New touchpad gestures, syncing the accent color, and touch mode are some of the new features in the KDE Plasma 5.25 Desktop Environment.
Regarding the desktop, the KDE Desktop Environment is one of the two hegemons in the Linux world. Adored by some and considered overcomplicated by others, it has a well-deserved top spot in the hearts of aesthetic connoisseurs over the years.
Furthermore, its strong support over the years proves that KDE Plasma is a desktop environment on which any Linux user can rely.
KDE Plasma, as we all know, is about the endless possibilities for personalization. And the just-released KDE Plasma 5.25 is no exception. Indeed, none of the fans of this desktop environment will be disappointed with another dose of enhancements and features it brings. So, let’s take a look at them.
KDE Plasma 5.25 Desktop Environment Highlights
As we know, the significant innovation in the previous KDE Plasma 5.24 version was the introduction of the Overview mode (
Meta + W), which, to be honest, gives the whole thing a little GNOME feel. However, this functionality has been slightly improved in the new KDE Plasma 5.25. Now you can add, remove, and rename your virtual desktops.
In addition, you get advanced search capabilities in the ability to search for apps, documents, and browser tabs with KRunner and the Application Launcher.
The following innovation is guaranteed to delight all notebook users who are used to working without a mouse. Several gestures have been included that will surely improve the comfort and productivity of your workflow. So we have listed them below for your convenience:
- Four-finger pinch: opens the Overview
- Three-finger swipe in any direction: switching between Virtual Desktops
- Downwards four-finger swipe: opens Present Windows
- Four-finger upwards swipe: activates the Desktop Grid
On top of that, if you use a touchscreen, swipes from the screen’s edge can be configured to open Overview, Desktop Grid, Present Windows, and Show Desktop as they directly follow your finger. As usual, these options may be found in “System Settings” -> “Workspace Behavior” -> “Touchscreen.”
Let us now look at the aesthetic side of things. KDE Plasma 5.25, like its previous versions, has considered this. The key breakthrough here is the ability to match the accent colors in your theme with those on your current wallpaper. It’s a fantastic feature that will appeal to all lovers of an aesthetically pleasing desktop work environment.
The best part is that when you change your current wallpaper, these color accents will update automatically. Additionally, you can also specify how much tint you want to see blended in with your regular color scheme.
But that is not all. You can even apply the accent color in the header area or title bar while configuring your color scheme.
To take advantage of these possibilities, go to the “System Settings” -> “Appearance” -> “Color.” Then, select the “From current wallpaper” option and hit the “Apply” button.
The new Touch Mode adds another convenience for notebook owners, which devices support detaching or rotating back the keyboard. When activated, the title bars of KDE apps become taller, making it easier to press, drag, and close windows with touch. In addition, when the device is in Touch Mode, the context menu items also become taller, giving you more room to tap the relevant one.
Apart from those mentioned above, some additional changes in KDE PLasma 5.25 deserve to be noted here.
The Global Theme settings page allows you to select which parts of a global theme to apply, allowing you to apply only the parts of a global theme that you prefer.
In addition, a new Floating Panels feature has also been introduced. The point is that when a window is maximized, it adds a margin all around the panel to make it float, then animates it back to normal.
We’ll wrap the presentation of KDE Plasma 5.25 with a new feature that’s both fun and practical, and it’s integrated into the lock and login screens. If you enter the incorrect password, the lock and login screens will shake, giving you a visible reminder to try again.
As always, you can refer to the official announcement for more information about all changes in the new version.
How to Get KDE Plasma 5.25
The easiest way to test it is with KDE Neon. It is a Linux distribution developed by KDE based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.
Users of rolling-release Linux distributions such as Arch Linux, openSUSE Tumbleweed, Void Linux, etc., are expected to be among the first to receive the upgrade to KDE Plasma 5.25 in their distro’s repositories.