KDE Plasma 5.25 Beta Is Here with Floating Panels, New Customization Options, and More

The KDE Project released today the public beta version of the upcoming KDE Plasma 5.25 desktop environment series, which promises numerous new features, improvements, and more customization options.

KDE Plasma 5.25 is packed with lots of new features, including full control of the Tablet Mode from both Wayland and X11 sessions, a smooth cross-fade effect when changing between old and new color schemes, a new “Crashed Processes Viewer” app, and new finger-following touchpad gestures for touch-friendly devices.

Also new is a configuration window for KRunner, support for configuring all the buttons of Wacom ExpressKey Remote devices, the ability to access and manipulate Plasma layouts assigned to other screens from a central location in the global Edit Mode toolbar, as well as a new floating mode for the panel that detaches it from the bottom of the screen to look more like a dock.

“In this mode, it still functionally behaves identically to a traditional panel, and clicks in the empty area will be forwarded to the panel. In addition, the panel “un-floats” when there are any maximized windows,” explains KDE developer Nate Graham.

Another cool new feature of the KDE Plasma 5.25 desktop environment is the fact that you can now select the parts of the desktop layout that you want to change when applying a Global Theme in System Settings.

In addition, KDE Plasma now lets you edit color schemes to make the accent color subtly tint all of its colors, as well as to set accent colors to be automatically generated based on the colors of your current desktop wallpaper.

KDE Plasma 5.25 also promises better support for GTK apps that use the Breeze GTK theme to match the styling of Qt/KDE apps, an improved System Monitor app that now offers an option to make a page start loading data as soon as the app is opened, and adds a “shake” effect for the login screen when the wrong credentials are inserted, which you can see in action below.

For the Plasma Wayland session, KDE Plasma 5.25 improves multi-finger touchscreen gestures and the “slide” gesture to switch virtual desktops to follow your fingers, improves the user experience for gamers by disabling the screen edge actions, lets you change the screen resolution to resolutions beyond the officially supported ones, and adds support for the “screencast session restore” protocol for better integration of apps using XDG portals, such as Flatpaks and Snaps.

The Plasma Discover graphical package manager received several improvements too, such as the ability to show the apps’ level of access to resources on your system, the ability to easily delete the settings and user data of Flatpak apps, the ability to warn users about the risks of installing proprietary software, the ability to show the size of installed apps and other content on the “Installed” page, as well as support for the “Dynamic launcher” portal for better system integration of Flatpak and Snap apps.

Among other noteworthy changes, KDE Plasma 5.25 adds support for activating KWin effects using touch screen edge swipes, lets you add more locations and places to the “Favorites” list/grid in Kickoff, Kicker, and the Application Dashboard, adds the option to exclude minimized windows to the Overview effect, add a live effect of the Night Color feature, updates the Info Center’s “About this System” page to display more relevant hardware information.

It also adds the ability to edit the Halt and Reboot commands in System Settings’ Login Screen (SDDM) page, updates the Network, Battery and Brightness, Media Controller, and Window List applets, Audio Volume and Media Player widgets, the Overview effect, and various System Settings pages with new features and improvements, and fixes countless bugs for a better Plasma desktop experience.

Early adopters interested in test driving the beta version of the KDE Plasma 5.25 desktop environment can download various live GNU/Linux distributions that ship the development release of KDE Plasma, such as KDE neon Unstable Edition, Garuda Linux KDE-Git Edition, or openSUSE Krypton. More details can be found in the release announcement page.

The final release of KDE Plasma 5.25 will arrive on June 14th, 2022.

Last updated 9 mins ago

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