KDE Plasma Will Default To Using The Wayland Display Server On Fedora 34

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Fedora 33, scheduled to be released next month, defaults to using the tried and true X display server for everything but GNOME. A Fedora proposal to move KDE Plasma to the Wayland display server in the next Fedora release, coming in six months time, has been approved.

written by 윤채경 (Yoon Chae-kyung). published 2020-09-09last edited 2020-09-10

KDE Plasma On Fedora 33.jpg
The KDE Plasma desktop environment on Fedora 33.

Fedora has used the Wayland display server as a default for the GNOME desktop environment since Fedora 25 was released four years ago. All other desktop environments have so far defaulted to using the X display server. That is in some cases by necessity, the Xfce 4.14 and the upcoming Xfce 4.16 release do not support Wayland and neither does LXQt. The advanced and feature-rich KDE Plasma desktop environment has had Wayland support for a while but it has been somewhat buggy and problematic. Most of those bugs have been ironed out.

Fedora 33, scheduled to be released on October 27th, will still use X for the KDE Plasma desktop environment. That will change when Fedora 34, coming in May 2021, is released. A Fedora proposal to move KDE Plasma to Wayland in Fedora 34 was approved yesterday.

The reasoning behind the proposal is that the KDE team has done "serious work" towards Wayland support:

"On the KDE side, serious work into supporting Wayland started shortly after GNOME switched to Wayland by default. Unlike GNOME, KDE has a much broader stack in its toolkit, and it has taken longer to get to a usable state. With the Plasma 5.20 release, the Wayland protocol for screencasting as well as middle-click paste finally are supported, completing the required feature set for switching to Wayland by default."

Combining the proprietary Nvidia graphics card drivers required to use Nvidia cards as more than a PCIe slot filler on Linux with Wayland has been problematic. This will not be the case with KDE Plasma on Wayland on Fedora thanks to a special kwin-wayland-nvidia package.

Those who do not want to use Wayland will still have the option of running KDE Plasma under X when Fedora 34 is released.

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