KDE 5.22 | New Features and Improvements

KDE continues to be one of the best desktop environments available on Linux with their latest version, 5.22. Some of the standout features of this release are improved Wayland support, adaptive transparency and stability & performance improvements. Read below for a breakdown of the new features included in KDE 5.22

New Features:

Adaptive Transparency:

First up we have a feature that I’ve long wanted on Plasma and that is adaptive transparency. This enables the panels and widgets to transition to a solid, opaque colour when application windows are maximised. This will help users get to work and avoid visual distractions. Users also have the option to choose to make the panel always transparent or opaque depending on your preference. 

Task Manager Previews:

You’ve been able to preview an applications window by hovering over it in the task manager for a long time. Now in KDE 5.22 when your cursor is moved over the preview the window will be displayed in the main desktop area. Giving you a larger view of what’s going on. This feature can also be turned off entirely.

System Tray:

The system tray widgets have been improved and given a new consistent appearance. The digital clock has been redesigned to look cleaner but now also gives users the ability to display beside the clock on a single line. The audio widget has been made more useful by allowing the users to change a device’s profile directly from the widget. 


The application launcher for KDE, Krunner, has seen a couple of improvements too in this release. It will no longer return weird duplicate results for applications and will show just the one result. Krunner can also show more than one line of text now so for example using “define” followed by a word you can get the full definition on multiple lines.

Plasma System Monitor:

KDE’s applications are also improving and with this release they begin the transition away from KSysguard as the default system monitor. Replacing it is the Plasma System Monitor which looks a lot more modern and is more functional. You can also now monitor your apps in the new application view.


Widgets have also seen some improvements in this release of KDE. In particular the desktop widget ‘Sticky Notes’ now lets you change the size of the text. By going into the ‘Sticky Notes’ setting you can simply increase/decrease the size to your liking. This makes it easier to see your quick desktop notes in a pinch.


The progress towards making Wayland a first class citizen continues in this release of KDE. A new feature of KDE on Wayland pertains to the global menu applet. It will now give you a search function to search through the different menu items. Plasma on Wayland can now also make full use of KDE’s exclusive ‘Activities’ feature. Activities allows you to create different environments that are separate from each other. An example of this would be having one ‘Activity’ for work and another for play. You can also now use the ‘Present Windows’ effect on Wayland by moving your mouse cursor to the right hand corner of the screen to spread your application applications across your desktop.

System Settings:

System settings is the place where you configure Plasma to your needs. New in KDE 5.22 the system settings will now open up a ‘speed dial’ page. In the speed dial page you’ll find the most commonly used settings as well as the ones you yourself use most frequently. This makes it easier for users to not get lost in the settings while they try to find settings they change the most.

Offline Updates:

Offline updates where updates are applied during a reboot can now be turned on or off in the system settings. Simply open up system settings and navigate to ‘Software Update’ to enable or disable this feature.

There have been several other performance, stability and usability tweaks in KDE 5.22. To learn a little bit more about this release click here to read the official release announcement for KDE 5.22

What do you think of KDE 5.22? Let me know in the comments below!

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