This week in KDE: Continuous bug massacre

This week the bug squashing continues at full speed! We’ve made short work of tons of bugs throughout our software stack, including the infamous login sound bug, some very important and longstanding issues with extended attributes, and a ton of quality-of-life improvements for the Plasma Wayland session.

But we also managed to add a few nice new features that I think you’ll like. 🙂 Check it all out:

New Features

There’s a new “Breeze Twilight” global theme with a dark appearance for Plasma and a light appearance for apps (Dominic Hayes, Plasma 5.21):

There’s now an option to change the first day of the week in the Digital Clock’s calendar popup (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.21)

KWin’s Desktop Grid effect can now be configured to only activate desktops on click, rather than activating both desktops and windows, if you happen to click on a window (Konstantinos Smanis, Plasma 5.21)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Konsole’s “Manage Profiles…” Menu item now takes you to the right place (Carlos Alves, Konsole 20.08.3)

Konsole’s context menu now displays the right number of “Open With…” and “Copy Location” menu items in the right place after right-clicking on various different types of things (Carlos Alves, Konsole 20.08.3

Middle-clicking on any of the tabs in Okular’s sidebar tab bar no longer closes one of the open documents (Albert Astals Cid, Okular 1.11.3)

Dolphin’s background daemon mode no longer triggers session restoration, which should fix an issue with Dolphin always opening at login on Fedora (me: Nate Graham, Dolphin 20.12)

Okular’s command-line --find parameter now works properly if you feed it non-Latin characters (Albert Astals Cid, Okular 1.11.3)

Closing an open tab in Okular no longer causes the Ctrl+Tab shortcut used for tab navigation to stop working (Albert Astals Cid, Okular 20.12)

The Plasma Wayland session no longer requires that you manually set an environment variable to make NVIDIA GPUs using the proprietary driver function properly. If this sounds like a big deal, it is! (Vlad Zahorodnii and Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.20.2)

The Plasma Wayland session no longer crashes when you hover the cursor over a Task Manager item to display a window preview when PipeWire is not installed (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.20.2)

Plasma no longer crashes when certain apps do weird things with their PIDs (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.20.2)

For people who turned on the login sound, it is once again played at login as expected (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.20.2)

Fixed tons and tons of recent visual regressions in the System Tray: the highlight effect for the active System Tray item is once again large enough to completely fit the item’s icon; tray icons in very thick panels are once again centered in the panel; Multi row/column layouts no longer sometime overlap adjacent Panel widgets; Clicks are no longer eaten by the expander arrow in certain multi-row/column layouts (Konrad Materka, Plasma 5.20.2)

In a Wayland session, dragging files and icons no longer shows broken, clipped, or pixelated thumbnails (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.20.2)

The System Settings Users page now lets you apply the same change to multiple profile fields if you want to (Alexander Potashev, Plasma 5.20.2)

Volume and brightness OSDs on the lock screen once again show the correct values (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.20.2)

In the wallpaper chooser view, the “Get New Plugins…” button no longer sometimes overlaps the combobox next to it (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.20.2)

Moving the cursor outside of the widget explorer once again makes the selection highlight effect disappear correctly (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.20.2)

KSysGuard no longer leaks lots of memory when left open for a long period of time (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.20.3)

Plasma Icon applets that point to locations rather than applications once again work properly (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.20.3)

In a Plasma Wayland session, the “Sliding Popups” effect used for various panel widgets no longer suffers from minor visual glitches (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.20.3)

Discover no longer ever automatically opens at login when it was open at logout as this is not useful (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.20.3)

System Settings’ “Highlight Changed Settings” feature now remembers whether it was on or off when you close and re-open System Settings (Benjamin Port, Plasma 5.20.3)

Double-clicking on System Settings’ “Highlight Changed Settings” button now toggles it on and then off again as expected, instead of eating the second click and leaving it in an inconsistent state (Benjamin Port, Plasma 5.20.3)

System Tray items for certain Electron apps that don’t properly set their titles will now at least display something sane for the text (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.20.3)

The Plasma Wayland session no longer crashes when you drag something from an XWayland app to a Wayland app (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.21)

The Plasma Wayland session no longer crashes when you drag an icon from Kickoff to Konsole (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.21)

In a Plasma Wayland session, pasting text that was copied inside an XWayland app once again works (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.21)

In a Plasma Wayland session, dragging something in Firefox no longer causes the cursor to get stuck displaying a grabby hand forever lol (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.20.1)

Reduced the amount of CPU resources that KWin used to draw hardware-accelerated cursors (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.21)

KWin no longer tries to use a connected VR headset as another screen (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.21)

The window minimize animation is no longer sometimes a bit glitchy when using a multi-monitor setup while an app is playing a video on a rotated monitor (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.21)

The KIO library now fully supports preserving extended attributes during common file manipulation operations (Gleb Popov, Frameworks 5.76)

In a Wayland session, KRunner no longer takes up unnecessary CPU resources when visible but it doesn’t look like anything is happening (Fabian Vogt, Frameworks 5.76)

Moving the mouse over different items in the file open/save dialogs while the preview panel is open now causes the preview to always update properly (Méven Car, Frameworks 5.76)

User Interface Improvements

The two ways of maximizing a split view in Konsole now behave identically (Carlos Alves, Konsole 20.08.3)

Screenshots taken with Spectacle now appear in the list of recent documents in the Places Panel that’s visible in Dolphin, the file dialogs, and various other pieces of software (Méven Car, Spectacle 20.08.3)

In the System Settings Online Accounts page, errors when connecting to external accounts are now displayed in the UI rather than silently ignored (Nicolas Fella, kaccounts-integration 20.12)

The “New Tab” button on Konsole’s tab bar now has a tooltip (Carlos Alves, Konsole 20.12)

Window rules are now allowed to position windows with negative X and Y values, if you really want (Ismael Asensio, Plasma 5.20.2)

Files and folders on the desktop can now properly be interacted with using a touchscreen, including press-and-hold to emulate a right-click (Steffen Hartlieb, Plasma 5.21)

KRunner search results no longer display uninstalled apps so prominently (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.21)

The System Settings Audio Volume now has a fancy new layout that’s much simpler and dispenses with the multi-tab view (Nicolas Fella, Plasma 5.21):

The System Settings Window Rules page now supports the “Highlight Changed Settings” feature (Ismael Asensio, Plasma 5.21)

The System Settings Task Switcher, Window Behavior and General Behavior pages now fully support the “Highlight Changed Settings” feature (Cyril Rossi, Plasma 5.21)

When using the setting to open files and folders with double-click, System Settings’ icon view now opens pages with a single-click, not a double-click (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.21)

The context menu for file-based notifications now includes a “Move to Trash” item just in case you suddenly realize you don’t need the file after all (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.21):

The bracket matching feature in Kate, KDevelop, and other KTextEditor-based apps now matches angle brackets too (Milian Wolff, Frameworks 5.76)

How You Can Help

Have a look at https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved to discover ways to 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.


Last week’s post: https://pointieststick.com/2020/10/24/this-week-in-kde-title/

39 thoughts on “This week in KDE: Continuous bug massacre

  1. > The System Settings Users page now lets you apply changes to a single user profile field, not just when making changes to more than one

    Hi Nate,
    This is not the right description of the issue.

    Example of issue before the patch: {field1=foo, field2=bar}, and you’re trying to change field2 to “foo” as well – it might fail to apply, although you’re changing only one field.

    Like

  2. > KWin’s Desktop Grid effect can now be configured to only activate desktops on click, rather than activating both desktops and windows, if you happen to click on a window

    Cool! I would love to see an option to change the dimming effect too. :]

    Liked by 1 person

  3. >The Plasma Wayland session no longer requires that you manually set an environment variable to make NVIDIA GPUs using the proprietary driver function properly. If this sounds like a big deal, it is! (Vlad Zahorodnii and Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.20.2)

    How about actually fixing Kwin Wayland to work with Nouveau?

    Even today Kwin on Wayland locks up instantly on Nouveau. QSG_RENDER_LOOP=basic is a bandaid that only works for a few minutes to a few hours before the system hardlocks again.

    Like

      1. There is one raised in the Mesa bugtracker that no one wants to take on:
        https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/mesa/mesa/-/issues/1166

        Apparently it’s due to threaded GL. Which is why the QSG_RENDER_LOOP=basic workaround is needed.

        Honestly, if Gnome on Wayland can function properly with Nouveau there is no reason Plasma on Wayland could not. And as I have mentioned earlier, the QSG_RENDER_LOOP workaround only works for a few minutes / hours before the whole system locks up again.

        Like

        1. We need a KDE bug too, if there’s anything you think we should be doing to work around this issue. Or a Qt bug. Which I see there is, but nobody’s responded to it. 😦

          Like

          1. I raised a KDE bug a long time ago on this and the only response I got was “it’s an upstream issue”.

            This is the ticket: https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=402221

            Perhaps somebody can *please* look into this again? Qt doesn’t want to do anything, Mesa / Freedesktop don’t want to bother about it and KDE also doesn’t want to do anything about it.

            There are people whose needs can be fully met with simply using Nouveau drawing and accelerating the desktop environment under Wayland. I happen to be one of them.

            Like

  4. I encoutered a few issues when I used Wayland session on KDE Plasma 5.20.2. Can I report them here instead of opening multiple bug reports?

    Like

    1. I doubt this is blog posts comment section is the right place to track bugs. 😉
      But we are all thankful if you report them @ bugs.kde.org. :]

      Like

  5. Wayland on KDE is completely unusable until I can run it at 240hz + 75 hz on my second monitor. As it is now, it’s always stuck at 60. It’s really pathetic. This is what keeps me in Windows.

    Like

      1. It’s not freesync I’m looking for. I have two monitors, one is 240hz, the second is 75hz. KDE/kwin just seems to run at 75hz (or 60 i forgot I formatted) on KDE 5.20 unless I disconnect the second monitor using wayland. It also does this on X, but you can add MaxFPS=240 to kwinrc to make it work, then disable vsync to make smooth animations (otherwise again, it syncs at 75hz). I then need to add tearfree to an xorg conf to stop tearing.

        It’s just a terrible UX. This isn’t all exclusive to KDE, other desktops have issues too in this regard, it’s just I’m at a point in my life where I don’t want to have to hack around to have a “smooth” experience. I would like to see this improved in wayland specifically on KDE, as Gnome has made better progress in this regard, but as it is now I consider it unusable.

        Like

  6. The number of fixes is huge! Thanks KDE team!
    Looks like I’ll switch to Wayland by the end of… 2021, when setting of external monitor as a primary one becomes possible 🙂

    Like

  7. Oh and btw just tried Wayland on Optimus laptop with `export KWIN_DRM_USE_EGL_STREAMS=1` setting. Well, hello black screen 🙂 This is a real showstopper.

    Like

      1. I wish I could do a proper bug report on this issue but at this point it would be more of a declaration of my ignorance on how to enable Wayland on an Optimus laptop. See, with Xorg I have at least 3 options:
        1. iGPU-powered setup (Intel or AMD)
        2. dGPU-powered setup (Nvidia)
        3. hybrid setup with everything on iGPU and offloading certain tasks to dGPU
        All configurable via xorg.conf.d settings.
        But how can I set Nvidia as a primary GPU for Wayland when there’s no config file and Intel is already pre-configured by default? I thought setting the above-mentioned env is enough, but it’s obviously not. In fact, doing so made it being applied to Intel GPU, which resulted in what was stated above: a black screen.

        Like

        1. A black screen is not what should happen in any situation, so it’s definitely a bug, whether you’re doing things The One Proper Way or not. So please feel encouraged to file a bug anyway. Unfiled bugs are unlikely to get fixed.

          Like

  8. How do you feel about backporting fixes to Plasma LTS? We, stable distro users, are kinda stuck with Plasma 5.18 for years ahead.

    Like

    1. We do it when we can, but Plasma is a fast-moving piece of software and often fixes depend on newer versions of the code. If you would prefer newer versions of Plasma, that may be a sign that you’re not using the ideal distro for you. 🙂

      Like

  9. Did xwayland and nvidia drivers work together nicely and accelerated yet. Not the most relevant place to ask I guess, but I was thinking of trying out wayland to see these big fixes but if I can’t really use xwayland well yet I’ll just hold off.

    Like

  10. > Dolphin’s background daemon mode no longer triggers session restoration, which should fix an issue with Dolphin always opening at login on Fedora (me…)

    Thanks! I wondered why Dolphin always appeared after rebooting, I assumed it was KDE deciding “You’ll want a file manager” for me.

    Like

  11. Good job !
    However I keep having a problem on my PCs with Plasma 5.20.2, what is happening to the Plasma sessions?
    Let me explain better … when I close a Plasma session with a logout, I can no longer log in and I am forced to restart the PC.
    This is really very annoying, even if I switch from one user to another it does not solve, indeed I happened to have both sessions open, since I had one session with the panel at the bottom, the other with the panel at the top and I found myself in a non-working session with both panels.
    I thought to report the bug, but I realized that there were some bugs already open on the problem, hopefully it will be fixed by switching to systemd for session startup.
    Do you know anything about it?

    Like

      1. I hope so too. Otherwise, we have to wait the fixed bugs in plasma 5.20.4 who will be available only in first december 2020 (so in three weeks).

        Thanks for your work. 😉

        Like

  12. Hello,

    I see that information above : Files and folders on the desktop can now properly be interacted with using a touchscreen, including press-and-hold to emulate a right-click (Steffen Hartlieb, Plasma 5.21)

    I guess it will be available only in plasma 5.21 and not in plasma 5.20.x because it is a new feature ?
    I created a folder and add trash on desktop with plasma 5.20.2 but it doesn’t work properly with touchscreen (I interacted with it). Sometimes it works and sometimes not.

    Like

      1. OK. I have a last question.

        Do you think that wayland is ready to replace xorg as default display server in kde plasma ?

        I read on the net that Fedora 34 will use wayland as default display server for their kde plasma version.

        What do you think about it ?

        Like

        1. I don’t think it’s ready yet in Plasma 5.20. I think there’s a chance it will be ready enough by Plasma 5.21, which is what Fedora 34 will use.

          Regardless, it will be rougher than X11 for a few more releases. But I think it makes a lot of sense for Fedora to make this transition sooner rather than later, because Fedora explicitly targets technology enthusiasts who like new and exciting improvements that may not be 100% ready for 100% of users. Fedora users are generally excited to try the hot new stuff!

          Like

          1. Hello,

            I’m a Manjaro user and as Manjaro is a rolling-release distribution, I’ve got the last version of softwares (like Kde plasma for example). So I can see what works and what don’t work. Manjaro users are also excited to try the hot new stuff. That’s why I switched to Manjaro with KDE desktop. 😀

            Another last thing. Why KDE team has dropped the support of Kuser ? Kuser is a fantastic software to manage users and groups. I really will wish it to come back in plasma.

            Regards.

            Like

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