A Plasma Review

Apparently based on Neon, the not distro by Ubuntu/KDE. It’s pretty darn flattering, and I like Plasma, but this seems overly flattering?

I don’t really even understand the perspective of the article. Basically, adding the overview the existing list of visualizations means that KDE has finally arrived. Erm…what?


Maybe that’s part of my problem…like it suddenly materialized only in the last update (as coming of age or rather as being unklunky) ? I dunno.

I totally disagree with the article. It’s extremely superficial, it seems as if the reviewer is not actually using Plasma, but is just judging a book by its cover. I do agree with his conclusion, that Plasma is great, of course, though the way he reaches it is absolute nonsense.

In my opinion, this “overview” feature is just a somewhat visually attractive gimmick, and is not at all important for productivity or usability.

What Plasma always got right, and what makes it the best desktop, is the customisability. You can tailor it to perfectly reflect your workflow.

For example, I use the terminal a lot, so I got rid of all application launchers and just launch my programs from the terminal. I don’t like title bars on maximised windows – that’s fine, Plasma lets me disable them. I can have a minimalistic workflow, with almost no clutter, as if I were using a window manager, but still have all the fancy features of a full desktop environment, if I happen to need them.

It’s details like these that are the reason I love Plasma. It’s not superficial aesthetics like wobbly windows (even though wobbly windows are pretty sweet, not gonna lie :slight_smile: ). There are thousands of options, some quite obscure and specific. Unfortunately, there is a trend among young Plasma developers like Niccolò Ve to simplify and streamline Plasma by removing these rarely used options. If they have their way, Plasma is going to become more like GNOME, and that is, in my opinion, exactly the opposite direction of good.

The second reason why I love Plasma is that it is light and fast. Not much to say about this, except that on my desktop computer which has plenty of resources, I find it to be almost as fast as dwm, and dwm is as minimalistic as it is possible. On my crappy laptop, the difference is much more obvious, but that is to be expected.

And the third reason why I love Plasma is Konsole and Kate: my two favourite programs.


it’s funny as this is exactly how i setup xfce but i can’t get into kde at all. at the moment my xfce is no icons, no launcher, the taskbar is hidden but all it really has is a cpu monitor, and a clock (i removed the menu drop since like you i launch from terminal). it’s entirely keybindings with a mouse kind of there just for certain applications; it really doesn’t feel much different from my i3 sessions but i still like to have both for certain tasks.

i have plasma on an old dell latitude and it just hasn’t clicked for me. idk it feels almost gaudy to me and i didnt really like any of the applications except konsole, which is an awesome terminal btw. i was originally planning on wiping the latitude this weekend and trying some random distro for fun but maybe i’ll give plasma a deeper dive first. it’s one of those things where i’m kind of like “why dont i like this when everyone else can’t stop recommending it?”

Of course it is … all you use is the terminal!


'Nuff said.

youre right


Plasma used to be horribly buggy AND slow as molasses…but not any more. Given the complexity of the environment, it’s amazing it’s not still horribly buggy (lol).
And this was before Gnome…so it’s been a while :wink:

When I abandoned windoze and started using Linux full time, like many other people, I used 'Buntu, which then came with the Unity desktop, which I thought was pretty decent, certainly much better than GNOME, and I certainly didn’t know any better until I switched to KDE (first on Kubuntu, then on Manjaro). By that time, Plasma had already been at version 5 for a couple of years, so I haven’t experienced that awful period in 2015 when KDE upgraded from version 4 to 5 and lost half of its user base. I just heard stories about it :slight_smile:

From time to time, I still hear people say that Plasma is buggy, but I have no idea what they’re talking about :rofl:

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Me either i don’t see any bugginess. It’s fast and fluid and responsive. Very customizable although i don’t really do much of that. I just like the way it works always.

Edit: Plus the updates just keep coming like today. Loads!

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Plasma users coming into any Plasma thread in 3…2…1…



Yeah, I would call it certainty by force of numbers :sweat_smile:

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Holy crap. The KDE 3 to 4 days were…Something else.

I recently came back and focused on the Linux realm and was extremely surprised to hear KDE was one of the lighter DEs and beautiful too. Time certainly matures.

I know I may not be the popular
voice but plasma still has many bugs. I see plenty of posts in this forum about it, even just this week. But they added some nice new functionalities and it looks pretty. I personally don’t like their activities, never understood what’s about, the new gnomified activity overview is a step up from my point of view and workflow.

When I use plasma it mostly works well but there are some bugs when changing global themes or trying to download new themes. Some basic stuff or some random crashes. That’s why I never stick with kde for more than a couple of months per year to try again.

From my perspective, I was the most impressed by the fluidity and stability of Gnome (without using any extensions) last Fall. They really made tons of progress in 40 or 41 with gestures etc and Wayland work really well. I just don’t like to be locked in that workflow…

Right now, I oddly settled on i3wm mixed with xfce (@fbodymechanic 's DE :wink:). It works too well, nothing breaks, I am bored! I want to try another DE but don’t have time, too much work at the moment. I guess it is a good therapy and stop DE hopping. But next DE may be KDE at some point.


Can you give me one bug, which I can replicate in 5 minutes on a default Plasma setup, which is so bad that is preventing you from using it?

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My plasma session still crashes whenever I unplug/replug my second monitor. To be fair, that could be a SDDM issue, but still. It’s pretty annoying (since I need to do that a lot) to the point that I will switch away from KDE long term. (Also there might be a fix to that somewhere, but hot-plugging monitors is one of the few features I expect to work out of the box)

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If KDE locked everything down and didn’t allow theming or extensions or well almost anything, then it’d be GNOME. It’s a lot easier to avoid edge cases and bugs if you can control everything.
I’m glad the KDE devs haven’t taken that mind set…it’d be a sad world if all you could change is the background picture (oh…that’s Windows).

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I’m unable to reproduce that, just unplugged my second monitor, plugged it back in, everything works fine.

To be fair, I don’t really do that (and if I have to, I typically just turn off the computer first), so it is possible that is the reason why I have not encountered it. But it is certainly not anything I can easily reproduce in 5 minutes.

Don’t forget xeyes!

It is entirely possible that this bug is specific to my setup and I wouldn’t be surprised if it is one of those wayland bugs (although I’m in a X11 session; SDDM might start in wayland though). My point is that I expect bare essentials such as this to work out-of-the box and KDE doesn’t do the trick here. But to be fair, multimonitor is horrible on Linux anyway, so it might not even be KDE’s fault :smiley:

That’s one that was not always consistent. I actually plug in/out my laptop several times daily on different monitor setups and projectors. Strangely xfce has played really well doing this by just saving the monitor config in the display settings.