Wednesday, 02 March 2016. KDE released a beta update to its desktop software, Plasma 5.6.
This release of Plasma brings many improvements to the task manager, KRunner, activities, and Wayland support as well as a much more refined look and feel.
Slicker Plasma Theme
Supercharged Task Manager
Media Controls in Panel and Tooltips
Moreover, hovering a music or video player shows beautiful album art and media controls, so you never have to leave the application you’re currently working with. Our media controller applet that shows up during playback also received some updates, notably support for multiple players running simultaneously.
Not only did we improve interacting with running applications, starting applications gets in your way less, too. Using Jump Lists you can launch an application and jump, hence the name, to a specific task right away. This feature is also present in the application launchers.
Another feature returns from the old days, the weather widget.
On the road to Wayland
With Plasma 5.5 for the first time we shipped a Wayland session for you to try out. While we still do not recommend using Wayland as a daily driver, we’ve made some significant advances:
- Window decorations are now supported for Wayland clients giving you a beautiful and unified user experience
- Input handling gained all features you’ve come to know and love from the X11 world, including ‘Focus follows mouse’, Alt + mouse button to move and resize windows, etc
- Different keyboard layouts and layout switching
The easiest way to try it out is with a live image booted off a USB disk. You can find a list of Live Images with Plasma 5 on the KDE Community Wiki.
Distributions have created, or are in the process of creating, packages listed on our wiki page.
You can install Plasma 5 directly from source. KDE’s community wiki has instructions to compile it. Note that Plasma 5 does not co-install with Plasma 4, you will need to uninstall older versions or install into a separate prefix.