Just in time for the KDE project’s birthday, a new version of the KDE Plasma desktop environment is available today, October 14th. Plasma 5.23 is mainly supposed to work faster and more stable. There are no major changes, but many minor innovations make day-to-day work easier.
Above all, the developers have optimized the control via touch gestures. For example, if you press your finger a little longer on an application in the start menu, Plasma opens the corresponding context menu. The wider scroll bars of the standard “Breeze – Blue Ocean” theme are also easier to “hit” and move with your finger. In a Wayland session, the gestures immediately follow the finger movements. In tablet mode with Wayland, the symbols in the system section of the control bar grow so that they can be easily accessed using gestures.
Wayland support significantly upgraded
A lot of work went into the Wayland support again. Plasma 5.23 shows a new animation when you turn the screen. An established multi-screen layout is retained between X11 and Wayland sessions. The data exchange between Wayland and XWayland windows is also more uninterrupted: on the one hand, a click with the middle mouse button pastes the contents of the clipboard, on the other hand, drag-and-drop works between the corresponding applications.
As soon as an application starts the audio recording in the Wayland session, a corresponding message appears in the system section of the control bar, which can be used to directly prevent the recording if necessary. If plasma is running in a virtual machine, you can finally adjust the screen resolution.
Some widgets in the system tray of the control bar have gotten a little smarter. First, the texts in messages that pop up can be marked and sent via [Strg]+[C] Move to the clipboard. The, in turn, remembers the last 20 copied elements from now on, which can also be found in the corresponding open widget via [Enf] can also quickly be thrown overboard again.
On supported devices, you can quickly switch between the energy-saving modes “Power-saver”, “Balanced” and “Performance” using the corresponding symbol in the system section. The network applet also supports additional settings and protocols for OpenVPN connections.
The developers have again revised the “Kickoff” start menu, which is now more agile thanks to extensive changes to the code. The applications can be arranged either as a list or in a grid. If necessary, the start menu can be pinned to the screen using the pin symbol; it then remains permanently open in the foreground.
System settings and optics
The system settings have also received some small but extremely useful changes. Among other things, you can now specify whether a Bluetooth adapter should start when it starts or whether it should remain switched off for the time being. Alternatively, Plasma remembers the status of the Bluetooth adapter when it was switched off and restores it when it starts. After changing the screen settings, Plasma will start a countdown. If you do not react within the given time, the desktop environment assumes that the image is distorted and restores the original settings.
Finally, the developers carefully screwed on the standard theme “Breeze” and thus on the optics. For example, checkboxes have a black checkmark instead of a simple box, and buttons appear flatter. A cog shows loading processes in all Plasma and KDE applications, widgets on the desktop have a deliberately slightly blurred background.
the Release announcement of KDE Plasma 5.23 (“25th Anniversary Edition”) summarizes all the important innovations again. You can try out the new version quickly and easily with the Distribution KDE Neonwhich is based on the current Ubuntu LTS version.
If you want to celebrate a little longer with the KDE community, you should take a look at our separate KDE birthday message, which looks back on the history of the project and at the same time presents some current birthday campaigns:
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