As you can see in the screenshot below, the user has managed to run KDE desktop in Unity (or vice versa?)


I've already installed kubuntu-desktop package and CompizConfig Settings Manager and also able to switch to KDE desktop separately but couldn't find a way to run both on same screen.

So my question is, how to get this done?

  • 2
    Based on pure theory, I think this can be achieved by running nohup plasma-desktop & in a terminal from within Unity. (try that - I'm too lazy here too install 1000+MB of packages on my virtual machine, so not posting as an answer) – gertvdijk Feb 2 '13 at 15:57
  • possible duplicate of KDE theme appears in Unity, Cinnamon, and XCFE – Eric Carvalho Feb 2 '13 at 16:00
  • 3
    @EricCarvalho What? Read the question again! OP wants to mix two DEs in one. It's not about a mixed appearance in themes. – gertvdijk Feb 2 '13 at 16:03
  • @gertvdijk Thanks that worked. Let me reboot and i'll let you know if this is persistent. – Adige72 Feb 2 '13 at 16:06
  • @gertvdijk My bad. I thought he wanted to get rid of it. – Eric Carvalho Feb 2 '13 at 16:08

While I totally don't know why one would want this, it's certainly possible. From a standard Ubuntu (with Unity) installation:

  1. Install kubuntu-desktop Install kubuntu-desktop

  2. In a terminal within the Unity desktop, try to run the KDE desktop like this:

    nohup plasma-desktop &

    The nohup somecommand & pattern makes it run in the background and independent of the terminal you're running this in. (specifically, the process spawned isn't a child of terminal in the process tree, but given to the mother of all processes - init.)

  3. optional If you like this and you want to make it permanent you can create a startup script:

    • Create a text file (with for example Gedit) startkde.sh, containing

      # sleep seems necessary - getting kdeinit I/O errors otherwise
      sleep 3 && /usr/bin/nohup /usr/bin/plasma-desktop &
    • Make the file executable, from Nautilus (file properties), or by running chmod +x startkde.sh

    • Open Startup Applications from the Dash.

    • Add an entry "KDE" and browse to the script.


Another easy way to achieve this:

  1. Install kubuntu-desktop
  2. Login with KDE
  3. Run unity in the terminal

Create an autostart entry in KDE with the command unity, if you like.

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