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=== Building KF5/Plasma from source ===
For testing new versions or helping with upstream development it can be helpful to compile (parts of) KDE Frameworks 5, Plasma 5, KDE Applications including KDEPIM from source.
=== Using self-built (parts) of KDE Frameworks 5, Plasma 5, KDE Applications ===
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For that see [[https://community.kde.org/Plasma/Building|upstream notes]].

I found that specifically placing the following script into ~/.config/plasma-workspace/env and chmod +x it works for me:

~/.config/plasma-workspace/env> cat kdedirs.sh

export KF5=/home/kde/install
export QTDIR=/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/qt5

export PATH=$KF5/bin:$QTDIR/bin:$PATH

export QT_PLUGIN_PATH=$KF5/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/plugins:$QTDIR/plugins:$QT_PLUGIN_PATH
export QML2_IMPORT_PATH=$KF5/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/qml:$QTDIR/qml

export XDG_DATA_DIRS=$KF5/share:/usr/share
export XDG_CONFIG_DIRS=$KF5/etc/xdg:/etc/xdg

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$KF5/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH

Although in [[https://community.kde.org/Frameworks/Building#Runtime_setup|upstream Frameworks runtime setup documentation]] it is not recommended to set LD_LIBRARY_PATH this is what works here. It still uses the system wide libraries for anything that is not self-built.
See [[KdeBuildingFromSource|Using self-built (parts) of KDE Frameworks 5, Plasma 5, KDE Applications]].

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What is KDE?

The KDE Community is an international technology team dedicated to creating a free and user-friendly computing experience, offering an advanced graphical desktop, a wide variety of applications for communication, work, education and entertainment and a platform to easily build new applications upon. We have a strong focus on finding innovative solutions to old and new problems, creating a vibrant atmosphere open for experimentation.

KDE's software in Debian

Plasma by KDE is one of the DesktopEnvironment options in the DebianDesktopHowTo.

You can find information about KDE's software in Debian from the Debian Qt/KDE maintainers website.


There are different options to install KDE Plasma Desktop in Debian:

How to install


"KDE Plasma Desktop"

task, see below

Debian's selection of applications
(This is what is installed on a freshly installed KDE system. It include some non kde.org applications, like openoffice, iceweasel, inkscape...)

KDE (Full release of workspace, applications and framework)

kde-full package

The standard/upstream release

KDE (Debian selected common stuff for workspace, applications and framework)

kde-standard package

A debian selection of common things

KDE Plasma Desktop

kde-plasma-desktop package

This is a minimalist plasma desktop
(You have to install all end-user applications later). Above packages depend on this on.

KDE Plasma Netbook

kde-plasma-netbook package

This is a minimalist plasma netbook
(You have to install all end-user applications later). Above packages depend on this on.

  • {i} Watch out recommended packages (i.e packages dependencies) !
    (you might or might not want to install them).

Installing "KDE Plasma Desktop" task

KDE Plasma Desktop task is what is installed by Debian-Installer's Desktop "task". You can choose this by going to "Advanced Options" => "Alternative Desktop Environments" => "KDE" in the installer menu (or by typing install desktop=kde at DebianInstaller CD prompt).

  • To install KDE later, first make sure that tasksel and aptitude are installed:

    apt-get install aptitude tasksel

Then, install the kde-desktop task:

  • aptitude install ~t^desktop$ ~t^kde-desktop$
  • (This is what DebianInstaller would have installed in a new system, but you might want/need to uninstall the current display manager).

Using self-built (parts) of KDE Frameworks 5, Plasma 5, KDE Applications

See Using self-built (parts) of KDE Frameworks 5, Plasma 5, KDE Applications.

The appearance of GTK-applications in Plasma

To get gtk-applications look native in Plasma you need install these packages and configure appearance of them through System Settings > Application appearance.


KDE configuration module for GTK+ 2/3.x style selection


Oxygen widget theme for GTK2+-based applications


Oxygen widget theme for GTK3+-based applications (Debian Wheezy)

See also