LTS releases align neatly for Plasma 5.8

Our upcoming release, Plasma 5.8 will be the first long-term supported (LTS) release of the Plasma 5 series. One great thing of this release is that it aligns support time-frames across the whole stack from the desktop through Qt and underlying operating systems. This makes Plasma 5.8 very attractive for users need to that rely on the stability of their computers.

Qt, Frameworks & Plasma

In the middle layer of the software stack, i.e. Qt, KDE Frameworks and Plasma, the support time-frames and conditions roughly look like this:

Qt 5.6

Qt 5.6 has been released in March as the first LTS release in the Qt 5 series. It comes with a 3-year long-term support guarantee, meaning it will receive patch releases providing bug fixes and security updates.

Frameworks 5.26

In tune with Plasma, during the recent Akademy we have decided to make KDE Frameworks, the libraries that underlie Plasma and many KDE applications 18 months of security support and fixes for major bugs, for example crashes. These updates will be shipped as needed for single frameworks and also appear as tags in the git repositories.

Plasma 5.8

The core of our long-term support promise is that Plasma 5.8 will receive at least 18 months of bugfix and security support from upstream KDE. Patch releases with bugfix, security and translation updates will be shipped in fibonacci rhythm.
To make this LTS extra reliable, we’ve concentrated the (still ongoing) development cycle for Plasma 5.8 on stability, bugfixes, performance improvements and overall polish. We want this to shine.
There’s one caveat, however: Wayland support excluded from long-term-support promises, as it is too experimental. X11 as display server is fully supported, of course.

Neon and Distros

You can enjoy these LTS releases from the source through a Neon flavor that ships an updated LTS stack based on Ubuntu’s 16.04 LTS version. openSuse Leap, which focuses on stability and continuity also ships Plasma 5.8, making it a perfect match.
The Plasma team encourages other distros to do the same.

Post LTS

After the 5.8 release, and during its support cycle, KDE will continue to release feature updates for Plasma which are supported through the next development cycle as usual.
Lars Knoll’s Qt roadmap talk (skip to 29:25 if you’re impatient and want to miss an otherwise exciting talk) proposes another Qt LTS release around 2018, which may serve as a base for future planning in the same direction.

It definitely makes a lot of sense to align support time-frames for releases vertically across the stack. This makes support for distributions considerably easier, creates a clearer base for planning for users (both private and institutional) and effectively leads to less headaches in daily life.

15 thoughts on “LTS releases align neatly for Plasma 5.8

    1. We’ve discussed that during Akademy, actually. One thing we are unhappy with is that we can’t provide updates to those running 16.04 (possibly for some time to come). Especially support for multi-screen systems in 5.7 is sub-par, those users would really benefit from getting Plasma 5.8.
      It seems that the Kubuntu team plans to provide a backport repository so you can get this sweet 16.04 – 5.8 combination, but not without adding an additional repository — not ideal.

    2. Well, Canonical is so unwilling to compromise on the release schedule or loosing the restrictions for KDE-related packages (AFAIK only Firefox and some Canonical stuff gets exceptions from package freeze dates), Kubuntu 16.10 won’t even get Plasma 5.8 without PPAs.

  1. Hello, Greetings from Mexico…

    You mentioned in the last comment that Multi-Screen Users will benefit from 5.8. My question is:

    Does that mean that this bug “https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=356225” will be solved???

  2. Hmn… with 5.8 LTS I can finally think to move from XFCE to KDE =). Now I need to found which distro will accomplish this, giving a LTS support maintaining KDE 5.8 until the next LTS cycle. KDE Neon is too rolling release, when the 5.9 comes out, neon will probably move together =(. Maybe Debian 9 ^^

      1. I really hope Neon User become the LTS one. There is no reason to have the Neon User moving on, the Neon Developer moving on and a new one to be the LTS. Too much releases could affect the quality.

        1. I think the opposite is true with Neon: too little affect quality, since Neon is also an effective testing tool.

          So there’s going to be a separate flavor, otherwise we don’t get our stable release tested well enough. (Darn, I got used to neon as test base real quick, would not want to miss it today…)

  3. Please make libinput touchpad configuration on Wayland a priority before 5.8 release. The current 5.7 touchpad configuration crashes KCM on Wayland and there is no way to enable libinput tap to click on Wayland (KDE#366605). Tap to click is necessary for comfortable touchpad use on laptops.

    1. We won’t be able to put the touchpad kcm till the release, but configuration is possible at runtime through a new dbus interface we added.

  4. can you confirm there will be a new ubuntu + plasma flavor released in the near future (other than kubuntu) ?

  5. Upcoming Plasma 5.8 LTS release is a good moment to to thank KDE developers.
    Thank you all. You do a great job.

  6. I’m a happy user of manjaro kde edition since some time, so am excited about the release, because it will be soon. Also don’t mind upgrading plasma further then 5.8 – I love rolling release model! LTS’ are overrated. I use plasma since 5.3 and I can’t complain, aside loosing some important to me functions… (like editing themes) plasma works great!

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