KDE is a well-known desktop environment for the Unix-like systems designed for users who wants to have a nice desktop environment for their machines, It is one of the most used desktop interfaces out there.
In the past few years, a lot of work has been geared towards improving KDE desktop, with the latest stable release KDE Plasma 5 desktop series coming with some amazing features and bringing many improvements to the original task-manager, KRunner, including Wayland support which came around in Plasma 5 and activities as well, plus a more refined look and feel.
KDE Plasma 5 Features
There is a lot of new features in KDE Plasma 5, here’s a list of the most important new features.
- KDE 5 applications were rewritten using Qt 5; the next generation of the famous Qt library to design graphical interfaces, which means that KDE 5 apps will be faster than KDE 4 besides a better usage of GPU from KDE 5 applications.
- Completely new look for KDE 5 Plasma, with the new slicker plasma theme, KDE 5 Plasma is much more beautiful than KDE 4.x with the new flat design, besides the nice look, the “slicker” theme is lighter than the default theme for KDE.
- The Start menu for KDE 5 Plasma has been redesigned and notifications area has also been redesigned, fewer popup windows providing a better user experience to access the notifications.
- The lock screen window is also redesigned with a better login interface.
- Smoother performance, KDE 5 Plasma applications are rendered upon the top of the OpenGL scenegraph which means that KDE 5 programs have the priority when being rendered beside other processes.
- Hardware-acceleration migration is now complete, this means that Plasma 5 rendering will be faster now because of the fully-usage for the GPU.
- A nice set of new wallpapers will look perfect on the default theme.
- Many other features that you will explore by your own.
On 15 October 2019, the makers of KDE released yet another Plasma feature update, Plasma 5.17. It ships in with several exciting new features and improvements, bringing a classic feel to your desktop. For more details, see the release notes.
Here is the official video which shows the most important changes in KDE Plasma 5.17.
Watch Plasma 5.17 in Action
Installation of KDE Plasma 5.17 in Linux
To install KDE Plasma 5.17 on Ubuntu 19.10-19.04 & Ubuntu 18.10-18.04 and Linux Mint 19/18, you have to use Kubuntu Backports PPA repository on the top of existing installations using following apt commands.
Install KDE Plasma On Ubuntu and Linux Mint
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports
After running the above command, it will ask you to enter your password and hit Enter key to continue to add the Kubuntu Backports PPA repository on your system.
After adding PPA, run the following commands to update your existing package database.
Note: If you already have Plasma installed, these commands will also upgrade it to the latest available version.
$ sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade
Now install KDE Plasma using following one single command in your system.
$ sudo apt install kubuntu-desktop
Please note during installation, it will ask you to configure sddm login manager, click OK and select the ‘gdm3’ login manager as default.
Once the installation process is completed, make sure to restart your system and select Plasma Desktop and enter the password to login to the KDE Plasma desktop environment.
Install KDE Plasma on Debian 10/9
$ sudo apt install tasksel $ sudo tasksel install kde-desktop OR $ sudo tasksel
Install KDE Plasma On OpenSUSE
For OpenSUSE, the latest version of KDE Plasma available from the default repository for your system and you can install it using zypper command as root.
$ sudo zypper in -t pattern kde kde_plasma
Install KDE Plasma On Fedora 30
For Fedora systems, new KDE plasma updates are available from the default repositories, make sure to keep your Fedora installation up-to-date, in order to install a most recent version of KDE Plasma using the following dnf commands.
$ sudo dnf update $ sudo dnf install @kde-desktop
Install KDE Plasma On RHEL/CentOS 8
# yum groupinstall "KDE Plasma Workspaces"
For Arch Linux, packages are available to download from the official extra repository, activate it and enjoy it.
KDE Plasma 5.17 Screenshot Tour
I hope that everything has worked fine, you can now enjoy KDE Plasma on your desktop.
In case of any queries or additional information you want to provide to us, you can use the comment section below to give us feedback.
Have you tested KDE Plasma 5 on your Linux system? How did you find it?. Please post your thoughts about the KDE desktop using our comment section below.