A few days ago, fellow Qt/KDE team member Lisandro gave an update on the situation with migration to Plasma 5 in Debian Testing (AKA Stretch). It’s changed again. All of Plasma 5 is now in Testing. The upgrade probably won’t be entirely smooth, which we’ll work on that after the gcc5 transition is done, but it will be much better than the half KDE4 SC half Kf5/Plasma 5 situation we’ve had for the last several days.
The issues with starting kwin should be resolved once users upgrade to Plasma 5. To use the current kwin with KDE SC 4, you will need to add a symlink from /usr/bin/kwin to /usr/bin/kwin_x11. That will be included in the next upload after gcc5.
Systemsettings and plasma-nm now work.
In my initial testing, I didn’t see anything major that was broken. One user reported an issue with sddm starting automatically, but it worked fine for me. During the upgrade you should get a debconf prompt asking if you want to use kdm or sddm. Pick sddm.
When I tried to dist-upgrade, apt wanted to remove task-kde-desktop. I let it remove it and some other packages and then in a second step did apt-get install task-kde-desktop. That pulled it back in successfully along with adding and removing a reasonably large stack of packages. Obviously we need to make that work better before Stretch is released, but as long as you don’t restart KDE in between those two steps it should be fine. Lastely, I used apt-get autoremove to clear out a lot of no longer needed KDE4 things (when it asks if you want to stop the running kdm, say no).
Here are a few notes on terminology and what I understand of the future plans:
What used to be called KDE is now three different things (in part because KDE is now the community of people, not the software):
KDE Frameworks 5 (Kf5): This is a group of several dozen small libraries that as a group, roughly equate to what used to be kdelibs.
Plasma (Workspaces) 5: This is the desktop that we’ve just transitioned to.
Applications: These are a mix of kdelibs and Kf5 based applications. Currently in Testing there are some of both and this will evolve over time based on upstream development. As an example, the Kf5 based version of konsole is in Unstable and should transition to Testing shortly.
Finally, thanks to Maximiliano Curia (maxy on IRC) for doing virtually all of the packaging of Kf5, Plasma 5, and applications. He did the heavy lifting, the rest of us just nibbled around the edges to keep it moving towards testing.