KDE 5.24 Beta released with fingerprint login support, custom accent colors support, Wayland improvements, and more

The Unix and Like-Unix-oriented desktop interface development team, KDE, has announced the availability of the beta version of Plasma 5.24 for testing.

Since this is a beta version of KDE, it bears the number 5.23.90, and it brings a lot of updates and improvements to the desktop interface and its main components, where some elements have been deleted and others added, while the position of others in the desktop environment has been changed, all to simplify the KDE Plasma’s user experience and make it more refined and more consistent.

Look and feel:

Regarding the new changes in this version, folders now respect the accent color that the user has chosen, and it is also possible to choose a custom accent color outside the ten suggested colors by default. Accent colors can be chosen from the Settings → Appearance → Colors menu.

The focus effect of buttons, text fields, checkboxes, radio buttons, combo boxes, and spin boxes has been enlarged to a visually recognizable "focus ring". The Breeze color scheme has been renamed to “Breeze Classic”, to better distinguish it from the Breeze Light and Breeze Dark color schemes, and the “Breeze High Contrast” color scheme has been deleted, as it offers a lower contrast than the very similar-looking Breeze Dark. Existing users will be migrated to Breeze Dark.

KDE 5.24 comes with a new overview effect similar to that of the Gnome desktop. This overview toggled with the Meta+W shortcut, and has a blurry background by default, allowing you to control your virtual desktops and find search results from KRunner all in one place.


Desktop, and panels:

On the other hand, the Kickoff Application Launcher sidebar no longer displays arrows, to be consistent with how sidebars are presented elsewhere in the Plasma desktop, the clipboard and network management applet is now fully keyboard-navigable, "Plasma Pass" password manager has a modern design, and Free Space Notifier no longer monitors read-only volumes. A new inline help feature, shown by clicking on the question mark icon on its toolbar or typing “?” has been also added to the Krunner launcher.

It is now finally possible to set your wallpaper using the context menu of any image, and there is a new “Configure Display Settings” item in the Desktop’s context menu and Edit Mode toolbar, replacing the “Open in Dolphin” item by default. 

When you drag and drop widgets, they now smoothly move to their final position instead of instantly teleporting there, you can now drag a panel from anywhere on the "Edit mode" toolbar not just from a small button, and users who like huge icons can now make their desktop icons twice as large as the previous maximum size.

Critical notifications now have a small orange bar on the side to visually distinguish them from on-screen content and make them easier to notice, notifications about videos now display a thumbnail in the notification, the header and title text in notifications have received better contrast and visibility, and when sending or receiving files via Bluetooth, the system notification is now always shown.

Task Manager tooltips for windows have a new "Move to Activity" context menu item, the "Start a new instance" context item has been renamed to "Open a new window" and no longer appears for apps marked as having a single main window or That already provides a "new window" action of its own.

Task Manager's tooltips also show a volume slider under playback controls for windows that play audio, and the "More Actions" item in the context menu has been moved to the bottom and renamed to "More" only.


System Settings pages that have a single big grid or list now use a more modern frameless style, The battery charge limit feature gained support for more than one battery, Night Color also now supports “Highlight Changed Settings, and a new button has been added to the “About this System” page lets you quickly access the Info Center.

KWin window manager allows you to optionally assign a keyboard shortcut to move a window to the center of the screen, which is also where they appear now by default, and windows now remember the screens they were on when those screens are turned off or unplugged, fixing many multi-monitor annoyances.

Fingerprint support has been added to KDE Plasma desktop with version 5.24, letting you enroll and de-enroll fingers. Any of those fingers can be used to unlock the screen, provide authentication when an app asks for your password, and also when authenticating sudo on the command line.

The Lock screen now lets you Sleep and Hibernate (if supported), and a major performance issue has been fixed in QtQuick-based effects for NVIDIA GPU users.

Discover Software Center:

Discover, the Plasma desktop software center also got some useful features with this release, as it now adapts to different screen sizes, supports opening and installing locally downloaded Flatpak apps, and automatically adding its repository to your system, and you can now easily manage Both Flatpak repositories and your distribution of Discover settings.

An option to automatically restart after the update has been added to Software Center, as well as a new security feature prevents you from accidentally uninstalling Plasma while trying to install new updates.

Improvements to the Wayland Session:


As always with each new version of KDE Plasma, a lot of improvements and features have been added to the Wayland session with version 5.24 beta, such as:

  • Colors greater than 8-bit are now supported.
  • There is a new drawing tablet page in System Settings.
  • The Spectacle screenshot tool has finally access to the “Active Window” mode on Wayland.
  • The “Minimize All Windows” widget now has Wayland support.
  • You can now use the default Meta+Tab shortcut to cycle through more than two activities at a time.
  • The System Tray item for showing and hiding the virtual keyboard becomes active only in tablet mode.
  • The virtual keyboard now only appears when you explicitly focus a text-based UI control with a touch or stylus poke.

The final version of Plasma 5.24 will become available to public users on February 8th, but you can try now by downloading the KDE Neon testing edition, and if you want to check out the full changelog, it's available via the following link.

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