The next installment of the Plasma desktop environment, KDE Plasma 5.20 Beta released. The final release is expected on October 13, 2020.

KDE Plasma 5.20 Desktop
KDE Plasma 5.20 Desktop

Update: OCT 13, 2020: KDE Plasma 5.20 Officially Released. Read the complete coverage here.

KDE Plasma 5.20 is in development for some time and features and improvements are landing every weekly. KDE Plasma 5.20 is going to be a huge release in terms of new features, improvements, and fixes.

The team released its first beta with the final list of changes. From now onwards until the final release, there will be mostly testing to shoot down bugs, and additional feature additions are unlikely.

Let’s take a look at what’s coming in your favorite desktop environment – KDE Plasma 5.20.

What’s new in KDE Plasma 5.20

The changelog is huge and you can imagine how massive this release is going to be. I have summarised the important ones from the changelog.

A new beautiful wallpaper is introduced named “Shell” – giving you a modern yet classy look to your KDE Plasma desktop. You can download the HD version of the wallpaper from here.

The file manager of KDE Plasma desktop – Dolphin now has full touch support. So, if you have a touch laptop, you can enjoy the plasma-desktop without losing productivity for the form factor.

A completely changed taskbar (like Windows 7) is introduced in KDE Plasma 5.20. The earlier taskbar was a traditional looking one having entries for running applications along with the name. Now it would look like this:

New-Taskbar-in-KDE-Plasma-5.20
New-Taskbar-in-KDE-Plasma-5.20

The new taskbar shows icons by grouping them. If you carefully look, it’s like Windows 7 taskbar. So, if you have a 10 Thunderbird instance open, the taskbar would group them and show you only one icon.

KDE Plasma desktop now warns you about imminent disk failure. It monitors your SMART capable disks (SSD, HD) and gives you an early warning about failure so that you can take timely backup.

SMART capable disk monitoring
SMART capable disk monitoring

KDE Plasma 5.20 bringing long-pending Wayland fixes. For example, you the screencasting and screenshot don’t work properly in Wayland for some apps. KDE Plasma fixes that and now those apps would work just fine.

Okular document viewer completely changed from the look and feature-wise. The toolbar is completely redesigned and features are added.

On the Konsole – the terminal app, you can see the thumbnail preview of the images with a mouse.

The middle-click paste works like charm now in Wayland session.

The volume control and brightness controls have been fine-tuned to give you smooth transitions in both areas.

KDE Plasma 5.20 now warns you about disk space when your home directory in a different partition.

The battery module is improved. You can configure the settings to charge below 100% for the longevity of your battery (on supported laptops only).

A new highlight changed settings introduced to give you an indication which are the settings values you have changed from the default before you apply them.

Changes highlighted in Settings
Changes highlighted in Settings

For a full list of changes, visit this page.

Download

Remember that KDE Plasma 5.20 still in beta and doesn’t install it on production deployments. If you want to give it a try, download below LIVE images.

Fedora 33 which is due release in October, might include KDE Plasma 5.20 as a flavor.

KDE Plasma 5.20 is becoming one of the most important releases of the history of KDE Plasma. Stay tuned here for more updates.

Image Credits: kde.org, pointieststick.com


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Arindam

Creator of debugpoint.com. All time Linux user and open-source supporter. Connect with me via Telegram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or send us an email.
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