Skip to main content

KDE Plasma 6 was recently released; however, it will not be featured in subsequent Nitrux releases. Let’s talk about that, but don’t worry—I’ll keep this short.

Nitrux ❤️ KDE

First, We want to congratulate the KDE Community on the new release of Plasma.

Second, Nitrux has always been linked to KDE since the early days of our themes for Qt4 and Plasma 4. Then, by creating the Breeze icon theme and inadvertently announcing it on Google+ (remember G+?) and redesigning the Breeze Plasma theme. And, of course, by being the primary desktop environment for every release of Nitrux from 2014 to 2015 and from 2017 to the present. We will cherish and appreciate all of those moments we spend together. However, it’s time we prepare to move on.

As mentioned earlier, new Nitrux releases will not use KDE Plasma 6. Instead, we will continue to use KDE Plasma 5 for most of 2024, as version 5.27.x is an LTS release; if you want to know why, keep reading.

To allow users interested in using the newest version of Plasma in the distribution, we can consider creating an AppImage of KDE Plasma 6 for fun. However, it will not be used to provide a default desktop environment.

So, what’s next? Does that mean…

We’re not forking it or anything similar, so don’t get confused. We don’t want to pursue the path the TDE development team did with KDE 3 when they created the Trinity Desktop Environment. The reason that we won’t use KDE Plasma 6 is quite simple, to be frank. We use many widgets or plasmoids to assemble NX Desktop. NX Desktop was conceived as a customization layer for KDE Plasma 5 (and not a desktop environment, as a particular website insists on claiming). The transition from KDE Plasma 5 to KDE Plasma 6 means a lot of stuff will not work anymore, and that being the case, we consider that NX Desktop has fulfilled its goal, and, as a bonus, it helped shape Plasma for the better. Perhaps not with upstreamed code, but many features eventually implemented by the KDE developers in Plasma were inspired by those in NX Desktop. Hence, it’s time to enjoy its sunset and prepare to let it go.

This means that, yes, in late 2024, we will start using Maui Shell, by default, as our primary (and only) desktop environment, bidding goodbye to ten years of using KDE Plasma. However, that doesn’t mean that we won’t continue using KDE technologies; we will. Such as the various KDE Frameworks and Extra CMake Modules that we use for the Maui Apps, as well as providing AppImages of our Maui Apps through the KDE infrastructure and using Calamares as the graphical installer, in general, to continue to be a part of the KDE community.

Our decision not to use KDE Plasma 6 also allows us to focus better on priority tasks, such as Maui Shell, which is being ported to Qt6, as well as the apps and our pending work with the AppImages at NX AppImage Build Hub.