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KDE releases the Plasma 5.20 desktop - just as beautiful as ever

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Plasma is arguably one of the prettiest Linux desktop environments around, and it's highly configurable too. The KDE team just released a huge upgrade with Plasma 5.20. This is a massive release that upgrades all parts of the Plasma desktop.

Fans of Wayland which is gradually replacing X.Org, compatibility continues being a focus and they've managed to make more steps as of this release. They mentioned that since 2019 they set a priority goal to adapt everything to support Wayland and it's "starting to pay off big time" now. As of this release middle-click paste with the Klipper clipboard app now works, plus the launcher/search tool KRunner now shows up correctly. Mouse and Touchpad support is getting close to being on par with X too, screencasting is now supported and more. Lots of steps taken.

That's just the under-the-hood stuff, tons of user-facing changes and improvements can be found across the whole desktop like the task manager being icon-only by default. A nicer default I think, as grouped icons look great and save precious space.

There's also new on-screen displays when you perform various actions like adjust volume, the system tray pop up now uses a grid rather than a list which looks a huge amount better, the digital clock widget is a bit more compact and has the date by default, the ALT keybind to hold and then drag windows around was moved to the Super key (also known as the "Windows" key) which is a nicer default with so many games needing the ALT key it was a common interference and the list of subtle improvements goes on for some time. Little things add up, and sane defaults are seriously important.

You can also find a newer Plasma Disks application which will add storage drive S.M.A.R.T monitoring directly into your System Settings — nice!

Check out their new release video:

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See the release announcement here. Full changelog here.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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24 comments
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Nezchan 13 Oct
I played around with Plasma in a VM not that long ago, and I found that it was a really pretty desktop with really ugly widgets to make it functional.

Seemed to work fine otherwise though. Not really sold on the idea of switching to it.
Not sure if it's the compositor or sddm or what, but for some reason games just feel like they run better on KDE. Have not benchmarked and purely going on feels here.
Been a long time since I gave KDE a shot; I should think about having another look.
Nezchan 13 Oct
As an aside, whoever made that video needs to know that a borderless white font in front of a white window, even with the light gray bar, is almost unreadable. I gave up partway through the video because I was squinting so much.
TheSHEEEP 13 Oct
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I used to use Plasma, but for the second time now, this ancient, still unfixed bug where the kwin_x11 process just continues to hog up CPU until 100% (making the entire system unresponsive) has occurred - and once it does, only fresh install will fix it.

In the end, I just switched to Cinnamon. Not quite as pretty, but a hell of a lot more reliable.
appetrosyan 13 Oct
Quoting: rustybroomhandleNot sure if it's the compositor or sddm or what, but for some reason games just feel like they run better on KDE. Have not benchmarked and purely going on feels here.

It's a bit of everything. KWin is the most advanced compositor, I've come across, second only to sway and river. The reason why you get better feel may be due to the driver stack being a monolithic C++ library, plus some nice stuff, like unredirect by default and being able to disable the entire compositing stack with a key combo.

You can get a similar experience on BSPWM, and Sway, and to a much more experimental extent on river, but not on Compiz (XFCE, unity), Metacity forks (Cinnamon, Mate, XFCE, Gnome), Clutter (Gnome) or OpenBOX.
Termy 13 Oct
Quoting: rustybroomhandleNot sure if it's the compositor or sddm or what, but for some reason games just feel like they run better on KDE. Have not benchmarked and purely going on feels here.
I agree - but only until you try kwin-lowlatency xD

KDE is still my favorite by a long shot. I just hope this icon-only task manager crap will not be the only option in the future ^^
Dorrit 13 Oct
Quoting: TermyI just hope this icon-only task manager crap will not be the only option in the future ^^
I much prefer the classic task manager too.
Bladeforce 13 Oct
Quoting: Dorrit
Quoting: TermyI just hope this icon-only task manager crap will not be the only option in the future ^^
I much prefer the classic task manager too.

Change it back to the classic task manager its not difficult. Options is always the way to go


Last edited by Bladeforce on 13 October 2020 at 7:43 pm UTC
tuubi 13 Oct
Quoting: appetrosyanYou can get a similar experience on BSPWM, and Sway, and to a much more experimental extent on river, but not on Compiz (XFCE, unity), Metacity forks (Cinnamon, Mate, XFCE, Gnome), Clutter (Gnome) or OpenBOX.
Just a small correction: Neither Xfce's compositing window manager Xfwm nor Compton (probably the most popular replacement compositor among Xfce users) are Metacity forks.
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