KDE Plasma 5.19 Desktop Environment Officially Released, Here’s What’s New

KDE Plasma 5.19 Beta

The KDE Project officially released today the KDE Plasma 5.19 desktop environment, a new major series that brings new features, improvements, and other goodies to fans of the modern Plasma desktop.

Highlights of KDE Plasma 5.19 include improved panel spacer to automatically center widgets, new photographic user avatars, a new look for media playback applets that are more usable and pleasant to the eye, as well as consistent header area and design to make system tray applets and notifications look better.

Plasma’s Breeze theme received some attention as well, allowing GTK 3 apps to immediately apply a newly selected color scheme and GTK 2 apps to use the right color, as well as to make text easier to read by increasing the default fixed-width font size from 9 to 10.

Also improved are the System monitor widgets, which have been rewritten from scratch, the Task Manager tooltips, the Sticky notes, and System Settings, which now features new configurable file indexing options for individual directories and to disable indexing for hidden files.

Many System Settings pages were revamped, but the most important one is the Display page, which now shows the aspect ratio of all available screen resolutions. Moreover, System Settings now lets you configure the scroll speed of mouse and touchpad in Wayland and gives you more granular control over the animation speed of desktop effects.

To reduce flickering in many applications, KDE Plasma 5.19 comes with a much-improved KWin window manager that now includes subsurface clipping.

“These are things you may not immediately notice, but contribute to making the design of the desktop subliminally more visually attractive,” said the KDE Project.

Other new features in KDE Plasma 5.19 include automatic screen rotation on Wayland for tablets or 2-in-1 devices, easier removal of Flatpak repositories from within the Plasma Discover package manager, support for viewing stats for systems with more than 12 CPUs in KSysGuard, and Wayland support for KRunner.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that Plasma Discover now displays the app version in user reviews, there’s a new “Raise maximum volume” setting and easier set up of a default audio device in the Audio Volume widget, KInfoCenter is now consistent with the System Settings, and recolored icons in titlebars.

The Digital Clock system tray widget was also updated and it now looks much better when it’s placed at the edge of the panel, the Kate Sessions KRunner runner has been improved to perform much better, and the “Configure” button on notes widgets is now hidden by default.

For a quick overview of the new features in KDE Plasma 5.19, you can also check out the video below, courtesy of the KDE Project. KDE Plasma 5.19 will soon be available in the stable software repositories of various popular GNU/Linux distributions, such as Arch Linux, KDE neon, and many others.

If you’re using the long-term supported KDE Plasma 5.18 release, you should stay with it for now. If not and you’re still using KDE Plasma 5.17 or an older, no longer supported, version, I highly recommend you upgrade to KDE Plasma 5.19 as soon as possible.

KDE Plasma 5.19 will be supported for about five months with five point releases. The first one, Plasma 5.19.1, will arrive as soon as next week on June 16th, followed by Plasma 5.19.2 on June 23rd, Plasma 5.19.3 on July 7th, Plasma 5.19.4 on July 28th, and Plasma 5.19.5 on September 1st.

Image and video: KDE

Last updated 4 years ago

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