The final instalment of the KDE Plasma 5 series, i.e. KDE Plasma 5.27, is now out. Experience the new features.
KDE Plasma 5.27 is the 29th release of the Plasma desktop and the final release of the five series. The next version of Plasma desktop will be based on Qt6, and work has already started for porting several components.
In that sense, it’s an important release and may become an LTS version for more extended support. Feature and improvement-wise, this release is average in size.
Let’s take a brief look at the important features.
KDE Plasma 5.27 Release: Key Features
A brand new app welcomes you to Plasma desktop from now on. It was a good idea to add this app to Plasma. It will give you some initial information about Plasma, setting up online accounts and so on.
The media controller applet introduces two new layouts in this release. A vertical layout showing album art, song title and artist name. And an icon-only display showing only album art. MR 2176
The icon size settings slide in the Appearance is moved under the preview with more descriptive text. Also, the window size is slightly larger to accommodate the overall items. MR 2213
KDE Plasma battery monitor will now show the charging, discharging, and fully charged status for non-power supply batteries such as a wireless mouse, and mobile phones when connected to the Plasma desktop. MR 2210
Also, the battery monitor stops showing 100% when the battery is fully charged. You can only see the power icon without any text. MR 2306
In another change, the battery monitor shows “Estimating…” text when the remaining time is 0. Also, the remaining time calculation is changed to give you accurate hours and minutes remaining to full charge.
The middle click features are now exposed in the applet UI when available. The features existed for some apps, but the discovery was difficult unless tried. MR 2205
We all love Krunner, the most excellent launcher ever! In this release, Krunner now searches for the key in any part of the file name in the recent document list. It sorts the result from the best match, starting with the search key in the file name to the bottom. MR 2273
Also, when there is no match in any documents in your system, Krunner now prompts a web search with the search key. MR 2311
The developers can now prioritise the applet notification by assigning a notification value of 256. Once it is a high priority, the notification becomes part of the top header instead of the menu. MR 2245
The Users settings page, fingerprint register, and authentication selection are much more visually attractive with an actual hand image. MR 2347
The accessibility of KDE Plasma is now more robust because the Orca screenreader app can read the notifications. It includes the app name and the notification description. MR 2295
Wayland, Kwin and Plasma desktop
KDE Plasma 5.27 now supports high-resolution scrolling in Wayland, thanks to libinput 1.9 version changes. With this change, you should experience smooth scrolling performance in Chrome and Firefox browsers. I hope this makes it on par with the Windows experience. To this day, I still feel Windows scrolling in the popular browser is very smooth. MR 3034
Another Wayland fix in this release is the inclusion of the Wayland implementation of idle notification protocol. In the Wayland session, if you become idle, the data can now be consumed by various apps and modules to save power, change the status in messaging apps, etc. MR 2959
Wayland session in Plasma desktop also brings content type. This allows Kwin to tweak the display behaviour (direct scanout, variable refresh rate, etc.) based on the content displayed on the screen. So, you should get an optimized session based on whether you are watching a movie, playing games or casually browsing the web. MR 2467
KDE Plasma Wayland session now supports fractional scaling natively. The upstream Wayland change for this was merged a few months back in 2022. You should get native resolution options in Wayland sessions. MR 2598
If you are a multi-monitor user, you should be glad to know that the settings to manage multiple displays are now easily accessible via the system tray display configuration.
Other key change includes:
- Plasma 5.27 is based on KDE Framework 5.102 and Qt 5.15.2.
- Transition animation when changing wallpaper.
- The weather applet now shows weather info in overlay mode.
- The location picker in the weather applet now gives you a possible list of locations.
- The network applet now shows 5G connection label and icons when used.
- And hopefully, a new wallpaper as always!
So, that’s the key highlights. You can read my detailed feature guide on this page.
Download and upgrade
KDE Plasma 5.27 will be available for Fedora 38 and Kubuntu 23.04 Lunar LObster release, planned for April.
If you are using KDE Neon, you can simply run the below command to get this update or update via Discover.
sudo pkcon update
Grab the KDE Neon stable version from the link below for a fresh download.
So, that’s about the final release of the KDE Plasma 5 series. An emotional closure. Here’s to Plasma 6 and many new exciting features ahead.