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      Plasma 5.21 Beta is out and it's a thing of beauty, towards first-class Wayland support

      Liam Dawe · news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Friday, 22 January, 2021 - 16:49 · 1 minute

    Plasma, the desktop environment from the KDE team has a big new upgrade coming with the release of Plasma 5.21 Beta and it's looking to be a thing of beauty.

    Their current aim with Plasma 5.21 is to finely polish the experience overall, with the KDE team saying it pulls in "many improvements into Plasma’s design, utilities and themes, with the aim of providing end users with a more pleasant and accessible environment".

    Plasma 5.21 will bring with it a redesigned application launcher, theme improvements, a brand new UI for the Plasma System Monitor, Plasma Firewall settings added to the overall system settings to let you configure both UFW and firewalld, plenty of UI cleaning done on system settings and much more.

    It's big in many areas, not just design tweaks, with a big plan in progress to have KDE push for first-class Wayland support with KWin. They say that Plasma 5.21 "makes great headway to reach that goal". KWin, the compositor, has been "extensively refactored" and so you should see reduced latency throughout the entire stack.


    Also available are mixed refresh rate setups with Wayland and Plasma 5.21. So now you can have one set at 144HZ and another at 60Hz and things won't bug out on you, and they say that early support for "multiple GPUs was also added on Wayland". Other Wayland interactions got improved too like virtual keyboard supporting GTK apps, along with many other Plasma components and KDE apps being more ready for Wayland.

    Love a mix of dark and light themes? They have you covered there too with the introduction of Breeze Twilight as an official theme. It will give a dark theme for Plasma directly while mixing in light styles for applications. I must admit, it does look pretty good in they shot they showed off:


    See the release announcement here .

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      KDE will hopefully have a 'Production-ready' Wayland session for Plasma in 2021

      Liam Dawe · news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Monday, 4 January, 2021 - 12:42 · 1 minute

    A KDE developer who regularly blogs about all the work going into the KDE ecosystem through the likes of the Plasma desktop environment and the various applications, has given an overview of what they expect to see through 2021.

    Sounds like there's plenty of exciting work coming up for KDE and Plasma this year! Nate Graham mentions in the latest post that amongst other things, they might finally have a "Production-ready Plasma Wayland session". A lot of work went into this through 2020 and before that Graham mentioned that it "felt like a mess" but a whole year of progress changed that. Through 2021 we can expect to see a "trend of serious, concentrated Wayland work to continue in 2021" and to be in a better shape for more people to use.

    Quite a long time coming, as it's been said that Wayland would replace X11 for years now and having KDE in top shape with it will certainly help push it forwards even more.

    Something else exciting coming up is a replacement for the 'Kickoff' application launcher (Windows users would know it as a 'Start menu'). There's a merge request open, which they expect to be available in the Plasma 5.21 release for the new design and it's looking really quite slick:


    On top of all that they're looking to get fingerprint support ready throughout the entire tech stack including everywhere you would need it from the login screen and the lock screen to their KAuth authorization library.

    KDE does always look impressive, with tons of options for customization and hopefully 2021 shall be a big year for it.

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      KDE teams up with PinePhone for the PinePhone - KDE Community edition

      Liam Dawe · news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Thursday, 19 November, 2020 - 08:54 · 2 minutes

    Your daily dose of not-linux-gaming news, with an announcement for fans of Linux gadgets and tech as KDE has teamed up with Pine64 to bring out a PinePhone - KDE Community edition.

    Sounds like it's going to be quite a nice device for enthusiasts, especially if you're after a proper Linux phone that isn't Android and will respect your privacy - something I've tried to become more conscious of myself over the last few years. For extra privacy and security, and something I wish more phones had, there's hardware kill-switches for the modem, WiFi/Bluetooth, microphone and cameras.

    Just as awesome though is that it's been designed for mobile / desktop convergence. So you can hook up a USB-C dock to connect it up with a mouse, keyboard, monitor and more to provide a more desktop-like experience using this useful little device.

    11648569091605775735gol1.jpg I absolutely adore the little Pine icon on the back!

    I have to admit, I've always loved the idea of being able to just hook up a tiny portable device like this into a full desktop like environment. While you can build your own using the likes of a Raspberry Pi and other tiny boards, having a ready-made all in one specially made solution is great too.

    Here's the specifications they sent over:

    • Allwinner A64 Quad Core SoC with Mali 400
    • MP2 GPU
    • 2GB/3GB of LPDDR3 RAM
    • 5.95′′ LCD 1440×720, 18:9 aspect ratio
    • (hardened glass)
    • Bootable micro SD
    • 16GB/32GB eMMC
    • HD Digital Video Out
    • USB Type C (Power, Data and Video Out)
    • Quectel EG-25G with worldwide bands
    • WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n, single-band, hotspot
    • capable
    • Bluetooth: 4.0, A2DP
    • Vibrator
    • RGB status LED
    • Selfie and Main camera (2/5Mpx
    • respectively)
    • Main Camera: Single OV6540, 5MP, 1/4′′,
    • LED Flash
    • Selfie Camera: Single GC2035, 2MP, f/2.8,
    • 1/5′′
    • Sensors: accelerator, gyro, proximity,
    • compass, barometer, ambient light
    • 3 External Switches: up, down and power
    • HW switches: LTE/GNSS, WiFi, Microphone,
    • Speaker, Cameras
    • Samsung J7 form-factor 3000mAh battery
    • The case is matte black finished plastic
    • Headphone Jack

    According to the folks at Pine64, the phone will be running mainline Linux and there's open source drivers for all main SoC components. It will be running Plasma Mobile, which is a developed by free software volunteers and you can follow the progress of Plasma Mobile on this dedicated site .

    They said that pre-orders will be open on December 1, with "all proceeds" going to the KDE e.V. which is a non-profit that represents the KDE Community in legal and financial matters.

    If interested in this Linux phone, you can follow it on Pine64 .

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      KDE releases the Plasma 5.20 desktop - just as beautiful as ever

      Liam Dawe · news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Tuesday, 13 October, 2020 - 12:19 · 1 minute

    Plasma is arguably one of the prettiest Linux desktop environments around, and it's highly configurable too. The KDE team just released a huge upgrade with Plasma 5.20. This is a massive release that upgrades all parts of the Plasma desktop.

    Fans of Wayland which is gradually replacing X.Org, compatibility continues being a focus and they've managed to make more steps as of this release. They mentioned that since 2019 they set a priority goal to adapt everything to support Wayland and it's "starting to pay off big time" now. As of this release middle-click paste with the Klipper clipboard app now works, plus the launcher/search tool KRunner now shows up correctly. Mouse and Touchpad support is getting close to being on par with X too, screencasting is now supported and more. Lots of steps taken.

    That's just the under-the-hood stuff, tons of user-facing changes and improvements can be found across the whole desktop like the task manager being icon-only by default. A nicer default I think, as grouped icons look great and save precious space.


    There's also new on-screen displays when you perform various actions like adjust volume, the system tray pop up now uses a grid rather than a list which looks a huge amount better, the digital clock widget is a bit more compact and has the date by default, the ALT keybind to hold and then drag windows around was moved to the Super key (also known as the "Windows" key) which is a nicer default with so many games needing the ALT key it was a common interference and the list of subtle improvements goes on for some time. Little things add up, and sane defaults are seriously important.

    You can also find a newer Plasma Disks application which will add storage drive S.M.A.R.T monitoring directly into your System Settings — nice!

    Check out their new release video:

    youtube video thumbnail
    Watch video on YouTube.com

    See the release announcement here . Full changelog here .

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      Love Ubuntu but want the latest KDE Plasma? KDE neon now sits atop Ubuntu 20.04

      Liam Dawe · news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Thursday, 13 August, 2020 - 09:45 · 1 minute

    Merging together a solid Ubuntu 20.04 LTS foundation and the latest KDE Plasma packages, KDE neon has a fresh rebase out for you to try out.

    So what exactly is it? Is it another Linux distribution? Well, sort of. Not quite. It's just the long-term supported versions of Ubuntu with the freshest releases of the KDE Plasma desktop environment (plus Qt and other KDE software) stuck on top of it. They said it's for people who want "the latest and greatest from the KDE community but the safety and stability of a Long Term Support release". So unlike Kubuntu, the official Ubuntu KDE distribution variant, you're not stuck to the main version of Plasma it launches with.


    They announced recently that a fresh upgrade is available for existing users, plus a new ISO spin is up with KDE neon now being based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. It should look and feel the same but have much newer internals like the Kernel, Mesa drivers and much more.

    If I wasn't so rooted in Manjaro KDE, I think KDE neon would be what I would go for if I needed to do a fresh install. The customization possible with KDE is just wonderful, as is the fresh and modern presentation it offers.

    See more and download on the KDE neon website .

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