KDE Plasma 5.5 Extended Review: New Features and Improvements

Update 24.01.2016: KDE 5.5.3 (check the end of page)

KDE – desktop environment written in C++/Qt/QML and better for users which need more and love the powerful instruments. KDE can help you in everyday tasks like work with web, multimedia (photo, video, music), text and specific tasks: programming, video editing, education, games and many others. Many peoples say that KDE is very good for users with Windows experience, but I’m not sure. I highly recommend to try KDE: this desktop environment can give you many positive emotions.

KDE 5.5 was released on 8 December, 2015 with massive improvements, new features and Wayland session.

  • New Wayland session can be used for testing, not for real work. Supported all basic tools: text manipulations (copy/paste), windows resizing, basic tiling, settings for multiple monitors workstation (new screen management protocol), lock screen. Some KDE animation effects already supported in Wayland session.
  • KWin now support OpenGL ES. Note: Be careful – problems with some GPU drivers. This feature can be used with environment variable KWIN_COMPOSE=O2ES and recommend only for expert users.
  • Visual and security improvements in KDE screen locker
  • New design of Breeze Theme with several new icons:
The Breeze Plasma Theme
The Breeze Plasma Theme
New icons pack
New icons pack
  • Color Picker reborn – applet for easy color choice with many supported formats: hex, rgb, latex.
Color Picker
Color Picker
  • New User Switcher applet provides access from the KDE panel and look screen. Full user names and avatars are also supported.
    More detail
User Switcher
User Switcher
  • New applets: Disk Quota – helpful in enterprise and business workstations, Activity Pager – very useful tools for active users.
  • Legacy tray icons support (without StatusNotifier standard)

  • Plasma Networkmanager – new graphical interface for Network Manager with WPA2 Enterprise support, new password widget and more OpenVPN options.

  • New design of KDE Discover

  • New default font – Noto:

  • New beautiful wallpapers – check here for details.
  • Minor changes:
  • Bluedevil support new devices; renew the design of applet
  • Breeze: multiple bugfixes, icons renewal, fixed checkbox animation
  • Better documentation for KDE Window Decoration Library
  • Plasma Addons: new plasmoids and widgets
  • New KDE hotkeys
  • KInfoCenter: some fixes in Wayland session
  • KWayland and KWin: massive improvements and bug fixes
  • Oxygen: legacy KWin decoration is removed
  • And many others

Also check the official announcements.

KDE Plasma 5.5.3: New features and improvements

  • Fixed icon hover effect in dashboard
  • kdelibs4’s kde-runtime replaced to oxygen sound
  • fixed bugs in Breeze and Breeze GTK
  • fixed thumbnail generation
  • improved notifications


Read more:

Life with Wayland – Fedora Rawhide: Real Experience And List of Native/XWayland Applications

Node OS Review – Ultra-minimal Linux Distribution With Node.js/JavaScript Userspace

20 Years of GIMP Evolution: Step by Step

Github’s Atom vs Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code: Comparison, Review and Voting

Let’s Encrypt And WoSign – How To Get A Valid SSL Certificate Absolutely Free

KDE Plasma 5.4 and KDE Apps on Wayland Test Drive

  • Ioakeim Tziakos

    startplasmacompositor doesn’t start a wayland session and neither sddm does. Anyone knows how to boot plasma with wayland?