KDE Plasma 5

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This page is being redeveloped. Work in progress.

KDE Plasma is a desktop environment developed by the KDE Community. KDE Plasma is based on the Qt framework. Funtoo Linux offers KDE Plasma together with a variety of Applications also from KDE. Through Qt and a common platform of libraries and services, KDE Plasma combined with KDE Applications aims to deliver a desktop environment that is tightly integrated and visually consistent.

Currently there are two versions of the KDE Plasma Desktop available for Funtoo Linux - Plasma 4 and Plasma 5.

KDE Plasma 4 was released in 2008 [1] and succeeded by Plasma 5 in 2014 [2]. Development of Plasma 4 ceased in 2015 [3].

This guide aims to cover the steps required to achieve a basic install of KDE Plasma 5 on x86 architectures following the completion of the Install guide.

External Links:

KDE.org - www.kde.org

KDE Plasma Desktop - www.kde.org/workspaces/plasmadesktop/

KDE Applications - www.kde.org/applications/

Gentoo Linux Wiki - wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/KDE

Phoronix - "KDE Plasma 5.5: The Quintessential 2016 Review" - http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=kde-2016-review&num=1


The following instructions are written for a new installation of Funtoo Linux performed using the Install guide.

Funtoo Profiles

Correctly setting Funtoo Profiles is required to install KDE. Review the selected profiles using epro.

root # epro show

=== Enabled Profiles: ===

        arch: x86-64bit
       build: current
     subarch: intel64-haswell
      flavor: core
     mix-ins: (not set)

=== All inherited flavors from core flavor: ===

                         minimal (from core flavor)

The recommended flavor for KDE is desktop. This can be selected with the command epro flavor desktop

root # epro flavor desktop

=== Enabled Profiles: ===

        arch: x86-64bit
       build: current
     subarch: intel64-haswell
      flavor: desktop
     mix-ins: (not set)

>>> Set flavor to desktop.

Following a flavor change an update of Funtoo packages is required

root # emerge --ask --update --verbose --deep --newuse --with-bdeps=y @world

This command can be shortened to

root # emerge -auvDN --with-bdeps=y @world

Install the X Window System

KDE requires the X Window System (X11) to present graphics (video) and receive input (keyboard, mouse, joystick, etc.). Configuration is required for X11 to work with the video card on the target hardware. Use the Video guide to determine the appropriate VIDEO_CARDS entry for Funtoo Linux. With your favorite editor, edit make.conf to include the setting appropriate for the target video hardware.

   /etc/portage/make.conf - example for Intel HD Graphics
VIDEO_CARDS="intel i965"

Now install the X Window System by merging the meta-package No results

root # emerge --ask --verbose x11-base/xorg-x11


To install KDE for a language other than English (United States) add an appropriate LINGUAS entry to /etc/portage/make.conf

   /etc/portage/make.conf - Example for English (United Kingdom)

More information on Localization can be found at Funtoo Linux Localization.

Emerge KDE Plasma 5

The Funtoo Profiles were earlier set to the desktop flavor. Now an additional mix-in profile is required to provide a smooth installation of KDE Plasma 5.

There are two KDE-related mix-ins available in Funtoo: kde and kde-plasma-5. The mix-in required for Plasma 5 is kde-plasma-5. Do NOT choose kde. Add the mix-in using epro

root # epro mix-in kde-plasma-5

=== Enabled Profiles: ===

        arch: x86-64bit
       build: current
     subarch: intel64-haswell
      flavor: desktop
     mix-ins: kde-plasma-5

>>> Added kde-plasma-5 mix-in.

This is the point to emerge KDE Plasma 5. This is performed by merging the package kde-apps/kde-meta:5 which include the Plasma Desktop and a variety of KDE Applications. Including the colon-5 without a space (:5) after kde-meta ensures that Plasma 5 (not 4) will be merged. Since the Profile has changed (added mix-in) the world set of packages must be updated as well. These actions can be performed in one step

root # emerge -auvDN --with-bdeps=y @world kde-apps/kde-meta:5

Versions of kde-apps/kde-meta for Plasma 5 are in the format 15.xx.x, for example kde-apps/kde-meta-15.08.3.

Once completed proceed to the chapter Configure and Start KDE.

Configure and Start KDE


After the many packages have been merged portage will present a variety of post-install messages. A number of these will request that critical services are started first in order for KDE to work. Typically these are ALSA (No results), ConsoleKit (No results), DBus (sys-apps/dbus), and UDev (No results). Since the desktop flavor has been set CUPS (No results) will also be included.

Issue the following commands to set these essential services to start automatically via OpenRC (sys-apps/openrc)

root # rc-update add alsasound boot
root # rc-update add cupsd default
root # rc-update add consolekit default

DBus is usually started when these services start.

UDev is usually rebuilt during an install of KDE due to changes in USE flags from changing Profile flavor and mix-ins. To accommodate changes it is best to restart the service.

root # /etc/init.d/udev --nodeps restart

Do not confuse the UDev package eudev (sys-fs/eudev) with evdev! evdev is the generic input device driver for the X Window System (x11-drivers/xf86-input-evdev)!

Create a User Account

Now is the appropriate point to create a user account for use with KDE Plasma. The following example creates a user alice and associates that account with the Groups lp, lpadmin, plugdev, users, video and wheel. A home directory for the account alice will be created at /home/alice.

root # useradd -m -G games,lp,lpadmin,plugdev,users,video,wheel alice

Now set a password for alice

root # passwd alice

Starting KDE with a Display (Login) Manager

The recommended Display Manager for KDE Plasma 5 is SDDM - x11-misc/sddm. Installing KDE Plasma 5 with the kde-plasma-5 mix-in installs SDDM.

A few steps must first be completed in order for SDDM to work correctly . The first step is to create a configuration file for SDDM as one is not created automatically. Generate one using the following command

root # sddm --example-config > /etc/sddm.conf

The configuration file now exists at /etc/sddm.conf. Edit this file with your favorite editor, changing the option 'Current' to be equal to 'breeze' - the KDE Plasma 5 default theme.

   /etc/sddm.conf - Change the line Current=
# Current theme name

Next it is required to allow SDDM access the video hardware. This is achieved by adding the user sddm to the group video with the following command

root # gpasswd -a sddm video

The final steps involve configuring OpenRC to load SDDM during startup.

Edit /etc/conf.d/xdm with your favorite editor, updating the DISPLAYMANAGER entry to equal 'sddm'.


Now add xdm to the default runlevel of OpenRC.

root # rc-update add xdm default

The display manager SDDM should appear at the end of computer boot. To avoid an unnecessary restart you can launch SDDM/KDE from here with a simple command

root # rc

You will be presented with a login screen. Input devices (mouse, keyboard) should be working at this stage. Logging in will take you to the KDE Plasma 5 desktop.

This concludes the basic installation of KDE Plasma on Funtoo Linux.

Tips and Tricks


This section is in need of updates.

Change Desktop Effects

System Setting > Desktop Behavior > Desktop Effects

Enable the Application Dashboard in KDE Plasma 5

Unlock Widgets Right-click on Panel > Alternatives


Missing KCM in KDE Plasma 5

kde-misc/kcm-ufw has not been updated to work with KDE Plasma 5.