How to Install KDE Plasma or Kubuntu in Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

kde and ubuntu logos on gradient background

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Debian 11

The KDE desktop environment is called KDE Plasma, and also referred to as Plasma Desktop.

It’s one of the most popular desktop environments, is very intuitive and easy to use, is available in many languages, and provides a consistent user experience across a wide range of devices.

The KDE Plasma is also one of the most feature rich and customizable desktop environments, and it has a very modern look and feel.

KDE used to be the name of the desktop environment when it was created. KDE grew and other applications started being developed under it, resulting in it not being just a desktop environment anymore. Nowadays, KDE represents the project and community that keep developing the desktop environment known as KDE Plasma, as well as other applications under the KDE project.

Often KDE may be used to refer just to the desktop environment, which may cause confusion to someone who is missing this context. Ideally, you’d refer to KDE as the project/community and KDE Plasma as the desktop environment.

Many cross-platform applications are developed by the KDE community, some of the most notable being Krita and Kdenlive.

In this tutorial we cover how to install KDE Plasma Desktop (in a few variants) or Kubuntu, on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04.

Install KDE Plasma & Full Set of Applications (kde-full package)

kde-full is a complete KDE pack. It’s a metapackage includes the core KDE applications that make up the KDE Plasma desktop environment, as well the complete set of desktop tools which includes a comprehensive office suite, a web browser, multimedia applications, a number of productivity tools, and much more.

To install KDE full run the following command:

sudo apt install kde-full

KDE full takes about 5GB storage space on my fresh Ubuntu server install.

kde-full login screenshot
KDE Login Screen


kde-full-desktop screenshot
Screenshot of KDE Full

Install KDE Plasma & Standard Applications (kde-standard package)

kde-standard is a metapackage containing a set of tools and applications that are available in the default installation of the KDE desktop environment.

It includes the most commonly used applications for a desktop environment, such as a file manager, a text editor, a web browser, a media player, and more.

The difference between KDE Full and KDE Standard is that KDE Full includes all of the KDE applications, while KDE Standard only includes a subset of them.

To install KDE standard run the following command:

sudo apt install kde-standard

KDE Desktop takes about 2.6GB storage space on a fresh server install.

kde-standard-desktop screenshot
Screenshot of KDE Standard

Install KDE Plasma & Minimal Applications (kde-plasma-desktop package)

KDE Plasma Desktop is the minimal package of KDE desktop. It contains the core applications that make up the desktop environment. Plasma Desktop includes only the most commonly used applications, while KDE Full includes a wider range of applications.

To install KDE Plasma Desktop run the following command:

sudo apt install kde-plasma-desktop

KDE Plasma Desktop takes about 2GB storage space on a fresh server install.

kde-plasma-desktop screenshot
Screenshot of KDE Plasma Desktop

Install Kubuntu (kubuntu-desktop package)

Kubuntu is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu, also called a flavor of Ubuntu.

The difference between Kubuntu and KDE Full is that Kubuntu is a complete KDE desktop, while KDE Full is a set of applications that can be used with any desktop environment.

To install Kubuntu run the following command:

sudo apt install kubuntu-desktop

KDE Full takes about 3.2GB storage space on a fresh server install.

kubuntu-desktop screenshot
Screenshot of Kubuntu Desktop


In this tutorial we covered how to install the KDE Plasma desktop environment with the full, standard and minimal set of applications, as well as Kubuntu desktop, on an Ubuntu machine.

If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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1 year ago

Thank you, that’s a great overview and just what I was looking for!

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