KDE neon Rebasing on Ubuntu Noble

The new Ubuntu LTS was released in April, congratulations to all involved with that. I know Scarlett worked hard to get Kubuntu back into shape so do if that a try if you want a stable Plasma 5 desktop.

In the KDE neon project we don’t like to sit still for long so we are now building all our KDE packages on Ubuntu Noble, versioned 24.04. This always takes longer than it feels like it should, mostly because it’s a moving target to keep everything compiled as more KDE software gets released, so no promises on when it’ll be ready but we’ll try to be fast because the old Ubuntu base of jammy (22.04) is showing its age with projects like Krita no longer able to compile there.

So far the main issues are all the changes needed for 64-bit time_t to fix the y2k38 problem, we know you wouldn’t want your clocks to zero out in 2038.

KDE neon Post-Plasma 6 Updates Review

The goal of KDE neon is to build all KDE’s software on a stable Ubuntu LTS base, we do it in an automated way and for the User edition have automated QA to deploy rapidly but safely. For the KDE 6 Megarelease there was a lot of updates and the system didn’t work as well as it ought, not all the update issues could be tested and this broke some the operating system on some people’s computer which is a horrible experience that should not happen.

What happened?

We were testing KF6, Plasma 6 and KDE Gear 24.04 in our unstable and testing repos for some time before the release. A week ahead of release we were building it in our User repo and testing upgrades. Jonathan, as release manager for both the MegaRelease and neon, travelled to Malaga to do an in person joint release with Paul from promo, this helped the coordinated release but lost some testing time. Some package transitions happened during the pre-release week which made the updates more complex than they had to be and meant extra work (for better end result in theory). Once the MegaRelease sources were published on Thursday the testing of Neon was ongoing and many later fixes were made to make for a successful upgrade on the tests. Neon’s KF6/Plasma6/KDE Gear 24.02 packages were published later on Thursday and Jonathan drove home, alas due to bad weather there was no internet available on the ferry limiting later fixes.

Although the semi automated upgrade tests passed this didn’t cover all cases and some people had incomplete upgrades due to packaging transitions being incomplete. This was fixed over the next day or two and also an update to the installer Calamares was brought in which turned out to have a bug with the final install setup so although upgrades now worked the ISO installs were broken. Quite horrible.

On the Monday Jonathan fixed some more upgrade issues and Calamares so the neon end of things was fixed but there remain other problems with KF6 and Plasma 6 which affect all distros and many of these have since been fixed and some are ongoing, many caused by the switch to Wayland or Akonadi switching to sqlite.


There wasn’t one big problem that caught everyone. There was lots of small but significant problems which caught many people.

  • KMyMoney package issues – needed a rebuild which we did after release
  • Ocean sound theme not installed – new package which was added after release
  • Palapeli packages in wrong location – an incomplete change that was made during the transition
  • Video and pdf thumbnailers broken – these packages needed added to the main install
  • KOrganizer had invalid dependency – that needed removed
  • xwaylandvideobridge error on shared library – needed a rebuild
  • libzxing needs soname bump – that transition needed completed
  • akonadi not working on upgrade – for some reason some users had to manually reinstall the mysql akonadi backend
  • Calamares install fails to happen – a bug from Calamares that was initially avoided but later included in our ISO
  • OEM mode no longer worked – this affects Slimbook systems and some parts just needed ported to Plasma 6, ideally it would be code which was in Calamares and not in Neon

NVidia users had a number of issues often caused by the switch to Wayland. Most users can switch back to X11 to get it working but that is hardly a user friendly setup.

This is just a small sample, there were more similar issues.


Neon is a small team, Jonathan working on it (alongside release duties for Plasma and Frameworks) from Blue Systems and top volunteer helper Carlos with occasionally Harald and others helping out.

We had a review with KDE’s QA star Nate of what happened and why and mitigations and we also had two open calls with neon community members where they gave their feedback.


The Plasma 6 and KF6 upgrades in neon were too fragile and caused too much pain for many of our users.

There wasn’t one single problem and many people had a perfectly good experience doing the upgrade but too many people were caught with problems which will be painful when you are just wanting to have a useful Linux system.


Our constantly rolling release model and small team means we can’t guarantee total stability so we will stop using terms like “rock solid base” on our website and emphasise the new-ness factor.

When doing big updates test and if travelling bring in other people to do testing and fixes.

We can’t support NVidia hardware as we don’t have the skills, time, hardware or access to source to fix it.

Switching to Wayland was a choice of Plasma and after a decade in development a necessary choice but we should be aware of issues there and communicate those.

Get more QA on ISO images, currently we don’t have any prior to release which is going to lead to problems.

Consider if we can to upgrade QA on older snapshots as well as the current one.

Consider how to do more QA on KDE PIM apps.

Thanks to all our lovely users for staying with us, sorry to those who we let down and those who have left us. Thanks to our community for staying supporting of each other and us as developers. Of course there’s plenty of alternatives if you want a slower release cycle (Kubuntu have just made a new LTS with Plasma 5) but if you want the freshest software from KDE then neon continues to be a great place to get it.

KDE neon Open Door Chat

We’re a few weeks after the KDE 6 Megarelease and while many people have it working well there were too many problems in KDE neon’s rollout.

We’ll be hosting two Open Door Chats on KDE meet tomorrow (Tue 16 April) where users can talk to the developers to talk about any problems you had.

https://meet.kde.org/b/jon-0yw-xqi-sk6 The access code will be posted on the KDE neon Telegram group and Matrix room or e-mail jr@jriddell.org for it

Chats at 09:00 UTC (10:00 BST, 11:00 CEST) and 19:00 UTC (20:00 BST, 21:00 CEST) Tue 16 April 2024

KDE neon 6 Available Now

Today KDE has made its biggest release ever, never before in the 25 year history of the project have we announced so many new products at the same time but it brings the newly refreshed base to keep our software foundation strong.

KDE neon User edition has now been updated with KDE Frameworks 6, Plasma 6 and all the apps from KDE Gear 24.02. You can upgrade through Discover or grab the newest installable ISO build.

If you just want to give it a try then give the Docker images a go.

Many thanks to Carlos, Harald and Jonathan for making this Neon release, to the 100s of KDE developers for writing the software and to Augustin and Paul for hosting the release sprint in Malaga.

The Neon Powered Gears are Working on Plasma 6

It’s high tension in Neon towers this week as the distro packagers have been given access to the source tars for Plasma 6 along with Frameworks 6 and KDE Gear 24.02. This means our cloud of build servers have been powered up to compile them into .deb packages which go into our Apt archive. In principle we already have the packaging working in Unstable and Testing edition so it should be a case of just doing a fresh build in User edition but it involves several hundred source builds all done for the three editions and for libraries and plugins (such as KIO Workers) many of them twice over, once for Qt 6 and once for Qt 5 builds. So lots of bits which need aligned. Frameworks completed yesterday morning and this morning it looks like all of Plasma is built. The KDE Gear apps are churning away now. We’ll then need to tests it all including many configurations of upgrade to make sure it doesn’t break your laptops. The releases are due on Wednesday and with any luck we will have Neon builds available very shortly after, but of course we’ll wait until it’s ready if that’s what we have to do. It’ll be just a normal upgrade available to Discover but of course with a large number of packages to download. Who’s excited?

KDE’s 6th Megarelease with KDE neon Testing Edition

KDE’s 6th Megarelease is the is-it-tacky-is-it-awesome name we came up with for the combined release of KDE Frameworks 6, Plasma 6 and KDE Gear’s bundle of apps and libraries. It’s out in a month’s time and it’s the porting of all our libraries and many of our apps to Qt 6. In principle this makes no difference to end users but we still like to make a song and dance about it and there will be new features and old cruft removed which allows for accelarated new features to come shortly. But first it needs testing. So download KDE neon Testing Edition which is build with the Git branches of the soon to be released products and install it either on hardware if you can or on something like Virtualbox (mind on Virtualbox you need to turn on “Enable 3D Accelaration” in Display settings because it uses Wayland, you should also turn on “EFI Special OSes only” if only to feel special).

Many thanks to Carlos and the others who have worked hard to get everything here.

KDE neon Plasma 6 ISOs

KDE neon unstable edition is running Plasma 6 and is your ideal way to test the next version of our lightweight but powerful Linux desktop.

Currently it looks near identical to the Plasma 5 builds (hopefully a banner will be added shortly).

One obvious bug is visible in the panel above where items which should be aligned to the right are not, that’s easy to work around until it gets fixed. There’s many more bugs but considering this is an early port using unreleased frameworks it’s mostly useable, especially now the worst of the overlapping kf5/kf6 packages are sorted.

The Plasma bits such as System Settings are all Qt 6 and pre-KF6, so are Konsole and Dolphin but the rest is Qt 5 and there’s still some integration issues to be worked out.

So take care, don’t give it to your friends or family, but do give it a test and let us know what breaks.

Neon Unstable now using Qt 6 Builds of Frameworks and Plasma

KDE neon unstable edition is built from git master. For the last few weeks we have frozen the published repo because we knew the move to Qt 6 based builds of KDE Frameworks and Plasma would break install. They will still break install but now is the time to give it a try. It is vitally important to update your neon-settings-2 package first because the Qt 5 and 6 builds have overlapping files and this will allow that.

pkcon refresh
pkcon install neon-settings-2
pkcon update

or if you prefer apt

apt update
apt install neon-settings-2
apt full-upgrade

This is very early stage development. Almost everything is super broken from a user perspective, and it may not be useful to get 500 bug reports about every little thing so tread carefully. For any bug reports you do report add `qt6` tag.

Best of luck!

KDE neon Docker Images now in KDE Invent Container Registry

KDE neon has long had Docker images so you can run the latest KDE software without the faff of an operating system install. We’ve just moved the host for these into the KDE Invent server.


You can get the neondocker script to run them


or manually you can get it with

docker pull invent-registry.kde.org/neon/docker-images/plasma:unstable
xhost +
docker run -ti -v /tmp/.X11-unix:/tmp/.X11-unix -v ~/src:/home/neon/src -e DISPLAY=:0 invent-registry.kde.org/neon/docker-images/plasma:unstable konsole