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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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fagnerln 23 Jan
Quoting: no_information_here
Quoting: fagnerlnThis twilight theme is really beautiful! KDE breaks a bit too much IMO, but I'm for sure will try this with Wayland

I am curious, which things break for you? I run the stable Plasma 5.18 that comes with KDE Neon LTS and it seems pretty solid to me.

I had issues with Dolphin, I had a folder that crashes it, I don't know why, Nautilus, Nemo and Thunar opens it without problem. Had issues with baloo, sometimes works, but sometimes simply don't find anything and I had to recreate the database to maybe work. Discover which is IMO a bad joke as Gnome Software. And the most annoying is the theme support, Breeze is ok, but if change anything, it will appear some bug, mostly on GTK apps. Now with a nice default theme, I think that it will fix this problem.

I used it on OpenSUSE Tumbleweed, which is a rolling distro, maybe I had some bad luck, but I had problems with Baloo, Discover and with themes on it. After this I tried Kubuntu 19.10, it feels more stable, Baloo worked, Discover worked (but, argh...), but I've encountered bugs with Dolphin and again with themes.

I feel more comfortable with GTK, but for sure KDE has a lot of potential. To me XFCE is by far the best DE, it's stable and more customizable than the majority of DEs. But the problem is the slow development, I think that Wayland is a game changer, who knows when they will start to work with...
Bumadar 23 Jan
Quoting: KohlyKohl
Quoting: fagnerlnThis twilight theme is really beautiful! KDE breaks a bit too much IMO, but I'm for sure will try this with Wayland

Way too many times after updating packages my KDE will break in all sorts of fun ways. I've had this issue for years with every KDE distro and is a bad user experience.

Running tumbleweed since it was released, with kde and I have to say that kde breakage I can count on one hand....
slaapliedje 23 Jan
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Quoting: Bumadar
Quoting: KohlyKohl
Quoting: fagnerlnThis twilight theme is really beautiful! KDE breaks a bit too much IMO, but I'm for sure will try this with Wayland

Way too many times after updating packages my KDE will break in all sorts of fun ways. I've had this issue for years with every KDE distro and is a bad user experience.

Running tumbleweed since it was released, with kde and I have to say that kde breakage I can count on one hand....
Yeah breakage can happen from the strangest of places. Hell interference from some random thing can cause graphical glitches if you have a noisy sound card or something.

Computers are very complex, so unfortunately when one says "everything is busted!" And another says "everything works here" we can only really go by our own experiences on our own hardware, and try and help out to figure what the problematic one has going on with it where it isn't all shiny like it should be!
fagnerln 23 Jan
Quoting: Bumadar
Quoting: KohlyKohl
Quoting: fagnerlnThis twilight theme is really beautiful! KDE breaks a bit too much IMO, but I'm for sure will try this with Wayland

Way too many times after updating packages my KDE will break in all sorts of fun ways. I've had this issue for years with every KDE distro and is a bad user experience.

Running tumbleweed since it was released, with kde and I have to say that kde breakage I can count on one hand....

Like I said, probably a bad luck. I'm in love with their implementation of XFCE, but for sure I'll try 5.21 here... Well there's always a snapper to help
sudoer 24 Jan
Please stop spreading FUD, KDE (plasma) does not break your system nor it is bloated as a fellow user above wrote, pick a distro which provides a minimal install or plain plasma or know what you are doing with Linux in the first place.
slaapliedje 24 Jan
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Quoting: sudoerPlease stop spreading FUD, KDE (plasma) does not break your system nor it is bloated as a fellow user above wrote, pick a distro which provides a minimal install or plain plasma or know what you are doing with Linux in the first place.
Ha, I mean 'bloated' is a relative term. I think Ubuntu's default gnome is bloated.
People think Debian' gnome is bloated because they include Evolution instead of thunderbird.
Can't win 'em all.

I think KDE's problem has always been that they have so many options that you can easily (or it is easier anyhow) to get into a situation were things don't work quite right.
Gnome went the opposite way and trimmed out a lot of options. Crying shame we can't get some DE that is somewhere in the middle.
macOS are not any better in this either.
Dorrit 24 Jan
Quoting: slaapliedjeCrying shame we can't get some DE that is somewhere in the middle
I find recent Plasma 5 versions to be the perfect middle since you'll only tweak if you want, the out of the box experience is already quite good.
slaapliedje 24 Jan
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Quoting: Dorrit
Quoting: slaapliedjeCrying shame we can't get some DE that is somewhere in the middle
I find recent Plasma 5 versions to be the perfect middle since you'll only tweak if you want, the out of the box experience is already quite good.
I think the last time I loaded it up was 5.18? And it was still sort of a mess. It also depends on the distribution, some of them will take the raw DE stuff and tweak it for their users so it's a nicer set up. Debian is what I use and they tend to just package the stuff and you get what upstream feels is how things should be.

Ubuntu is a perfect example of this for gnome. Pop_OS does something similar, I just like their choice of how they do gnome a little bit better, it's also easier in Pop_OS to revert to a standard Gnome desktop than Ubuntu. I'm not sure how either of them handle KDE, as Kubuntu is it's own thing, and Pop_OS doesn't ship a KDE version, so I'm not sure how the packages for those work.

Another fun thing about the DEs is that for some reason if you don't use GDM with Gnome certain things don't work. KDE on the other hand doesn't seem to care if you're using sddm or lightdm or gdm. So KDE does have that going for it. I think GDM does load up something that makes power management(?) and a few other things work for Gnome.

I'll have to give KDE a try again if I can ever get away from my work laptop for long enough to give it a good try again :P
Lanz 24 Jan
Quoting: KorsMan, I love KDE.
Its getting better with time.

This is one thing that separates KDE from other platforms, eg Windows and macOS, and even Gnome. Future releases always leverage what was done well before and what is loved by users, rather than making changes that no one asked for and no one wants.
slaapliedje 24 Jan
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Quoting: Lanz
Quoting: KorsMan, I love KDE.
Its getting better with time.

This is one thing that separates KDE from other platforms, eg Windows and macOS, and even Gnome. Future releases always leverage what was done well before and what is loved by users, rather than making changes that no one asked for and no one wants.
Gnome has gotten better, but there have been people who are loud and complain about random feature that didn't work well before, or was coded poorly being ripped out. Like I think the desktop icons were done in some weird way that no one wanted to maintain and just needed to have an alternate method for doing, so they released an extension. I prefer a bare bones approach that can be built upon vs cramming everything out there and making a mess for dialogs (I've had to search online where the setting to change the clock to 12 hour mode in KDE in the past, something like that should be easier to discover, especially for someone who has been using computers most of their life). But yes, it seems once everyone decided we should have 3d accelerated desktops, all of the DEs seemed to have improved here and there.

Fun thing about that last bit, from my understanding, most modern GPUs don't have 2d acceleration anymore, so we're basically required to use the 3d bits to make them run decent. Hurts when you're trying to run on an older machine that only does 2D acceleration. but hey since most distributions are dropping 32bit support, I guess that isn't an issue?
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