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KDE Plasma 5.26 is out now

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The KDE team have done it again! Giving us a fresh new Plasma desktop with plenty of upgrades and Plasma 5.26 is out now.

KDE say it's "All About the Widgets" and they're not wrong. When it comes to Widgets, they're referring to almost everything you see around the main Plasma desktop from what you add directly to the desktop, to the various icons and features on the bottom Plasma panel. With this release, you can now even resize those from the Plasma panel too which is quite a useful change.

Lots of Widgets saw upgrades too like the Dictionary allowing more than one dictionary definition or translation, the Sticky notes, User switcher and Media Player were all given new features too.

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The 5.26 release also brings in officially the Plasma Big Screen mode, designed for use as the name suggests, on a big screen like a TV giving you a much better interface to use.

This also comes with it's own media player just for it called Plank Player. It even supports navigation with a remote, perfect for use on the sofa.

Lots of focus on spit and polish with this release too. Their support of Wayland continues to improve, wallpapers change between light and dark themes to match, an option for changing the screen colouring for both night and day, a lot of bugs are also being fixed up as part of their "15-minute bugs" project so expect a more stable experience.

The list of improvements goes a very long way down and it seems the Discover software store saw a rather large amount of fixes and improvements like multiple Flatpak updates, and actually inhibiting suspend while doing updates so you're not left with a broken system — quite an important one that. There's even a share button to properly direct people to apps inside Discover, nice! The numerous Flatpak upgrades will be very welcome for Steam Deck users, whenever Valve decides to upgrade it in SteamOS.

Also, in case you missed it, KDE devs talk Steam Deck and their work for it at Akademy 2022.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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mr-victory Oct 11, 2022
Time to switch from Chaotic AUR -git packages to kde-unstable repo.
CyborgZeta Oct 11, 2022
I'm sad I'll no longer be able to enjoy the latest KDE and Plasma. Such is life on Kubuntu LTS.
BlackBloodRum Oct 11, 2022
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Oh gosh darn

OpenSUSE Tumbleweed will most likely package this up, which means I will have to upgrade

Just kidding, I'm happy about it! Thanks again KDE!

Sadly Fedora 37 already entered the final freeze, so I'm not sure if it'll get it or not at this point, might have to wait until 38. We'll see.
minkiu Oct 11, 2022
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With the Big Screen feature, the Deck could easily replace any Android TV set box... now if only Netflix et al. could be bothered to package their apps for linux... :D
Lamdarer Oct 11, 2022
There are also some promising scaling changes for Wayland(whether the application or Wayland scales the window to prevent drawing of blurry windows).
Might bring me finally to Wayland.


Last edited by Lamdarer on 11 October 2022 at 4:32 pm UTC
const Oct 11, 2022
Quoting: minkiuWith the Big Screen feature, the Deck could easily replace any Android TV set box... now if only Netflix et al. could be bothered to package their apps for linux... :D

They won't because they can't deliver high resolution video on linux, anyway. Their license agreements with publishers demand them to check for full encryption pipelines, even though everyone knows the last chain, hdcp, can be broken by most cheap hdmi splitters from bargain bins. It's really stupid, but that's how things are. There's no way for them to talk all big publishers into delivering the content without these checks and Linux will not get official support for high-resolution streaming for years, if ever.
I guess the only way around that would be having GPUs that can receive, decode and display the stream in firmware without any further OS controlled IO.


Last edited by const on 11 October 2022 at 3:54 pm UTC
scaine Oct 11, 2022
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Quoting: const
Quoting: minkiuWith the Big Screen feature, the Deck could easily replace any Android TV set box... now if only Netflix et al. could be bothered to package their apps for linux... :D

They won't because they can't deliver high resolution video on linux, anyway. Their license agreements with publishers demand them to check for full encryption pipelines, even though everyone knows the last chain, hdcp, can be broken by most cheap hdmi splitters from bargain bins. It's really stupid, but that's how things are. There's no way for them to talk all big publishers into delivering the content without these checks and Linux will not get official support for high-resolution streaming for years, if ever.
I guess the only way around that would be having GPUs that can receive, decode and display the stream in firmware without any further OS controlled IO.

How is it that Android-based players, such as the Amazon FireTV boxes, which are based on Linux (the kernel), can play 4K streams from Netflix and Prime? I've never understood what's missing from the core Linux desktop experience to make this such a problem.
BlackBloodRum Oct 11, 2022
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Quoting: scaine
Quoting: const
Quoting: minkiuWith the Big Screen feature, the Deck could easily replace any Android TV set box... now if only Netflix et al. could be bothered to package their apps for linux... :D

They won't because they can't deliver high resolution video on linux, anyway. Their license agreements with publishers demand them to check for full encryption pipelines, even though everyone knows the last chain, hdcp, can be broken by most cheap hdmi splitters from bargain bins. It's really stupid, but that's how things are. There's no way for them to talk all big publishers into delivering the content without these checks and Linux will not get official support for high-resolution streaming for years, if ever.
I guess the only way around that would be having GPUs that can receive, decode and display the stream in firmware without any further OS controlled IO.

How is it that Android-based players, such as the Amazon FireTV boxes, which are based on Linux (the kernel), can play 4K streams from Netflix and Prime? I've never understood what's missing from the core Linux desktop experience to make this such a problem.
DRM.

Putting it simply, those devices and such are modified to enable more DRM with proprietary blobs and such, which regular Linux boxes simply don't have (and shouldn't)

In addition, they're typically more locked down, preventing you from doing things outside of their confined rules, which big companies that support DRM love (more limits on you, the better in their eyes).

Put bluntly: We don't support DRM.
mr-victory Oct 11, 2022
Quoting: scaineHow is it that Android-based players, such as the Amazon FireTV boxes, which are based on Linux (the kernel), can play 4K streams from Netflix and Prime?
Widevine (the DRM) supports highest level protection in Android, but only if the device meets certain requirements. On Linux we only have lovest level which is software only. Just like Linux, a lot of Android devices are limited to low resolutions because they don't have necessary hardware.


Last edited by mr-victory on 11 October 2022 at 6:24 pm UTC
scaine Oct 11, 2022
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Sure, I know it's DRM. But I'm curious why I can play Netflix at 720p, but not 1080p or 4K. And DRM is usually optional - like, install this codec/software and now we trust you, you can play. But we don't get that option on the Linux desktop. We get 720p if we're lucky, like Netflix, Prime, Disney+, and nothing if we're not (NowTV). It's weird.

On Netflix, you can check the technical specs of a given stream by hitting CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-D, which confirms 720p for me.

EDIT: I guess Mr-Victory answered that one. I didn't realise there were "levels" in the WideVine DRM. I didn't even realise that the WideVine firefox plug-in was what was giving me that ability to play at 720p.


Last edited by scaine on 11 October 2022 at 6:32 pm UTC
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