Top 5 Linux Distributions to Try the KDE Plasma 6 Desktop Right Now - 9to5Linux (2024)

With the KDE Plasma 6 out in the world, here’s my list of the top 5 GNU/Linux distributions that offer the latest Plasma desktop environment out of the box, for those of you who want to use it right now.

KDE Plasma 6 was officially released on February 28th, 2024, and brings Wayland and Qt 6 support by default, a new Overview effect, initial HDR support, color blindness correction filters, a floating panel by default, a refreshed Breeze theme, reorganized Settings, 3D desktop Cube effect, much-improved search, and more.

If you’re tired of waiting for your distro to package the KDE Plasma 6 desktop environment and want to use it right now on your personal computer, you’ll need to download and install GNU/Linux distributions that come with KDE Plasma 6 pre-installed by default, so here’s my top 5 list.

1. KDE neon

KDE neon is derived from Ubuntu LTS releases but follows a rolling release model for KDE software, which means that you’ll get access to the latest Plasma releases as soon as possible. Being maintained by a prominent KDE developer, KDE neon is the recommended distro for trying out the latest Plasma releases.

The User Edition of KDE neon is what you want to download right now if you want to use the latest KDE Plasma 6 desktop environment on your personal computer. KDE neon uses the popular Calamares project as its default graphical installer for installing the distro on your PC.

Top 5 Linux Distributions to Try the KDE Plasma 6 Desktop Right Now - 9to5Linux (1)

2. openSUSE Tumbleweed

openSUSE Tumbleweed also offers a rolling release model, but for the whole distro, which means that you install once and receive updates forever. It offers regular ISO snapshots that you can download and install on your PC with the very latest KDE software releases.

openSUSE Tumbleweed uses the RPM package management system and offers an advanced, in-house graphical installer for tech-savvy users. Go to the “Alternative Downloads” section on the download page below to get the latest KDE LiveCD ISO image.

Top 5 Linux Distributions to Try the KDE Plasma 6 Desktop Right Now - 9to5Linux (2)

3. KaOS Linux 2024

KaOS Linux is an independently developed GNU/Linux distribution that offers a unique take on the KDE Plasma 6 desktop environment. The latest release, KaOS 2024.03, comes with the latest Plasma 6 updates pre-installed, as well as the KDE Gear 24.02 and KDE Frameworks 6 software suites.

KaOS Linux follows a rolling-release model as well and, just like KDE neon, it also uses the Calamares graphical installer to provide users with a great and painless installation experience. While it comes with a custom desktop layout and theme, KaOS Linux promises a pure Plasma 6 desktop experience.

Top 5 Linux Distributions to Try the KDE Plasma 6 Desktop Right Now - 9to5Linux (3)

4. TUXEDO OS

Derived from the latest Ubuntu LTS release, TUXEDO OS is optimized for TUXEDO hardware but you can install it on any other computer without issues. It also uses the Calamares graphical installer and lets you choose between X11 and Wayland sessions right from the start.

TUXEDO OS features a dark style by default, which I have to admit that it looks very sleek. It also comes with the Mozilla Firefox web browser pre-installed as a DEB package for a performance boost, support for Web Apps, and a great selection of default apps.

Top 5 Linux Distributions to Try the KDE Plasma 6 Desktop Right Now - 9to5Linux (4)

5. CachyOS

CachyOS is a user-friendly and highly-optimized Linux distribution based on Arch Linux, which means that it also follows a rolling-release model and offers regular ISO snapshots with the latest KDE Plasma 6 desktop environment with the Wayland display server by default.

It also uses the Calamares graphical installer, rebased for Qt 6 to better integrate with the Plasma 6 desktop, promising a seamless installation process. CachyOS also offers a wide range of customization options to personalize your Plasma 6 desktop experience, has its own Firefox fork called Cachy Browser, and uses a dark style by default too.

Top 5 Linux Distributions to Try the KDE Plasma 6 Desktop Right Now - 9to5Linux (5)

Honorable mentions

1. NuTyX GNU/Linux

NuTyX GNU/Linux is a flexible and complete distribution targeting advanced or motivated users. It includes some unique features you’ll only find in NuTyX GNU/Linux, such as its own CARDS package manager, allowing you to install packages from their sources, which will be integrated natively into the system.

NuTyX GNU/Linux comes with no less than 14 flavors, including a dedicated and live KDE Plasma image that has now been updated to the latest KDE Plasma 6 desktop environment series. The live ISO features both X11 and Wayland sessions and offers a pure KDE Plasma 6 desktop experience.

Top 5 Linux Distributions to Try the KDE Plasma 6 Desktop Right Now - 9to5Linux (6)

2. EndeavourOS

EndeavourOS is a GNU/Linux distribution based on Arch Linux. Just like upstream, it uses a rolling release model where you install once and receive updates forever. EndeavourOS also features Calamares as the default graphical installer for a smooth Arch Linux installation experience.

EndeavourOS always shipped with Xfce as the default desktop environment for the live session, but it recently switched to KDE Plasma. The latest EndeavourOS Gemini release finally upgrades to the KDE Plasma 6 desktop environment series while keeping the default and minimalist EndeavourOS look.

Top 5 Linux Distributions to Try the KDE Plasma 6 Desktop Right Now - 9to5Linux (7)

3. Fedora Linux KDE Plasma Spin

Fedora Linux deserves no introduction as it’s one of the most popular GNU/Linux distributions, used by millions of computer users on a wide range of hardware. It’s not a rolling release like many in this list, but its uniqueness is that it always offers users the latest and greatest software releases.

The latest release, Fedora Linux 40, comes with the latest KDE Plasma 6 desktop environment by default for the Fedora KDE Plasma Spin, featuring a dark style for the floating panel and applications menu, but a light style for apps. It looks great and it is probably one of the best KDE Plasma 6 distributions out there.

Top 5 Linux Distributions to Try the KDE Plasma 6 Desktop Right Now - 9to5Linux (8)

4. Garuda Linux

Garuda Linux is yet another Arch Linux-based distribution and it’s been recently updated to include the latest KDE Plasma 6 desktop environment in the flagship Dr460nized editions. However, Garuda Linux is the only distro on this list to offer a unique Plasma 6 look that doesn’t resemble the official look and feel.

Like many on this list, Garuda Linux uses Calamares as the default graphical installer and comes with lots of bling-bling and exclusive tools, as well as numerous other editions that include popular graphical environments like GNOME, Xfce, Cinnamon, Sway, Hyprland, i3, and others.

Top 5 Linux Distributions to Try the KDE Plasma 6 Desktop Right Now - 9to5Linux (9)

Last updated 2 months ago

Top 5 Linux Distributions to Try the KDE Plasma 6 Desktop Right Now - 9to5Linux (10)

Top 5 Linux Distributions to Try the KDE Plasma 6 Desktop Right Now - 9to5Linux (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Merrill Bechtelar CPA

Last Updated:

Views: 5594

Rating: 5 / 5 (70 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Merrill Bechtelar CPA

Birthday: 1996-05-19

Address: Apt. 114 873 White Lodge, Libbyfurt, CA 93006

Phone: +5983010455207

Job: Legacy Representative

Hobby: Blacksmithing, Urban exploration, Sudoku, Slacklining, Creative writing, Community, Letterboxing

Introduction: My name is Merrill Bechtelar CPA, I am a clean, agreeable, glorious, magnificent, witty, enchanting, comfortable person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.