Reasons to Get Excited about KDE in 2018

Despite the security meltdown that swept over the tech community, our 2018 started out great - and it's all thanks to you. Your donations helped us reach the goal of our end-of-year fundraiser.

We would like to thank everyone who participated in the fundraiser, and also to all our community members who spread the word about it on social media and their blogs. You are all a wonderful community, and we are proud to be a part of this journey with you.

With our funds recharged and our hearts full of gratitude, we are ready to take on the new year and all the challenges it brings. The work is already in full swing - we released a bugfix update for KDE Applications and a new version of KDE Frameworks. But what else is there to look forward to in 2018? Read on to find out.

Plasma 5.12 Puts the "S" in Speed (and Stability)

Having released an update for Plasma 5.11 just at the beginning of 2018, Plasma developers are now gearing up for the first major release of the year. Plasma 5.12 will be the new LTS (Long-Term Support) version, replacing Plasma 5.8.

Discover, now with better application screenshots.

Since many Linux distributions will rely on this version of Plasma, the developers wanted to make it as stable and fast as possible. Startup speed and memory usage will be visibly improved, particularly on low-end devices.

The KScreen utility will allow Wayland users to adjust the output resolution as well as enable and disable selected outputs. Discover, the software management application, will support the dist-upgrade command for new major releases of distributions. Application screenshots will look better than ever, and support some useful options such as navigation between images. A lot of work has been done on Flatpak support in Discover, and plenty of critical, usability-impeding bugs have been fixed.

It is important to note that new features for KWin on X11 will no longer be developed after Plasma 5.12. Moving forward, only the features relevant to Wayland will be added.

Krita Paints Masterpiece Features

Krita 4.0 is almost here!

Digital artists, rejoice! A major Krita release with big, beautiful changes is coming this year. With Krita 3.3.3 released just recently, all the attention is now shifting towards Krita 4.0. This version will bring improved integration with Inkscape, allowing the users to copy and paste shapes directly between the two applications.

Krita 4.0 supports Python scripting, comes with a new text tool, and allows bigger brush sizes. Expect two major changes related to file formats, too - instead of ODG, SVG will be the new default vector format. Additionally, the file format for color palettes will change, and the new one will let users create their own color groups.

If you're feeling brave enough, you can already try Krita 4.0 Beta today, and don't forget to report bugs if you find any!

New Apps Take the Stage

We're always happy when new or small projects take off and grow to become an important part of the KDE Community. Here's a small selection of some interesting KDE applications to keep an eye on:


If you're into 3D printing, you should try Atelier. Along with its backend, AtCore, Atelier allows you to control your 3D printer, calibrate printer settings, check its status, and send print jobs to the printer. Although the application is still in beta, you can use it on Linux, macOS, and Windows, and there is even an AppImage if you'd prefer not bother with dependencies.

A major redesign of the user interface is in progress, so you can expect better views and multiple workspaces that will allow you to manage more than one 3D printer using one instance of Atelier.


With Zanshin, you'll never forget to buy those kiwis.

Productivity isn't such a hot buzzword anymore, but people are still looking for better ways to organize their tasks. Enter Zanshin, a small but powerful app grounded in the philosophy of simplicity. It allows you to sort your tasks into projects and divide them into different contexts.

Zanshin integrates with the KDE PIM suite and KRunner, making it easy to add new tasks from incoming email or display them in your calendar. A new version of Zanshin just came out, with features such as recurrent tasks, support for attachments, and the ability to focus on the currently active task to minimize distraction.

Latte Dock

Latte Dock officially became a KDE project (as part of our Extragear collection) at the end of 2017, but it has been a community favorite for a long time.

This highly configurable dock allows you to organize your launchers and running applications, and new features are added constantly. Recent changes made it possible to share custom dock layouts with other users (and download theirs), and improved dynamic backgrounds for application windows that interact with the dock.


Elisa is simple by default, powerful when needed.

A new music player on the KDE stage, Elisa is still in development, but it's an exciting project to follow. One of its main features is music indexing, which optimizes the speed of your music collection. Elisa allows you to browse music by artist and album, or display all tracks, as well as create custom playlists. The developers are currently focused on improving the interface. You can try Elisa on Linux and Windows.

Akademy on the Blue Danube

August may seem far away, but we're already preparing for the biggest KDE Community event of the year - Akademy 2018! The annual gathering of KDE community members will take place in Vienna, Austria, from the 11th to the 17th of August at the University of Technology (TU Wien).

The call for participation is now open, and you can send your proposals for talks, panels, and workshops until March 12th, 2018. Of course, you can also simply come as an attendee -- after all, there is no admission fee, and everyone is welcome. Whether you're a seasoned KDE contributor or someone who just started using KDE software two days ago, we would like to meet you!

More Ways for You to Contribute

During our end-of-year fundraiser, many people asked us about using cryptocurrency to support KDE. We listened, and we made it possible - now you can donate Bitcoin using bitpay. You can also donate directly from our Facebook page, or participate in our Join the Game project, where you can become a supporting member of KDE and take part in our General Assembly meetings.

Of course, it's not all about the money. If you would like to contribute to KDE as a developer, take a look at our Season of KDE mentorship project. Want to write articles about KDE for this website? Get in touch with the KDE Promo team, and they will help you get started. There are so many venues to becoming a KDE contributor, and as part of our long-term goals, we will work on making the process of joining easier.

Let's konquer 2018 together!


KDE End-of-Year Fundraiser 2017 is Live!

It's that time of the year again - the time for our End-of-Year fundraiser!

After an exciting and successful year, we give you all an opportunity to help us recharge our proverbial batteries.

You've always wanted to contribute to a Free and open source project, right? Maybe you wondered how you could do that.
Well, supporting our fundraiser is a perfect way to get started. Donations are also a great way to show gratitude to the developers of your favorite KDE applications, and to ensure the project will continue.

Besides, you know that this is a project worth backing, because we get things done. Since proof is in the pudding, let's take a quick look at what we did this year.

2017 Software Landmarks

  • In 2017, we released 3 major versions of Plasma - 5.9, 5.10, and 5.11
  • KDE Applications also saw 3 major releases, with the last one released just recently
  • There were 2 big releases of KDevelop, with improved support for PHP, Analyzers mode with plugins like Heaptrack and cppcheck, and support for Open Computing Language
  • We kept pushing Kirigami forward with releases 2.0 and 2.1, and several applications newly ported to the framework. Thanks to the new Kirigami, even more apps can be ported to a wider range of desktops and mobile environments
  • There were 4 releases of digiKam, the image management software, which also got a new, prettier website design
  • Krita continued to amaze everyone with its high-quality features, and it just keeps getting better
  • We welcomed a new browser Falkon (formerly known as Qupzilla) into our KDE family. We were also joined by several new applications, including Elisa, a simple and straightforward music player
  • Our developers focused on accessibility and made our applications more usable for everybody during the Randa Meetings developer sprint
  • Into 2018 with You

    We look forward to the new year with all its challenges and excitements, and we don't plan on slowing down.

    There will be new Plasma and KDE Applications releases, with a new Plasma LTS release (5.12) planned for the end of January. Season of KDE will bring a stream of fresh contributors. Konversation 2.0 will present a completely redesigned interface, and you can be sure it's not the only application that will positively surprise you in 2018.

    We will spend a lot of time and effort on our long-term goals, which include improving software usability, protecting your privacy, and making it easier to become a KDE contributor. And as always, we'll be on the lookout for more Free Software projects that we can bring under our wing and help the developers bring their ideas to fruition.

    But we cannot do all this without you. The community - that is, people just like you - is what drives KDE forward. Your energy motivates us. Your feedback helps us improve. Your financial support allows us to organize community events and developer sprints, maintain our websites and infrastructure, and so much more.

    Help us build a bigger, better, more powerful KDE Community by donating to our End-of-Year fundraiser. We appreciate every contribution, no matter how modest.

    You can also support us and power up our fundraiser by posting about it on social media. Share the link, tell others about it, or write a post on your blog and share that. Tweet us a link to your blog post, and we will share it on our social media.

    Let's empower each other!


    Private Internet Access becomes a KDE Patron

    Private Internet Access is joining KDE as a Patron and pledges to support the work of KDE e.V. through the corporate membership program.

    "We are very happy to have the Private Internet Access/London Trust Media as a KDE Patron and KDE e.V. Advisory Board member. The values of Internet openness are deeply rooted in both organisations, as well as those of privacy and security. Working together will allow us to build better systems and a better Internet for everyone", said Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Vice-President of the KDE e.V.

    "Private Internet Access is highly committed to giving back to those communities that have helped the brand and its parent company get to where it is today, and we are very much aware that vast proportions of the infrastructure we use on a daily basis, in the office and at home, is powered by Free and Open Source Software. We have made a pledge to show our gratitude by supporting FOSS projects to help encourage development and growth. We are proud to be supporting KDE and the crucial work that the project does for the Linux Desktop" said Christel Dahlskjear, Director of Sponsorships and Events at Private Internet Access.

    Private Internet Access provides VPN services specializing in secure, encrypted VPN tunnels. Those tunnels create several layers of privacy and security for a more effective safety for users on the Internet. Private Internet Access's VPN Service is backed by multiple gateways worldwide, with VPN Tunnel access in 25+ countries and 37+ regions.

    Private Internet Access will join KDE's other Patrons: The Qt Company, SUSE, Google, Blue Systems and Canonical to continue supporting Free Software and KDE development through the KDE e.V.


    KDE and Google Summer of Code 2017: Fun, Features, Bugs, Blogs

    While you were enjoying your summer vacation, our Google Summer of Code (GSoC) students were working hard on their projects. They developed new features for KDE software, stomped bugs, wrote blog posts to report on their progress, and still managed to have fun while doing all that. With the final results announcement just around the corner, let's take a look at what the students accomplished in the past three months.

    This year, 24 students contributed to more than 20 KDE projects as part of GSoC. As you probably already know, GSoC is a yearly program organized by Google for students from all over the world. The aim of GSoC is to motivate young developers to join open source organizations, and those who successfully complete their project receive a stipend from Google.

    KDE has been participating in GSoC since the very beginning in 2005, and we're proud to say that many of our students remain active contributors and members of the KDE Community.

    If you haven't been following our GSoC students' blog updates (a mistake you can easily fix by subscribing to Planet KDE), here's a recap of their activities. Most, if not all of their work will show up as new and improved features in the upcoming versions of KDE software.

    More Power to the Creatives

    Digital artists will be happy to hear that Krita and digiKam received some power-ups from our GSoC 2017 students. Aniketh Girish improved the user interface of Krita's Resource Manager, making it easier to create and edit bundles. He also created a dialog that enables interaction and content exchange with the share.krita.org website.

    Krita's new content downloader.

    Alexey Kapustin worked on a touchy subject - implementing telemetry into Krita. Of course, this feature will be completely opt-in, and the information collected will help Krita developers understand the behavior and needs of their users.

    Grigory Tantsevov developed a watercolor brush engine that emulates the look and behavior of real watercolors, and Eliakin Costa worked on making Krita more scriptable to save time on repetitive actions.

    Choosing a face recognition algorithm in digiKam.

    Along the way, Eliakin also improved and developed several plugins, including the Document Tools Plugin, Ten Scripts Plugin, and the Last Documents Thumbnails Docker.

    Ahmed Fathy Shaban worked on implementing a DLNA server directly into the digiKam core, and Yingjie Liu achieved 99% face recognition accuracy in digiKam by adding new face recognition algorithms.

    Last but not least, Shaza Ismail Kaoud created a useful healing clone tool for digiKam. See the tool in action in this video clip.

    Boosting KDE Edu

    Applications for all levels of education, from preschool to PhD, received a boost from GSoC students. Thanks to Stefan Toncu, users of Minuet can now choose an instrument for exercise visualization, instead of always being stuck with the keyboard.

    GCompris Family activity.

    Divyam Madaan and Rudra Nil Basu added a bunch of activities to GCompris: Oware, Computer parts, Piano composition and note names, Pilot a Submarine, Family, and Digital Electronics.

    Deeper in the scientific territory, Rishabh Gupta ported the Lua, R, and Qalculate backends in Cantor to QProcess, and Fabian Kristof Szabolcs implemented support for live streaming data in LabPlot.

    Csaba Kertesz worked on modernizing the KStars codebase, and Cristian Baldi developed a responsive web app for WikiToLearn from scratch. His project also included building offline browsing right into the WikiToLearn website, and allowing Android users to install the website on their phone just like any other regular app.

    Kirigami Welcomes New Apps

    Speaking of mobile apps, Judit Bartha worked on the Android version of Marble Maps. Judit implemented bookmark management and redesigned the app to fit the Material Design guidelines using the Kirigami framework. Mohammed Nafees worked on extending Marble Maps to support indoor maps, such as building floor plans.

    Marble Maps for Android: old interface on the left, and the redesigned one on the right.

    Atul Sharma ported Koko, a simple image viewer, to Kirigami.

    Chatting Anywhere, Anytime

    Ruqola, the Qt-based client for Rocket.Chat.

    Chat applications keep multiplying, and users expect native clients for their Linux desktops. Vasudha Mathur developed Ruqola, the first generic cross-platform interface to Rocket.Chat. She used Kirigami and Qt technologies to shape the application for both desktop and mobile platforms.

    Davide Riva developed a protocol-independent chat bridge that supports IRC, Telegram, and Rocket.Chat, allowing for future expansions thanks to its modularity. The bridge is called Brooklyn, and it is already on its 0.2 release.

    Vijay Krishnavanshi and Paulo Lieuthier worked on Kopete. Vijay ported the remaining KDE4 parts of Kopete to KF5, and Paulo created a new plugin for chat history management.

    Making KDE Software Better

    Plenty of improvements have been implemented across the KDE applications ecosystem. Chinmoy Ranjan Pradhan worked on adding Polkit support to KIO, the system library used by KDE software to access and manage files. Polkit allows non-root users to perform file management operations that would usually require admin privileges. With this feature, opening Dolphin as root should finally become a thing of the past.

    Lukas Hetzenecker examined HiDPI rendering issues in KDE applications (Gwenview, Spectacle, Okular) and set out to fix them. Mikhail Ivchenko focused on KDevelop, and worked on stabilizing the support for the Go programming language.

    Looking Forward to Next Year

    Taking part in GSoC is a great opportunity for professional development. In addition to expanding their programming skills, the students earn valuable project management experience, as they are expected to plan and report on every step of their project.

    Despite all those benefits, GSoC is not always so peachy for everyone. Sometimes students encounter code-shattering bugs, or have to rewrite entire software components in another programming language. This is where the mentors step in. Mentors offer guidance when students get stuck, and provide advice in making key decisions. Without their support, GSoC wouldn't be so successful, so here's a big "thank you" to all our GSoC 2017 mentors!

    To all our students who passed the final evaluation: Congratulations! We're delighted to have been a part of this journey with you, and we hope you'll stick around in the KDE Community. And if you didn't pass, don't despair. We still greatly value your contribution and effort, and you're more than welcome to keep contributing to KDE.

    It's never too early to start preparing for the next Google Summer of Code. If you're a student interested in Free and open source software, join us today!


    KDE e.V. Community 2016 Report

    The KDE e.V. community report for 2016 is now available. After the introductory statement from the Board, you can read a featured article about the 20th anniversary of KDE, and an overview of all developer sprints and conferences supported by KDE e.V. The report includes statements from our Working Groups, development highlights for 2016, and some information about the current structure of KDE e.V.

    Featured Article – 20 years of KDE

    In 2016, all of us celebrated 20 years of the KDE Community with a number of parties around the world. We participated in the awesome QtCon in Berlin, announced the book 20 Years of KDE: Past, Present and Future and the KDE timeline. In this featured article, Lydia Pintscher brings back the early KDE impetus for digital freedom that still remains alive in every contributor's soul.

    Supported Activities and Specific Reports

    The report provides summaries of eight KDE e.V. supported developer sprints and six trade shows and community events where the KDE Community had its presence. Specific reports from the KDE e.V. Working Groups and KDE España are also presented. Finally, the report contains development highlights for 2016, and a short overview of mentoring programs in which KDE has been involved.


    The report concludes with a list of contributors who joined KDE e.V. during 2016, and presents the current members of the KDE e.V. Board of Directors. We invite you to read the entire report!


    Have You Heard? KDE Applications 17.04 and Plasma 5.9.5 Now Available

    The last two weeks have been busy for the KDE Community. On April 20 we announced the release of KDE Applications 17.04, and five days later we released a new set of bugfixes and translations for Plasma, officially versioned Plasma 5.9.5.

    Both new versions of our products have introduced several features and stability improvements to the overall KDE user experience. Here are some of the highlights from the latest KDE Applications and Plasma releases. As always, you can find a lot more information in their respective changelogs.

    What's New in File Management?

    If Dolphin is your file manager of choice, you will be happy to hear that it now allows you to interact with the metadata widgets in the tooltips. The Places panel now has better context menus, and opening a new instance of Dolphin using the "New Window" option will launch it in the same target folder as your current Dolphin window.

    A significant change that affects not only Dolphin, but also Kate and KWrite, is that launching these applications as root on Linux systems has been disabled by default. The reason for this is that it is a safety risk to run GUI apps with root privileges in the X Window System (X11).

    When it comes to viewing your files, Okular will be even better at it thanks to numerous improvements. You can now create bookmarks from the Table of Contents, resize annotations, and disable automatic search while typing.

    Finally, Ark - the application that lets you manage compressed files and folders - now has a handy plugin configuration dialog and a Search function to help you look inside your archives.

    What About Multimedia Applications?

    The biggest improvements in the multimedia department will be visible in Kdenlive, KDE's video editor. The profile selection dialog has been fully redesigned, and it is now much easier to tweak the framerate, screen size, and other details of your project. Perhaps the coolest new feature in Kdenlive is the ability to play your video directly from the notification you receive when rendering is completed.

    Other multimedia applications received some minor improvements, for example Gwenview now lets you hide the status bar in the application window.

    Don't Forget About KDE Edu!

    Our educational applications have seen some interesting changes. KAlgebra - the powerful graphing calculator and math-learning tool - has a new 3D back-end on the desktop, and its mobile version has been ported to Kirigami 2.0.

    If you love music more than math, the new version of Minuet will delight you. The music education tool now comes with more scale exercises and ear-training tasks, plus an entire Test Mode for practicing and monitoring your progress.

    KStars, our desktop planetarium, will now work much better on OS X, and KGeography now includes a map of Ghana.

    New Members of the KDE Applications Family

    We are happy to announce that K3b, the disk burning software, is now part of KDE Applications. In other great news, several applications have been ported from their old kdelibs4 base to KDE Frameworks 5. The list includes KCachegrind, Kajongg, kde-dev-utils and kdesdk-kioslaves.

    No longer included in KDE Applications is the unmaintained development tool Kommander.

    What About the New Plasma?

    The most obvious changes introduced in Plasma 5.9.5 are related to window decorations and other visual tweaks. Themes in the System Settings module are now sorted, Plastik window decoration supports the global menu, and Aurorae window decorations support the global menu button. KWin will respect theme colors in buttons, and you will be able to edit the default color scheme of your Plasma Desktop.

    Moreover, your Plasma session will correctly handle the event of disconnecting a primary screen and replacing it with a new one. The Media Controller Plasmoid has been fixed, and can now properly seek tracks longer than 30 minutes.

    Where Can You Get All These New Things?

    Both KDE Applications 17.04 and Plasma 5.9.5 are available in KDE neon. Linux distributions are expected to provide packages or update their existing ones in the coming weeks. Users of Arch Linux, Manjaro Linux, and Gentoo should already see our latest software in their repositories.

    If you can't wait for your distribution's packages, you can always download our source code and compile it yourself. We provide build instructions for both KDE Applications and Plasma.

    What's Next?

    Plasma 5.10 is expected at the end of May. If you have been following our developers' blogs, you might be aware of some upcoming features. Folder View will have a much more prominent role on the Plasma Desktop, and it will include practical spring-loading navigation.

    A lot more is in the works, and we will reveal some of the novelties as the release date approaches. Make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ to keep up with all the news. If you're planning to celebrate the release of Plasma 5.10 by hosting a release party, start preparing now! Our Community Wiki has some tips on how to organize a local KDE event.

    In the meantime, let us know about your experience with KDE Applications 17.04 and Plasma 5.9.5 in the comments!


    Canonical Becomes a Patron of KDE e.V.


    KDE and Canonical's Ubuntu have collaborated for years. Today we celebrate the extension of this collaboration with the addition of Canonical to the KDE Patrons family, as part of the corporate membership program.


    KDE's Kirigami UI Framework Gets its First Public Release

    Kirigami UI logo (squared format)

    Kirigami UI, KDE's user interface framework for mobile and convergent applications, which was first announced in March, is now publicly released! Kirigami UI allows Qt developers to easily create applications that run on most major mobile and desktop platforms without modification (though adapted user interfaces for different form-factors are supported and recommended for optimal user experience). It extends the touch-friendly Qt Quick Controls with larger application building blocks, following the design philosophy laid out in the Kirigami Human Interface Guidelines. Kirigami UI currently officially supports Android, Desktop GNU/Linux, Windows and the upcoming Plasma Mobile. iOS support is currently in an experimental stage, support for Ubuntu Touch is being worked on. Read the full article for details.


    KDE e.V. Joins Advisory Board of The Document Foundation

    Today we are delighted to announce that KDE e.V. is joining the advisory board of The Document Foundation, the foundation backing LibreOffice and the Document Liberation Project. The Document Foundation also joins KDE e.V.'s group of advising community partners as an affiliate.


    KDE e.V. Quarterly Report - 1st Half of 2015

    The KDE e.V. report for the first half of 2015 is now available. It presents a survey of all the activities and events carried out, supported, and funded by KDE e.V. in that period, as well as the reporting of major events, conferences and mentoring programs that KDE has been involved in.