How to install KDE Plasma 5 Desktop on Ubuntu 20.04

In addition to detailed improvements, Plasma 5.18 LTS also includes improved GTK application integration and here we will see how to install KDE Plasma latest version on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS focal fossa.

If you want to try out KDE Plasma Desktop environment on Ubuntu, the best method is to download and installs Kubuntu, however, those want to try it on their existing Ubuntu 20.04 they can install it manually.

One of the most visible innovations is the improved integration of GTK applications. These now take over the fonts, symbols, cursors and other graphic elements used by Plasma. In addition, according to KDE’s announcement of the new version, Plasma 5.18 LTS now puts the Breeze GTK theme on the GTK applications as standard.

Some new features of Plasma 5.18 LTS Desktop environment

  • Night colours can be switched on and off via a new symbol in the system section of the control bar (system tray).
  • We can access audio devices for playback more easily by clicking on the volume icon.
  • In version 5.18, the progress bar now runs in a circle around the close button.
  • Plasma 5.18 discards the old hamburger menu in the top right corner of the screen – in older plasma versions it still showed a cashew nut symbol.
  • Hold down the Meta (Windows) key and press the period (.) and it will pop up Emoji selector.
  • Completely rewritten notification system
  • The KSysGuard tool now presents information about Nvidia graphics cards, including the percentage utilization of the graphics processor. And more.. See the official announcement 


  • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
  • A non-root user with sudo access
  • More than 1 GB of free hard disk space.

Open Command terminal

Go to Activities from Ubuntu display given on the top left side to run terminal or simply use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+ALT+T

Update system

Before installing KDE Plasma Desktop, make sure all your existing packages are up to date, for that run the command:

sudo apt update

Install KDE Plasma Desktop on Ubuntu 20.04

If you just want to install only Plasma Desktop not the apps come along with it or rather I say a complete KDE desktop environment then use the below command. The best thing is we don’t need to add any third-party repository, everything is available on the official Ubuntu 20.04 APT repo.

sudo apt install plasma-desktop

Full KDE Desktop environment installation 

In case you want full KDE DE along with KDE software pre-installed, then use this one.

sudo apt install kubuntu-desktop

In the above command while the installation of KDE, it will ask you which Display Manager you want to use SDMM or gdm3.

Select the KDE’s default sddm display manager and hit the OK button.

Sekect sdmm display manager for KDE

Log out and Log in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

To use the install KDE plasma, we have to log out the running Ubuntu 20.04 session. For that close your applications and click on the drop-down arrow icon given on the right top side to select the logout option.

Now, press any and click on the Gear icon given on the right bottom side of the login screen. Select the Plasma and enter your Login password.

Select Plasma Desktop

Finally, after login, you will get the Plasma 5.18 Desktop on your Ubuntu 20.04

kde plasma Desktop 5.18 on Ubuntu 20.04

Uninstall KDE Plasma

First, log out and log in the Ubuntu Desktop environment using the gear icon given on the login screen.

Depending upon what you have installed, use the below command:

sudo apt remove plasma-desktop --autoremove
sudo apt remove kubuntu-desktop --autoremove

Remove the leftover

sudo apt-get remove kde* --autoremove
sudo apt-get remove plasma* --autoremove

Reset Login screen

sudo update-alternatives --config default.plymouth

Select 1

sudo update-initramfs -u
sudo update-grub

Disable Sddm

systemctl disable sddm
systemctl stop sddm

Enable once again the gdm3 

sudo systemctl enable gdm3
sudo systemctl start gdm3

Extra tip: Get default Ubuntu icons and wallpaper

In case you Ubuntu default icons have been changed to the Breeze of KDE, then simply install Gnome Tweak:

sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool

Run Tweak tool.

Select Appereance->Icons->Yaru

Ubuntu default icons

So, in this way, we can install and uninstall KDE plasma desktop environment on UIbuntu 20.04 LTS.

5 thoughts on “How to install KDE Plasma 5 Desktop on Ubuntu 20.04”

  1. i installed and it made my pc go crazy. balooctl sending errors to syslog until my pc ran out of space. its taken me two days to get my pc back to normal

  2. befor removing ssdm reconfigure display maneger using this cmd sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm3


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