plasma 5.9 desktop screenshot

KDE has announced the release of Plasma 5.9, the latest version of its modern desktop environment. 

“Plasma 5.9 brings many exciting new features to your desktop”, project lead Jonathan Riddell says.

But precisely what? Let’s take a look.

Global Menus

global menus in plasma 5.9

As we reported on last year, Plasma 5.9 brings global menus back to the KDE desktop experience.

The re-addition allows application menu bars to appear in the same global spot, away from their respective application window, appear locally integrated, or neatly tucked away in a window bar button.

Improved scrollbars in Plasma 5.9
Improved scrollbars in Plasma 5.9

Compact scroll bars

Breeze style scroll bars conform to the more compact UI tradition of late to, KDE say, give applications ‘a sleek and modern look.’

Task Manager Improvements

Use different applications in different activities/workspaces? Plasma now lets you pin different apps to the task bar in different activities.

Keyboard multi-taskers will appreciate being able to jump between apps using Meta + {num} shortcuts.

The tooltips that appear when hovering over or right-clicking on task manager entries have also been redesigned to ‘show more information while being significantly more compact’, and include Windows-style task bar thumbnail previews when lingering over the entry of a running application.

Finally, applications that are actively playing audio are denoted by a small speaker icon, just like auto playing tabs are in many popular web-browsers.

Interactive notifications in Plasma 5.9
Interactive notifications in Plasma 5.9

Notification Previews

Plasma notifications now have Interactive previews.

For example, when you take a screenshot using you can drag the snapped file from the notification pop up directly and into another app window — no need to open a separate app and copy or paste!

Other Changes

Other notable changes in Plasma 5.9 include:

  • Quick Launch applet supports jump list actions
  • Look and Feel desktop themes now support changing window decorations
  • Improved network connection configuration app
  • New wallpaper called “Canopee”
  • Misc HiDPI improvements

You can find a full list of changes in Plasma 5.9.0 here.

Plasma 5.9 In Action

Taking a leaf out of the GNOME marketing handbook there’s even a spiffy video to showcase the features on offer:

News Video kde plasma plasma5