Keen to kick the tyres on the next wave of KDE software? If so, check out a revamped experimental archive KDE neon developers recently announced.

Unstable builds of the Ubuntu-based KDE neon now include KDE Plasma 6 (which is under active development) but apps retooled/built using KDE Frameworks 6 (considered pre-alpha quality at the time of writing) are being more cautiously previewed, siloed in a dedicated archive.

Apps using KDE Frameworks 6 (Credit: KDE neon)

To be clear here: you can sample, test, and use KDE Plasma 6 in KDE neon Unstable builds without this archive (as I understand it). But if you want — and want is the important qualifier here — to test apps leveraging KDE Frameworks 6 you need to “opt-in” by adding this new experimental PPA.

This “nicely segregates the pre-alpha KF6 apps from the more stable Plasma 6 desktop”.

Helpfully, neon devs have made this easy by making a new package (neon-settings-experimental) available to install on existing KDE neon Unstable install.

This “…installs neon-experimental.list to point to the experimental archive and 99-jammy-overrides-experimental which adds a pin to make the experimental archive package always be installed,” they say.

In need of more deets? You’ll find ’em over in the KDE neon blog post announcing this archive (which has full instructions on how to enable the experimental archive and, crucially, disable it should you get bitten by too many bugs).

There’s no fixed date on when KDE Plasma 6 (and its accompanying stacks) will be released, but there’s a hope it’ll happen in early 2024. Before then you can expect a few betas – and plenty of blog posts showcasing the changes the uplift brings.

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