Wednesday 6 March 2024

Upgrading to KDE Plasma 6.0 - a rocky start for KDE Neon User Edition

When I read about the first stable release of KDE Plasma 6, I thought I'd probably just wait awhile until I try it, but of course I forgot that KDE Neon User Edition would get it so soon.  Well, the update happened and the first thing I noticed, on my main desktop machine, was that for some reason the onscreen keyboard came up on the login screen, large and covering half the screen! To fix this I found a solution on a forum, which entails editing sddm.conf like so:

sudo nano /etc/sddm.conf

and then add 


Save and exit and the onscreen keyboard shouldn't appear again on the login screen. Also it's a rather basic login screen for some reason, no matter which theme I choose. Update - switching to the default Breeze login theme fixes this.

Then I noticed that Wayland was set as default again, after I tried to login and it wouldn't work. Nvidia is the reason for this, but thankfully X11 is still an option and that works. Then on the first few logins I noticed a lot of little errors I think some parts hadn't updated, so a quick trip to Discover, the package manager to make sure everything got updated was needed. And then a day or so after i updated, there was some major bug fixes, which has made things better but i am still getting the odd Plasma crash, usually after logging in and opening Chrome for the first time. Right now the desktop seems to have has settled down and actually feels a bit snappier than Plasma 5 was. I am still getting the occasional error and a few graphical glitches, black screens occasionally., 

KDE Activity manager constantly crashed with the "kactivitymanager closed unexpectedly" error.until I found a solution,  Navigate to ~/.local/share/kactivitymanagerd/resources and delete database, database-shm and database-wal. You will lose your favourites in the KDE menu but at least the annoying kactivitymanager won't keep crashing! Amother odd thing is that the Print Screen key does not open Spectacle anymore.   

Another minor issue is that since Plasma 6 is qt6 based, so Latte Dock no longer works, and will never be updated since it's been abandoned by the lead developer. A shame because it's been my favourite OSX-style dock for years. For now I have added another KDE panel, auto-hiding, and using the new floating panel feature. It's not exactly pretty, but it's functional. I shall miss the magnification effect from Latte, and I can't seem to get the panel to go translucent, even though I have set it to. Floating panels are default now, but to me they look odd on the normal panels so I have disabled them for those. Another minor niggle is that Dolphin always opens without the sidebar even though I closed it with it open. It used to remember my choice. 

On my main laptop, a T430s Thinkpad, the update installed more smoothly, there was no kactivitymanager errors but still have the same basic login screen and had to disable the onscreen keyboard like with my desktop machine. No graphical issues of course, because it's got Intel graphics. One thing I have noticed changed is that when I close the lid then open it again, the keyboard backlight now goes off instead of remembering which setting it was on. My laptop does not have the Dolphin sidebar issue though.

The KDE Neon developer blog has put up an apology for the number of issues with KDE Neon User Edition. Apparently the testing and unstable versions have been running more smoothly. Hopefully they'll send out more fixes soon.

You can read more about what's new in KDE Plasma 6 on the KDE website

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