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Plasma 5.15 review - Pro momentum

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Plasma 5.15 is a very good release. It's not the fireworks release like 5.12, or perhaps the cannonade that we saw in the previous version, but there's still a heapload of great stuff to write home about, or tell your friends whom you like and cherish. A combination of steady improvements in the existing stuff, new and thoughtful design that shamelessly stabs at the professional world, continuous polish and fix of bugs and problems, and a strong current of enthusiasm imbuing it all.

On top of all that, the desktop environment purrs like a tiger, with lithe, smooth performance, great and consistent looks, and there's always something new and fun to find and discover. Things are coming together in a good way. Some issues too, because you can't have Linux without regressions. A couple of scars to add character, right. But the good stuff outweighs the bad stuff by a hefty margin. So if you're feeling somewhat dejected by the slump in creativity gripping the open-source world, cast your eyes Plasmawards, and you should find lots of fresh energy yonder. I'm liking, and I'm liking where this is headed. Most recommended.

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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Intel Icelake Thunderbolt Support Still Being Squared Away For Linux - Hopefully For 5.4

    Intel Icelake laptops will soon be hitting store shelves and a vast majority of the Linux support has been squared away for many months. Unfortunately one bit still not mainlined is the Thunderbolt support. Back in July we wrote about the Icelake Thunderbolt support still not merged yet while Icelake's Gen11 graphics and other new processor features have all been squared away for several kernel releases in ensuring good launch-day support. With Icelake, the Thunderbolt functionality has moved onto the SoC itself (sans the Thunderbolt power delivery) and that's taken additional time for getting the Linux kernel support in order.

  • OBS Studio 24.0 Will Let You Pause While Recording, Other New Options

    For those using OBS Studio for cross-platform live-streaming and screen recording needs, OBS Studio 24.0 is on the way but out first is their release candidate to vet the new features coming into this big update.

  • Kontact and Google Integration Issues

    Lately there were some issues with the Google integration in Kontact which caused that it is no longer possible to add new Google Calendar or Gmail account in Kontact because the log in process will fail. This is due to an oversight on our side which lead to Google blocking Kontact as it did not comply with Google’s policies. We are working on resolving the situation, but it will take a little bit. Existing users should not be affected by this - if you already had Google Calendar or Gmail set up in Kontact, the sync should continue to work. It is only new accounts that cannot be created. In case of Gmail the problem can mostly be worked around when setting up the IMAP account in KMail by selecting PLAIN authentication1 method in the Advanced tab and using your email and password. You may need to enable Less Secure Applications in your Google account settings in order to be able to log in with regular email address and password.

  • rpminspect-0.3 released

    Released rpminspect-0.3 today with bugs reported and fixed during Flock Budapest 2019.

  • Kevin Fenzi: Flock 2019

    Flock time is upon is! This time in lovely Budapest. As always when flock is in europe, it’s a long flight for me, but otherwise travel was uneventfull: Drive 2 hours to PDX, then PDX to AMS, then a short layover for coffee and stoupwaffles and then AMS to BUD, and finally a taxi ride to the hotel. The hotel is quite lovely. It’s right next to the danube river and has a nice view. The AC is working nicely too (it’s quite hot outside here right now). After getting into the hotel yesterday and a quick dinner at a very nice place down the road, I managed to sleep for 10+ hours.

  • Design and Web team summary – 16 August 2019

    This iteration was the Web & design team’s first iteration of the second half of our roadmap cycle, after returning from the mid-cycle roadmap sprint in Toronto 2 weeks ago. Priorities have moved around a bit since before the cycle, and we made a good start on the new priorities for the next 3 months.

  • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 592

    Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 592 for the week of August 11 – 17, 2019. The full version of this issue is available here.

  • KNOB attack: Is my Bluetooth device insecure?

    A recent attack against Bluetooth, called KNOB, has been making waves last week. In essence, it allows an attacker to downgrade the security of a Bluetooth so much that it's possible for the attacker to break the encryption key and spy on all the traffic. The attack is so devastating that some have described it as the "stop using bluetooth" flaw. This is my attempt at answering my own lingering questions about "can I still use Bluetooth now?" Disclaimer: I'm not an expert in Bluetooth at all, and just base this analysis on my own (limited) knowledge of the protocol, and some articles (including the paper) I read on the topic.

  • Dear sysadmins: Patch Webmin now – zero-day exploit emerges for potential hijack hole in server control panel

    The bug appears to have been revealed on Saturday, August 10, by Özkan Mustafa Akkuş at DEF CON and to have been made available as an exploit in a module for the Metasploit framework. The Webmin maintainers didn't hear about it until Saturday, August 17, when they noticed people discussing the issue on Twitter and Reddit. The CVE was created Thursday, August 15. Webmin has about 215,000 installations, according to a Shodan search (account required), and about 13,000 instances of the particularly vulnerable version 1.890. [...] According to Cooper, the malicious code was introduced into Webmin and Usermin through the project's build infrastructure. "We're still investigating how and when, but the exploitable code has never existed in our GitHub repositories, so we've rebuilt from git source on new infrastructure," he said. In an email to The Register, Cooper said the malicious code – which appeared in the Sourceforge repo but not the GitHub repo – was introduced to Webmin on local package build infrastructure before it reached Sourceforge.

  • Backdoor found in Webmin, a popular web-based utility for managing Unix servers [Ed: No, it is not a backdoor and it's not there by design]

today's howtos and programming bits

  • How to access Website using command-line from the Terminal
  • How to Transfer Files with Rsync over SSH
  • Fedora 30 : Install the last version of PHP.
  • Security, UX, and Sustainability For The Python Package Index

    PyPI is a core component of the Python ecosystem that most developer's have interacted with as either a producer or a consumer. But have you ever thought deeply about how it is implemented, who designs those interactions, and how it is secured? In this episode Nicole Harris and William Woodruff discuss their recent work to add new security capabilities and improve the overall accessibility and user experience. It is a worthwhile exercise to consider how much effort goes into making sure that we don't have to think much about this piece of infrastructure that we all rely on.

  • Moving Conda Environments

    Conda is known as a package manager for Python and R packages produced by Anaconda, Inc. and conda-forge, the open-source community for conda Python packages. In addition to managing packages, Conda is also an environment manager. If you’re new to Python, environments create an isolated environment to manage dependencies in a project. Because the Python ecosystem of packages is both wide and deep, part of Conda’s job is to install packages that don’t conflict with each other. Once you have your project environment set up and your code written and tested, you may want to move it to another machine. For example, you would want to move a web application to server with a public address or copy a set of tools you frequently use to a USB drive. You might want to take a snapshot of your project environment as a backup.

  • Moving Code with Refactoring in Wing Pro

    In this issue of Wing Tips we explain how to quickly move functions, methods, classes, and other symbols around in Python code, using Wing Pro's Move Symbol refactoring operation. This operation takes care of updating all the points of reference for the symbol that is being moved. For example, if a function is moved from one module to another then Wing will update all the points of call for that function to import the module it has been moved into and invoke the function from there.

Graphics: Mesa 19.2's Feature Freeze and Display Stream Compression (DSC) for AMD Navi

  • Mesa 19.2's Feature Freeze / Release Candidate Process Beginning Tomorrow

    Mesa 19.2 was supposed to be branched marking its feature freeze two weeks ago on 6 August along with the issuing of the first release candidate. That milestone has yet to be crossed but should happen tomorrow. Mesa 19.2 development dragged on for the extra two weeks to allow some extra features to land. Those extra features were metrics/counters support for Intel Iris Gallium3D, CCS_E modifier support, and slice/sub-slice hashing optimizations for Intel -- a big performance win. Now that those blockers have landed, the release process is expected to get underway on Tuesday.

  • Display Stream Compression (DSC) for AMD Navi
    This patchset enables Display Stream Compression (DSC) on DP 
    connectors on Navi ASICs, both SST and DSC.
    
    8k60 and 4k144 support requires ODM combine, an AMD internal
    feature that may be a bit buggy right now.
    
    Patches 1 through 5 enable DSC for SST. Most of the work was
    already done in the Navi promotion patches; this just hooks
    it up to the atomic interface. The first two reverts are of temporary
    changes to block off DSC. The third is of a commit that was
    accidentally promoted twice. The fourth and last revert fixes a 
    potential issue with ODM combine.
    
    Patches 6 and 7 are fixes for bugs that would be exposed by 
    MST DSC. One fix is with the MST code and the other in the DSC code.
    
    Patches 8, 9, and 10 are small DRM changes required for DSC MST:
    FEC, a new bit in the standard; some export definitions; and
    a previously uninitialized variable.
    
    Patches 11 through 14 are the DSC MST policy itself. This includes
    the code for detecting and validating DSC capabilities, enabling
    DSC over a link, computing the fair DSC configurations for
    multiple DSC displays, and adding to atomic state crtcs that might 
    need reprogramming due to DSC.
    
  • AMD Posts Navi Display Stream Compression Support For Linux

    One of the kernel-side features not yet in place for AMD's newest Navi graphics processors on Linux has been Display Stream Compression support but that is being squared away with a new patch series. Fourteen patches posted today adding more than six hundred lines of code to the AMDGPU Linux kernel driver enable Display Stream Compression support for DisplayPort connectors on Navi GPUs. VESA's Display Stream Compression is for low-latency lossless compression performance for power-savings and higher resolution/refresh-rates based on bandwidth and enabling the likes of DisplayPort Multi-Stream Transport (MST) technology.

Audiocasts/Shows: Jupiter (Linux Academy) and TLLTS