KDE Plasma 5.22 Beta Released. Download and Test Now.

3 min

The KDE team announced the release of KDE Plasma 5.22 Beta and it is available for download and test. We take a look at what’s incoming in this new Plasma release.

KDE Plasma 5.22 BETA
KDE Plasma 5.22 BETA

Coming after almost 5 months of the prior massive KDE Plasma 5.21 release, this release looks moderate at the moment. A while back, I searched through the GitLab for the new features and updates and thought it is going to be a not-so-big release after all on the outside.

Changes mostly introduced on the performance side, bug fixes, and under-the-hood aiming for stability. Here we summarise some of the major features of this release.

KDE Plasma 5.22 Beta – What’s New

This release is based on Qt 5.15 and KDE Frameworks 5.82.

Adaptive transparency in desktop panels is introduced. This design change is introduced to make the Panel’s transparency and any maximize window’s behaviors consistently. For example, if your panel is say 50% transparent and you have an application window maximized, then the bottom desktop panel looks odd with 50% transparency. It would have been better if the panel adapts its transparency based on panel settings to match the window. Here’s a video that explains this feature.

Adaptive Opacity in Panels

When you are copying any file or any actions on the file, the completion popup now shows which application is available to open the file. For example, “Open with Ark” for a zip file. If no file type association is found, the button changes to “Open With” and no buttons at all when the file in question is deleted or not available in the course of the operation.

A warning popup is introduced to prevent accidental deletion of notes in the KNote app. Today, there is no warning and it just deletes it.

The vault now shows an option to open in file manager action for the vault folders and files.

The “Show KRunner” is removed from the desktop context menu (right-click). As per the developers, this is implemented mainly to de-clutter the desktop context menu. And also, the new Kickoff menu is more functional thus eliminating a separate option to lauch KRunner. And expert users already know the F2 shortcut which launches KRunner.

The Audio applet now shows full speaker and mic names when you mouseover.

Device name in mouse over

In Discover, the applications now show the type of the package – for example, Flatpak, Snap, etc. It even includes a small icon for quick identification. This is a handy enhancement.

Device name in mouse over

It is now possible to switch between different audio profiles of your microphone, sound device from the new profiles card. For example, if your speaker supports stereo, Dolby 5.1, Dolby 7.1 – you can switch between them via the new card menu.

KDE now can play a sound when your plugged-in devices ready to be removed safely.

A while back the offline updates landed on the KDE Neon unstable edition. The offline update is now available in this release with a config option to enable/disable it.

And many more changes which you can find in the change log in detail.


KDE Plasma 5.22 Beta is now available as KDE Neon testing edition. You can directly download the .iso using the following link. Make sure you click on the testing edition.

You can try to get it installed in a physical spare system, or run it with your favorite virtual machines such as GNOME Boxes, or virt-manager.

Being a pre-release, make sure to report any issues or bugs that you may encounter via this link. A quick bug reporting guide is available here.

And as always, it is not recommeneded for daily usage at the moment. So, do not try to upgrade or install in production machines.

Final release is expected on June 8, 2021.

Closing Notes

Sometimes the developers need to focus on the core, underlying features, performance updates, and fixes aiming for greater stability. Not every release would be a huge release with big fancy wrapping. And it’s a good thing. This helps KDE Plasma to continue to evolve to become the greatest Linux Desktop Environment in the world.


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