KDE Plasma 5.20 Desktop Environment Officially Released, Here’s What’s New

KDE Plasma 5.20

The KDE Project released today the KDE Plasma 5.20 desktop environment, a massive release that introduces countless new features and improvements.

Today is a big day for fans of the KDE Plasma desktop environment. The KDE Plasma 5.20 release is finally here and it’s packed with a new look and feel an icon-only Task Manager and a slightly thicker default panel.

The biggest new features of KDE Plasma 5.20 include middle-click paste support on Wayland, revamped System Settings Users page, the ability to unplug screens on Wayland, redesigned OSDs for brightness and volume, Klipper support on Wayland, as well as S.M.A.R.T monitoring and disk failing notifications.

There are also major changes to the behavior of the Plasma workspace. Among these, there’s a new default shortcut for moving and resizing windows (Meta+drag), the ability to cycle through each task in the Task Manager by clicking on grouped tasks, along with support to not minimize active tasks when they’re clicked.

The alt-tab task switcher no longer displays minimized windows last, KRunner can now search and open web pages in the Falkon web browser, unused audio devices are no longer displayed in the audio applet and respective Settings page, and Plasma now notifies you when you’re Home directory runs out of space if it’s on a separate partition.

Moreover, laptop users can now configure a charge limit that’s below 100% to preserve battery health. It’s also now possible to corner-tile windows, activate the Do Not Disturb mode by middle-clicking on the Notifications applet or system tray icon, as well as to

KDE Plasma 5.20 also brings the ability to adjust the balance of individual elements of your speakers, support for performing more private searches using KRunner’s web shortcuts, better support for 21:9 ultra wide screens, view “Picture of The Day” wallpapers on the lock screen, and configure zoom settings for the Web Browser widget.

Screen recording and screencasting will now work on Wayland, but with a very limited number of apps, such as OBS Studio. Moreover, Klipper now supports the Wayland clipboard and work as expected under a Wayland session, and the last-used keyboard layout is now remembered on Wayland.

The system tray’s expanded view of hidden items is now more touch friendly with a new grid view. Also, the Dolphin file manager now correctly shows the amount of free space in the status bar when using the desktop:/ URI and better handles dragging of files.

Improvements are also present in the Battery and Brightness applet, which now shows you which apps are preventing sleep and screen locking with the ability to take an action against them. Furthermore, Plasma 5.20 should perform better on low-end systems.

Among other changes, there’s better support for Flatpak apps, support for configuring the speed of your laptop’s touchpad cursor, various improvements to the Digital Clock widget, and better support for GTK apps as headerbars now respect the appearance you’ve chosen for your titlebar buttons.

The PlasmaNetworkmanager applet has been updated as well to no longer ask users for the Wi-Fi password twice, the activities database now features backup and self-repair capabilities to fix corrupt favorites and recent items, and the system tray items now respect Fitts’ Law.

Of course, these are only the biggest changes in KDE Plasma 5.20, which includes lots more improvements and bug fixes. For further reading, visit the release announcement page and full changelog, which includes hundreds of changes.

KDE Plasma 5.20 will soon be available in the stable software repositories of various popular rolling distributions, including KDE neon, Arch Linux, and openSUSE Tumbleweed. It will also be present in some of the major upcoming distro releases this fall, such as Fedora 33, Kubuntu 20.10, and many others.

Images: KDE Project

Last updated 3 years ago

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