This week in KDE: Plasma 5.21 approaches!

There are just a few days left before Plasma 5.21 is released, so get ready! And check out all this cool stuff too. Train doesn’t stop!

New Features

Kate’s project plugin now offers you the ability to switch git branches right there in the main UI (Waqar Ahmed, Kate 21.04):

Plasma’s Audio Volume applet now offers you the opportunity to change a device’s audio profile right there in the applet, without having to go elsewhere (Kai Use Broulik, Plasma 5.22):

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Kate no longer sometimes creates a new document when closing tabs with a middle-click (Jan Paul Batrina,c Kate 21.04)

Dolphin no longer crashes when viewing large folders in Tree view (Felix Ernst, Dolphin 21.04)

QML-based apps that override the theme no longer crash when that theme is Breeze (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21)

Neither Plasma nor the whole session will crash when dragging a file over a Task Manager entry in the Plasma Wayland session (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.21)

Fixed a bug that could cause widgets to sometimes be irremovable from a panel (Niccolò Venerandi, Plasma 5.21)

Non-Task-Manager panel applets once again respect Fitts’ law regarding their click targets (Niccolò Venerandi, Plasma 5.21)

The buttons in Plasma’s “new screen connected” OSD once again work (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21)

KRunner’s Locations runner now works again (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.21)

Plasma no longer sometimes crashes when deleting an activity (Willyanto, Plasma 5.21)

Disk monitoring widgets now show the correct information for current throughput and no longer display “Total Uploaded” when they should be displaying “Upload Rate” (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21)

Discover is now substantially faster to launch (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.21)

Fedora’s Anaconda installer now works in the Plasma Wayland session (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.21)

Discover no longer sometimes shows bogus extra sources in its “Sources” menu when viewing the details page for a Flatpak app (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.21)

KWin now detects hot-plugged VR headsets (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.21)

Reducing the screen brightness to the lowest level such that it turns off the backlight no longer causes the backlight to flicker back on for a moment before turning off again (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.21)

Scrollbars in Breeze-GTK-themed GTK apps no longer display stepper arrows when they shouldn’t (Jan Blackquill, Plasma 5.21)

Discover’s “Write a review” sheet is no longer almost unusably narrow (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.21.1)

It’s now possible to immediately apply newly-downloaded wallpapers whose names include a space (Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen, Frameworks 5.79)

When comparing two files in the move/copy overwrite dialog, size differences larger than 2 GiB are no longer erroneously described as being 16 EiB (!!!) (Méven Car, Frameworks 5.80)

Konsole no longer crashes when searching for new appearance settings using the Get New [thing] dialog (Alexander Lohnau, Frameworks 5.80)

Slightly improved the launch speed of all Kirigami-using apps (Arjen Hiemstra, Frameworks 5.80)

The few remaining settings pages that open in standalone windows now look good again (Ismael Asensio and me: Nate Graham, Frameworks 5.80):

User Interface Improvements

Gwenview now allows you to change the quality/compression level for other lossy image formats, such as WEBP, AVIF, HEIF, and HEIC (me: Nate Graham, Gwenview 21.04)

Kate now enables by default the feature to cut or copy the current line when nothing is selected and you use the cut or copy action (Alexander Lohnau, Kate 21.04)

Resizing Dolphin’s window now re-arranges the icons using a single smooth animation, not a weird two-part animation (Felix Ernst, Dolphin 21.04)

Hitting the escape key while in Okular’s full-screen view now returns to the windowed view (Michael Augaitis, Okular 21.04)

The new Wayland-specific keyboard layout applet now has text that scales with the thickness of the panel it’s located on (Andrey Butirsky, Plasma 5.21)

System Settings’ Window Decorations page now uses the fancy shiny new QML-based Get New [thing] window instead of the old funky QWidgets one (Alexander Lohnau, Plasma 5.22)

System Settings’ Virtual Desktops page now supports the “Highlight changed settings” feature (Cyril Rossi, Plasma 5.22)

You can now configure the Disks & Devices applet to play a sound when a device can be safely removed (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22)

Web Presence (ooh, let’s try out a new section)

Carl Schwan overhauled Kate’s website to use our fancy modern new theme:

Niccolò Venerandi published part two in his video series about how to create a plasma theme:

Leszek Lesner published a video about kio-fuse, which makes it easier to interact with remote files:

How You Can Help

Have a look at 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.

46 thoughts on “This week in KDE: Plasma 5.21 approaches!

    1. Optionally yes.

      Right now a lot of other stuff is pending so this may take a while. PRs welcome though 😉


    2. I think it’s probably best if Kate’s tabs use the style from the widget theme, so they’re consistent with other tabs. We just ported them away from a custom appearance last year. If the theme’s tab appearance is not good enough, we should fix that there!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great Work to eveyone involved! thanks!!

    Can we geta Save current config to global theme? It would be really useful to just copy the global theme to a new computer instead of the .kde directory that’s full of user home references. =)


    1. Thanks, I was refering to that, instead to have to copy files manually etc. It should be nice to have something like “export current theme to global theme” option or maybe something simply as “Save current as..” in the global themes section and then one can upload it manually, or have an extra integration to kde store.
      I’m currently copying everything manually (well with ansible that’s why I didn’t remembered the change of dirs) to every workstation on my organization but something as those options would be more user friendly for the final user, I think.

      Sorry for the wall of bad english text xD


  2. Please fix the search. Pressing super key and typing application name often times does not work. This bug is in every KDE distro I tried. And the bug is there for ages now. Thanjs


  3. Will the Kate branch thing work in KDevelop too? That would be a nice addition.
    (while at it, anyone remember Umbrello? I am fine with it being a separate app, but please integrate it more with KDevelop, on its own it seems out of place and out of context. The best would be, however, to offer it as an extension of KDevelop or Kate, instead of its own app. Same story with Qt Creator and the Plasma Theme Explorer app. Tighter integration between these related development tools would allow a lot more users to actually use them, and enhance the workflow of people who already use them. Also, I think some web stuff wouldn’t hurt in KDevelop, it is an awesome IDE, with some HTML/CSS functionality, it would be perfect for some web devs. Maybe with a module system, so that when you create a project, it asks you the language(s), and adds modules accordingly, including autocomplete and coloring packages, templates, runtimes/debuggers and GUI views in a checkbox list, so you can select what you need. Then it would install all the selected modules that aren’t already installed, and load up the project.
    Maybe if I get really into C++/Qt/KDE app programming, I could contribute at some point… KDevelop is the best IDE I know, so it would be really nice to see it improve, or improve it a lot myself.


    1. my main problem with the new kicker is resizeability. On a 4k screen, this is just too small, i would love to see it higher. Any settings i can tweak?


  4. I also updated to 5.21
    First impression was …meh… BUT: only because i use the systemsettings5 in ‘icon view’ mode instead of ‘sidebar’ mode. There, menu entries are missing, the headers pop in at various positions, background of highlighted icons is bad…
    Either spend time finxing it, or – my proposal – just get rid of icon view mode completely?
    Sidebar mode is ok, why fixing old stuff?


  5. New kwin is great, this is the biggie for me, thanks!

    But I have this weird issue when wifi network connection is flaky, whole plasma freezes for a minute or so!
    Does anyone else have this issue?


  6. I really like the new features introduced on 5.21, I only have one request …. is it possible to make the minimized applications have more contrast with the predefined themes in the panel? This is something I have seen many complain about. Thanks and good job.


  7. 1. Plasma 5.21 is absolutely amazing!!! What a wonderful job the devs done with it. Congratulations to you all!!!

    2. Am I allowed to complain?!

    All righty then!!!

    I don’t like Ubuntu based distros (I like them more than Ubuntu, however – but please don’t ask me why!)

    Being an openSUSE user, I could just use Tumbleweed, but I prefer the extra stability of Leap (for this case in particular)!

    So is there a safe way of having the latest plasma in Leap without screwing my desktop again (again because I already tried using a few repos that would allow me to have latest plasma… What nobody told me was that along the latest plasma it would also bring all king of weird bugs and behaviors – and no, I also don’t want to talk about that either – I’m still p***** off about it).

    In other words: is there anything like what we have for neon/ubuntu available for SUSE? 🙂


    1. Well… That were the repos I’ve tried about (maybe) 2 years ago ( but I was not aware of Argon ). It’s a very interesting initiative!!!

      Just because it’s a recommendation from you, I’m gonna give it another shot (ahah – yes, I really trust you on this things!!!).

      Thanks once again.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The new kickoff is great for my 1024×768 monitor so far. Not a huge fan of hover-to-enter though.
    By the way, is there any documentation on customising window decorations?


    1. There are 2 kinds of decorations.
      a) Aurorae decorations are SVG-based, and I think there is some documentation on the webpage of Aurorae (the theme engine) itself. Also if you download an Aurorae decoration from, you can open the SVGs with Inkscape, and study the layout and labeling of them.
      b) There are C++ and QML decorations as well, like Breeze, Oxygen and Lightly. I would look for documentation on their respective Github / GitLab (in this case repos.


    2. Thanks. I did look into the first route, doesn’t give me much confidence since the only things I found were elements and labels that were common to Windows 8/10 wannabe themes. All flat borders so I can’t get a resizable border for the look I’m going for.

      I’ll have a look at the second one.


    1. Thank you, Nate, for the answer. It’s a complicated way, but it works great and it is worth it.

      I never needed to open a mounted disk in Dolphin. It’s an annoying extra step for me, where I have to wait for Dolphin to open and then close it. Or click on the drop down menu and select “mount” …


    2. For example, I open files from graphics or other software. If I need to use a file manager, I use Krusader, never Dolphin. In the 30 years I’ve used a computer, I’ve never used an “explorer-type” file manager.


    3. Thanks for the info. I have to conclude that you are a fairly advanced, atypical user. 🙂 We are trying to optimize for the common use cases, which is why this was changed.


    4. Yeah, okay, I’m glad I know how I can change the behavior of the system to my satisfaction. 🙂 Thank you, Nate.


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