F42 Change Proposal: Fedora Plasma Workstation (System-Wide)

I believe it’s kindof an “All together” kind of thing, so all 3. There are minor releases though in between that timeframe for gear and plasma packages. We also package important back-ported bugfixes in things like Plasma Desktop or Kwin pretty often.

But the major releases, with the major new features, are going to go out every 6 months or so soon.

I believe the best outcome will be to promote the KDE spin to a full Edition.

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I would prefer that this proposal not be withdrawn or declined by FESCo until a sufficient alternative arrangement is worked out. This proposal is targeted at Fedora Linux 42 anyway, so there’s a very long timeframe to figure things out.

I’m interested in the discussions and feedback this has generated as the KDE SIG lead and as a member of the Workstation WG. :smiley:


No need for putting words in my mouth Stephen or throwing shade.
What I “want”-ed was to learn about Linux and a privacy respecting OS, but what I needed was familiar touch points top help me grapple with a new learning environment and GNOME was far too alien of a UX to me as a long time computer user.

Wayland’s development has progressed really quickly during these past 2 years. Not just within KDE, but also in many other stakeholders.

We shouldn’t be judging KDE (or anyone else) over that timeframe when development is so quick. Especially on Fedora, where “First” is a value and fast-moving updates are a focus.

As of Plasma 6, Wayland is essentially the focus of development. X11 is nominally kept functional. This matches the status quo on GNOME.

As someone who closesly watches upstream developer in both GNOME and KDE Plasma, I can say that both are putting full focus in improving the functionality of their Wayland sessions. Being very competitive with who’s “first”. Both projects are highly competent, fast-moving and focused on the future.

Another example, this time pointing at GNOME. I always hated how Nautilus (File Explorer) did not let you type out filepaths directly in the bar without using a shortcut first, or how direct scanout was not handled correctly in most cases. All of these have been fixed on GNOME 46!

Both Plasma and GNOME have their own shortcomings and limitations. This is normal, Wayland only “really” began full-scale adoption a few years ago and a lot of development time had to be spent on getting the “basics” done. We’ve now arrived at a golden age where both GNOME and KDE can focus on refining and improving Wayland, while introducing new innovations which just weren’t feasible back in X11.


i can just speak out of my experience,
gnome with wayland worked out of the box with 4 external monitors
kde was a hassle to even get the external screens somehow working

its not that i dislike KDE or havn’t tried it…

some of the issues i had are still listed here Plasma/Wayland Known Significant Issues - KDE Community Wiki

Not even as of Plasma 6, but even earlier. The X11 session was put on feature freeze back in 2018.

I have HiDPI laptop with 15.6’’ display. Needless to say GNOME is no option for me. I don’t want to scale fonts and leave interactive objects as they are. GNOME just doesn’t support fractional scaling (until recently, xwayland left as it is). While KDE did with x11 and does with Wayland KWin.
I don’t find KDE Plasma “complex” too. You just install and use it like GNOME. Just because GNOME doesn’t demonstrate clearly to user customizations options they can use from dconf, doesn’t make Plasma “complex”. As I said, you just install and use it like you would do with GNOME. Customization is optional.
Enterprise uses GNOME due to it’s modularity and lack of need in fractional scaling. Improvements to modularity and SDDM are currently being addressed by the KDE developers. So it’s good that they will have a year before Fedora 42. We will be able to look at the situation again under better conditions. Fedora considered as public distribution, not enterprise from what I know. And now we have a situation where laptops occupy such a good market share. The variety of displays makes people curious about scaling options. I recently read an interesting thing in an article and I’ll try to quote it: “wayland developers were unable to predict the future and guess that laptops would be popular in the future.” This applies to a situation over 10+ years ago. I remind you that GNOME is considered to be completely session-oriented wayland.
To sum it up, my personal experience with GNOME and KDE Plasma 5-6 makes me think that the KDE team is more concerned about making DE accessible to a wide range of people.

PS I urge people with diseases not to write only about the presence of any disease, but to name specific accessibility features that they need to work comfortably with a PC. Name specific things for constructive dialogue.


Not sure if this has been discussed, but promoting the KDE Spin to a full-fledged edition along Workstation would (to me at least) seem like a solution that would feel the best for everyone. It wouldn’t change things for the folks that prefer GNOME (me included) and would offer more visibility to KDE and make it easier for those that want to use it to find it. Since our main edition isn’t called Fedora GNOME but Fedora Workstation it could just be a matter of naming the edition in a vague enough way. Like, keep Workstation as the idea for more work-focused machines, and have a “Fedora Casual” (obviously not proposing that name, but the idea of it) for a more customization-focused experience, promoting it as a more familiar experience for those that are coming from proprietary OSes (Windows, basically).


Yes, the argument for supporting Wayland is completely invalid considering that both do a great job not only supporting, but contributing upstream. There is no “better” here, there is a cyclicality between one finishing something that the other has not yet finished, but which is already a work in progress.


I do get what you’re saying. Plasma isn’t really “ahead” of GNOME with Wayland development. They’ve just given priority to different features. Whatever GNOME implements, Plasma will likely not be too far behind, and vice-versa.

(This obviously excludes a few… more heated topics, like server-side decorations, but that’s a can of worms I really don’t want to open.)

However, this by itself is a good argument for giving Plasma a bigger spotlight. If GNOME and KDE are equals, shouldn’t they be treated as such? :wink:


I think this is the way to go forward and I fully support it based on the arguments mentioned, also Gnome is way more rigid than KDE, Linux/Fedora is about giving full control to the user and Gnome is far from that. KDE is way more mature and can be tailored for any user so I think it fits Fedora more, 100% for. Thank you all.


They are the same in terms of being big projects with their ambitions, but I think the discussion goes much further than that. It’s positive that there is more marketing about KDE Spin, I just think that a project needs to have a concise focus and this is not about diminishing the quality of one DE or another.

so its invalid that one (in this case me) prefers a stable solution over a WIP solution? well than its invalid…

problems i had with gnome with wayland:

  • none

problems i had with kde plasma with wayland:

  • often when connecting or disconneting a monitor or change settings for a monitor, plasma session crashed or restarted, often rendered device unusable until reboot
  • screen sharing issues in teams and slack while in calls (really annoying, ‘do you see my screen, you should see this and this, is it frozen again?..’)
  • screen tearing on my WQHD laptop display

thats the 3 top issues I remember as core blocker, i dont want to mess with this, i just want a working environment, gnome delivered, kde did not

I would prefer it be withdrawn and write a new one that proposes to promote the KDE spin to an official edition, and if possible the installer for Workstation can let you select which edition of Workstation you would like to install. Honestly, the spins are pretty easy to find, so keeping KDE as a spin is not bad. If the Workstation WG doesn’t embrace taking on another DE what do you think the odds are of success in the existing proposal? Of course, if the WS WG are open to it, the logical thing would be to roll the KDE SiG into the WS WG since that group would be taking a double load I would think since the DE’s are quite different underneath as well as in appearance.

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I use GNOME and I also prefer it to continue like this and that’s why I emphasized the “concise focus”, however I also think that promoting the KDE spin a little is not a bad idea as long as it is within what is required of Fedora since this is the focus of all discussion.

Edit: other than that, I agree with absolutely everything @mattdm wrote.


well maybe i have misunderstood the discussion, thought it would be about ‘KDE default desktop environment for fedora - yes or no - instead of gnome’

if i can choose at install time between gnome and kde, i’m fine with everything

promoting kde as a spin i would also like
i also would say to have the choice at install time between kde and gnome is fine, as long as i’m able to choose which of them

what i’m not fine with is, making kde the default instead of gnome

You didn’t misunderstand the discussion. This only took other paths for obvious reasons™. haha

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For what it’s worth, from the DNF stats, share of systems by reported variant in /etc/os-release (with everything not Workstation or a desktop environment spin removed):

We can see a pretty steady gain in share for KDE, Xfce, and Cinnamon (although the share for Xfce and Cinnamon remains much smaller). This does not represent a decline in Workstation overall — that’s growing too, but the others are growing faster. (And Mate/Compiz isn’t declining; it’s basically flat.) Also, all of the various Atomic desktops, including Silverblue and Kinoite, are grouped into “other” here; they’re still at less than 1% overall.

One of the main reasons we wanted one primary answer originally is that we didn’t want to present new users with an overwhelming “choose your own adventure”, and we wanted to be able to say confidently that the one most likely chosen was also the one we vetted the most and felt would provide a “showcase” experience of Fedora overall.

From the numbers, it’s clear that KDE is experiencing quite a lot of success in Fedora as is, which is itself awesome. It’s also more than all of the other non-GNOME desktop variants combined.


As other people have said, Fedora Workstation GNOME and Workstation KDE would be a better idea IMO. The KDE edition can be advertised as something for Windows users, while the GNOME edition can be advertised as ‘a unique experience’.