KDE Plasma 5.8

Many thanks to the Kubuntu devs

I’d like to send a huge thank you to the Kubuntu team.

First, because they’re very nice people 🙂

Second, because Kubuntu is an essential part of what we provide with Mint KDE. I know some of you mistakenly think we could base on top of Neon, or simply package KDE ourselves but realistically, we cannot. Our KDE community is small, packaging KDE represents a huge commitment and because Plasma 5 is still reaching maturity it’s a continuous process which cannot get frozen for an entire 2 years. At the same time, we have high expectations, stability is important to us and if we do something it has to work. With this in mind, if it wasn’t for Kubuntu and their Backport PPA, I don’t think there would be a KDE edition in Linux Mint.

Third, because they put a massive amount of efforts into backporting Plasma 5.8, along with the new KDE apps and frameworks and the new version of Qt it depends on. This had to be done with a lot of care, a lot of testing and a lot of respect for the other components in the Xenial package base.

How to test Plasma 5.8

Plasma 5.8.4 is currently in the Kubuntu Backports Landing PPA.

If you are running Linux Mint 18 KDE and you want to help us test it:

  • Open the “Software Sources” tool
  • Click on the “PPA” tab
  • Click on the “Add a PPA” button
  • Enter “ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports-landing
  • Validate and click the “Refresh the cache” button

You can then use the Update Manager to upgrade Plasma and the many KDE components.

Plasma 5.8 in Mint 18.x

Once testing is complete, Plasma 5.8 will move towards the Kubuntu-Backports PPA and it will then be available as an update to all users of Linux Mint 18 KDE.

If necessary, we will delay the release of Linux Mint 18.1 KDE to ensure it ships with Plasma 5.8 out of the box.

Remove the PPA when you’re finished

Please remove the backports-landing PPA from your sources when you’re finished testing:

  • Open the “Software Sources” tool
  • Click on the “PPA” tab
  • Select the lines for the backports-landing PPA
  • Click on the remove button
  • Validate and click the “Refresh the cache” button

This PPA is used to test new versions before they get into the Backports PPA, so things can get quite unstable in there at early stages of the preparation of an update.