporting member through our Join the Game initiative.

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.

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