KDE Plasma 6 Looks to Bring Basic HDR Support

May 25, 2023

The KWin piece of KDE Plasma now has HDR support and color management geared for the 6.0 release.

When KDE Plasma 6.0 finally lands, users will find that HDR support has finally arrived. Because 4k screens are becoming the norm, HDR (High Dynamic Range) support has become a necessity.

With HDR, video content can be pushed well beyond the limits of the now outdated standards media outlets have held onto for decades. Support for HDR in KDE Plasma 6.0 came by way of an HDR hackfest that was organized by Red Hat in May 2023 as well as the Plasma Sprint.

KDE Plasma 6.0 will only offer HDR support for Wayland sessions, which, according to KDE developer Nate Graham, "lays the groundwork for color management on Wayland."

You can read a very in-depth post, written by KDE developer Xaver Hugl, about HDR and color management in KWin. In his post, Hugl says, "We didn’t do a lot of hacking at the hackfest, but I did manage to drive an HDR screen with a wide color gamut and with HDR mode enabled while having KWin do the required color conversions to make SDR content look correct."

One thing to keep in mind is that, with KDE Plasma 6, Wayland will be the default display manager.

Also, according to Hugl, HDR support will be "quite basic at first." Because of that, users won't be able to jump in and immediately watch videos or play games in HDR. The development team has a long road ahead of them before HDR support in Linux matures.


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