KDE Plasma 5.23 – New Features and Release Dates

3 min

We round up the features of KDE Plasma 5.23 in this post, with major highlights and download/testing instructions.

KDE Plasma 5.23 was released on Oct 14, 2021. Read our complete coverage here.

KDE Plasma desktop is the most popular and top-class Linux desktop environment today. The main reason is an adaptation, rapid iteration of its development, performance improvements. Since the release of KDE Plasma 5.22, the team is busy with merging changes and testing new features for KDE Plasma 5.23. It is currently under development with a tentative schedule as below.

KDE Plasma 5.23 Schedule

KDE Plasma releases on Oct 14, 2021. Here’s the overall schedule:

  • Beta – Sep 16, 2021
  • Final Release – Oct 14, 2021

Like every Plasma release, this iteration also promises a wide range of changes to core Plasma Shell, KDE Applications, code cleanups, performance improvements, hundreds of bug fixes, Wayland improvements, and more. We collected some important features in this post to give you an idea of what’s incoming. Let’s take a look.

KDE Plasma 5.23 – New Features

  • This release is powered by Qt version 5.15, KDE Frameworks version 5.86.

Plasma Shell and App Updates

  • The KDE Plasma Kickoff brings a huge set of updates that includes bug fixes, low RAM usage, look and feel updates, keyboard and mouse navigation improvements.
  • Kickoff menu can be set to keep open using a pin option.
  • Kickoff tabs not changes (from Applications to Places) when you scroll.
  • Press CTRL+F to directly focus to the search bar in Kickoff.
  • The action button captions in Kickoff (shut down, etc.) can be turned off via an option to show only icons.
  • You can now either choose list or grid view for all Kickoff items (not only Favorites).
New Kickoff Options in KDE Plasma 5.23
New Kickoff Options in KDE Plasma 5.23
Changes in kickoff
Changes in kickoff
  • A new QML-based Overview effect is introduced (much like GNOME 3.38 workspace view) which shows the opened windows (have a look at this video). I could not find the merge request no for this for further detail, and it’s still not in unstable.

Video credit: KDE team

  • This overview effect may replace the existing Present Windows effect and the Desktop Grid effect as well (planned).
  • A more visible ‘No Touchpad found’ message is introduced when there is no touchpad.
  • You can now have the Power Profile settings in Plasma UI (Battery and Brightness window). This power profile features landed since Linux Kernel 5.12 for Dell and Lenovo laptops. So, if you have the latest brands of these Laptops, you can now set your power profiles either more performance mode or power saving mode. [Note: Fedora 35 expected to bring this feature for GNOME 41 (probably)]
New power profiles
New power profiles
  • If you have multiscreen setup with say vertical and landscape screen, then the login screen now properly synced and aligned. This was much needed features.
  • A new Breeze theme is expected with style updates.
  • A brand-new wallpaper is expected, like prior releases (the competition is still going on).
  • A new setting to resize system tray icons when your hardware is changed from Laptop mode to Tablet mode.
  • You can now have the ability to choose Bluetooth status on login always enabled, always disabled, or remember the previous status. This status ca be carried over the version upgrades.
  • Users can now change the displayed name of sensors on a per-face basis.
  • The scrollbar handle in Breeze style is now a little thicker than previous editions.
  • A new option in Dolphin file manager enables you to show hidden files first before folders.
  • You can delete selected items in clipboard popup using DEL key.
  • KDE now enables you to contribute to store.kde.org with your designed icons, themes directly from the Plasma desktop.

Wayland Updates

  • When you launch applications, the cursor now shows the animated icon feedback in Wayland sessions.
  • Copying text from notification now works.
  • Middle click paste now works in Wayland and XWayland applications.

Remember, there are hundreds of bug fixes, improvements that land in each release. These are merely scratching the surface which I collected. So, make sure to visit GitLab or KDE Planets to learn more in detail about changes in applications and Plasma shells.

Final Stable Edition Download

KDE Plasma 5.23 was released on Oct 14, 2021. You can download and experience using KDE Neon User Edition. The download link is below.

Unstable Edition Download

You can experience all the above features right now via KDE Neon Unstable edition via the below link. Download the .iso and test. Make sure to report bugs if you found any. This unstable edition is not for serious usage or production deployments.

Closing Notes

KDE Plasma 5.23 keeps improving under the hood with new features in every release. Although this release is not going to be a massive one, all these optimizations, improvements eventually sum up to the stability, adaptation, and better user experience. And more Wayland updates (seriously, Wayland compatibility always seems “work in progress” – like for a decade now. That’s another topic for discussion).



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