APR
28
2015

Plasma 5.3 Adds Improved Power Management and Media Center Preview

Today KDE makes a feature release of Plasma 5, versioned 5.3.



Plasma 5.3

Plasma 5.3

Highlights



Inform what is blocking power saving

Battery applet now informs what is blocking power saving


Energy Usage monitor

New energy usage monitor

Enhanced Power Management

  • Power management settings can be configured
    differently for certain activities
  • Laptop will not suspend when closing the lid while an external monitor is
    connected ('cinema mode', by default, can be turned off)
  • Power management inhibitions block lock screen too
  • Screen brightness changes are now animated on most hardware
  • No longer suspends when closing the lid while shutting down
  • Support for keyboard button brightness controls on lock screen
  • KInfoCenter provides statistics about energy consumption
  • Battery monitor now shows which applications are currently holding a power management
    inhibition for example ('Chrome is currently suppressing PM: Playing video')



Bluedevil

The new Bluedevil Applet

Better Bluetooth Capabilities

  • New Bluetooth applet
  • Bluedevil was ported to a new library from KDE, BluezQt
  • Added support for blocking and unblocking Bluetooth
  • Connected devices with Browse Files (ObexFTP) support are now displayed in the file dialog's Places panel



Configure your Touchpad

Configure your Touchpad


A touchpad configuration module has been added




Application Menu can access contacts

Application Menu can access contacts


Application Menu can show recent documents

Application Menu can show recent documents

Improved Plasma Widgets

  • Clipboard applet gains support for showing barcodes
  • The Desktop and Folder View containment codebases were
    unified, and have seen performance improvements

  • The Recent Documents and Recent Applications sections in
    Application Menu (Kicker) are now powered by KDE activities
  • Comics widget returns
  • System monitor plasmoids return, such as CPU Load Monitor and Hard Disk usage


Plasma Media Center - Tech Preview



Plasma Media Center

Plasma Media Center

Plasma Media Center is added as a tech preview in this release. It is fully stable but misses a few features compared to version 1. You can log directly into a Plasma Media Center session if you want to use it on a media device such as a television or projector or you can run it from Plasma Desktop. It will scan for videos, music and pictures on your computer to let you browse and play them.





Plasma is now able to start a nested XWayland server

Plasma is now able to start a nested XWayland server

Big Steps Towards Wayland Support

  • Plasma 5.3 makes a huge step towards to supporting the Wayland windowing system in addition to the default X11 windowing system. Plasma's window manager and compositor KWin is now able to start a nested XWayland server, which acts as a bridge between the old (X11) and the new (Wayland) world. X11 windows can connect to this server as if it were a normal X server, for KWin it looks like a Wayland window, though. This means that KWin learned to handle Wayland windows in this release, though full integration is only expected for Plasma 5.4.

  • In addition KWin gained new output modes for Wayland allowing to start a nested KWin on X11 and to start KWin directly on a framebuffer device, which will be the fallback for the case that OpenGL and/or kernel mode settings are not supported. A rendering backend on kernel mode settings is expected for Plasma 5.4. More information about these new backends and how to test them can be found in the KWin wiki pages. Please keep in mind that this is only a development preview and highly experimental new code.


Desktop Tweaks - Press and Hold



Press and Hold Tweak

A new Tweaks configuration option in Plasma allows you to enable or disable the desktop settings toolbox and enable a new Press and Hold mode for widget management. In this mode, widgets can be moved after pressing and holding anywhere on the widget, and the widget handle will only be shown after press and hold rather than on hover. When this mode is enabled, unlocking the desktop will show a helpful instruction notification (which can be dismissed forever from the popup).

Bug Fixes Galore

393 bugs were fixed giving fewer crashes and more reliable use.

Full Plasma 5.3 changelog


Live Images

The easiest way to try out Plasma is the with a live image booted off a USB disk.

Package Downloads

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

Source Downloads

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.

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.