The latest version of the popular Linux desktop features new widgets, wallpapers and a TV interface. How will it compete with GNOME?
The KDE community has released the latest version of its flagship Plasma Linux desktop, version 5.26. This release features new desktop widgets and improved customization.
The KDE community took to Twitter to announce the new release, touting its new features:
KDE Plasma 5.26’s theme is its desktop widgets. The official announcement page even says it’s “all about widgets”.
“Your panel clock and calendar, the notifier, your KDE Connect monitor, the volume control; these are all widgets, and all can be added elsewhere, moved, removed, and, Plasma-style, edited at the extreme,” the announcement page says.
The developers even posted a short video on YouTube showcasing the new widgets in action:
There’s a new widget making its debut in Plasma 5.26: Timer. As the name suggests, this is an app for setting timers for things like making tea or boiling eggs.
What else is new in Plasma 5.26?
Widgets aren’t the only new feature in KDE Plasma 5.26. The latest version also contains new tweaks for the desktop.
The wallpaper will now match the theme chosen by the user. A dark theme will have a dark wallpaper and a light theme will have a light wallpaper. There are also live wallpapers.
KDE developers have also made some changes to its new Bigscreen TV interface which debuted in a 5.26 beta. Two new apps are debuting now that Bigscreen is no longer in beta. The first is Aura, a web browser optimized for use with remote controls. The other is Plank Player, a media player. Both of these are essential for use with a TV.
When will users get KDE Plasma 5.26?
Now that KDE Plasma 5.26 is out, Linux distribution maintainers will need to integrate it into their systems. For the impatient, the KDE community invites users to live pictures which they can download and rip to optical or USB media to get a taste of the desktop before their distro of choice packs it up.
KDE Plasma stays fresh with 5.26
KDE Plasma features tell the community that the project is still moving forward. KDE is in rivalry with another major Linux desktop project, GNOME. Widgets and other features will likely provide fodder for KDE fans in the arms race against GNOME in the desktop arms race.