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Here we go! The next version of KDE Plasma is now in Beta and ready for wider testing, with some really great sounding changes. This is my favourite Linux desktop environment I use at home, plus it's the Desktop Mode on Steam Deck!

One of the big changes coming in Plasma 5.27 is the addition of Flatpak permission settings, so you'll no longer need another additional application (like Flatseal) to sort through what Flatpak packages can do. This is great, and has been needed for a while.

Multi-monitor support should also be a lot better, as they've done a huge overhaul on it behind the scenes. While it should be mostly invisible to the end-user the changes involved were quite big and should result in no more empty desktops, you shouldn't see panels and widgets getting lost, a better experience with USB-C based docks (hello Steam Deckers) and so on.

This is probably what I am most excited about, as someone who uses Plasma for basically everything, it has been a nuisance at times with docking the Steam Deck and with it losing my second monitor on my desktop at times. 

Some of the other changes coming include:

  • More Flatpak improvements for Discover.
  • A SteamOS backend for performing Steam Deck updates in Discover.
  • Plasma Welcome - a new tool for users getting started using the desktop.
  • Upgrades to their Pipewire integration.
  • Lots more Wayland improvements.
  • Quick and easy window tiling.
  • Plus loads more fixes and improvements.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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Linas 19 Jan
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It seems that Valve is really invested in KDE, judging by all the Steam Deck-related work going into it. This is great, except that as GNOME fanboy user I wish they made it easier to use another desktop environment on Steam Deck.
Termy 19 Jan
The pace of KDE is really impressive again and again ^^
I agree that multi-monitor improvements are very welcomed - all in all it works well here, but when i have to switch my primary monitor to my tv because some game doesn't want to go on anything but the primary, i have to re-sort my panels afterwards (which, to be fair, is rather quick nowadays thanks to the 'manage desktops and panels' addition from a few releases back) - so i'm curious if that is fixed then :D
And integrating the flatseal-functionality is nice for sure.

What i'm really looking forward to with 5.27 is the 'semi-tiling' additions, they sound great in theory at least ^^
mr-victory 19 Jan
This time KDE stole from Microsoft, the new tiling feature is probably inspired by Win11's corresponding feature. (was it called snapping?) But they didn't just copy pasta but slightly improved it.
miro 19 Jan
I hope this gets past beta asap
KDE is my preferred DE as well, the one I use on both my main "Big Rig" gaming PC and my main laptop, as well, of course, as the Steam Deck. So I'm always excited to see it continuing to improve and evolve. As for my experience docking the deck in Desktop mode, I have lost the main panel once or twice, so I'll look forward to not having to deal with that anymore! :-)

One question: didn't I hear that Plasma 5.26 added support for animated wallpapers? That's a feature that I will definitely plan to start using once I know I have access to it! :-)

Lastly, a p.s.: my two Linux devices that are NOT using KDE are both using Xfce instead, because there were available skins to make them look nearly identical to Windows 95 and macOS9 respectively that I decided to go for on my two backup laptops running Manjaro and Fedora respectively. Though I don't really use Mac or Windows anymore, having come up on a mix of the two, the niatalgic in me will always have a soft spot for them, and as such, I love having the option to run modern Linux OSes in a retro Mac / Windows aesthetic! :-)


Last edited by NerdNoiseRadio on 19 January 2023 at 5:22 pm UTC
grigi 19 Jan
Quoting: mr-victoryThis time KDE stole from Microsoft, the new tiling feature is probably inspired by Win11's corresponding feature. (was it called snapping?) But they didn't just copy pasta but slightly improved it.

Don't think so, KDE/Plasma had snapping of windows for a decade. I can't remember if 3 did, but 4 definitely did.
This is probably one of the big reasons I ended up setting onto KDE/Plasma.
This change adds the ability to customize the zones, and change between presets, which makes it much more useful for, e.g. ultra-wide monitors.

Wonder if I can set up zones on a per-monitor basis? Then you could treat tall/wide monitors differently in one session...
Termy 19 Jan
Quoting: mr-victoryThis time KDE stole from Microsoft, the new tiling feature is probably inspired by Win11's corresponding feature.

Fancyzones or something like that? Yeah that is kinda similar - but i guess once every ten years MS also has a decent idea that indeed is FOR the user for a change ;)
inlinuxdude 19 Jan
Quoting: NerdNoiseRadioOne question: didn't I hear that Plasma 5.26 added support for animated wallpapers? That's a feature that I will definitely plan to start using once I know I have access to it! :-)

I don't have your answer, but it is crazy to me that this is not a feature in 2023 when I remember having animated backgrounds in the 90's with xscreensaver -root option... I hate when we lose features.
Klaas 19 Jan
Quoting: inlinuxdudexscreensaver -root
Don't forget mplayer -rootwin
Izaic 20 Jan
Quoting: NerdNoiseRadioOne question: didn't I hear that Plasma 5.26 added support for animated wallpapers? That's a feature that I will definitely plan to start using once I know I have access to it! :-)

Yes, but only for Wayland as it was disabled in Xorg due to a memory leak in an underlying library that was used to achieve it. It supports both avif and heif formats for the animated wallpapers, and all you have to do is add them to your wallpapers folder and select them as if they are any other wallpaper.
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