After recent updates that brought plasma 5.26.3, working with kde plasma has become a pain.
Plasmashell freezes frequently and all its components (e.g. all stuff on panel) become unresponsive.
Way out is to switch to a virtual console (e.g. CTRL+ALT+F2), login there, kill plasmashell (e.g.
killall plasmashell), go back to the graphics console (e.g. CTRL+ALT+F1), verify that the panel is gone (i.e. that plasmashell is really not there anymore), get to the runner (ALT+F2) that now should be available, and restart plasmashell from there (e.g.
Fortunately, the above procedure lets all your applications survive so you experience no data loss.
For information, I am running on a haswell laptop (Intel integrated graphics) and using X11, even if I think that this may not be all that relevant. Given the cooperative multitasking mode adopted for plasma, it is unfortunately enough that a single widget freezes to freeze the whole of the shell, that is likely what is happening. If there is now a way to know the widget the shell remains stuck in, that would be great. It is unclear to me if the shell hangs in a widget distributed as part of plasma or in a non official widget (I am currently using the older “system load” widget and the “thermal monitor” widget). In any case up to the previous version of plasma distributed with manjaro these used to work with no issue and they have not been updated.
I wonder if others experience the same issue and can help identifying the faulty widget or what is going wrong anyway.
Please consider either accelerating the switch to the next point release of plasma (if this issue is know to be fixed) or indicating whether there is any possibility to downgrade.