For Linux Mint enthusiasts seeking a fresh desktop experience, the KDE Plasma Desktop Environment offers a compelling alternative. This guide will explore how to install KDE Plasma on Linux Mint 21 or the older stable release of Linux Mint 20. KDE Plasma, renowned for its modern aesthetics and rich feature set, provides a blend of performance and visual appeal that can rejuvenate your Linux Mint experience.
Key Advantages of KDE Plasma for Linux Mint Users:
- Customizability: KDE Plasma stands out with its myriad customization options, from themes to widgets, allowing users to craft a unique desktop experience.
- Comprehensive Features: With built-in tools like virtual desktops and the robust Dolphin file manager, KDE ensures an enhanced user experience.
- Efficient Performance: Leveraging the Qt framework, KDE Plasma offers a responsive and resource-efficient environment, making it a top choice for those prioritizing form and function.
- Seamless Integration: KDE’s suite of applications is designed for harmony, ensuring a consistent user experience across the board.
- Expansive Application Ecosystem: KDE’s vast array of dedicated applications means users can access tools optimized specifically for the KDE environment.
Contrasting KDE and Cinnamon:
- Design Approach: While KDE Plasma champions extensive customization and features, Cinnamon is tailored for those who value simplicity and a straightforward user experience.
- Resource Management: KDE Plasma is often lauded for its efficient resource usage, especially compared to desktop environments.
- Application Defaults: Each environment offers its unique set of default applications. For instance, while KDE champions Dolphin as its file manager, Cinnamon users are more familiar with Nemo.
Incorporating the KDE Plasma Desktop Environment into your Linux Mint setup allows for a dynamic desktop experience, combining the intuitive nature of Cinnamon with the expansive features of KDE. The subsequent sections will guide you through the installation process, ensuring you can seamlessly integrate KDE Plasma into your Linux Mint 21 or Linux Mint 20 system.
Table of Contents
Section 1: Import KDE Backport PPA on Linux Mint 21 or 20
In this section, we will walk you through importing the KDE Backport PPA’s required to install the latest version of KDE Plasma and its applications. Following these steps will ensure that you have access to the most up-to-date software for your KDE desktop environment.
Step 1: Update Linux Mint Before KDE Installation on Linux Mint
Before you start importing the necessary repositories, it’s essential to update your Linux Mint system to ensure you have the latest security patches and software updates. To do this, open the terminal and execute the following command:
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
This command first updates the package index by running
sudo apt update. Next, the
sudo apt upgrade command upgrades all installed packages to their latest versions.
Step 2: Import KDE Backports PPA on Linux Mint
To install the latest KDE Plasma packages, you must add the kubuntu-ppa/backports repository. This backports repository contains the most recent versions of KDE Plasma and its applications, ensuring you can access the latest features and improvements.
In your terminal, execute the following command to add the kubuntu-ppa/backports repository:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports -y
This command adds the specified repository to your system’s sources list, allowing you to install packages from it. The
-y flag automatically confirms the addition of the repository.
Optional: Import KDE Backports Extra PPA on Linux Mint
For a full KDE installation that includes additional packages and extras, you can also import the kubuntu-ppa/backports-extra repository. To do this, run the following command in your terminal:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports-extra -y
Similar to the previous command, this one adds the backports-extra repository to your sources list and confirms the addition automatically with the
Step 3: Update APT Repository After KDE PPA Import
After adding the KDE backports repositories, you must update the APT package index to reflect the new sources. To do this, run the following command in your terminal:
sudo apt update
This command updates your system’s package index with the latest packages available from the newly added repositories. Once this process is complete, you are ready to proceed with the installation of the KDE Desktop Environment on your Linux Mint system.
Section 2: Install KDE Plasma on Linux Mint 21 or 20 via APT PPA
This section will guide you through installing the KDE Plasma desktop environment on your Linux Mint system. Three installation options are available, each offering a different set of applications and features. Depending on your preferences and system requirements, you can choose between a minimal, standard, or full installation.
Option 1: Install KDE Standard on Linux Mint
The KDE Standard installation includes the KDE Plasma Desktop and a standard set of applications. To install this option, run the following command in your terminal:
sudo apt install kde-standard
This command downloads and installs the KDE Plasma Desktop along with a standard set of applications, providing a balanced KDE experience with essential tools and utilities.
Option 2: Install KDE Plasma on Linux Mint
The KDE Plasma installation includes the KDE Plasma Desktop and a minimal set of applications. This option is suitable for users who prefer a lightweight KDE experience. To install this option, run the following command in your terminal:
sudo apt install kde-plasma-desktop
This command installs the KDE Plasma Desktop and a minimal set of applications, keeping the system resource usage low while still providing basic KDE functionality.
Option 3: Install KDE Plasma Full on Linux Mint
The KDE Plasma Full installation includes the KDE Plasma Desktop and an extensive set of applications, providing the most comprehensive KDE experience. To install this option, run the following command in your terminal:
sudo apt install kde-full
This command installs the KDE Plasma Desktop and a wide range of KDE applications, ensuring you can access all the available tools and features.
Configuring SDDM on Linux Mint for KDE Plasma
During the installation, you may encounter a prompt titled “Configuring sddm.” KDE Plasma is recommended to run using the SDDM display manager.
To proceed, press the TAB key to select
<Ok> and hit the ENTER key.
A bug can occur in virtual environments when rebooting, causing the initial session login screen to display only a large keyboard with KDE and SDDM.
To avoid this issue, before rebooting, execute the following command to update the
sudo sed -i '/\[General\]/a InputMethod=' /etc/sddm.conf
This command uses
sed to insert the
InputMethod= line under the
[General] section of the
sddm.conf file, ensuring that the bug is mitigated.
Reboot Your System After KDE Installation on Linux Mint
After completing the installation and applying the necessary configuration changes, reboot your system by typing the following command directly into your terminal:
Section 3: Log in to KDE Plasma on Linux Mint 21 or 20
In this section, we will guide you through the process of logging into the KDE Plasma Desktop Environment on your Linux Mint system. Following these steps will ensure you can access and experience the newly installed KDE Plasma environment and its features.
Step 1: Verify the KDE Desktop Environment on Linux Mint
After rebooting your system, you will arrive at the login screen. Do not log in straight away. Before logging in, verifying and selecting the KDE Plasma Desktop Environment is crucial.
- Locate the configuration button in the top right-hand corner of your screen. Clicking this button will display the available desktop environments.
- In the list of desktop environments, select “Plasma” instead of the default “Cinnamon” or alternative Linux Mint desktop environments, such as “MATE” or “Xfce”. This option should be located in a bar in the top left corner of your screen.
By selecting “Plasma” as your desktop environment, you ensure that you will be logging into the KDE Plasma Desktop Environment upon entering your credentials.
Step 2: Log in to KDE Plasma on Linux Mint
With the KDE Plasma Desktop Environment selected, you can now proceed to log in. Enter your username and password, and then click the “Log In” button or press the ENTER key to start your KDE Plasma session.
Section 4: Getting Started with KDE Plasma on Linux Mint 21 or 20
In this section, we will provide you with tips and guidance to help you get started with the KDE Plasma Desktop Environment on Linux Mint. These tips include general advice, customization options, and other useful information to enhance your KDE Plasma experience.
General Tips with KDE Plasma on Linux Mint
- Discover: KDE Plasma comes with a built-in application launcher called “Discover.” This application enables you to search, browse, and install applications, as well as update your system. To access Discover, click on the application icon in the bottom-left corner of the desktop and then search for “Discover” in the search bar.
- System Settings: To access KDE Plasma’s System Settings, right-click on the desktop and select “Configure Desktop and Wallpaper.” From here, you can customize various aspects of your desktop environment, including wallpaper, desktop effects, and screen edges. Alternatively, you can access System Settings by clicking the application icon in the bottom-left corner and searching for “System Settings.”
- Dolphin File Manager: KDE Plasma includes a powerful and versatile file manager called Dolphin. It supports advanced features like split-view, tabs, and customizable keyboard shortcuts. To open Dolphin, click the application icon in the bottom-left corner and search for “Dolphin.”
Customization Tips with KDE Plasma on Linux Mint
- Desktop Widgets: KDE Plasma allows you to add widgets to your desktop, providing quick access to various tools and features. To add a widget, right-click on the desktop, select “Add Widgets,” and then drag and drop the desired widget onto your desktop.
- Panel Customization: KDE Plasma features a highly customizable panel. To customize the panel, right-click on it and select “Edit Panel.” This allows you to add, remove, or rearrange widgets, adjust the panel’s size and position, and modify its appearance.
- Global Themes: KDE Plasma supports global themes, which enable you to change the appearance of your desktop environment with just a few clicks. To apply a global theme, open System Settings, navigate to “Appearance,” and then select “Global Theme.” Browse and choose a theme that suits your taste, and click “Apply” to activate it.
Other Tips with KDE Plasma on Linux Mint
- KRunner: KRunner is a powerful search and command utility in KDE Plasma. To access KRunner, press
Alt + Spaceon your keyboard. From KRunner, you can search for files, launch applications, and execute commands.
- Virtual Desktops: KDE Plasma supports virtual desktops, which allow you to organize your workspace and switch between multiple desktops. To configure virtual desktops, open System Settings, navigate to “Workspace Behavior,” and then select “Virtual Desktops.” From here, you can add, remove, or rename virtual desktops, and set keyboard shortcuts for switching between them.
- Window Management: KDE Plasma offers various window management options, such as tiling, snapping, and grouping. To access these options, right-click on a window’s title bar or press
Alt + F3on your keyboard. Additionally, you can drag a window to the screen edge to automatically snap or tile it.
By exploring these tips and features, you can tailor the KDE Plasma Desktop Environment on your Linux Mint system to your preferences and workflow, resulting in a more efficient and enjoyable computing experience.
Section 5: KDE Additional Commands on Linux Mint 21 or 20
This section will cover additional commands and tips for managing your Linux Mint system’s KDE Plasma Desktop Environment. These include switching default display managers and removing the KDE Plasma environment.
Switching Default Display Managers with KDE Plasma on Linux Mint
If you switch back to a different display manager, such as LightDM for Cinnamon or GDM for GNOME, you can easily do so by reconfiguring your default display manager.
Step 1: Reconfigure the Default Display Manager on Linux Mint
Open your terminal and enter the following command:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure sddm
Step 2: Reboot Your System
After switching the display manager, make sure to reboot your system by entering the following command:
Remove KDE Plasma on Linux Mint 21 or 20
If you wish to remove the KDE Plasma Desktop Environment from your Linux Mint system, you can do so using the following commands:
Step 1: Remove KDE Plasma on Linux Mint
Open your terminal and enter the following command:
sudo apt autoremove --purge '^kde*' '^kubuntu*' '^plasma*'
This command will attempt to remove all KDE Plasma, Kubuntu, and Plasma-related packages from your system.
Also, ensure that the PPA’s that were imported are removed with the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports -y sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports-extra -y
Step 2: Reboot Your System After KDE Plasma Removal on Linux Mint
After removing the KDE Plasma Desktop Environment, reboot your system to ensure that the changes take effect:
Removing the KDE Plasma Desktop Environment might affect other installed applications or dependencies. Proceed with caution and ensure you have a backup of your important data before removing KDE Plasma from your system.
In conclusion, installing the KDE Plasma Desktop Environment on Linux Mint provides users with an alternative and feature-rich desktop experience. The straightforward process lets users choose between minimal, standard, or full installation options. Following our step-by-step guide, you can easily install and enjoy the benefits of KDE Plasma on your Linux Mint system.