Release AnnouncementsPlasma 5.12.0

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Plasma 5.12
KDE Plasma 5.12

Tuesday, 06 February 2018. Today KDE releases a Feature update to Plasma 5, versioned 5.12.0.

Plasma 5.12 LTS is the second long-term support release from the Plasma 5 team. We have been working hard, focusing on speed and stability for this release. Boot time to desktop has been improved by reviewing the code for anything which blocks execution. The team has been triaging and fixing bugs in every aspect of the codebase, tidying up artwork, removing corner cases, and ensuring cross-desktop integration. For the first time, we offer our Wayland integration on long-term support, so you can be sure we will continue to provide bug fixes and improvements to the Wayland experience.


New in Plasma 5.12 LTS


Smoother and Speedier

Speed and memory improvements are the focus of this long-term release. The new Plasma LTS uses less CPU and less memory than previous versions. The process of starting the Plasma desktop is now significantly faster.


New Features

Weather Applet with Temperature
Weather Applet with Temperature

CPU usage in System Activity
CPU usage in System Monitor

Larger, horizontally-centered window shadows
Larger, horizontally-centered window shadows

The list of new features in Plasma 5.12 LTS doesn't stop with improved performance. You can also look forward to the following:


Discover

Discover's new app page
Discover's new app page

We have made many improvements to the Discover user interface, starting with redesigned app pages to showcase all the amazing software you can install. Non-browsing sections of the interface now have leaner headers, and browsing views are more compact, allowing you to see more apps at once. The screenshots are bigger and support keyboard navigation. The list of installed apps is sorted alphabetically, and the interface for configuring sources has been polished.

Discover has also seen major improvements in stability, as well as in Snap and Flatpak support. It supports apt:// URLs, and will notify you when a package requires a reboot after installation or update. Distributions using Discover can enable offline updates, and the distro upgrade feature can be used to get new distribution releases. Discover comes with better usability on phone form factors (uses Kirigami main action, and has a view specific for searching), and it integrates PackageKit global signals into notifications. All in all, the process of maintaining your software with Discover will feel much smoother.


Continuous Updates for Plasma on Wayland

Display Setup Now Supports Wayland

Plasma's support for running on Wayland continues to improve, and it is now suitable for a wider range of testing. It is included as a Long Term Support feature for the first time, which means we will be fixing bugs throughout the entire 5.12 LTS series. New features include:

Plasma on Wayland cares about your vision, so an exclusive, Wayland-only feature called Night Color is also available. Night Color integrates with KWin and removes blue light from your screen at night-time, functioning as an equivalent of the great Redshift app that works on X.

We have also started implementing window rules on Wayland and made it possible to use real-time scheduling policy to keep the input responsive. XWayland is no longer required to run the Plasma desktop; however, the applications only supporting X still make use of it.

For those who know their Wayland internals, the protocols we added are:

There is also an important change of policy: 5.12 is the last release which sees feature development in KWin on X11. With 5.13 onwards, only new features relevant to Wayland are going to be added.

We have put a lot of work into making Wayland support in Plasma as good as possible, but there are still some missing features and issues with particular hardware configurations. Therefore, we don't yet recommend it for daily use. More information is available on the Wayland status wiki page.


Browse the full Plasma 5.12 LTS changelog to find even more tweaks and bug fixes featured in this release: Full Plasma 5.12.0 changelog


What’s New Since Plasma 5.8 LTS

If you have been using our previous LTS release, Plasma 5.8, you might notice some interesting changes when you upgrade to Plasma 5.12. All these great features are waiting for you:


Previews in Notifications

Preview in Notifications

The notification system gained support for interactive previews that allow you to quickly take a screenshot and drag it into a chat window, an email composer, or a web browser form. This way you never have to leave the application you’re currently working with.


Task Manager Improvement

Audio Icon and Mute Button Context Menu Entry

Due to popular demand, we implemented switching between windows in Task Manager using Meta + number shortcuts for heavy multi-tasking. Also new in Task Manager is the ability to pin different applications in each of your activities. Is some app making noise in the background while you are trying to focus on one task? Applications currently playing audio are now marked with an icon, similar to how it’s done in modern web browsers. Together with a button to mute the offending application, this can help you stay focused.


Global Menus

Global Menu Screenshots, Applet and Window Decoration

Global Menus have returned. KDE's pioneering feature to separate the menu bar from the application window allows for a new user interface paradigm, with either a Plasma Widget showing the menu, or with the menu neatly tucked away in the window title bar. Setting it up has been greatly simplified in Plasma 5.12: as soon as you add the Global Menu widget or title bar button, the required background service gets started automatically. No need to reload the desktop or click any confirmation buttons!


Spring-Loaded Folders

Spring Loading in Folder View
Spring Loading in Folder View

Folder View is now the default desktop layout. After some years of shunning icons on the desktop, we have accepted the inevitable and changed to Folder View as the default desktop. This brings some icons to the desktop by default, and allows you to put whatever files or folders you want on it for easy access. To make this work, many improvements have been made to Folder View. Spring Loading makes drag-and- dropping files powerful and quick, and there is a tighter icon grid, along with massively improved performance.


Music Controls in Lock Screen

Media Controls on Lock Screen

Media controls have been added to the lock screen. For added privacy, they can be disabled in Plasma 5.12. Moreover, music will automatically pause when the system suspends.


New System Settings Interface

New Look System Settings

We introduced a new System Settings user interface for easy access to commonly used settings. It is the first step in making this often-used and complex application easier to navigate and more user-friendly. The new design is added as an option, so users who prefer the older icon or tree views can move back to their preferred way of navigation.


Plasma Vaults

Plasma Vaults

KDE has a focus on privacy. After all, our vision is a world in which everyone has control over their digital life and enjoys freedom and privacy.

For users who often deal with sensitive, confidential and private information, the new Plasma Vault feature offers strong encryption options presented in a user-friendly way. It allows you to lock and encrypt sets of documents, and hide them from prying eyes even when you are logged in. Plasma Vault extends Plasma's Activities feature with secure storage.


Plasma's Comprehensive Features

Take a look at what Plasma offers - a comprehensive selection of features unparalleled in any desktop software.

Desktop Widgets

Desktop Widgets
Desktop Widgets

Cover your desktop in useful widgets to keep you up to date with weather, amuse you with comics, or help you with calculations.


Get Hot New Stuff

Get Hot New Stuff
Get Hot New Stuff

Download wallpapers, window styles, widgets, desktop effects and dozens of other resources straight to your desktop. We work with the new KDE Store to bring you a wide selection of addons ready to be installed.


Desktop Search

Desktop Search
Desktop Search

Plasma lets you easily search your desktop for applications, folders, music, video, files... If you have it, Plasma can find it.


Unified Look

Unified Look
Unified Look

Plasma's default Breeze theme has a unified look across all the common programming toolkits - Qt 4 & 5, GTK 2 & 3, and LibreOffice.


Phone Integration

Phone Integration
Phone Integration

With KDE Connect, you can get notifications for new text messages on the desktop, easily transfer files between your computer and mobile device, silence music during calls, and even use your phone for remote control.


Infinitely Customisable

Infinitely Customisable
Infinitely Customisable

Plasma is simple by default, but powerful when needed. You can customise it however you like with new widgets, panels, screens, and styles.


Package Downloads

Distributions have created, or are in the process of creating, packages listed on our wiki page.

Package download wiki page

Feedback

You can give us feedback and get updates on Facebook or Twitter or Google+.

Discuss Plasma 5 on the KDE Forums Plasma 5 board.

You can provide feedback direct to the developers via the #Plasma IRC channel, Plasma-devel mailing list or report issues via bugzilla. If you like what the team is doing, please let them know!

Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Supporting KDE

KDE is a Free Software community that exists and grows only because of the help of many volunteers that donate their time and effort. KDE is always looking for new volunteers and contributions, whether it is help with coding, bug fixing or reporting, writing documentation, translations, promotion, money, etc. All contributions are gratefully appreciated and eagerly accepted. Please read through the Supporting KDE page for further information or become a KDE e.V. supporting member through our Join the Game initiative.

About KDE

KDE is an international technology team that creates free and open source software for desktop and portable computing. Among KDE's products are a modern desktop system for Linux and UNIX platforms, comprehensive office productivity and groupware suites and hundreds of software titles in many categories including Internet and web applications, multimedia, entertainment, educational, graphics and software development. KDE software is translated into more than 60 languages and is built with ease of use and modern accessibility principles in mind. KDE's full-featured applications run natively on Linux, BSD, Solaris, Windows and Mac OS X.


Trademark Notices. KDE® and the K Desktop Environment® logo are registered trademarks of KDE e.V. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks and copyrights referred to in this announcement are the property of their respective owners.


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