Plasma 5 is coming
by clem 26

The KDE edition of Linux Mint 18 just passed QA and should be available as BETA this weekend.

Here’s a screenshot and some details to keep you waiting :)


There are three major differences between this edition and the other Linux Mint editions:

  • The default display manager isn’t MDM, but SDDM.
  • The packages for the desktop environment are not frozen and maintained by Linux Mint, but continuously backported and maintained by a 3rd party repository (in this case the Kubuntu Backports PPA).
  • This edition does not ship with X-Apps (the excellent Kate, Okular, Gwenview, Dragon Player and DigiKam are maintained)

This is largely due to the fact that KDE is huge and it’s a bit of a different world and a different development target than ours. QT applications feel more native over there, frameworks around Bluetooth and Locale which were put in common in other desktop environments are handled directly by KDE here. And also since Plasma 5, we’re dealing with something which hasn’t reached the maturity of its predecessor (KDE 4) or other desktops, but which is also developed rapidly upstream and which brings significant refinements, bug fixes and either missing or new features with every new version.

Changes are kept to a minimum to keep the experience as intact as possible (we call it “vanilla” in our own jargon). The selection is cleaned up to avoid clutter but most of the traditional QT apps are present (we find Amarok for music playback, Kontact with Kmail, Korganizer etc..) and most of the look and feel is handled by Breeze, the default Plasma 5 theme.

26 thoughts on “Plasma 5 is coming

  1. justasking Aug 18,2016 13:24

    No Mint Update Manager then?

    • clem Aug 18,2016 16:38

      It isn’t possible to upgrade KDE 4 into Plasma 5, they’re considered two different desktops. Regarding Plasma updates, the system points to the Kubuntu Backports PPA for Xenial, so this means you’re starting out with Plasma 5.6 and you’ll soon get 5.7 via updates.

      • justasking Aug 18,2016 20:35

        Actually, I was asking about Mint Update Manager for everything else, like managing PPA’s, updating other packages, other kernels, etc.

        • Mike Aug 19,2016 04:21

          I second that I hope the Mint Update Manager is still working in the new Plasma 5 environment, including showing up in the system tray (although I saw Clem’s comment about Plasma 5 no longer having a system tray, I’m not sure what that means).

          The rest of the choices Clem outlined sound just right to me.

          I do hope there’s a light theme, I’m not a huge fan of the dark ones.

          • clem Aug 19,2016 18:46

            nvidia-prime-applet, mintupload and mintupdate were adapted to use indicators in Plasma 5.

          • Mike Aug 19,2016 22:06

            That’s awesome. Thanks

          • clem Aug 20,2016 20:34

            I couldn’t ship Plasma without a working systray for what we provide (nvidia applet, mintupdate, mintupload), so that’s fixed. We’re also planning a new indicator library, but that’s for 18.1, so it’s too early to talk about it.

    • Edgars Liepiņš Aug 18,2016 17:44

      There is Mint Update Manager.

  2. Santiago Burgos Aug 18,2016 16:01

    Wow, it looks like you are putting such an effort on keeping up with the changes on KDE and the Qt world, it is really nice for you to keep trying that, and although KDE is not your world maybe many should see that it is a way different world than Cinnamon or MATE and not complain that much; I’m not a KDE user (had some troubles in KDE4 and it was resource hogging on an older laptop, for now I still keep that idea and previous experience) but I would like to try it out so I can see the improvements of it

    If you allow me the comment as well, you should try to (cherry) pick some things that QT and KDE brings in certain components so that you can port them to Cinnamon/MATE, even turning it into a kind of X-App

  3. Parijatha Kumar Aug 18,2016 16:44

    One of the best thing KDE5 offers is modularity. For instance, I am currently running Fedora 24 KDE and I’ve completely removed akonadi (which was never possible on KDE4), kde-pim, telepathy etc. My system takes around 360MB RAM when idle. KDE5 has improved a lot after Plasma-5.7 release. The next 5.8 LTS release will be even more stable, feature full.

  4. desi Aug 19,2016 19:53

    I’m a recent convert to Linux Mint MATE. Can’t believe the quality. Best thing I’ve ever done with my laptop. I enthusiastically try to convince friends and family to come to it. Thank you Mint developers, très fier de toi Clem, tu portes haut les couleurs !

    • clem Aug 20,2016 20:32

      Merci :)

    • AJMJ Oct 8,2016 00:20

      I am a recent user of Linux Mint MATE and I completely agree with desi. I use win10 & Server 2012 R2 at work and win10, 7, & LM MATE at home.
      I am 20+ year Microsoft veteran user that loves Windows, but Linux Mint 18 MATE is now my favorite Desktop OS!
      Go figure…

      Thank You, all involved in both LM & MATE!

    • thecrud Dec 5,2016 15:18

      Best Linux KDE ever My ssd it would not read right, I had to format a partition ext4 from windows before booting the USB stick
      Then pick manual select the ext4 as root and dont check format.

  5. Anand Aug 20,2016 17:06

    Wow! Great news, been hearing about Plasma 5 reviews and was waiting for Mint’s version.

    An aside – From GH commits, I see a lot is cooking under Cinnamon Dev. Can we see a blog post soon on Cinnamon screensaver and Vertical panel? :)


    • clem Aug 20,2016 20:31

      Yes, there’s a lot going on. Vertical panels are in. New background management also (it’s mostly the internals which changed, but it means nice smooth fade effects when the bg changes). And the new screensaver is in as well, but it’s pending a new look coming soon.

  6. TheOldFellow Aug 21,2016 07:12

    Will it run on AMD Graphics? I tried Cinnamon 18, but my Radeon R9 290 isn’t supported except using the gaming-useless ultra-slow open source driver. Back to 17.3….

    • LordSamanon Sep 4,2016 20:33

      The R9 290 should be supported by the AMDGPU-PRO driver, try that. Also, radeonsi isn’t really that bad (as in the proprietary driver is hardly any better)

  7. mrman Aug 22,2016 22:10

    > nice smooth fade effects when the bg changes

    Nice. This is something i was looking forward to and had asked about. The vertical panels are a pretty sweet idea. One thing i do miss from unity’s panel on gnome is a color change to match the background effect ( compiz probably ) it would be nice to get a subtle tint or the option at least.

    awesome work.

  8. Bob Aug 25,2016 02:11

    You going to have a blue LM logo?.

  9. Aaron Aug 25,2016 02:17

    @Clem since you use the same install Ubiquity as we do (Kubuntu) with the Qt UI you will hit this bug :

    The fix is to move the installer from PyQt4 to PyQt5. We would be super happy if we can work together to get this fixed, i.e move the fixes upstream so we can all benefit.

    If you can help hope into #kubuntu-devel on Freenode or contact me at

    • clem Aug 27,2016 09:10

      Hi Aaron,

      Many thanks for contacting us about this, it’s very appreciated. I’ll look into this and get in touch with you by email and on the IRC. I look forward to working with you on this.

  10. Jeremy Bailey Aug 29,2016 02:14

    LinuxMint 18 KDE will have quite a different look from the previous KDE versions?
    I tried `7.3 Cinnamon but I went back to KDE quickly. Now I’m wondering if KDE will be like Cinnamon somehow.

  11. Dekorativni Kamen Sep 12,2016 15:06

    Very good news.Thank you

  12. hrx Sep 26,2016 07:00

    Does anybody know what is Kubuntu Backport PPA policy? I need new Plasma with fixed bugs for multimonitors but we are still on 5.6.5 here, while the newset is 5.7.95

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