The KDE Project released today KDE Frameworks 5.91 as a new monthly update to their open-source software suite containing a collection of more than 80 add-on libraries to Qt providing a wide range of commonly needed functionality for the Plasma desktop environment and related apps.
KDE Frameworks 5.91 is here with lots of interesting and exciting changes, starting with a major new feature for the Dolphin file manager and other KDE apps that use the KIO library. This is PolKit support in KIO, which finally enables root file operations in Dolphin.
In addition, the KIO library was improved in this release to correctly handle non-file-based URLs registered to apps, such as
tg:// for Telegram links or
mailto:// for email addresses, when the apps advertise that they accept URLs. Also, Dolphin now launches faster when there are multiple ISO images mounted or Snap apps installed.
KDE Frameworks 5.91 also makes it possible to change the user or group of a file or folder on the desktop, as well as to download “Get New ” items with dependencies. Touchscreen support has been improved as well for mobile users as this release improves Plasma checkboxes and the tab bars to once again react when they are tapped.
For QtQuick-based apps, KDE Frameworks 5.91 updates the menus to have the same size and appearance as the menus in QtWidgets apps, updates the sliders to allow them to be manipulated by scrolling over them, updates the comboboxes and their popups to fully fit the text of long items, updates the Breeze-themed menu items to become bigger and more tappable when using the Tablet Mode, and updates the code to make them faster to load and run.
Another interesting change for Tablet Mode users, which will also land in the upcoming KDE Plasma 5.25 desktop environment release, prevents the virtual keyboard from quickly appearing and covering up an application immediately after it’s launched as the search fields of various KDE apps and Plasma applets no longer become focused by default when entering the Tablet Mode.
For Kate, KDevelop, and other KTextEditor-based apps, KDE Frameworks 5.91 adds the ability to automatically detect the whitespace style of opened files, updates their search fields to include a small magnifying glass in them that appears when you focus the search field and disappears when it loses focus, and improves the Toggle Comment feature to work properly when the commented line includes inline comments on it.
There’s also good news for Plasma Wayland session users as KDE Frameworks 5.91 improves the opening and closing of the Widget Explorer sidebar to no longer rearrange your windows and improves the Help Center to no longer crash randomly when moving the mouse cursor or hovering over links.
Among other noteworthy changes, KDE Frameworks 5.91 fixes various bugs to prevent KWin’s keyboard shortcuts from breaking after restarting KWin, improve support for Snap apps to no longer appear as mounted volumes in the Places panels, prevent the Breeze icon for the KDE Plasma logo from partially disappearing when larger sizes are used with a dark color scheme, as well as to address glitches in various Breeze folder and mimetype icons.
Some small visual changes are also present to make your KDE Plasma desktop experience more enjoyable. For example, the Yakuake system tray icon is now monochrome, bottom navigation bars now use the new selection style, KHamburgerMenu menus now have a simpler design for the bottom items with a new “More” item at the very end of the list to show you all the rest of the menu items, and relative dates are no displayed with more precision in various KDE apps that support them.
In terms of performance improvements, KDE Frameworks 5.91 slightly reduces CPU and RAM usage for all KDE apps when fetching icons, System Settings pages that include the “Get new” button now use less RAM, and changing of standard keyboard shortcuts on the Shortcuts page in System Settings now takes effect instantly without having to restart your system.
Last but not least, there’s better support for custom icons using SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) images referred to by their path rather than their name to correctly appear on folders and apps on the desktop. Of course, there are hundreds of other smaller changes included in this new KDE Frameworks release, so check out the release announcement page if you’re curious to know what exactly was fixed, removed, added, or improved.
Meanwhile, keep an eye on the stable software repositories of your favorite GNU/Linux distribution for the new packages and update as soon as they’re available, especially if you’re using the latest KDE Plasma 5.24 LTS desktop environment.
Update: According to KDE developer Nate Graham, the root file operations feature has been reverted as it needs to be “re-done with an eye towards more technical correctness.” For now, this feature appears to only be available in the KDE neon Unstable distribution!
Last updated 2 years ago