KDE Plasma 5

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KDE Plasma 5
KDE Plasma 5 banner.png
The KDE Plasma 5 desktop
The KDE Plasma 5 desktop
Developer(s) KDE
Initial release 15 July 2014; 3 years ago (2014-07-15)[1]
Stable release 5.11.0 (10 October 2017; 4 days ago (2017-10-10)) [±][2]
Preview release 5.8 Beta (15 September 2016; 12 months ago (2016-09-15)) [±][3]
Repository anongit.kde.org/kdesrc-build
Development status Active
Written in C++, QML
Operating system Linux, Unix-like
Platform KDE
License GNU Lesser General Public License
Website www.kde.org/plasma-desktop

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]


KDE's mascot Konqi and Plasma desktop.

Software architecture[edit]

KDE Plasma 5 is built using Qt 5 and KDE Frameworks 5,[7] predominantly plasma-framework.[8]

Plasma 5.0 improves support for HiDPI displays and ships a converged graphical shell, able to modify the graphical shell according to the device in use. It also includes a new default theme, dubbed Breeze. Changes under the hood include the migration to a new, fully hardware-accelerated graphics stack centered on 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 allows for the 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 uses the X Window System, but support for Wayland is under development.[1] Initial support for Wayland was made available in the 5.4 release.[9] Stable support for a basic Wayland session was provided in the 5.5 release (December 2015).[10]


Since the split of the KDE Software Compilation into KDE Frameworks 5, KDE Plasma 5 and KDE Applications, each subproject can develop at its own pace.[11] 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 / 25 July 2015; 2 years ago (2015-07-25)[12]
Repository anongit.kde.org/kdesrc-build
Written in C++, QML
Operating system Linux
License GPLv2
Website plasma-mobile.org

Plasma Mobile is a Plasma variant for smartphones.[13]

After Plasma Active sponsor Coherent Theory (under the Make·Play·Live brand)[14][15] had to give up their ambitions to release a tablet computer,[16] Blue Systems emerged as new sponsor and shifted the focus of Plasma's handheld work towards smartphones.[17][18]

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.[13] Plasma Mobile runs on Wayland and it is compatible with Ubuntu Touch applications[17] and eventually Android applications[19][20] via KDE's Shashlik project – also sponsored by Blue Systems.[21][22]

Builds based on Kubuntu and Archlinux is available for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 5X.[23]


The first Technology Preview of Plasma 5 (then tentatively called Plasma 2) was released on 13 December 2013.[24] 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,[25] Kubuntu 15.04,[26] and openSUSE Tumbleweed.[27]


Feature releases are released every four months (up to 5.8 every three months) and bugfix releases in the intervening months.[11]

Plasma 5 releases
Version Date Key features
Old version, no longer supported: 5.0[1] 15 Jul 2014 First release.
Old version, no longer supported: 5.1[28] 15 Oct 2014 Ported missing features from Plasma 4.
Old version, no longer supported: 5.2[29] 27 Jan 2015 New components:
  • BlueDevil: intends to integrate the Bluetooth technology within KDE workspace and applications.
  • KSSHAskPass: front-end for ssh-add which stores the password of the ssh key in KWallet
  • Muon: A collection of package management tools for Debian-based systems, using the apt-xapian index and the Synaptic search algorithm
  • sddm-kcm.git: config module for SDDM themes
  • KScreen: KDE's most current screen management software[30] Well integrated, hooks into KDE System Settings, makes use of KDE Daemon and KGlobalAccel; there is libkscreen.git for it.
  • kde-gtk-config.git GTK+ 2 and 3 style configuration for KDE
  • KDecoration: KDecoration2 is a plugin-based library to create window decorations. These window decorations can be used by for example an X11 based window manager which re-parents a client window to a window decoration frame.
Old version, no longer supported: 5.3[31] 28 Apr 2015 Tech preview of Plasma Media Center. New Bluetooth and touchpad applets. Enhanced power management.
Old version, no longer supported: 5.4[32] 25 Aug 2015 Initial Wayland session,[9] new QML-based audio volume applet, and alternative full-screen application launcher.[33]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.5[34] 8 Dec 2015 Improved Wayland support.[35][36]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.6[37] 22 Mar 2016 Increased security.[38]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.7[39] 5 Jul 2016 Wayland: "basic workflows now fully functional". Automatic virtual keyboard.[39]
Current stable version: 5.8 LTS[40] 4 Oct 2016 Long Term Support version.[41][42]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.9 31 Jan 2017 Wayland improvements,[43] global menu[44]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.10 30 May 2017 Performance improvements[45]
Current stable version: 5.11 10 Oct 2017
Future release: 5.12 LTS 30 Jan 2018
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. ^ "Release Announcements: Plasma 5.11". KDE. 
  3. ^ "KDE at 20: Plasma 5.8 LTS Beta. Here for the Long Term.". 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. ^ "plasma-framework readme". 
  9. ^ a b Martin Grässlin (2015-06-29). "Four years later". Retrieved 2015-07-21. 
  10. ^ "Plasma 5.5 With Beautiful New Artwork". KDE.news. 
  11. ^ a b "Release schedule for Plasma 5". KDE. 
  12. ^ "Embracing Mobile". Sebastian Kügler. Retrieved 2015-07-25. 
  13. ^ a b Swapnil Bhartiya (25 July 2015). "KDE Community announces fully open source Plasma Mobile". ITworld. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  14. ^ Bruce Byfield. "Orchestration". Linux Magazine. 
  15. ^ "Akademy: Plasma Active and Make Play Live". lwn.net. 
  16. ^ "Improv Open ARM Board Failure Leads To A Ton Of In-Fighting". Phoronix. 
  17. ^ 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. 
  18. ^ "Embracing Mobile". sebas' blog. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  19. ^ Brad Linder. "Plasma Mobile: Linux-based smartphone operating system". Liliputing. 
  20. ^ "Plasma Mobile, a Free Mobile Platform". KDE.news. 
  21. ^ "KDE Reveals Plasma Mobile". linuxjournal.com. 
  22. ^ "Shashlik: Android Applications on Real Linux – Akademy 2015 Program". kde.org. 
  23. ^ http://kubuntu.plasma-mobile.org/
  24. ^ "Plasma 2 Technology Preview". KDE.news. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  25. ^ "Fedora 22 KDE Delivers A Great Plasma 5 Experience - Phoronix". phoronix.com. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  26. ^ "Kubuntu 15.04 Release Announcement". 2015-04-22. Retrieved 2015-07-21. 
  27. ^ "openSUSE Tumbleweed Now Uses KDE Plasma 5.3 as Default Desktop". Softpedia. 2015-05-16. 
  28. ^ "KDE - Plasma 5.1 Brings Back Many Popular Features". kde.org. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  29. ^ "KDE - KDE Ships Plasma 5.2". kde.org. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  30. ^ "Kscreen 1.0 soll Monitorkonfiguration von KDE verbessern". 
  31. ^ "KDE Ships Plasma 5.3, New Feature Release". KDE. 2015-04-28. 
  32. ^ "KDE Ships Plasma 5.4.0, Feature Release for August". KDE. 25 August 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  33. ^ "KDE Ships Plasma 5.4 Beta Release". KDE. 2015-08-11. 
  34. ^ "KDE Ships Plasma 5.5 Release". KDE. 8 December 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  35. ^ "September update for Plasma's Wayland porting". Martin's Blog. 
  36. ^ "KWin On Wayland Making Progress, Now Has A Virtual Backend". Phoronix. 
  37. ^ "KDE Plasma 5.6 Release". KDE. 22 March 2016. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  38. ^ Marius Nestor (24 November 2015). "KDE Developers Work on Improving the Security of KDE Plasma 5 on Wayland". softpedia. 
  39. ^ a b "KDE - KDE Plasma 5.7 Release". 
  40. ^ "KDE at 20: Plasma 5.8 LTS. Here for the Long Term.". KDE. 4 October 2016. 
  41. ^ Jonathan Riddell. "Plasma 5.8 LTS Kickerd Off for Stability and Performance". 
  42. ^ "Plasma 5.8 will be an LTS release". 
  43. ^ Martin Grässlin (2016-10-19). "Wayland improvements since Plasma 5.8 release". 
  44. ^ "KDE Ships Plasma 5.9". 2017-01-31. Retrieved 2017-01-31. 
  45. ^ https://blogs.kde.org/2017/01/31/plasma-510-spring-loading-folder-view-performance-work

External links[edit]