The KDE community has unveiled Plasma 5.14, the latest stable release of lightweight, and full-featured desktop environment for GNU/Linux. This is the first release in Plasma 5.14.x series. It brings major improvements like updated Discover, firmware update feature, and user interface improvements.

Preview of Plasma 5.14

The KDE community was working on Plasma 5.14 for the past 3 months. During this period, the team has fixed multiple issues and has developed some features. The team has rewritten several KWin effects to provide a smoother experience. Plasma 5.14 brings improved slicker animations. It also introduces a new display configuration widget which will come handy when giving full-screen presentations.

What is new in Plasma 5.14?

As a major release, Plasma 5.14 brings some countable improvements. This includes new and updated widgets, improved Discover - the software manager app in Plasma, better Wayland and Kwin integration, and some bug fixes.

Changes in the Plasma Widgets

  • Introduces a new Display Configuration widget for screen management which is useful for presentations.
  • The Audio Volume widget now has a built-in speaker test feature. It is moved from Phonon settings.
  • The Network widget now works for SSH VPN tunnels again.
  • Switching primary monitor when plugging in or unplugging monitors is now smoother.
  • The lock screen now handles user-switching for better usability and security.
  • You can now import existing encrypted files from a Plasma Vault.
  • The Task Manager implements better compatibility with LibreOffice.
  • The System Monitor now has a ‘Tools’ menu full of launchers to handy utilities.
  • The Kickoff application menu now switches tabs instantly on hover.
  • Widget and panels get consistent icons and other user interface improvements.
  • Plasma now warns on logout when other users are logged in.
  • The Breeze widget theme has improved shadows.
  • The Global menu now supports GTK applications. This was a ‘tech preview’ in 5.13, but it now works out of the box in 5.14.

Changes in Discover - Plasma Software Center App

Updated Discover in Plasma 5.14

In Plasma 5.14, Discover provides more options to manage applications. It also comes with improved look & feel.

  • Discover gained fwupd support, it enables upgrading computer firmware
  • Support for Snap channels.
  • Discover can now display and sort apps by release date.
  • Discover can now show application’s dependency packages.
  • When Discover is asked to install a standalone Flatpak file but the Flatpak backend is not installed, it offers the option to install backend first.
  • Discover now gives a prompt when a package is about to replace other packages.
  • There are numerous minor user interface improvements: update button are disabled while checking for updates, there is visual consistency between settings and the update pages, updates are sorted by completion percentage. The layout of updates page and updates notifier plasmoid is improved.
  • Discover is now more reliable with several bug fixes.

KWin and Wayland integration

  • The copy-paste between Gtk and non-Gtk applications is fixed
  • Non-centered task issue corrected
  • Improved pointer constraints
  • Improved & polished KWin effects.

You may also read KDE Plasma 5.14 release announcement. A detailed list of changes is available in Plasma 5.14 changelogs.