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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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v3ntox 24 Jan
Yep running plasma on debian sid and looking good and running too.
ronnoc 25 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.

Maybe you're using the wrong Distro(s) or have some wonky hardware? I've used KDE Neon since it came out (Testing Es. currently). In all these years now, the only breakage I've ever had was back when Discover was hella-buggy. Thecritical bugs are fixed now, and Discover is quite amazing!

I love the fact that, although I could use the command line for updates, Discover actually connects to the KDE Store - so it not only updates normal packages, it also updates the Snaps, Flatpaks, and theme and icon sets. Even wallpapers. It's truly a value add and just one example of why KDE is just amazing.
Quoting: fagnerlnI 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.
I find Dolphin the most powerful file manager in the linux world. I have tried working with other desktop environments (I try to be agnostic) but Dolphin is the main thing that prevents any long-term move. I haven't really had any issues with Dolphin for years and years.

My KDE themes all work seamlessly between GTK and QT apps. I do admit, though, that I don't use Baloo and I always uninstall Discover and just use Synaptic.

Quoting: ronnocI love the fact that, although I could use the command line for updates, Discover actually connects to the KDE Store - so it not only updates normal packages, it also updates the Snaps, Flatpaks, and theme and icon sets. Even wallpapers. It's truly a value add and just one example of why KDE is just amazing.

Interesting. Maybe I should try it out again. It has been a number of years.
KohlyKohl 25 Jan
Quoting: ronnoc
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.

Maybe you're using the wrong Distro(s) or have some wonky hardware? I've used KDE Neon since it came out (Testing Es. currently). In all these years now, the only breakage I've ever had was back when Discover was hella-buggy. Thecritical bugs are fixed now, and Discover is quite amazing!

I love the fact that, although I could use the command line for updates, Discover actually connects to the KDE Store - so it not only updates normal packages, it also updates the Snaps, Flatpaks, and theme and icon sets. Even wallpapers. It's truly a value add and just one example of why KDE is just amazing.

It is not the distro as I've used multiple distros with KDE and I've experienced the same issue on all distros.

The only common hardware that I have are NVidia cards on all of my hardware. Perhaps the NVidia proprietary driver is causing these issues I've been having after updates.
fagnerln 26 Jan
Quoting: no_information_hereI find Dolphin the most powerful file manager in the linux world. I have tried working with other desktop environments (I try to be agnostic) but Dolphin is the main thing that prevents any long-term move. I haven't really had any issues with Dolphin for years and years.

My KDE themes all work seamlessly between GTK and QT apps. I do admit, though, that I don't use Baloo and I always uninstall Discover and just use Synaptic.

Dolphin is great for sure, it's the manager with the most features, to be fair looks a bit too much, but this is customizable. I sadly found this bug with a folder, and one of the nicest feature is to search files, which uses baloo. So as you can imagine, I found 2 potential bugs in it.

Nautilus was awesome, but sadly every new version had less features. Thunar is ok, have less features but is pretty usable, isn't that stable, but not breaks a lot too. Nemo is the FM that I used less, but feels good, like the good old nautilus.

About the themes, I use a lot GIMP, and every dark theme that I tried, had problems in it.


Last edited by fagnerln on 26 January 2021 at 1:12 pm UTC
ronnoc 17 Feb
Quoting: KohlyKohlThe only common hardware that I have are NVidia cards on all of my hardware. Perhaps the NVidia proprietary driver is causing these issues I've been having after updates.

Yea there seem to be cased where NVidia and Plasma don't always play well together. I only run AMD on Linux, as to avert such things.
slaapliedje 19 Feb
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I finally had to give up on KDE on Garuda Linux. I just kept freaking out (nvidia 980 here).
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