HDR, one way or another

To mods: If this would be better in installation, hardware support, or customization, apologies—it seems somewhat relevant in each, but most fitting here to me.

So, as far as I can tell, for the time being getting HDR support on Linux requires KDE Plasma 6 and Wayland.

I am aware that Zorin doesn't include Plasma as one of its supported DEs (I've done my searching here and found threads with answers both helpful and not on that particular issue), and am more asking for input on the best route to get there. My options as I see them, are to abandon Zorin for a faster moving distribution or manually get Plasma 6 running on Zorin, with the realization that it isn't supported. I've done a fair bit of backing up and restoring while experimenting with both options, to no satisfactory result.

Nobara seems like the best fit for me as a gamer, BUT it hates me: installation always bungles the bootloader, leaving me at a GRUB prompt (prompt, not menu), and it consistently hangs on updates. Fedora-based, when I'm more comfortable as a Linux novice using Debian-based.

KDE Neon explicitly chases people to Kubuntu with warnings about potential instability, and Kubuntu as far as I know, is still on Plasma 5.

Then there's Arch based stuff:
EndeavourOS would get me there, but Arch seems like a very bad fit, both for a novice, and because there's simply less out there in AUR format. Manjaro has the same issues as EndeavourOS. On top of Arch specific issues, Garuda heavily customizes Plasma, and I'd rather adjust from zero than from who knows what. I've read that .deb files can be converted to .aur, but at the risk of broken dependencies. I'm a novice, but I dipped my toes in as far back as Slackware in '98, and remember the nightmare of broken dependencies all too well.

On top of all this, I rather like Zorin, aside from not being a fan of GNOME generally and wanting HDR support. So: I'm open to switching distributions if someone has a suggestion I've missed, but I'm more interested in what it would take to get Plasma 6 working on Zorin. I tried installing Plasma the obvious way (apt), which to no one's surprise got me KDE 5, and removing it didn't put GNOME's window manager back, leaving me a mess to clean up.

So... aside from "make a backup" (done), what's my step 1 in actually getting KDE Plasma 6 working? It's possible I've overlooked something, but KDE's link for installing it leads to a wiki page of distributions that include it. Or... am I just stuck waiting for Nobara to hate me less/Kubuntu to catch up/AUR to not put me off?

Use Fedora KDE, Ultramarine KDE, or Tuxedo OS (which uses the KDE desktop). That way, eventually you will get the latest KDE Plasma 6 desktop one way or another. Fedora is already on it and so is Tuxedo OS.

Tuxedo OS is much like KDE Neon but more stable. Tuxedo OS 3 uses the Ubuntu LTS base (currently still on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS) and the latest KDE Plasma 6. It's a good combination.

Fedora KDE Plasma

Ultramarine KDE Plasma (based on Fedora)

Tuxedo OS 3 KDE Plasma (based on Ubuntu)

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Welcome to the Forum!

Yes, Kubuntu is on Plasma 5 because Plasma 6 came it bit too late. If I remember right Plasma 6 wil come with Kubuntu 24.10. But KDE Neon should be a good Alternative. You have an Ubuntu LTS Base with an up-to-date Plasma Desktop.

I mean, Plasma 6 is new. So, it is not surprising that there are some Problems with that. And because it is new that is the Reason why some Stuff maybe not working so good - like Themes or Icons.

I would suggest that You test KDE neon - maybe as a Dual Boot.

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On my oldest Del laptop - 12 years old - I have dual boot Zorin 17 Pro running their traditional version of the KDE Plasma environment - it's fine - really like it - not too different from the KDE Neon I have on the other half. They actually follow a path simular to Zorin's in their ubuntu suporting structure. I consider them Zorin - lite in that reguard - lol. Timeshift has been an easy correction for any glitches in either system with nothing lost. I really don't see that big a difference between the two, so prefer Zorin with it's host of options that make it so workable. Still - I keep Neon as my back up os, because the few times I glitched an update - a timeshift later - and it's as if nothing happened. The secret being keeping a current 15 or so back ups - lol - for either. Neon is really nice for customizing, and it's true in Zorin I've had to find an extra step now and again to get the same effect from the older version that is one step in the new. The trade for that extra Zorin stability doesn't bother me, but I still really like the integration of the Plasma 6 desktop. So I keep it as a back up.

I gave Fedora KDE and Tuxedo OS a look last night (passed on Ultramarine as it's not yet on KDE 6). Thanks, @C141ZorinOS. I was really impressed with Tuxedo, except that I hit some of the typing lag I've heard about in Wayland, strangely only in Discord. Other than that, I think it might even have a better OOBE than Zorin, which I find impressive. (Despite this thread, I actually really do like Zorin; but I've got a 4090 for a reason and want to kill my Windows boot.) I couldn't toggle on HDR, which I think I pinned down to not having Gamescope installed, which is the next thing I'll investigate I suppose. I hope the flatpak will work for non-flatpak launchers; I do not want to have to compile the thing.

Fedora KDE got... I wouldn't say disqualified entirely, but the desktop environment hung while I was still in the live USB environment looking at it. Not a good first impression.

I do still want to try getting KDE Plasma 6 going with Zorin if possible, and would appreciate any thoughts on that process. I probably overlooked something obvious, but didn't even see anyplace to get packages mentioned on KDE's site. I communicated it poorly in my first post, but that's what I was referring to when I said they link to distributions including it: I didn't find any information about getting Plasma 6 on its own to apply to [insert distro here]. Anyone know where I failed to look?

My understanding based on KDE Plasma 5 is that if I can find the packages, it should mostly be:

  • Install packages, set window manager (menu driven during package install)
  • make a new user to start free of any settings carryover from GNOME
  • reboot and migrate myself to the new user account

Am I missing anything? I'm basing the new user part on something I read regarding the easy and hard ways to remove KDE customizations from Garuda (How to un-Dr460nize KDE - FAQ and Tutorials - Garuda Linux Forum). I don't actually have experience here, other than installing Plasma 5 on Zorin and having it make a mess with carryover from GNOME and stuff it messed up in GNOME afterward, and am assuming the above would work around that.

Thanks also, @Ponce-De-Leon and @ERZ for suggesting I try KDE Neon. Given how clearly they push people toward Kubuntu for daily driving, I'm surprised to see it spoken of so well. I'll keep it in my back pocket in case things don't pan out with Tuxedo or getting it on Zorin, as I'm genuinely impressed by both. (And while this is my first thread, I've lurked here a bit and like this community. It's one more reason I'd like to stick with Zorin if I can make HDR work with it.)

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Few things to remember about KDE Plasma 6 for now anyway until something changes.

Fedora, for me, always has a bug of some kind. I want to like Fedora but it will work great for a time and fail miserably at some point. I have tried using Fedora half a dozen times and something negative always happens.

Then I stumbled upon Ultramarine. They lag behind Fedora for a more stable experience. That was the first time Fedora just worked right, for me at least. They will get Plasma 6 in about a month or so since they wait to make sure the experience is stable.

So far, Plasma 6 has been fantastic on Tuxedo OS. I can't find anything I dislike yet. I thought they would wait longer to release it along with the newer Ubuntu 24.04 LTS base but they updated the desktop first. Eventually soon they will get 24.04 I am guessing.

Regarding KDE Neon. I think they have a few different versions - stable and testing or something like that. With Neon, it is just a testbed to show what KDE Plasma is all about. It's not supposed to be a real distribution and thus why they push people to the real distributions like Kubuntu. Mileage can vary depending on use-case and hardware.

Forgot to mention a few others to try but not sure if they have released Plasma 6. Solus is back for now as a possible reliable independent rolling release. I was a big fan of Solus for a while but then they started having issues with people, updates, and stability. But they seem to have found remedies to those problems. Their KDE was good back when I used it a few years back. Also, Manjaro, but they have had their quirks too.

I try to stay as close as possible to a stable Debian - just a preference. I use LMDE 6 with the Cinnamon desktop but also have Pop!_OS, Zorin Core, and Tuxedo on seperate SSDs.

Good luck whatever you decide.

EDIT: Neglected to mention that Kubuntu historically offers for the LTS versions at some point, a PPA that allows a back-port of the latest KDE Plasma desktop. The thought amoung many Kubuntu fans is that they will be able to back-port to Plasma 6 at some point between now and the 24.10 release in October. Or you can install the interim release starting with Kubuntu 24.10 when they expect to have Plasma 6 as a default. Kubuntu is a solid KDE distribution.

I ran Solus - Plasma 6 for a month or so, but switched back to Solus - Gnome. The issue with the lag on my end was I have a Nvidia card -_-.

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Yes, they have a stable Version; it is the user Version and two other's that are testing and unstable. Similar to Debian in kind of Way.

But that it isn't a real Distro I would disagree. They built on a LTS Base and put her up-to-date Desktop on it. Linux Mint makes the same with Cinnamon. Yes, they change more at the System, but the common Concept with an solid LTS Base and an up-to-date Desktop is the same. Kubuntu is in both Cases LTS: The Base AND the Desktop.

I would have an Idea what You could test. But I must say it is a stupid Idea. So, when You use Your Zorin System as a Daily Driver I would highly recommend NOT to do it.

My Idea is, to make it similar to that what KDE makes with KDE Neon. The System has the same Base like Zorin: Ubuntu 22 LTS. But because KDE built in her up-to-date Desktop they mus update it. And to do that they should have built in a Repo or Repo's for that.

So, You could put KDE Neon on an USB Stick and start it in Live Mode. And then You search for the Sources. Two Goals could be the sources.list File or the sources.list.d Folder. Maybe You have to install KDE Neon so that this Stuff is really there, I don't know.

But if You should find it, You could take a Look on it how it is called and then copy this and add it in Zorin to the Sources. But remember about the Signing Key for the Sources. You need that, too. So, You have to search that, too.

But there is another Point: Even when You can add the Source (or Sources) ... Then You have 2 Plasma Possibilities to install. And when You would install it in Terminal, it would probably install the Pasma Version from the normal Ubuntu Jammy Repo's. So, You need to set a higher Priority to the KDE Repo.

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That goes beyond my skill level a bit! Thanks for the suggestion; it actually does sound like an interesting way to learn more about the OS (in a manner not unlike dissecting a frog in biology class...), but since I was able to get HDR on Tuxedo OS' desktop, but not in games, even with gamescope, I think my chances of achieving my goal are vanishingly slim by any means, so I'm just going to sit and wait for Nobara 40 and retry that, or for any future developments I read about that give me a new angle of attack.

Thanks for the help, everyone. For now, I'll just have to keep the Windows partition for those rare games good looking enough to bother using it.

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Ultramarine 40 got released a few days ago. I am planning to download it at some point.

Yeah, I saw that on It's FOSS News. I'm not sure what it would accomplish toward HDR in games that Tuxedo didn't though. Plasma 6 on Wayland will get you HDR on your desktop, but there's something yet in the way of getting HDR in games. That's why my eyes are on Nobara, if a version is ever released that doesn't hate me: it's significantly tailored toward gaming. If you find Ultramarine runs games with HDR though, I'd love to know.

It may be a Wayland/X11 issue. I think Fedora is pushing for Wayland only but not sure if it is on Fedora 40 or 41. I know GNOME and KDE are vying to go Wayland only. I recall Tuxedos OS was on X11 but it did offer a choice and I don't remember what option I took. I am on my Windows laptop now so not sure until tomorrow.

It will come with Fedora 41.

I did use Wayland in Tuxedo OS, so that alone wasn't what prevented it and again, HDR worked on the desktop itself, just not in games. Like most Ubuntu derivatives, you can select X11 or Wayland from the window manager.