How to Install KDE Plasma Desktop on CentOS 9 Stream

The name KDE comes from “K Desktop Environment.” It is a free, open-source desktop environment for those unfamiliar with KDE Desktop known for its eye-candy compared to some of the lesser desktop environments that strip most of it away. It provides Linux users with an alternative graphical interface to customize their desktop environment and applications for everyday use enhancement.

In CentOS Stream’s case, this is GNOME. Besides the graphical enhancements and changes, it is also a lightweight, fast, smooth environment with superior performance compared to native shipped desktops with some Linux Distributions.

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install the KDE Plasma desktop on your CentOS 9 Stream workstation desktop, along with some handy tips and information about maintaining and removing KDE using the command line terminal.

Situational – Remove DNF Subscription Manager

For users that have just installed CentOS Stream, you may encounter issues with “This system is not registered with an entitlement server. You can use subscription-manager to register,” then use the following command to remove the subscription manager.

sudo dnf erase subscription-manager -y

Example output:


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As mentioned above, all the subscription-based lockouts have been removed.

Update CentOS Stream

First, update your system to ensure all existing packages are up to date. This will ensure no conflicts arise as best as possible during the installation.

sudo dnf upgrade --refresh -y

Recommended – Install TimeShift

Before proceeding, install TimeShift and create an automatic backup of your desktop before installing any alternative desktop environment.

sudo dnf install timeshift -y

Next, open the program and create a backup; the prompts are straightforward. The application can be found in the following path.

(Top left-hand corner) Activities > Show Applications > TimeShift

Install the EPEL/EPEL Next Repository

Before proceeding to install KDE, install the dependencies such as the CRB repository which was formally known as “powertools” and the EPEL 9 release.


First, enable the CRB.

sudo dnf config-manager --set-enabled crb

Next, install EPEL using the following terminal command.

sudo dnf install \
    https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-release-latest-9.noarch.rpm \
    https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-next-release-latest-9.noarch.rpm

Install KDE Plasma Desktop

The installation of KDE is relatively easy, and the first step is to open your terminal and use the following command:

sudo dnf groupinstall "KDE Plasma Workspaces" -y

Overall, the download size is just under 400MB, and the additional space needed afterward the installation is around 1.3GB which is standard for any other desktop environment.

Once completed, restart your desktop either from the GUI as you usually do, or if you have nothing open that you need to save, use the following terminal command to reboot instantly.

reboot

Verify KDE Plasma Desktop Environment

Once you have restarted your system, you will come to the login screen, which looks similar to before. However, by default, the installation has not changed to the desktop environment to Plasma.


Optionally, you can choose X11 or Wayland. Given the advancements in Wayland support it can function well but for the best stability if you are encountering weird issues X11 works flawlessly.

To bring up the desktop environment options, click the “cog symbol button” in the bottom right-hand corner, then change from the default GNOME to either Plasma Wayland or Plasma X11.

Example:

How to Install KDE Plasma Desktop on CentOS 9 Stream

First Look at KDE Plasma Desktop

Once logged in, you will notice quite a few UI changes; however, I recommend going into the Global Theme application tab to choose your theme. My favorite is the Breeze Dark for KDE Plasma.

Example (Click to Enlarge Image):

How to Install KDE Plasma Desktop on CentOS 9 Stream

To open the Global Theme tab, use the following path or open up System Settings.


(Top left-hand corner) Taskbar > Search > Global Theme

Next, another favorite of mine is to set a Plasma Style. I use Oxygen but keep Breeze or choose another.

Example (Click to Enlarge Image):

How to Install KDE Plasma Desktop on CentOS 9 Stream

While there are many configuration options, the last one I would recommend checking is the Application Style tab. Here, you can change how the boxes are presented.

Example (Click to Enlarge Image):

How to Install KDE Plasma Desktop on CentOS 9 Stream

Overall, the taskbar is now similar to a more windows type of taskbar, along with more integrations in the bottom right-hand corner of services where the time display is. This will feel much friendlier for users navigating Windows environments.


Example (Click to Enlarge Image):

How to Install KDE Plasma Desktop on CentOS 9 Stream
How to Install KDE Plasma Desktop on CentOS 9 Stream

How to Update/Upgrade KDE Plasma Desktop

For future updates for KDE Plasma desktop, run the standard dnf command.

sudo dnf update

When updates are available, it is the same process to upgrade.

sudo dnf upgrade

A better one is to use an all-in-one command, which is a new standard.

sudo dnf upgrade --refresh

How to Remove (Uninstall) KDE Plasma Desktop

Removing desktop environments can be messy. The best advice is always to keep the alternative desktop environments and switch between them or do a complete re-install if the following remove method does not work out.

To remove all traces of KDE, use the following command.


sudo dnf groupremove -y "KDE"

Once done, restart your desktop environment by using the following terminal command.

reboot

GNOME default will be selected just before the KDE installation when you return to your login screen.

Comments and Conclusion

In the tutorial, you have successfully learned how to install KDE Plasma Desktop Environment. Overall, KDE is a great community project for those wanting a more stable and Ideal for those who want the most out of their desktops, laptops, and netbooks and prefer a traditional desktop metaphor.

For more information on using KDE Plasma, visit the official documentation guide.


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