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Plasma, the desktop environment from the KDE team has a big new upgrade coming with the release of Plasma 5.21 Beta and it's looking to be a thing of beauty.

Their current aim with Plasma 5.21 is to finely polish the experience overall, with the KDE team saying it pulls in "many improvements into Plasma’s design, utilities and themes, with the aim of providing end users with a more pleasant and accessible environment".

Plasma 5.21 will bring with it a redesigned application launcher, theme improvements, a brand new UI for the Plasma System Monitor, Plasma Firewall settings added to the overall system settings to let you configure both UFW and firewalld, plenty of UI cleaning done on system settings and much more.

It's big in many areas, not just design tweaks, with a big plan in progress to have KDE push for first-class Wayland support with KWin. They say that Plasma 5.21 "makes great headway to reach that goal". KWin, the compositor, has been "extensively refactored" and so you should see reduced latency throughout the entire stack.

Also available are mixed refresh rate setups with Wayland and Plasma 5.21. So now you can have one set at 144HZ and another at 60Hz and things won't bug out on you, and they say that early support for "multiple GPUs was also added on Wayland". Other Wayland interactions got improved too like virtual keyboard supporting GTK apps, along with many other Plasma components and KDE apps being more ready for Wayland.

Love a mix of dark and light themes? They have you covered there too with the introduction of Breeze Twilight as an official theme. It will give a dark theme for Plasma directly while mixing in light styles for applications. I must admit, it does look pretty good in they shot they showed off:

See the release announcement here.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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37 comments
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TheRiddick 23 Jan
what happens when you install things like skype? does it screw up the task manager click zone still? bet it does.
DerpFox 23 Jan
What I never like with KDE and their app is how bloated they are. You can't install KDE without it coming with everything, and you can't install one kde soft on a another DE without them installing half of kde.

I really love a lot of kde softwares, but now I tend to use a less interesting alternative because I don't want all that bloat. For example, Okular is my favourite PDF reader, but it loads so much.


Last edited by DerpFox on 23 January 2021 at 2:36 am UTC
TheRiddick 23 Jan
Quoting: DerpFoxWhat I never like with KDE and their app is how bloated they are.

You can remove allot of KDE components, are you talking about System Settings? You don't like all the options in there?

KDE Plasma5 is actually less bloat then quite a few others these days, in the sense it runs better and more coherent.
bingus 23 Jan
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Quoting: TheRiddickwhat happens when you install things like skype? does it screw up the task manager click zone still? bet it does.

While I'm not exactly sure what you mean... I can't say I've experienced anything too weird with Skype, personally.
TheRiddick 23 Jan
Quoting: bingusWhile I'm not exactly sure what you mean... I can't say I've experienced anything too weird with Skype, personally.

Skype taskbar click zone ends up being invisibly on top of the application start menu button, on my screen that is top-left, might follow the issue bottom-left if that is where you have the bar.
Quoting: DerpFoxWhat I never like with KDE and their app is how bloated they are. You can't install KDE without it coming with everything, and you can't install one kde soft on a another DE without them installing half of kde.

I really love a lot of kde softwares, but now I tend to use a less interesting alternative because I don't want all that bloat. For example, Okular is my favourite PDF reader, but it loads so much.
In a time when a full Linux install including all the major DEs is smaller than one sizable game, I find it hard to take bloat worries very seriously.
slaapliedje 23 Jan
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I don't mean to troll for sure, and as I haven't used KDE for more than a 'oh, it still requires me to search online how to set things the way I like them to be' it kind of amazes me that they only just added different refresh rates for monitors.

Granted on the one hand, it's kind of annoying when you have two identical monitors that you have to set both of them to the desired setting, but that's how Gnome has done it for quite a few releases. Or is the different refresh rates just on Wayland and Xorg had it before?
v3ntox 23 Jan
what about primary screen setup on Wayland? uses left in games.
tmtvl 23 Jan
Quoting: DerpFoxYou can't install KDE without it coming with everything, and you can't install one KDE soft on a another DE without them installing half of KDE.

If you have a system without any GTK libraries installed (which will be true with very few distros) and you want to install one GNOME app it will also pull in a sizeable number of dependencies.
cherrynuts 23 Jan
Quoting: tmtvl
Quoting: DerpFoxYou can't install KDE without it coming with everything, and you can't install one KDE soft on a another DE without them installing half of KDE.

If you have a system without any GTK libraries installed (which will be true with very few distros) and you want to install one GNOME app it will also pull in a sizeable number of dependencies.

so true. and installing kde minimal and then adding what you want isn't hard work. when a distro includes multiple kde apps above and beyond plasma, that's the fault of the distro and not kde. if you install os then plasma desktop I don't recall there being any bloat with arch. it's when people install plasma full or select one of the meta packages the fat returns. I think that's pretty similar to most if not all other de i have tried in last few years.
sorry for spelling/caps, broke pinky finger so minimal shift key
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