Today KDE releases Plasma 5.2. This release adds a number of new components, many new features and many more bugfixes.
This release of Plasma comes with some new components to make your desktop even more complete:
BlueDevil: a range of desktop components to manage Bluetooth devices. It'll set up your mouse, keyboard, send & receive files and you can browse for devices.
KSSHAskPass: if you access computers with ssh keys but those keys have passwords this module will give you a graphical UI to enter those passwords.
Muon: install and manage software and other addons for your computer.
Login theme configuration (SDDM): SDDM is now the login manager of choice for Plasma and this new System Settings module allows you to configure the theme.
KScreen: getting its first release for Plasma 5 is the System Settings module to set up multiple monitor support.
GTK Application Style: this new module lets you configure themeing of applications from Gnome.
KDecoration: this new library makes it easier and
more reliable to make themes for KWin, Plasma's window manager. It has
impressive memory, performance and stability improvements. If you are
missing a feature don't worry it'll be back in Plasma 5.3.
Undo changes to Plasma desktop layout
Smarter sorting of results in KRunner, press Alt-space to easily search through your computer
Breeze window decoration theme adds a new look to your desktop and is now used by default
The artists in the visual design group have been hard at work on many new Breeze icons
They have added a new white mouse cursor theme for Breeze.
New plasma widgets: 15 puzzle, web browser, show desktop
Audio Player controls in KRunner, press Alt-Space and type next to change music track
The Kicker alternative application menu can install applications from the menu and adds menu editing features.
Our desktop search feature Baloo sees optimisations on startup. It now consumes 2-3x less CPU on startup. The query parser supports "type" / "kind" properties, so you can type "kind:Audio" in krunner to filter out Audio results.
In the screen locker we improved the integration with logind to ensure the screen is properly locked before suspend. The background of the lock screen can be configured. Internally this uses part of the Wayland protocol which is the future of the Linux desktop.
There are improvements in the handling of multiple monitors. The detection code for multiple monitors got ported to use the XRandR extension directly and multiple bugs related to it were fixed.
Default applications in Kickoff panel menu have been updated to list Instant Messaging, Kontact and Kate.
There is a welcome return to the touchpad enable/disable feature for laptop keypads with these keys.
Breeze will set up GTK themes on first login to match.
Over 300 bugs fixed throughout Plasma modules.
The easiest way to try it out is the with a live image booted off a USB disk. Images which use Plasma 5.2 beta are available for development versions of Kubuntu Vivid Beta and Fedora 21 remix. We expect Plasma 5 to be picked up as the default desktop in leading distributions in the coming months.
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.
Discuss Plasma 5 on the KDE Forums Plasma 5 board.
Your feedback is greatly appreciated.
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.