How to Install KDE Plasma 5.17 in Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora and OpenSUSE

KDE is a well-known desktop environment for the Unix-like systems designed for users who wants to have a nice desktop environment for their machines, It is one of the most used desktop interfaces out there.

Running KDE Plasma in Ubuntu 19.10
Running KDE Plasma in Ubuntu 19.10

In the past few years, a lot of work has been geared towards improving KDE desktop, with the latest stable release KDE Plasma 5 desktop series coming with some amazing features and bringing many improvements to the original task-manager, KRunner, including Wayland support which came around in Plasma 5 and activities as well, plus a more refined look and feel.

KDE Plasma 5 Features

There is a lot of new features in KDE Plasma 5, here’s a list of the most important new features.

  1. KDE 5 applications were rewritten using Qt 5; the next generation of the famous Qt library to design graphical interfaces, which means that KDE 5 apps will be faster than KDE 4 besides a better usage of GPU from KDE 5 applications.
  2. Completely new look for KDE 5 Plasma, with the new slicker plasma theme, KDE 5 Plasma is much more beautiful than KDE 4.x with the new flat design, besides the nice look, the “slicker” theme is lighter than the default theme for KDE.
  3. The Start menu for KDE 5 Plasma has been redesigned and notifications area has also been redesigned, fewer popup windows providing a better user experience to access the notifications.
  4. The lock screen window is also redesigned with a better login interface.
  5. Smoother performance, KDE 5 Plasma applications are rendered upon the top of the OpenGL scenegraph which means that KDE 5 programs have the priority when being rendered beside other processes.
  6. Hardware-acceleration migration is now complete, this means that Plasma 5 rendering will be faster now because of the fully-usage for the GPU.
  7. A nice set of new wallpapers will look perfect on the default theme.
  8. Many other features that you will explore by your own.

On 15 October 2019, the makers of KDE released yet another Plasma feature update, Plasma 5.17. It ships in with several exciting new features and improvements, bringing a classic feel to your desktop. For more details, see the release notes.

Here is the official video which shows the most important changes in KDE Plasma 5.17.

Watch Plasma 5.17 in Action

Installation of KDE Plasma 5.17 in Linux

To install KDE Plasma 5.17 on Ubuntu 19.10-19.04 & Ubuntu 18.10-18.04 and Linux Mint 19/18, you have to use Kubuntu Backports PPA repository on the top of existing installations using following apt commands.

Install KDE Plasma On Ubuntu and Linux Mint

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports
Add Kubuntu Backports PPA
Add Kubuntu Backports PPA

After running the above command, it will ask you to enter your password and hit Enter key to continue to add the Kubuntu Backports PPA repository on your system.

After adding PPA, run the following commands to update your existing package database.

Note: If you already have Plasma installed, these commands will also upgrade it to the latest available version.

$ sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade
Upgrade Ubuntu Package Database
Upgrade Ubuntu Package Database

Now install KDE Plasma using following one single command in your system.

$ sudo apt install kubuntu-desktop
Install KDE Plasma in Ubuntu & Linux Mint
Install KDE Plasma in Ubuntu & Linux Mint

Please note during installation, it will ask you to configure sddm login manager, click OK and select the ‘gdm3’ login manager as default.

Configure Sddm Login
Configure Sddm Login
Select gdm3 Login
Select gdm3 Login

Once the installation process is completed, make sure to restart your system and select Plasma Desktop and enter the password to login to the KDE Plasma desktop environment.

Select KDE Plasma Desktop
Select KDE Plasma Desktop
KDE Plasma Desktop Running on Ubuntu 19.10
KDE Plasma Desktop Running on Ubuntu 19.10

Install KDE Plasma on Debian 10/9

$ sudo apt install tasksel
$ sudo tasksel install kde-desktop
$ sudo tasksel  
Install KDE Plasma in Debian10
Install KDE Plasma in Debian10

Install KDE Plasma On OpenSUSE

For OpenSUSE, the latest version of KDE Plasma available from the default repository for your system and you can install it using zypper command as root.

$ sudo zypper in -t pattern kde kde_plasma

Install KDE Plasma On Fedora 30

For Fedora systems, new KDE plasma updates are available from the default repositories, make sure to keep your Fedora installation up-to-date, in order to install a most recent version of KDE Plasma using the following dnf commands.

$ sudo dnf update
$ sudo dnf install @kde-desktop

Install KDE Plasma On RHEL/CentOS 8

# yum groupinstall "KDE Plasma Workspaces"

For Arch Linux, packages are available to download from the official extra repository, activate it and enjoy it.

KDE Plasma 5.17 Screenshot Tour

KDE Plasma Desktop View
KDE Plasma Desktop View
KDE Plasma System Settings
KDE Plasma System Settings
KDE Plasma Notifications Window
KDE Plasma Notifications Window
KDE Plasma System Monitor Window
KDE Plasma System Monitor Window

I hope that everything has worked fine, you can now enjoy KDE Plasma on your desktop.

In case of any queries or additional information you want to provide to us, you can use the comment section below to give us feedback.

Reference Links

KDE Plasma 5 Homepage

Have you tested KDE Plasma 5 on your Linux system? How did you find it?. Please post your thoughts about the KDE desktop using our comment section below.

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161 thoughts on “How to Install KDE Plasma 5.17 in Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora and OpenSUSE”

  1. Hi on executing `sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop` I get this error on the terminal :

    Errors were encountered while processing:

    I have open-office installed in Ubuntu instead of libre-office. So, I think that may be the problem.

    But I wonder if the kubuntu installation is successful or not. If not, what should I do to resolve this error and make it successful

  2. what a click bait article. Absolute BS “Install KDE Plasma 5.9 …” I’m not interested as to the fact its not properly released just yet I am interested in why the hell you did not change the title and subsequent vid once you realized you were not actually going to show anything to do with plasma 5.9 ? Or is it meant to be misleading click-bait ?

  3. Ok, what am I missing? The article is called “INSTALL 5.9”, there is a demo of it, you’re talking about it, but all the instructions are for 5.8.5 via backports. Are we installing 5.8.5 or 5.9? If these are instructions for 5.8.5 then how do I install 5.9? Why not call the article, “How to install 5.8.5 via backports”?

  4. I have been a fan of KDE for some 17-18 years going back to KDE 3.x. The idea of using GNOME send shivers down my spine. Then KDE decided to introduce KDE 4.0. They broke EVERYTHING that people liked in KDE 3.x. It was not until the release of KDE 4.6 or 4.7 did KDE 4 become usable and part of what helped in its acceptance was the release of some decent HowTos and some YouTube videos, that explained HowTo do common tasks and how to configure it.

    You would think KDE would have learned from their disaster with KDE 4, but NO!! They released KDE 5.x and the roll out is an even bigger disaster than KDE 4.0!! We are now up to KDE 5.9 and there is still NO HowTos or YouTube videos out there.

    If so I have not found them and I have looked periodically for them. If they are out there could you please post some URL’s. This is the FIRST attempt at a HowTo — sort of — for KDE 5.x. A decent GUI should BUILD on the features that people like that make it usable, not force feed a new GUI on them that is poorly designed that breaks everything people are familiar with, as well as being poorly documented.

    I am still waiting for FULL HowTo for KDE 5.x. that tells me HoeTo do various tasks that I currently do in KDE 4.14. For instance In KDE 4.14 I have 10 different Virtual Desktops (VD) each VD has a separate Wallpaper, color, or texture. The last time I tried KDE 5.x this COULD NOT BE DONE. Can it NOW be done and if so HOW?

    Likewise in KDE 4.14 each VD has its own set of “Widgets” that are grouped together by function ie Office “widgets” that are commonly used are in one VD; Internet widgets in another VD; and so on. The last time I tried to do this in KDE 5.x The “widgets” placed in one VD showed up in ALL VD. Can you NOW create separate VD each with its own set of “widgets”, and if so HOW?

    On the Task Bar where I have icons that start some app that is used infrequently but which I don’t want to have to search through the drop down menu to find. Likewise I hop-skip-and- jump between my VD from my Task Bar. Now I not sure what is on the Task Bar in KDE 5.x.

    PLEASE for God’s sake spend some time creating some decent and functional HowTos and YouTube Videos that both illustrate HOW people can configure it ie. HowTo create VD and assign each a different Wallpaper; HowTo put separate “Widgets” to ONE VD yet does NOT get replicated on EVERY VD; and so on.

    Thanks for your help.

    • You are talking about a free (as in beer), open-sourced piece of software that is being provided to you by people who largely don’t get paid much, if anything, for their work. Stop crying because in addition to GIVING this software to you, they didn’t hold your hand and tell you every detail of how to use it in a Hollywood produced video.

      RTFM! There is an insane amount of documentation. If you are upset because there are no videos on YouTube, here’s a shocking idea–MAKE ONE YOURSELF! Instead of leaching off of the community and then complaining when it’s not good enough, do a little research and contribute a little bit yourself.

  5. 12 April update: KDE Plasma 5.9 is STILL not available in the “Kubuntu Backports” and “Kubuntu Backports Landing: PPAs for Ubuntu 16.04 or 16.10. Plasma 5.8.5 is still the latest you can install on those Ubuntu versions.

    The “Kubuntu Backports Staging” PPA has v5.9.4 but only for Zesty (17.04). (and the official Kubuntu Zesty repository has a never version available anyway).

  6. Totally misleading article.

    “KDE Plasma 5.9 is not yet packaged in repositories of the main stream Linux distributions, therefore, we will show you how to install or upgrade to KDE Plasma 5.8.5.”

    … “I hope that everything has worked fine, you can now enjoy KDE Plasma 5.8.5 on your desktop.”

    … uhh, thanks, I guess?


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