My question is pretty simple. I have Ubuntu 12.04 with Unity and I want to login with KDE.

I have seen recommendations to:

1- run the three commands:
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop

2- run just the command:
$ sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop

3- run the command:
$ sudo apt-get install kde-standard

4- run the command:
$ sudo apt-get install kde-full

5- run the command:
$ sudo apt-get install plasma-desktop

6- run the command:
$ sudo apt-get install kde-plasma-desktop

7- etc ...

This question is very related to this one, but the answer there is not clear enough to me. There seems to be quite a number of quasi-identical commands one could use to install the KDE desktop.

I just want the desktop, no KDE apps since I'll just use the ones I'm already using in Unity. Of course I also want the needed repositories added so the KDE desktop will be kept updated.

How would I go about doing that?


It's best to install the kubuntu-desktop package first and THEN remove any installed KDE apps you don't need. This way, you get the full desktop environment experience and can stay updated, while not keeping redundant programs installed.

Note that a lot of Unity/Gnome apps will not behave according to the KDE theme set as a KDE-native app would.

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  • 2
    Should I also add the ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports or is that automatic if I just install kubuntu-desktop? – Gabriel Jun 19 '12 at 12:52
  • 1
    You only need the package. An ppa is not necessary for using KDE. – tvn Jun 19 '12 at 12:58
  • 2
    @Gaba_p, that is unnecessary (and could cause problems!) if you are on the latest 12.04. A backport is when a package version available only for a newer Ubuntu release is modified and made available to older releases (eg 11.10, 10.04, etc. ). – ish Jun 19 '12 at 13:02
  • 12.04 comes with KDE 4.8 and the PPA updates it to 4.9, so you should only add the PPA if you really want the latest and can handle the potential problems. – sierrasdetandil Nov 17 '12 at 1:27

The command / package you want is :

sudo apt-get install kde-plasma-desktop

You can also search software centre for 'kde-plasma-desktop' and install it that way.

This package installs KDE desktop with minimal applications, and you can continue to use you ubuntu/gnome apps with it. I have used this with no problems, just select KDE from the login menu once it has been installed.

The KDE packages will be automatically updated through update manager once installed.

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