This week in KDE: Moar performance!

Some very nice performance fixes landed this week, which should substantially boost move and copy speeds for local transfers and transfers to and from Samba shares in particular. But that’s not all, and there’s more on the menu…

New Features

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

User Interface Improvements

How You Can Help

In Plasma 5.19, we are making a push on our Breeze Theme Evolution work. It’s proceeding, but would go faster with your help! There are tons and tons of mockups in the linked task and its child tasks, and what we really need at this point is people willing to help implement them. QML skills are helpful, and C++ is also useful for the needed work on the Breeze theme itself. If this sounds interesting to you, don’t be shy, step right up! Head over to the VDG channel to find out how you can get involved and coordinate work.

More generally, have a look at https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved and find out more ways to help be part of a project that really matters. Each contributor makes a huge difference in KDE; you are not a number or a cog in a machine! You don’t have to already be a programmer, either. I wasn’t when I got started. Try it, you’ll like it! We don’t bite!

Finally, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.

28 thoughts on “This week in KDE: Moar performance!

  1. Oh my ! So many essential stuff being significantly improved, I’m still addicted to your posts !
    Btw, any idea if bluetooth transfers are affected by the kio fixes ? (On my machine copying juste a single picture from a phone takes half a minute)
    Contrats to the team, again !!

    Like

    1. Even the latest Bluetooth generation gives you only up to 2Mbit/s, so a 10MByte (80Mbit) image takes 40 seconds at best. The improvements were mostly with energy consumption and range, not with speed.

      Bluetooth 3.0+HS introduced the optional Alternate MAC/PHY (AMP), which would allow to use the WIFI stack to do the actual data transfer, but to my knowledge there is no (usable) support for it in BlueZ/Linux.

      Anyway, this is not a problem of KIO, but of Bluetooth in general. You would better ask the BlueZ project about AMP support.

      An alternative approach is using KDEConnect, which uses WIFI and is much faster.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. The file transfer speedup is soooo much appreciated! Finally my father won’t complain anymore when using the HTPC ahah

    But I’m not a fan of this new notification popup separator. To be honest I’m not a fan of separators at all and I think Plasma has too many of them. Just my 2 cents 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, you can’t please everyone. I find that generally there are two camps: those who like dissimilar areas to be visually separated or distinct from one another, and those who hate this and want everything to look visually merged together. IMO the current Breeze theme tries to hedge its bets and in the process doesn’t wind up really delighting either group. We’re trying to move towards pleasing the people who like separation, but if this doesn’t describe you, Plasma is themable and hopefully you can find a merged/unibody theme more to your liking.

      Like

  3. Very nice to see better speed for local and to and from Samba shares 🙂
    I’ve always wondered, even while using Windows, why the network transfers don’t use the RAM memory as a buffer.
    If I have, let’s say 8 GB RAM on the receiving computer and I want to copy from a Samba share files between 1-6 GB worth of data, then the network transfer should not be slowed down by the slow speed of the hard disk writes.
    Since it fits, all the files should be transferred as fast as possible from the network into local RAM and from there to hard disk, when the hard disk can write it.
    If the receiving computer is a laptop or a desktop with UPS, then there’s no rush to write it immediately to the hard disk and can be kept in RAM buffer without fear of a power failure.

    The last thing that I wish KDE developers would do to make file transfers have the best speed would be to add support for using the IO_uring interface in newer kernels when needed.
    I saw some benchmarks on Phoronix:
    https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Linux-5.6-IO-uring-Tests
    And they look really great and promising.
    It looks to me like the ultimate performance improvements on the storage side.

    Anyway, congratulations to Nate and all the other developers for bringing us moar performance! 🙂
    We are really happy and grateful about all your hard work.
    Be well and stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you so much! I only moved to Linux 2 years ago, and had to stop using KDE because i rely heavily on SAMBA.
    Now i think it might be the right time to try KDE again!
    And also, i think the new Breeze theme is one if not the most important project for KDE to become more attractive, so i am amazed and happy to see you target this!
    Thank you Nate and all other devs!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you so much. Changes to improve UI/UX are always welcome.
    This is time to switch to KDE permanently!
    Greetings from Venezuela

    Like

  6. As always excellent work, I would like to report a fairly annoying case with Light Breeze, the Kmail icon is almost indistinguishable on the panel. Too light icons are not good if you are using a light theme. In fact, I always have to change the Kmail icon to make it distinguishable. Greetings and good work.

    Like

  7. Can’t wait for the Breeze Evo update. It looks super awesome, at least the mock-ups do. Plasma sure has matured since the days I started using Linux on the daily back in 2016. My biggest gripe with Plasma so far is the lack of consistency across apps and the lack of UI depth (toolbar division and whatnot). I’ll keep on running GNOME on Wayland on my laptop because gestures are buttery smooth as is the overall system but when Plasma gets the UI overhaul and Wayland maturity I’ll switch in a heartbeat. I’m writing this on my Neon partition and enjoying it a lot, will probably switch to the unstable or testing branch to get these updates/tweaks, not that I can do much with my weak C++ skills, been a long while.

    Like

  8. Thanks KDE team for very nice desktop!
    As an introduction I consider myself as multitasking power user, I use Linux for actual day job in a big company where, as one can imagine, 95% of desktops are windows. I use Linux to organize my work efficiently because I happen to work on multiple projects at the same time and I need efficient multitasking.
    I was a huge fan of Unity for couple of things, good and consistent UI, very space efficient desktop and excellent speed of UI. I hate G3 and GS with passion for number of things mostly opposite of Unity (this is my first post here, I hope I can write this once without get beaten 🙂 ).

    Since Unity is almost gone, I switched to KDE half a year ago. That was a good switch!
    Activities are great (perfectly fits for multiple projects, before KDE I had a number of desktops to mitigate this), speed is great (see note below), screen estate savings are good.
    There are great things to say about KDE, but as with everything, there are bugs / annoyances. I usually find a way around most of the annoyances, but some are unavoidable 😦 There are couple of them.

    Without kwin-lowlatency my 3 monitor setup works sluggish and laggy on Intel iGPU, but lowlatency fixes it (thanks to tildearrow!).

    One of the monitors is portrait oriented, when cursor shows “in progress” animation (not on primary screen) in case app is busy / loading, KDE shows 2 cursors one normal and other mirrored 90 degrees downright, not a deal breaker, but looks funny enough.

    I have a lot of Firefox/Dophin windows open on different desktops / activities, when hovering mouse over FF task icon in taskbar, they are shown (“Preview windows”?) as not sorted in any meaningful way (sorted by open order?), please order them somehow – preferably by desktop number / current desktop instances first and the rest by desktop number / activity name, otherwise if I want to switch to some known instance of FF, on each of the desktops / activity they are in different order, not efficient at all and for me very annoying.

    I’m looking for speed improvements in samba and finally!!! remote mounts in Dolphin (these were a showstopper for me back in a day why I could not use KDE over Unity, not so much these days, though…).

    Thanks!

    Like

  9. Xorg session is not much better on Intel CPUs, it’s flickering sometimes, so I prefer Wayland, but it’s not usable now, until you release the stable Wayland session.

    Like

  10. Really nice the performance improvements, as always, nice work KDE Community.

    I hope you’re doing well during this quarantine and you and your dear people are well and healthy.

    KDE Applications 20.04 is really closing in :), a few more weeks and we’ll have it on our systems.

    Plasma 5.19 is step by step, taking a really attractive appearance, to be another really nice one.

    As always, a huge thank to everyone involved in this amazing project, bringing great solution for our desktops.

    A huge hug to everyone ^^.

    #StaySafe #StayHome #We’llMakeItTogether

    Like

  11. Hello,

    Heard there were some KIO improvements lately. With Dolphin & KIO, is it possible to seamlessly open and stream a video from a Samba share yet (like with gvfs), or it still copies the whole file to a local cache and then opens it?

    Thanks!

    Like

    1. Yes. You need kio-fuse installed and the kio-fuse daemon running, plus a relatively recent version of KIO (5.57 IIRC?) With that combination, streaming videos across a samba share works flawlessly, with no local copying.

      Like

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