A First Look at KDE Plasma 6 (beta) in KDE Neon

I tried the KDE Plasma 6 (beta) by using the KDE Neon Unstable Edition.

This is a quick report.

I tried that in a KVM virtual machine. I had to disable 3d graphics, or the installer showed an empty Window.

Here’s the live environment where I started the installer:

Note that it uses the Wayland session by default:

There are not many options when choosing to erase the disk:

The installation went smoothly.

Upon reboot, the login screen allows you to choose the X11 session, but Wayland is the default (that’s what I used):

Without 3D, you miss the blur and other effects; for example, you only get transparency without blurring:

Let’s enable 3D (“Display Spice”, “Listen Type = None” and check “OpenGL”, “Apply”, and then “Video Virtio”, check “3D acceleration”).

Everything seems to work this time (so the problem was only during the installation). We now have blur effects and smooth 3D effects:

The “Overview” effect (Alt+W) looks much nicer now (in the meantime, I switched to the dark theme), and it retains the features I had already blogged about:

The default Task Switcher (Thumbnail Grid) now makes sense (in Plasma 5, changing the default Task Switcher was the first thing I was doing in Plasma 5!):

From the visual point of view, you now also have a floating panel enabled by default.

There was a substantial system update (about 500Mb), which I applied. After rebooting, I was greeted like this:

Unfortunately, the links do not work: no browser opens…

After the update, logging out does not seem to work anymore: I get a blank screen. The same holds for the other menus like “Shut Down” and “Restart”. Welcome to beta software 😉

However, I did another upgrade the day after, and these issues were fixed.

By the way, if you want to upgrade the system, remember that in KDE Neon, you should not use “sudo apt upgrade” but “sudo pkcon update“.

These are the system information (remember: I’m on a virtual machine):

Speaking about desktop effects, we have the (useless but good-looking) Desktop Cube back! You have to enable it in the “Desktop Effects” and remember you must have at least 4 virtual desktops, or the effect will not kick in:

Cool effect 🙂

Speaking of the Desktop effects, the other effects seem to work fine, at least the ones I tried: Present Windows, Magic Lamp, Cover Flow (task switcher), and Blur.

In Wayland, there are some small quirks. The one I noted most is the missing close/maximize/minimize icons in Firefox (you cannot see them, though if you hover, you can press them):

That’s all for the moment!

I’ll keep experimenting with KDE Plasma 6 beta.

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