kde neon plasma session screenshot
Plasma running on Wayland

Wayland is installed by default in the latest builds of KDE Neon Developer Edition.

The Ubuntu-based software stack — it doesn’t like to be called a distribution, remember — is shipping the next-gen display server protocol as part of the default install for the unstable branch of its developer edition, whose software is built daily from Git.

There’s currently no indication as to whether the Wayland session will also be available by default in the (somewhat antithetically named) ‘stable developer edition’ images, much less the non-LTS/standard User Edition.

Making Wayland More Accessible Helps Improve It

In deciding to ship a Wayland session by default (even limited to just the unstable dev edition) means that a separate and dedicated Plasma Wayland ISO no longer needs to be maintained or developed.

Making Wayland more readily accessible to Plasma enthusiasts may help encourage wider testing, bug reports and contributions to improve and refine the experience of Plasma on Wayland.

But unlike Ubuntu, which plans to make Wayland the default session in Ubuntu 17.10, KDE Neon isn’t making it their default just yet, as project lead Jonathan Riddell explains:

“Wayland is pretty much ready to use but the reason we can’t switch to it by default is mostly that some obscure graphics cards may not work with it and it’s hard to implement a detection and fallback for this. The fonts may be a different size due to differences in the screen dots-per-inch detection and middle mouse button selection paste doesn’t yet work.”

Existing users of KDE Neon Developer Edition (Unstable) who want to try Plasma on Wayland can do so by selecting the Wayland session at the login screen and logging in as normal.

Those running a different version of KDE Neon can download the latest KDE neon Dev Unstable ISO from the KDE website.

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