How to Install KDE Plasma on CentOS Stream EL9 or EL8

KDE Plasma, a prominent desktop environment in the Linux community, offers a blend of aesthetics and functionality that stands out distinctly. For those keen on learning to install KDE Plasma on CentOS Stream 9 or the older stable Enterprise Linux release of CentOS Stream 8, this environment promises a transformative user experience. KDE Plasma’s reputation is built on its adaptability, contemporary design, and comprehensive feature set. While CentOS Stream traditionally employs the GNOME desktop, KDE Plasma is a compelling alternative. Here’s a closer look at what KDE Plasma offers:

Key Features of KDE Plasma:

  • Adaptable User Experience: KDE Plasma boasts a range of widgets and panels, allowing users to craft a desktop experience tailored to their preferences.
  • Aesthetic Customization: Users can dive into a vast collection of themes, icons, and appearance settings, ensuring a visually captivating desktop.
  • Optimized Performance: Recognized for its resource efficiency, KDE Plasma delivers a smooth experience, even on systems with constrained hardware.
  • KWin Window Manager: KWin, KDE’s chosen window manager, enhances the desktop experience with its compositing effects and functionalities.
  • Comprehensive Application Suite: KDE’s suite, from the Dolphin file manager to the Krita painting program, is celebrated for its integration and feature-rich nature.
  • Integrated Workflow: KDE Plasma’s tight-knit integration across applications and services ensures seamless user interaction.
  • Advanced Workspace Management: Features like Activities allow users to establish distinct workspaces for varied tasks, each with a unique layout and widgets.

Why Consider KDE Plasma on CentOS Stream?

CentOS Stream’s default GNOME desktop is known for its modern, streamlined user interface. Yet, the allure of KDE Plasma lies in its unmatched customization capabilities, superior performance, and rich application suite. The flexibility to toggle between GNOME and KDE Plasma offers users the luxury of exploring diverse workflows and interfaces.

To empower CentOS Stream users with KDE Plasma’s offerings, this guide will elucidate the steps to install KDE Plasma on CentOS Stream 9 or its older stable release of CentOS Stream 8.

Install KDE Plasma for CentOS Stream 9

This section guides you on how to install the KDE Plasma desktop environment on CentOS Stream 9. While the commands for CentOS Stream 8 differ slightly, we cover them in the next section. Remember, for CentOS Stream 9, you’ll need to use the EPEL and EPEL Next repositories to get the required software packages.

Step 1: Update Existing Packages Before KDE Plasma Installation on CentOS Stream

To ensure that the existing system packages are up-to-date, you’ll first execute the dnf upgrade command with the --refresh option. This prudent step helps avoid conflicts during subsequent installations by syncing your local package index with the server.

sudo dnf upgrade --refresh

Step 2: Import EPEL and EPEL Next Repositories for KDE Plasma on CentOS Stream 9

The next step involves importing the Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) and EPEL Next repositories. The EPEL repository provides extra and supplementary software packages not included in the standard CentOS repositories, while EPEL Next includes packages intended for the next minor RHEL release.

sudo dnf install \ \

Step 3: Install KDE Plasma on CentOS Stream 9

We are ready to install KDE Plasma on CentOS Stream 9. This is achieved by running the dnf command, which is the default package manager for CentOS. We also specify the --enablerepo option to direct the command to fetch the KDE Plasma Workspaces from the EPEL, EPEL Next, and CRB repositories.

sudo dnf --enablerepo=epel,epel-next,crb group -y install "KDE Plasma Workspaces"

Step 4: System Reboot To Complete KDE Plasma Installation on CentOS Stream

After the successful installation of KDE Plasma Workspaces, the final step is to reboot the system. This allows the system to initialize the newly installed desktop environment and prepare it for use.

sudo reboot

Install KDE Plasma for CentOS Stream 8

This section will go through the procedure to install the KDE Plasma desktop environment on CentOS Stream 8. While similar to CentOS Stream 9, the installation on CentOS Stream 8 does require slightly different commands and access to EPEL and EPEL Next repositories.

Step 1: Refresh CentOS Stream System Packages Before KDE Plasma Installation

Starting the process, we need to ensure that all currently installed packages on the system are updated to their latest versions. This is important to maintain the system’s stability and avoid any potential conflicts or dependencies that may arise during the KDE Plasma installation. The dnf upgrade --refresh command does precisely that.

sudo dnf upgrade --refresh

Step 2: Add EPEL and EPEL Next Repositories For KDE Plasma on CentOS Stream 8

The second step is incorporating the EPEL and EPEL Next repositories into our CentOS Stream 8 system. These repositories host additional packages unavailable in the default CentOS repositories, making a more comprehensive range of software available for installation.

sudo dnf install \ \

Step 3: Install KDE Plasma on CentOS Stream 8

Our process’s main task is installing the KDE Plasma on CentOS Stream 8. The dnf command here specifies the --enablerepo option to ensure the installation packages are fetched from the EPEL and PowerTools (or powertools) repositories.

It’s important to note that the case sensitivity of ‘PowerTools’ varies across different CentOS releases, and if the command fails initially, rerunning the command with ‘powertools’ should resolve the issue. Additionally, the "base-x" group is added to the installation command to ensure all necessary base packages for a GUI are installed.

sudo dnf --enablerepo=epel,PowerTools group -y install "KDE Plasma Workspaces" "base-x"

If the above command fails due to case sensitivity, use the following:

sudo dnf --enablerepo=epel,powertools group -y install "KDE Plasma Workspaces" "base-x"

Step 4: Reboot the System To Finalize KDE Plasma Installation on CentOS Stream

Once the KDE Plasma Workspaces installation is complete, the last step is to reboot the system. This is an essential step as it enables the system to initialize and configure the newly installed KDE Plasma environment ready for use.

sudo reboot

Initiating KDE Plasma on CentOS Stream

In the completion of installing KDE Plasma, the next pivotal step is to log into the KDE Plasma environment. After rebooting the system post-installation, you’ll arrive at the user login screen, where you can select your preferred environment.

Step 1: Choose the Session Type with KDE Plasma on CentOS Stream

CentOS Stream 9 users can choose between two different session types: X11 and Wayland. The difference lies in their respective graphical server protocols, with Wayland being the newer, more streamlined, and more secure offering. However, CentOS Stream 8, being closer to its end of life, doesn’t provide the Wayland option and can only operate under X11.

Upon reaching the login screen, there will be a gear-like symbol and a settings cogwheel, which, when clicked, will reveal the different desktop environments installed on the system.

Step 2: Select the KDE Plasma Environment on CentOS Stream

In the dropdown menu presented after clicking the settings cogwheel, select Plasma. This will initiate your session within the KDE Plasma environment, enabling you to experience its intuitive and powerful workspace.

For CentOS Stream 9 users, remember that you can install and use multiple desktop environments concurrently on the same system. If you’ve followed the guide and installed KDE Plasma alongside the already-present GNOME, both will appear in the dropdown menu. Ensure you select Plasma to start the KDE Plasma environment.

Selecting Plasma Wayland or X11 for KDE Plasma on CentOS Stream Screenshot
Screenshot showcasing the selection process between Plasma Wayland or X11 for KDE Plasma.

Tips for Getting Started with KDE Plasma on CentOS Stream 9 or 8

Once you have KDE Plasma on your CentOS Stream system, you may want to explore some basic tips to make your experience smoother and more efficient. Here are some basic elements to understand and customize to make KDE Plasma truly yours.

Customize the Look and Feel on KDE Plasma Desktop with CentOS Stream

KDE Plasma is known for its high degree of customizability. You can change the overall appearance of your workspace, including the themes, icons, and cursors. To do this, navigate to:

System Settings > Appearance

In this section, you can explore:

  • Global Theme: This changes the overall theme of your desktop, including colors, window decoration, and fonts.
  • Plasma Style: This changes the style of the desktop shell.
  • Application Style: This alters the look of buttons, menus, and other elements of applications.
  • Colors: Adjust the color scheme to your preference.
  • Fonts: Modify the type, size, and style of the fonts.
  • Icons: Change the icon theme.
  • Cursors: Change the mouse cursor theme.

Configure Desktop Behavior

KDE Plasma allows you to personalize the behavior of your desktop to match your work habits. Navigate to:

System Settings > Workspace Behavior

Here you can tweak:

  • Desktop Effects: Enable or disable various graphical effects.
  • Screen Edges: Configure the actions when the mouse touches the edge of the screen.
  • Virtual Desktops: Configure multiple desktops and switch between them.

Useful KDE Applications on CentOS Stream

KDE Plasma has a suite of applications that integrate well with the desktop environment. Here are a few you might find helpful:

  • Dolphin: A versatile file manager.
  • Konsole: The default terminal emulator for KDE.
  • KWrite: A simple text editor.
  • Kate: An advanced text editor.
  • Okular: A universal document viewer.
  • Kontact: An integrated personal information manager.

Use Widgets with KDE Plasma Desktop on CentOS Stream

Widgets, or “plasmoids,” are small applications that can be placed anywhere on the desktop. They range from simple utilities like clocks and weather displays to complex interactive tools. To add a widget:

  1. Right-click on the desktop.
  2. Select Add Widgets...
  3. Drag and drop your chosen widget onto the desktop.

Customize Panels on KDE Plasma Desktop with CentOS Stream

Panels in KDE Plasma are similar to taskbars in other desktop environments. They can host application launchers, task managers, and system trays. You can add, remove, or customize panels by right-clicking on an existing panel and selecting Panel Options.

KDE Plasma on CentOS Stream is a powerful, customizable, intuitive desktop environment. With the essential tips and guidance shared above, you can begin to navigate and personalize KDE Plasma to suit your preferences and needs.

Default Desktop UI with KDE Plasma on CentOS Stream Screenshot
Initial look of the KDE Plasma desktop environment on CentOS Stream.
KDE Plasma Login Screen on CentOS Stream Screenshot"
Visual guide to the KDE Plasma login screen on CentOS Stream.

Additional KDE Plasma Commands on CentOS Stream 9 or 8

In the daily utilization of your KDE Plasma on CentOS Stream, it is critical to know how to maintain its efficiency and ensure optimal functioning. This section guides you through crucial management tasks, including updating KDE Plasma and removing it when necessary.

Update KDE Plasma on CentOS Stream 9 or 8

Ensuring that your KDE Plasma desktop environment stays updated is crucial. It grants you access to the latest features and improvements and ensures that you have the most recent security updates. The command-line interface (CLI) is handy here, especially if you skip desktop notifications.

Here’s the command you need to use in your terminal to keep KDE Plasma updated:

sudo dnf upgrade --refresh

By executing this command, you’re instructing the dnf package manager to refresh the package database and upgrade all the software packages on your system, including KDE Plasma and its associated packages installed from the EPEL and Appstream repositories.

Remove KDE Plasma From CentOS Stream 9 or 8

There may come a time when you want to switch to a different desktop environment or want to remove KDE Plasma. The process is straightforward, thanks to the dnf package manager.

To uninstall KDE Plasma, input the following command in your terminal:

sudo dnf group remove "KDE Plasma Workspaces"

This command initiates removing the KDE Plasma Workspaces group, which includes the KDE Plasma desktop environment and all associated packages.

After the process is complete, you’ll need to reboot your system. Use the following command for this:

sudo reboot

When your system restarts, you may have to choose your default desktop environment again if it doesn’t automatically select it.

Reselecting Your Default Desktop Environment on CentOS Stream

Once you uninstall KDE Plasma, the login screen will prompt you to choose a default desktop environment. Ensure you select one that aligns with your preferences and needs.

Reselecting Default Desktop Environment Post KDE Plasma Removal on CentOS Stream Screenshot
Screenshot guide on choosing a different default desktop environment after KDE Plasma’s removal.


The KDE Plasma desktop environment represents a compelling fusion of aesthetics and functionality, enhancing your user experience on CentOS Stream distributions. We have navigated the essentials of installing KDE Plasma, transitioning between X11 and Wayland sessions, initiating basic customizations, and performing maintenance tasks such as updating and uninstalling KDE Plasma. It’s an impressive desktop environment that boasts many features for both the novice and the experienced user, each designed to create a seamless, enjoyable experience on CentOS Stream 8 and 9.

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