Although the KDE Plasma 5.17 release is just a few months old (released in October 2019), news of the next major KDE offering, KDE Plasma 5.18, is already making headlines. KDE Plasma 5.18 is not only the next major release of the distro.
It is their next LTS version of the open-source Linux distro. The last LTS release was KDE Plasma 5.12 LTS launched in February 2018.
Let’s take a gander at the improvements and new features planned for KDE Plasma 5.18 LTS.
New Features in KDE Plasma 5.18
- Brand new emoji picker tool
- Dolphin includes an action and keyboard shortcut that allows focus and unfocuses of the terminal panel
- Import photos to and from remote locations in Gwenview
- Browsable 7Zip archives in Krusader, file dialogs, Dolphin and any other apps with a URL navigator
- Open local HTML files in apps other than default browser without impacting browser’s ability to open links
- New Home button in Systems Settings that return users to the main page
Updates and Improvements
- KSYsGuard now displays stats for Nvidia graphics hardware
- Users are now able to select and remove multiple Bluetooth devices simultaneously
- System Settings’ Baloo file search page is rewritten, featuring QML-based user interface
- The cursor changes appearance in System Settings to match what’s beneath and offers a preview of cursor’s animated effect
- System Settings Fonts page now works as expected
- System Settings General Behavior page updated with the addition of a global animation speed slider (controls animations or turns them off)
- Improved full-screen windows on X11 and Wayland
- Ability to search for add-ons and widgets from Discover’s Features page
- More streamlined display style/look of Plasma Audio Volume applet and associated System Settings page
- Inline preview displays for configured time format in Digital Clock’s settings windows
- Weather widget updated to display in “millimeters of mercury.”
- Touchpad System Tray applet closes after losing focus
- Users can now hide their lock screen clock until password prompt appears
- More reliable behavior when left- or right-clicking System Tray icons (hiding and showing)
- Discover support for repairing host OS when update OS fails during offline updates
- Selected desktop items (subtly) change appearance to become an inactive highlight when another item claims focus
- A plethora of bug fixes and performance improvements
KDE Plasma and Linux enthusiasts alike are eager for the release of KDE Plasma 5.18 LTS. The built-in emoji picker is a much-needed feature and surely should please the KDE user community. They don’t have long to wait, either. Beta testing will begin January 16th, 2020, while the final release looks to be February 11, 2020, with support until 2022. FOSS Linux will be sure to cover both the beta and final versions.