KDE Plasma 5

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KDE Plasma 5
KDE Plasma 5 banner.png
KDE Plasma 5.png
Original author(s) KDE
Developer(s) KDE
Initial release 15 July 2014; 13 months ago (2014-07-15)[1]
Stable release 5.4.0 (25 August 2015; 0 days ago (2015-08-25)) [±][2]
Preview release 5.4 Beta (11 August 2015; 14 days ago (2015-08-11)) [±][3]
Development status Active
Written in C++, QML
Operating system Linux, FreeBSD, et al.
License GNU Lesser General Public License
Website www.kde.org/announcements/plasma5.0/
Some icons from the Breeze set.

KDE Plasma 5 is the fifth and current generation of the desktop environment created by KDE primarily for Linux systems. KDE Plasma 5 is the successor of KDE Plasma 4 and was initially released on 15 July 2014.[1][4][5] It includes a new default theme, known as "Breeze", as well as increased convergence across different devices. The graphical interface was fully migrated to QML, which uses OpenGL for hardware acceleration resulting in better performance and reduced power consumption.[1][6]


Software architecture[edit]

KDE Plasma 5 is built using Qt 5 and KDE Frameworks 5.[7] Plasma 5.0 improves support for HiDPI displays and ships a converged graphical shell, able to switch between the shells for different target devices. It includes a new default theme, known as Breeze. Changes under the hood include the migration to a new, fully hardware-accelerated graphics stack centered around an OpenGL(ES)-based scene graph (canvas). Plasma 5 completes the migration of KDE Plasma 4 to QtQuick. Qt 5's QtQuick 2 uses a hardware-accelerated OpenGL(ES) scenegraph to compose and render graphics on the screen, which allowed for offloading of computationally expensive graphics rendering tasks onto the GPU which frees up resources on the system's main CPU, and is faster and more power-efficient.[1]

Windowing systems[edit]

KDE Plasma 5 utilizes the X Window System, with support for Wayland currently being under development.[1] Initial support for Wayland is available in the 5.4 release.[8]


Since the split of the KDE Software Compilation into KDE Frameworks 5, KDE Plasma 5 and KDE Applications, each subproject can pick its own development pace.[9] KDE Plasma 5 is on its own release schedule with feature releases every three months and bugfix releases in the intervening months.

Plasma Mobile[edit]

Plasma Mobile
Plasma Mobile logo.svg
Developer(s) KDE, Blue Systems
Preview release Prototype 1 / 5 September 2013; 23 months ago (2013-09-05)[10]
Written in C++, QML
Operating system Linux
License GPLv2
Website plasma-mobile.org

Plasma Mobile is a Plasma variant for smartphones.[11]

After Plasma Active sponsor Coherent Theory (under the Make·Play·Live brand)[12][13] had to give up their ambitions to release a tablet computer,[14] Blue Systems emerged as new sponsor and shifted the focus of Plasma’s handheld work towards smartphones.[15][16]

The official announcement of the new formfactor interface was on 25 July 2015 at Akademy, accompanied by a working prototype running on a Nexus 5.[11] Plasma Mobile runs on Wayland and it is compatible with Ubuntu Touch applications[15] and eventually Android applications[17][18] via KDE’s Shashlik project – also sponsored by Blue Systems.[19][20]


The first Technology Preview of Plasma 5 (then tentatively called Plasma 2) was released on 13 December 2013.[21] On 15 July 2014 the first release version – Plasma 5.0 – saw the light of day.[1] In spring 2015, Plasma 5 replaced Plasma 4 in many popular distributions, such as Fedora 22,[22] Kubuntu 15.04,[23] and openSUSE Tumbleweed.[24]


Feature releases are released every three months and bugfix releases in the intervening months.[9]

Plasma 5 releases
Version Date Key features
5.0[1] 15 Jul 2014 First release.
5.1[25] 15 Oct 2014 Ported missing features from Plasma 4.
5.2[26] 27 Jan 2015 New components: BlueDevil, KSSHAskPass, Muon, SDDM theme configuration, KScreen, GTK+ style configuration and KDecoration.
5.3[27] 28 Apr 2015 Tech preview of Plasma Media Center. New Bluetooth and touchpad applets. Enhanced power management.
Current stable version: 5.4[9] 25 Aug 2015 Initial Wayland session,[8] new QML-based audio volume applet, and alternative full-screen application launcher.[28]
Old version
Older version, still supported
Latest version
Latest preview version
Future release



  1. ^ a b c d e f g "KDE Plasma 5.0 Released". KDE. 2014-07-15. Retrieved 2014-08-19. 
  2. ^ "KDE Ships Plasma 5.4.0, Feature Release for August". KDE. 25 August 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  3. ^ "KDE Ships Plasma 5.4 Beta Release". KDE. 
  4. ^ Joey-Elijah Sneddon. "KDE Plasma 5 Arrives with Fresh New Look, True Convergence". OMG! Ubuntu!. 
  5. ^ "KDE Plasma 5—For those Linux users undecided on the kernel’s future". Ars Technica. 
  6. ^ "KDE Plasma 5 Arrives with Fresh New Look, True Convergence". OMG! Ubuntu!. 2014-07-15. Retrieved 2015-02-11. 
  7. ^ Jos Poortvliet (2013-12-17). "Qt 5.2 - Foundation for KDE Frameworks 5". Dot.kde.org. Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  8. ^ a b Martin Grässlin (2015-06-29). "Four years later". Retrieved 2015-07-21. 
  9. ^ a b c "Release schedule for Plasma 5". KDE. 
  10. ^ "Plasma Active 4 – ready when you are". KDE. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  11. ^ a b Swapnil Bhartiya (25 July 2015). "KDE Community announces fully open source Plasma Mobile". ITworld. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  12. ^ Bruce Byfield. "Orchestration". Linux Magazine. 
  13. ^ "Akademy: Plasma Active and Make Play Live". lwn.net. 
  14. ^ "Improv Open ARM Board Failure Leads To A Ton Of In-Fighting". Phoronix. 
  15. ^ a b Swapnil Bhartiya (25 July 2015). "Sebastian Kügler: KDE’s Plasma Mobile is running on Plasma 5 and Kubuntu". ITworld. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  16. ^ "Embracing Mobile". sebas' blog. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  17. ^ Brad Linder. "Plasma Mobile: Linux-based smartphone operating system". Liliputing. 
  18. ^ "Plasma Mobile, a Free Mobile Platform". KDE.news. 
  19. ^ "KDE Reveals Plasma Mobile". linuxjournal.com. 
  20. ^ "Shashlik: Android Applications on Real Linux – Akademy 2015 Program". kde.org. 
  21. ^ "Plasma 2 Technology Preview". KDE.news. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  22. ^ "Fedora 22 KDE Delivers A Great Plasma 5 Experience - Phoronix". phoronix.com. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  23. ^ "Kubuntu 15.04 Release Announcement". 2015-04-22. Retrieved 2015-07-21. 
  24. ^ "openSUSE Tumbleweed Now Uses KDE Plasma 5.3 as Default Desktop". Softpedia. 2015-05-16. 
  25. ^ "KDE - Plasma 5.1 Brings Back Many Popular Features". kde.org. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  26. ^ "KDE - KDE Ships Plasma 5.2". kde.org. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  27. ^ "KDE Ships Plasma 5.3, New Feature Release". KDE. 2015-04-28. 
  28. ^ "KDE Ships Plasma 5.4 Beta Release". KDE. 2015-08-11. 

External links[edit]