KDE Plasma 5.3 Beta Released with 350 Bug Fixes

by Ostatic Staff - Apr. 15, 2015

The KDE project today announced the release of KDE Plasma 5.3 Beta. It comes with lots of improvements as well as "big steps towards Wayland support." Elsewhere, David Both shares his nine reasons for using KDE and Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols highlights five changes coming in Ubuntu 15.04.

Plasma 5.3 Beta was released today, just two weeks ahead of the scheduled official Release. Today's Beta brings better power management, improved Bluetooth support, improved widgets, Wayland support, and a new media center. In addition, nearly 350 bugs were fixed this time.

The power management improvements include settings that can be independently configured per activity, new energy usage monitor available in KInfoCenter, and battery applet identifies applications that hogs power. Several improvements to laptop lid management such as not allowing machine to suspend when closing lid if external monitor attached and closing the lid no longer suspends if shutting down.

Other improvements this release are the return of the Comics widget and system monitor applets. Clipboard applet can now show barcodes and the menu now lists Recent Contacts. New Bluetooth applet brings added support for blocking and unblocking devices and a new touchpad configuration module has been added. 5.3 Beta brings a tech preview of the new Plasma Media Center. It is said to be stable but still missing some earlier features.

Plasma Media Center

Another milestone of this release is the added Wayland support. KDE Frameworks 5 was designed for the inevitability of Wayland and Plasma 5.3 will bring it to life. According to the announcement today, "Plasma's window manager and compositor KWin is now able to start a nested XWayland server, which acts as a bridge between the old (X11) and the new (Wayland) world." It is expected to be fully integrated by Plasma 5.4.

Reasons to use KDE abound, but today David Roth shared nine of his at http://opensource.com. These include superior integration of KDE with all applications (not just KDE's), its great (and customizable) looks, endless flexibility, widgets, the Konsole, and more. Roth summed up his choice, "KDE is the only one that I can configure to work in the specific ways that allow me to work in the manner that is most comfortable and efficient for me."

Ubuntu 15.04 is due April 23 and today Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols began, "Don't let first impressions fool you. Underneath there's a lot of changes."

These include:

* Ubuntu switch init manager from upstart to systemd
* Linux kernel upgrade
* Local menus are now default
* Updated applications and Unity

Other interesting headlines today:

* Linux Mint Debian Edition 2 Cinnamon review

* The Linux Setup - Kevin Fenzi, Fedora Infrastructure Leader

* Thin is in for Operating Systems, Thanks to Docker