My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

KDE: February 2024 MegaRelease

Just a heads-up to you people who wondered when Alien BOB would pick up on the KDE Plasma bleeding edge again.
Simply put: Patrick did a hell of a job pushing every new KDE Plasma update into the slackware-current package tree (even before the 15.0 release) in no time. There was nothing for me to do (or to improve on) since Plasma5 got added to the distro.

My intention is to change that, soon.

Exactly one month ago, KDE published their planning for Plasma6, the successor to Plasma5, so numbered after the version of the Qt framework which underpins it. As seen on the ‘February 2024 MegaRelease‘ page, the first Alpha release of the Qt6-based Frameworks, Plasma and Gear (the three main components of KDE Plasma) is expected to see the light on November 8th, 2023. The final stable release of KDE Plasma6 will be on February 28th, 2024.

I don’t expect that Slackware itself will absorb this new software immediately upon release. Perhaps we will have a Slackware 15.1 next February, maybe not – but a new KDE desktop is a major and potentially disruptive upgrade. Still, it needs solid testing on Slackware -current somehow. Therefore I will have that stable KDE Plasma6 in my ktown repository when it is released.

I am currently working on updating the kde.SlackBuild infrastructure which I took from Slackware-current, to make it work with the new Plasma6 sources. It is not a trivial task; there are new non-KDE dependencies, new KDE programs and changed interdependencies, patches to remove and patches to add.
So far, I have finalized the scripts for all of the new dependencies, as well as the Frameworks and Plasma. Currently working on KDEPIM, and then the Gear collection (formerly called Applications) awaits. The results up to now took me a full week, and the Gear will probably have the same level of unpleasant surprises (hey, it won’t compile! what did they sneak in now? <initiates another search through KDE Invent>…).

Meaning, I won’t make promises on the timeline for a first Slackware-based test release. I aim to make it coïncide with KDE’s own Alpha release, but I may not be able to finish on time. To be clear about my roadmap: anything that I make available before the stable release of Feb 28, will take the shape of a Slackware Live ISO image (the ktown variant, we haven’t seen that one for two years almost!) for you to test and play with.
There will be no new packages in the ktown repository until the time when KDE Plasma6 stable gets released. I am supportive of people who want to compile this set themselves, so I will make the sources available in ktown as soon as I release the first live ISO and will keep updating those sources.

Note that I will not make Plasma6 co-installable with Plasma5. It’s going to be one or the other. Any official Slackware package that I have to recompile to add Qt6 support, will not lose its Qt5 support. Meaning, my ktown versions of gpgme, kdsoap, phonon, polkit-qt-1, poppler, qca, qcoro or qtkeychain will be 100% compatible with standard Slackware.

Hope to have more news in a week or two!

Sunday update (Oct 29) – a screenshot of the “about” screen after I compiled the new dependencies, Frameworks, Kdepim, Plasma, Plasma-extra and Gear (excluding some twenty packages which are not yet compatible with Qt6):



  1. E. Wayne Johnson

    Just glad you are feeling better!~

  2. Michael Langdon

    Sounds like a fun time soon! Looking forward to this. I enjoyed following (and using) all your previous Plasma5 builds.

  3. Francisco

    Hi Eric.

    Great news and announcement. I hope to see that release as a Xmas present. 🙂

    Thanks as always for your time and effort to keep slackware up to date.


  4. KG Hammarlund

    Thanks in advance for this contribution to us slackware users! I’m not a great KDEPlasma fan myself (although I do use k3b), but my impression is that Plasma is the choice of the majority. So it woult be greatly appreciated.

  5. Sajjad

    Excited to see what comes of the behemoth Plasma.
    Thanks for taking on the task!

  6. LoneStar

    I was wondering. I’m glad for the announcement 🙂
    take care

  7. Janis

    Great news!

  8. Tonus

    Hello Eric,
    That’s great news. I really like to follow your tracks since it’s always great occasion to learn !
    Happy to follow this new journey to Plasma 6

  9. Marco

    I never understand why anybody would use gnome, to be honest. It reminds me of the failed ubuntu unity disaster. That it is the default desktop for certain distributions is beyond comprehension to me.
    So thank you very much for all your efforts concerning KDE!

  10. Jen

    Cool! Having a qt6 package available would be nice, since there’s things (OBS) that require it now. (Or will require it.)

  11. Robby

    Thanks very much Eric, I’ve always been keen on your ktown dev series. Initial screenshots and videos show a very similar UI to 5.x. Have you tried a 5 -> 6 upgrade yet? Any blockers?

    • alienbob

      I don’t have Plasma6 ready, as I write in my blog post. In fact, I am stuck after compiling most of Frameworks and Plasma because the rest (mainly PIM and Gear) are still too much in flux and generate all sorts of compilation errors.
      I don’t use other distros so trying out an upgrade there is out of the question.

  12. alienbob

    Update Sunday evening October 29th: I added a screenshot to the main article of the “about” window of the Plasma Desktop.
    Currently running Plasma 6 from a new KTOWN Live ISO which I copied to my Ventoy disk.
    As you see, I am running a Wayland session and so far I have not encountered a single thing that does not work.
    Point of attention: the ‘Alt-TAB’ key combo to invoke the Task Switcher was not enabled by default and I had to manually configure it,
    Note that there’s a number of packages still not present, there’s some 40 of them which won’t compile against Qt6. And there will be others that I have to add Qt5 support to, in order to allow non-Slackware Qt5 based programs to function on Plasma 6. Time will tell, but at least I know now that per November 8th I will be able to relase a Live ISO to the public.

  13. Marco

    Not stuck for too long! 🙂 Amazing. Thanks!

    • alienbob

      Almost nothing from the “applications-extra” collection compiles, so no Krita, KMyMoney, Digikam or any of the other nice extras.
      In Applications, there are many not ready either, but we have months to reach stability, so I am not too worried.

      In 10 days I will have a Live ISO publicly available and you can of course use “setup2hd” to install all of that to a hard drive if you do not want to run off a USB stick.

  14. Slack Er

    That’s really great, looking forward to it! I’ve mostly been using Xfce but I check out KDE every once in a while to see how the performance and UI feels. Will check out v6 when it comes out and see how it works.

  15. Eduardo

    Hi Eric! This is great news. Just some days ago I was asking in the Slackware forums to Pat what would be his policy on KDE6 when it’s released. This is a great answer to my question.

    I shall wait for your KDE6 packages, I’m sure they’re going to be an excellent release. Thanks for this!

  16. Sam

    Great stuff very impressive Eric, I had a small foray with QT6 for a couple of applications via SBo slackbuild.
    Tonight I used your link in changelog.txt for the h.264/5 test video’s WOW very nice. Makes really smile that google chrome wont play them, and no matter what chrome://flags I use hardware video decode stays disabled. Yet with chromium and chromium ungoogled I can get it enabled. Ungoogled wont play the test files but does put google-chrome to shame with film streams with amazing 1080p playback. One question on chromium is the option to set alsa device available at startup like google-chrome has. –alsa-output-device=’51to20′ is chromes option showing my custom surround 5.1 to stereo 2.0 alsa device. chrome in 5.1 output sounds amazing just to loud in my home office for every day use.
    I will have a look at kde I used it for years until it bloated and ran at a crawl.
    I’m still using xfce4 as my desktop with most packages rebuilt using 4.19 releases. I use openbox wm and picom for compositor, which is much faster than than xfwm4. The main reason is I use a Geforce GTX660 T1 and got lots of screen tears and artefacts with xfwm4, even after several rebuilds with additions to build script and a patch.
    Thank you for all your work for Slackware so very much appreciated especialy chromium versions.

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