KDE Plasma 5.25: Top New Features and Release Details

5 min

We will give you the feature summary of the KDE Plasma 5.25 desktop environment.

KDE Plasma 5.25 Desktop in KDE Neon
KDE Plasma 5.25 Desktop in KDE Neon

KDE Plasma 5.25 is the 27th version of KDE Plasma desktop, not an LTS release. This release is followed by the prior 5.24 LTS, released in February. KDE Plasma 5.25 brings several exciting updates on the desktop UI, polished applets, widgets, a good set of gesture updates for touch-based devices and a massive list of bug fixes. Plasma 5.25 is based on Qt 5.15.2 and KDE Frameworks 5.94.

KDE Plasma was released on June 14, 2022, based on the following schedule.

  • Soft feature freeze: May 5, 2022
  • Beta: May 19, 2022
  • Final release: June 14, 2022

The list of bug fixes and features is around 400+, and it’s challenging to cover them in a single article. We filtered out in this article some of the essential and visual changes which are more impactful straightaway to the general user base.

KDE Plasma 5.25 – Top New Features

Plasma Workspace & Desktop

Perhaps the most important visual change in KDE Plasma 5.25 is accent colour change based on the Wallpaper. As reported earlier, this change gives the final touch to the entire accent colour functionality and makes it complete with dynamic colour, custom colour and pre-sets. The option is available in the Appearance module. (MR#1325)

KDE Plasma 5.25 - Accent Colour Change Based on wallpaper
KDE Plasma 5.25 – Accent Colour Change Based on the wallpaper

In addition, the accent colour change to the title bar was also implemented in the Breeze Classic theme and made it more consistent across the desktop.

Floating Panel

Another exciting change that KDE Plasma 5.25 brings is an option for Themes to make the Panel float. When selected, the Panel detaches itself from the bottom of the screen with rounded corners and gives a floating feeling. The option is available in the additional settings in Edit Panel mode. Here’s how it looks. (MR#714)

Floating Panel in Plasma 5.25
Floating Panel in Plasma 5.25

Here’s a quick video we prepared for you to show the above two features in action.

In addition to that, the power profiles menu in the system tray now has icons with their names in the tooltip.

The login and logout screen see a small UI change to display avatar and profile name with longer user names.

Also, the spacing between the avatar icon and name with the logout screen action buttons is increased to give a more consistent look.

A fix was made to the Plasma Desktop to prevent widgets from retaining position when resolution changes back from fullscreen gaming. The widgets remember their position for respective resolutions.

The plasma Workspace module reverts to the lock screen behaviour on mouse move, which was removed accidentally earlier.

The Digital Clock “Copy to Clipboard” menu is now more clean with the removal of duplicate items and separate entries when seconds are enabled.

KWin Updates

KWin introduces an option to hide minimised windows in KDE Plasma 5.25. In addition to that, the desktop grid effect is completely replaced with the QML Version.

Furthermore, it is now possible to switch between display specific resolutions which are not visible to the operating system in Wayland. The change adds libxcvt dependency in Kwin, and details of this change can be found here.

With this release, the switching between the dark and light mode is more smooth and animated thanks to this MR, inspired by GNOME. It was not smooth earlier and now looks more professional behaviour.

Changes in Discover

The application page of Discover is now complete with more focused details at the top with Application metadata and images. The spacing of the app name, ratings and developer with the image at the header section with the summary in the middle. And rest at the bottom. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the earlier version with 5.25.

App page gives more clarity in Plasma 5.25
The app page gives more clarity in Plasma 5.25

One tiny yet impactful change in Discover related to Flatpak apps. Discover now shows a message with an action button to clean Flatpak data for uninstalled apps.

Message to clear the app data
Message to clear the app data (Image credit: KDE Team)

Moreover, Discover now shows the required permissions of the Flatpak applications before you install them. In addition, if you are planning to install proprietary software, you get a warning message saying the potential consequences of using those (such as Microsoft Teams).

Application and Applet Changes

The System Monitor (KSystemStats) shows new information about your window system whether you are running X11 or Wayland. This should also display on the overview screen of the KSysGuard.

The Open With Dialog of XGD Portal sees a complete UI rework. The top section label is merged into one single information line for better clarity. Also, the search field is now visible for all modes, and the Show More button is moved up beside Search with better clarity. You can look at the below image (Credit KDE Team) for this change.

The Plasma Applet for NetworkManager now shows the WiFi frequency connection details to help distinguish which frequency you are connected to in the same SSID (same Wi-Fi Router). It’s really helpful if both the band have the same Wifi Accent point name and you cannot distinguish between 4G or 5G.

The cuttlefish icon viewer now helps you open the file path via the file manager directly of the selected icon.

Plasma desktop now gives a more organised view in “Recent Documents” with the ability to show “non-file” items such as RDP or remote connections.

Moreover, the spell checker module in KRunner now detects the search language and gives you results.

KRunner spell check for non-english
KRunner spell check for non-English (image credit: KDE team)

In addition, when you run into an error, the KInfocenter now gives you more information about the error. The new design gives you what is the error, why it happened, whether you can fix it by yourself and how to report it to the devs. This is a nifty change that has a more significant impact. Here’s a side-by-side view of the change.

More help on the error on the way
More help on the error on the way (Image credit: KDE Team)

And finally, a stunning default wallpaper graces this awesome desktop.

Download and Upgrade

You can download the KDE Neon (user edition) version from the below link to experience the brand-new KDE Plasma 5.25.

If you are running an earlier version of KDE Neon featuring KDE Plasma 5.24, visit our exclusive upgrade guide. The following upgrade guide includes the details about Fedora 36 and Kubuntu 22.04 upgrade instructions.

Closing Notes

Along with the above changes, this release improves several gestures for touch devices and a massive list of performance and bug fixes (counting 150+), which will enhance the KDE Plasma 5.25 experience for all of its users.

Do you like KDE Plasma 5.25? Let me know in the comment box below.


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