We bring you the top new features of upcoming KDE Plasma 5.24 desktop in this post and give you a heads-up on what’s in store. Read on.
- In brief
- Exciting release from KDE Plasma team – and first release of 2022.
- Features, updates spread across the entire KDE desktop ecosystem, including KDE Applications and Frameworks.
- The major highlight is the new overview feature. For details, read below.
- Beta is already out on Jan 13, 2022. Download links available at the end of this page.
- Final release on February.
The first major Plasma release of 2022 is due soon. And we feel it’s time that we uncover some of the unique features that KDE Plasma 5.24 is bringing into the table. While scouting for the changes in GitLab, I found the changes are spread across UI, desktop components, KWin, Wayland fixes, major design updates and many under the hood improvements. So, it is difficult to list down every detail of it. However, these are the important ones which I feel worth putting up in a post. So here it is.
The final release of KDE Plasma 5.24 is expected on Feb 8, 2022.
Beta is released on Jan 13, 2022.
KDE Plasma 5.24 – New Features
KDE Plasma 5.24 is based on KDE Framework 5.90 and Qt 5.15.2.
Perhaps the important change in this release is the new overview screen, which we talked about it earlier. The new Plasma overview screen is changing, and it somehow reminds you of GNOME’s own overview. That said, it’s the best of both the worlds, at least how it is designed.
As per the merge requests in GitLab, the new overview screen will be a full-screen view. It features the list of virtual desktop as thumbnails at the top, with an option to add more. At the middle section of the overview screen, you can see the list of open windows of the selected virtual desktop.
Between the list of virtual desktop and open windows, you have search bar. The search is expected to mimic the KRunner type search, which find files/shortcuts across your desktop. The Search happens on the fly. Search is done across your desktop – that is – applications, files, browser tabs, documents – everything.
Oh, you can launch the overview via META+W key from the keyboard.
The System Setting’s own settings window is now available as menu items, thus eliminating another settings dialog.
Custom selection of Accent color is now available via Appearance > Colors. Earlier, you could only choose from a selection of preset colors.
A bunch of updates to the Breeze color theme lands in this release of Plasma. Firstly, the “Breeze High Contrast” color scheme is deleted because Breeze Dark offers similar look and feel anyway. Secondly, the base Breeze color scheme is renamed to Breeze Classic for better identification.
The username text font size in login, lock and logout screens increased to an extent to make it more consistence with the overall window and avatar image size. This increases better readability and looks perfect now.
You can easily navigate using Home and End keys from the keyboard in the Krunner’s results view.
System Settings’ Formats page is completely re-written and overhauled. It looks much simpler with better readability with available options.
Weather applet in system tray now gives you a button to set the location.
Volume sliders in the Audio Volume applet once again have a background; two different colors are used to distinguish the maximum volume level from the volume of the currently-playing or recording audio
Discover is now more helpful to the new users by giving an option for searching the web with keywords of application that is not found. When clicked, it searches in DuckDuckGo via your default web browser.
Discover window is now responsive and adapts itself with two column view of applications when resized.
You can easily enable, disable and remove Flatpak repositories in Discover. Also, you can enable and disable distro specific repos.
Better bug reporting via a nice button in Discover which takes you directly to your Linux distribution bug reporting page.
Another handy feature that is coming to 5.24 is an orange strip on the left side of the critical notifications that distinguishes it from other notifications. So, that you can take notice of the critical ones.
The lock screen can now expose the Sleep and Hibernate options, if supported by the system.
If you are in a multi monitor system, the windows remembers their screens. That means when you unplug and pug-in the monitors, you have windows exactly where they were.
Newly opened windows now opens up at the center of the screens. However, they retain their closing position when opened next time.
The startup sound issue while using Systemd is now fixed, and it plays nicely.
The preview in wallpaper chooser window displays wallpaper in the same aspect ratio of the target screen for a more realistic preview.
Along with these, a bunch of Wayland fixes lands in this release that includes better drag-and-drop, minimize all windows, primary Monitor in Wayland, and many bug fixes.
Following the tradition, a brand-new wallpaper (named “Wavy McWallpaperface”) is definitely going to give KDE Plasma a fresh new look. Here’s how it looks. You can download a Hi-res version from here.
Download and Test
KDE Plasma 5.24 is under development at the moment. You can try it out in the BETA copy or via KDE Neon Unstable Edition or openSUSE Krypton (link below). You can create bootable USB and try. Unless you are planning to experiment or test, I would not recommend this running in a stable system due to its nature.
Beta version is released on Jan 13, 2022. You can download the Beta .ISO copy from the below link.
Click on testing edition after visiting the following pages for download.
Unstable edition download
Click on unstable edition after visiting the following pages for download.
Make sure to report bugs if you found any.
And as always, wait for the final release.
New features, bug fixes, a little closer to Wayland stability – all these making it another massive release of KDE Plasma. With all the KDE Plasma news and adaptation in several new hardware, 2022 is going to be another interesting year from this desktop.
And personally, I am hoping some news and information about Plasma 6 and its vision in coming days. That said, let us wait for the final release while developers finishes the pending work of KDE Plasma 5.24.