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KDE Plasma 5 is the fifth and current generation of the desktop environment created by KDE primarily for Linux systems. KDE Plasma 5 is the successor of KDE Plasma 4 and was initially released on 15 July 2014.[1][4][5] It includes a new default theme, known as "Breeze", as well as increased convergence across different devices. The graphical interface was fully migrated to QML, which uses OpenGL for hardware acceleration, which resulted in better performance and reduced power consumption.[1][6]

KDE Plasma 5
KDE Plasma 5 banner.png
The KDE Plasma 5 desktop
The KDE Plasma 5 desktop
Initial release15 July 2014; 4 years ago (2014-07-15)[1]
Stable release5.14.0 (9 October 2018; 36 days ago (2018-10-09)) [±][2]
Preview release5.12 Beta (15 January 2018; 9 months ago (2018-01-15)) [±][3]
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inC++, QML
Operating systemLinux, Unix-like
LicenseGNU Lesser General Public License



KDE's mascot Konqi and Plasma desktop.

Software architectureEdit

KDE Plasma 5 is built using Qt 5 and KDE Frameworks 5,[7] predominantly plasma-framework.[8]

It improves support for HiDPI displays and ships a converged graphical shell, able to modify the graphical shell according to the device in use. 5.0 also includes a new default theme, dubbed Breeze. Changes under the hood include the migration to a new, fully hardware-accelerated graphics stack centered on an OpenGL(ES)-based scene graph (canvas). Plasma 5 completes the migration of KDE Plasma 4 to QtQuick. Qt 5's QtQuick 2 uses a hardware-accelerated OpenGL(ES) scenegraph to compose and render graphics on the screen, which allows for the offloading of computationally expensive graphics rendering tasks onto the GPU, which frees up resources on the system's main CPU, and is faster and more power efficient.[1]

Windowing systemsEdit

KDE Plasma 5 uses the X Window System, but support for Wayland is under development.[1] Initial support for Wayland was made available in the 5.4 release.[9] Stable support for a basic Wayland session was provided in the 5.5 release (December 2015).[10]


Since the split of the KDE Software Compilation into KDE Plasma, KDE Frameworks and KDE Applications, each subproject can develop at its own pace.[11] KDE Plasma 5 is on its own release schedule, with feature releases every three months, and bugfix releases in the intervening months.


  • Krunner - Search feature with several available plugins. In addition to quick launching apps, it searches files and folders, and performs numerous other tasks such as foreign currency conversion and measurement conversion. It also functions as a calculator.[12]
  • Activities - "virtual desktops", which have their own layouts and wallpapers. They can be named and navigated through the Activities menu.
  • Customize desktops, layouts and panels on multiple monitors
  • Widgets, called "Plasmoids", can be added to the panel or desktop
  • Dolphin file manager - bulk rename files, can be customized through "service menus" that add new functions to the context menu[13]
  • Session Management
  • Spectacle - for making screenshots

Plasma MobileEdit

Plasma Mobile
Developer(s)KDE, Blue Systems
Preview release
2016-10-25 / 25 October 2016; 2 years ago (2016-10-25)[14]
Written inC++, QML
Operating systemLinux

Plasma Mobile is a Plasma variant for smartphones.[15]

After Plasma Active sponsor Coherent Theory (under the Make·Play·Live brand)[16][17] had to give up their ambitions to release a tablet computer,[18] Blue Systems emerged as new sponsor and shifted the focus of Plasma's handheld work towards smartphones.[19][20]

The official announcement of the new formfactor interface was on 25 July 2015 at Akademy, accompanied by a working prototype running on a Nexus 5.[15] Plasma Mobile runs on Wayland and it is compatible with Ubuntu Touch applications[19] and eventually Android applications[21][22] via KDE's Shashlik project – also sponsored by Blue Systems[23][24], or Anbox.

It is also available for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 5X,[25] as well as supported devices on postmarketOS.


The first Technology Preview of Plasma 5 (at that time called Plasma 2) was released on 13 December 2013.[26] On 15 July 2014 the first release version – Plasma 5.0 – saw the light of day.[1] In spring 2015, Plasma 5 replaced Plasma 4 in many popular distributions, such as Fedora 22,[27] Kubuntu 15.04,[28] and openSUSE Tumbleweed.[29]


Feature releases are released every four months (up to 5.8 every three months) and bugfix releases in the intervening months.[11]

Plasma 5 releases
Version Date Key features
Old version, no longer supported: 5.0[1] 15 Jul 2014 First release.
Old version, no longer supported: 5.1[30] 15 Oct 2014 Ported missing features from Plasma 4.
Old version, no longer supported: 5.2[31] 27 Jan 2015 New components:
  • BlueDevil: intends to integrate the Bluetooth technology within Plasma and KDE Applications.
  • KSSHAskPass: front-end for ssh-add which stores the password of the ssh key in KWallet
  • Muon: A collection of package management tools for Debian-based systems, using the apt-xapian index and the Synaptic search algorithm
  • sddm-kcm.git: config module for SDDM themes
  • KScreen: KDE's most current screen management software[32] Well integrated, hooks into KDE System Settings, makes use of KDE Daemon and KGlobalAccel; there is libkscreen.git for it.
  • kde-gtk-config.git GTK+ 2 and 3 style configuration
  • KDecoration: KDecoration2 is a plugin-based library to create window decorations. These window decorations can be used by for example an X11 based window manager which re-parents a client window to a window decoration frame.
Old version, no longer supported: 5.3[33] 28 Apr 2015 Tech preview of Plasma Media Center. New Bluetooth and touchpad applets. Enhanced power management.
Old version, no longer supported: 5.4[34] 25 Aug 2015 Initial Wayland session,[9] new QML-based audio volume applet, and alternative full-screen application launcher.[35]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.5[36] 8 Dec 2015 Improved Wayland support.[37][38]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.6[39] 22 Mar 2016 Increased security.[40]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.7[41] 5 Jul 2016 Wayland: "basic workflows now fully functional". Automatic virtual keyboard.[41]
Older version, yet still supported: 5.8 LTS[42] 4 Oct 2016 Long Term Support version.[43][44]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.9 31 Jan 2017 Wayland improvements,[45] global menu[46]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.10 30 May 2017 Performance improvements[47]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.11 7 Nov 2017 System Settings redesign.[48] Notification history.[48] Added Plasma Vaults.[49] Wayland improvements.[50]
Older version, yet still supported: 5.12 LTS[51] 6 Feb 2018 Increased stability and speed. Wayland improvements.[51]
Old version, no longer supported: 5.13[52] 12 Jun 2018 Integration with non-KDE web browsers; new lock and login screens; improved Discover appearance; new screen layout selection dialog upon connection of a new screen.[53]
Current stable version: 5.14[54] 9 Oct 2018 GTK global menu integration. Wayland improvements[54]
Old version
Older version, still supported
Latest version
Latest preview version
Future release



  1. ^ a b c d e f g "KDE Plasma 5.0 Released". KDE. 2014-07-15. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
  2. ^ "Release Announcements: Plasma 5.14.0". KDE.
  3. ^ "Plasma 5.12 LTS Beta Makes Your Desktop Smoother and Speedier". KDE.
  4. ^ Joey-Elijah Sneddon. "KDE Plasma 5 Arrives with Fresh New Look, True Convergence". OMG! Ubuntu!.
  5. ^ "KDE Plasma 5—For those Linux users undecided on the kernel's future". Ars Technica.
  6. ^ "KDE Plasma 5 Arrives with Fresh New Look, True Convergence". OMG! Ubuntu!. 2014-07-15. Retrieved 2015-02-11.
  7. ^ Jos Poortvliet (2013-12-17). "Qt 5.2 - Foundation for KDE Frameworks 5". Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  8. ^ "plasma-framework readme".
  9. ^ a b Martin Grässlin (2015-06-29). "Four years later". Retrieved 2015-07-21.
  10. ^ "Plasma 5.5 With Beautiful New Artwork".
  11. ^ a b "Release schedule for Plasma 5". KDE.
  12. ^ "How to Use KDE Plasma Desktop Like a Pro". 2015-02-22. Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  13. ^ "Build Your Own Linux Productivity Machine With KDE Service Menus". MakeUseOf. Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  14. ^
  15. ^ a b Swapnil Bhartiya (25 July 2015). "KDE Community announces fully open source Plasma Mobile". ITworld. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  16. ^ Bruce Byfield. "Orchestration". Linux Magazine.
  17. ^ "Akademy: Plasma Active and Make Play Live".
  18. ^ "Improv Open ARM Board Failure Leads To A Ton Of In-Fighting". Phoronix.
  19. ^ a b Swapnil Bhartiya (25 July 2015). "Sebastian Kügler: KDE's Plasma Mobile is running on Plasma 5 and Kubuntu". ITworld. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  20. ^ "Embracing Mobile". sebas' blog. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  21. ^ Brad Linder. "Plasma Mobile: Linux-based smartphone operating system". Liliputing.
  22. ^ "Plasma Mobile, a Free Mobile Platform".
  23. ^ "KDE Reveals Plasma Mobile".
  24. ^ "Shashlik: Android Applications on Real Linux – Akademy 2015 Program".
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Plasma 2 Technology Preview". Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  27. ^ "Fedora 22 KDE Delivers A Great Plasma 5 Experience - Phoronix". Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  28. ^ "Kubuntu 15.04 Release Announcement". 2015-04-22. Retrieved 2015-07-21.
  29. ^ "openSUSE Tumbleweed Now Uses KDE Plasma 5.3 as Default Desktop". Softpedia. 2015-05-16.
  30. ^ "KDE - Plasma 5.1 Brings Back Many Popular Features". Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  31. ^ "KDE - KDE Ships Plasma 5.2". Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  32. ^ "Kscreen 1.0 soll Monitorkonfiguration von KDE verbessern".
  33. ^ "KDE Ships Plasma 5.3, New Feature Release". KDE. 2015-04-28.
  34. ^ "KDE Ships Plasma 5.4.0, Feature Release for August". KDE. 25 August 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  35. ^ "KDE Ships Plasma 5.4 Beta Release". KDE. 2015-08-11.
  36. ^ "KDE Ships Plasma 5.5 Release". KDE. 8 December 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  37. ^ "September update for Plasma's Wayland porting". Martin's Blog.
  38. ^ "KWin On Wayland Making Progress, Now Has A Virtual Backend". Phoronix.
  39. ^ "KDE Plasma 5.6 Release". KDE. 22 March 2016. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  40. ^ Marius Nestor (24 November 2015). "KDE Developers Work on Improving the Security of KDE Plasma 5 on Wayland". softpedia.
  41. ^ a b "KDE - KDE Plasma 5.7 Release".
  42. ^ "KDE at 20: Plasma 5.8 LTS. Here for the Long Term". KDE. 4 October 2016.
  43. ^ Jonathan Riddell. "Plasma 5.8 LTS Kickerd Off for Stability and Performance".
  44. ^ "Plasma 5.8 will be an LTS release".
  45. ^ Martin Grässlin (2016-10-19). "Wayland improvements since Plasma 5.8 release".
  46. ^ "KDE Ships Plasma 5.9". 2017-01-31. Retrieved 2017-01-31.
  47. ^
  48. ^ a b "Plasma 5.11 Release Announcement". KDE.
  49. ^ "Plasma 5.11 – Keep the momentum going". OCS-Mag. 2017-10-18. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
  50. ^ "KDE Plasma 5.11 Officially Released With Vault, Better Wayland & More - Phoronix". Retrieved 2017-12-21.
  51. ^ a b "Plasma 5.12 Release Announcement". KDE.
  52. ^ "Plasma 5.13 Release Announcement". KDE.
  53. ^ "KDE Plasma 5.13 Beta: Fast, Lightweight, and Full Featured". 2018-05-17.
  54. ^ a b "Plasma 5.14 Release Announcement". KDE.

External linksEdit