How do I restart KDE5 interface from the command line without having to do a logout?

3 Answers 3


In a terminal (ctrl+alt+Fx) (if KDE is stuck use tty) type:

$ kquitapp5 plasmashell

and, eventually,

$ plasmashell

to restart, or

$ kstart5 plasmashell

if you want to be able to logout of the tty.

  • 3
    ALT + F2 is a good place to input that, provided the desktop still kind-of works. I have the taskbar freezing from time to time, but the quick launcher still works. In that case I input "killall plasmashell && plasmashell". I didn't know about kquitapp5.
    – Palantir
    Sep 2, 2015 at 10:01
  • 3
    The thing is, if you have the desktop still working, then "launch command" (ALT+F2) is fine. If you do it in the terminal, you are forced to keep the terminal up (or launch the command with nohup). kquitapp5 forces the "application interrupted pop up" and allows you to restart it. I do it for the same reason as you (task bar freezing)
    – Three Diag
    Sep 9, 2015 at 7:02
  • Good to know. If you want to close a terminal with a running foreground task without killing it, in the terminal you can hit CTRL+Z to freeze the task and revert to bash, then enter bg to push it to the background. Then you can safely close the shell.
    – Palantir
    Sep 9, 2015 at 8:32
  • That is not true in general, I am not even sure it is true in Ubuntu by default. For example, in Arch Linux (I am not currently on ubuntu to test), using the gnome terminal emulator, pushing to the bg and then closing the terminal kills all the processes associated with it.
    – Three Diag
    Sep 9, 2015 at 10:52
  • 1
    kstart is not found (FreeBSD-CURRENT). kstart5 works. Jan 28, 2019 at 19:28

For >=kde5.10 (Kubuntu20.04; plasmashell 5.18.5):

Open a console CtrlAlt+T

login and type:

kquitapp5 plasmashell
kstart5 plasmashell&

After trying all the above and a few others I could not resolve my ongoing annoyance of my toolbars not hiding as set (ie/ auto hide). It doesn't happen all the time and sometimes minimising other apps will fix it. It sometimes blocks essential icons on browser, etc. This happens on both screens (laptop + external). I tried a few work-arounds and the simple solution for me is to set the app in use to keep above others'. This works and allows me to tidy up or finish session for reboot. * I just installedtoggle panel button' (widget) and it works. (note: I have been doing some heavy changing of themes/widgets/icons/fonts/add-ons, etc over the last few weeks and this may be a conflict between components.)

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