How to install KDE Plasma on Debian 11 Bullseye Linux

KDE is currently available in version 5.20 while doing this tutorial. The main focus of this Linux desktop environment is on providing a wide range of customization options. Here we will see the commands to install KDE Plasma’s latest and testing desktop version on Debian 11 Bullseye server or desktop using the terminal.

Users who have used Windows will definitely find the KDE desktop environment on their Linux quite familiar. KDE is popular because of its beautiful interface, sleek icons, and lots of tools and apps developed by the KDE community. Further, if one doesn’t like the arrangements of elements then he or she can position the Widgets, Taskbar, and almost every element to get the look and feel he/she wants. However, the variety of options can make inexperienced users quickly overwhelmed. Hence, you might have to invest time to become aware and comfortable with it.

Gnome was considered to be a faster Desktop variant than KDE, for a long time. However, over time KDE has raised the competition by improving its Desktop environment in terms of memory consumption and thus surpasses Gnome in terms of performance. In addition, components that are not required can be left out during installation.

Also as compared to Gnome, the applications are much more extensive and, like the KDE desktop, with a wide range of setting options. Great for power users, unfortunately often overloaded for newcomers.


Steps to install KDE Plasma GUI on Debian 11 Bullseye Server

The given steps to set up KDE Plasma will be the same for the command line Debian 11 server or the bullseye Desktop which is already running with some other desktop environment such as Gnome, Cinnamon…

1. Update system repository cache

Go to your Debian 11 command terminal and first run the system update command. This will refresh the system’s main repository including any added third-party one.

sudo apt update


2. Install Tasksel on Debian 11

Although we can directly use the APT package manager to install the KDE desktop environment, however, the best way is to use Tasksel. Because it will provide a friendly option to not only install KDE but also other available desktop environments.

sudo apt install tasksel -y


3. Run Tasksel

Once the installation is completed, run the tasksel to get user-friendly Linux desktop environment options available to install via it.

sudo tasksel


4: Install KDE Plasma on Debian 11 Bullseye

Next, on the selection screen use the arrow keys and go to KDE Plasma Desktop environment.  After that use the Space bar to select the option and then press the Tab key to select OK. Then hit the Enter key.

Command KDE plasma install debian 11 bullseye

Tasksel package Linux


5. Reboot your Linux system

Once the Graphical desktop installation is completed, reboot your system. For that you can use the command:

sudo reboot

If you are using only one desktop that is KDE, then by default you will have the login screen of the same. Whereas the users having multiple desktop environments need to select KDE before login. For that click on the gear icon and select KDE.

KDE Plasma dekstop installation Debian 11


For latest or Testing KDE Plasma desktop Version

Note: This is testing one, you may get Plasma with bugs and instability.

If you are looking for the latest version of KDE currently in development but available to test for users. Then first add Debian’s testing repositories.

sudo apt install nano -y
sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

At the end of the file add the following lines:

# Testing repository - main, contrib and non-free branches
deb testing main non-free contrib
deb-src testing main non-free contrib

Save the file by pressing Ctrl+O, hit the Enter key, and then press Ctrl+X to exit.

Run system update 

To integrate the added repo properly, run the system update command.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade


Install the Latest testing Plasma Desktop on Debian 11

Once the all above steps are completed, run the given command to get the latest available Plasma desktop via the testing repository of Debian.

sudo apt install plasma-desktop/testing

testing repository on Linux

Restart the system:

sudo reboot

Again check the version in the about section once you logged in to it.

KDE Plasma testing version for debian


Other Tutorials:

How to install KDE Plasma Desktop on Rocky Linux 8
Install KDE Plasma GUI on Linux Mint 20.1 Desktop
How to give macOS like look to Ubuntu



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