KDE is a free software community, producing a wide range of applications including the popular Plasma desktop environment.
Gentoo support for the KDE project is excellent, with comprehensive packaging of KDE Frameworks 5, Plasma 5, and Applications, as well as a wide array of other miscellaneous KDE-based software.
Choosing an appropriate profile, although not required, is recommended as it sets a number of global and package-specific USE flags to ease installation and ensure a smooth KDE experience.
In order to choose the most suitable profile, first list what's available:
eselect profile list
...  default/linux/amd64/17.1 (stable)  default/linux/amd64/17.1/selinux (stable)  default/linux/amd64/17.1/hardened (stable)  default/linux/amd64/17.1/hardened/selinux (stable)  default/linux/amd64/17.1/desktop (stable)  default/linux/amd64/17.1/desktop/gnome (stable)  default/linux/amd64/17.1/desktop/gnome/systemd (stable)  default/linux/amd64/17.1/desktop/plasma (stable)  default/linux/amd64/17.1/desktop/plasma/systemd (stable) ...
Then, select the right profile, substituting
X with the appropriate profile number:
eselect profile set X
For Plasma 5 desktop environment choose
desktop/plasma with OpenRC or
desktop/plasma/systemd with systemd. Note that other USE flag combinations than set by the profile may technically be possible (especially if selected applications are run instead of a full KDE Plasma desktop environment), but may be unsupported, untested, or lead to unexpected loss of functionality.
Default choices of these services will be pulled in automatically - by the installation steps in the following chapters - depending on the profile selection made earlier, but still need to be set up properly before starting KDE Plasma for the first time. For deviating from the defaults, it is recommended to install them in advance of KDE Plasma or KDE Release Service via
emerge ‑‑oneshot so that Portage will take them into account. Follow the links for information how to set up these services.
Choose exactly one of:
- elogind: Standalone logind package, default for desktop/plasma profile, extracted from systemd project for use with OpenRC or other init systems.
- systemd: Uses the session tracker part of systemd. Users of systemd do not need to take any other initiative here.
Choose exactly one of:
- udev: Enables support for udev Linux dynamic and persistent device naming.
- eudev: Fork of udev for better compatibility with older kernels and various toolchains.
- systemd: Uses the device manager part of systemd. Users of systemd do not need to take any other initiative here.
- D-Bus: Enables use of the D-Bus message bus system.
- polkit: Enables the polkit framework for controlling privileges for system-wide services.
- udisks: Enables support for some storage related services.
Read and follow the instructions in the X server article to setup the X environment.
KDE Plasma and Release Service come with many dependencies. Some of these dependencies will predetermine package choices where otherwise there would be options to choose from.
- JPEG: dev-qt/qtwebengine depends on media-libs/libjpeg-turbo. It is Gentoo's recommended default over media-libs/jpeg anyway.
Plasma 5 is the current generation of KDE's desktop environment, based on Qt 5 and KDE Frameworks 5.
|KDE Plasma 5.19.5||kde-plasma/plasma-meta-5.19.5||gentoo||Stable for amd64, arm64 and x86; Testing for arm and ppc64|
|KDE Plasma 5.20.4||kde-plasma/plasma-meta-5.20.4||gentoo||Testing for amd64, arm, arm64, ppc64 and x86|
|KDE Plasma 5.20 stable branch||kde-plasma/plasma-meta-220.127.116.1199||KDE||Live version|
|KDE Plasma master branch||kde-plasma/plasma-meta-9999||KDE||Live version|
Before proceeding, make sure to choose a Plasma profile.
The kde-plasma/plasma-meta package provides the full Plasma 5 desktop, configurable by a wealth of USE flags:
USE flags for kde-plasma/plasma-meta Merge this to pull in all Plasma 5 packages
||Enable Bluetooth Support|
||Enable integration with Chrome/Firefox with browser extensions|
||Pull in kde-plasma/plasma-vault for encrypted vaults integration|
||Enable sys-apps/xdg-desktop-portal backend implementation for Plasma|
||Pull in resources management GUI; a centralised GHNS alternative and optional sys-apps/fwupd frontend|
||Pull in a graphical display manager|
||Enable session tracking via sys-auth/elogind|
||Pull in Breeze theme for sys-boot/grub|
||Enable Breeze widget style and system settings module for GTK+|
||Enable handbooks generation for packages by KDE|
||Enable support for KWallet auto-unlocking via kde-plasma/kwallet-pam|
||Add support for legacy applications using kde-plasma/xembed-sni-proxy|
||Enable net-misc/networkmanager support|
||Pull in Breeze theme for sys-boot/plymouth|
||Install Plasma applet for PulseAudio volume management|
||Enable support for easy WiFi network sharing using QR codes with kde-plasma/plasma-nm|
||Pull in the x11-misc/sddm display manager and system settings module|
||Pull in kde-plasma/plasma-sdk for Plasma development|
||Pull in kde-plasma/plasma-disks for disk health monitoring|
||Enable use of systemd-specific libraries and features like socket activation or session tracking|
||Pull in kde-plasma/plasma-thunderbolt control center module|
||Install wallpapers for the Plasma Workspace|
emerge --ask kde-plasma/plasma-meta
Alternatively, kde-plasma/plasma-desktop provides a very basic desktop, leaving users free to install only the extra packages they require - or rather, figure out missing features on their own.
Please note that only installing kde-plasma/plasma-desktop will be missing important packages such as kde-plasma/powerdevil (power management, suspend and hibernate options), kde-plasma/systemsettings and many more, do not expect support in this case.
emerge --ask kde-plasma/kdeplasma-addons
SDDM (Simple Desktop Display Manager) is the recommended login manager and is pulled in automatically via kde-plasma/plasma-meta by default. This is the preferred option. Alternatively, LightDM can be used and pulled in by setting USE flag
-sddm for kde-plasma/plasma-meta. Change the setting accordingly in /etc/conf.d/xdm. Also, be sure to read through the SDDM page if further issues appear.
No display manager
Plasma can be started the old-fashioned way with startx, but extra care needs to be taken to ensure it gets a valid session.
#!/bin/sh exec dbus-launch --exit-with-session startplasma-x11
Plasma 5 uses the StatusNotifier specification for systray icons . As not all applications have been ported to the new system, some workarounds exist , and Plasma 5 has a means to convert old xembed-based system tray icons to StatusNotifier icons.
# xembed system tray support for legacy applications kde-plasma/plasma-meta legacy-systray
For managing KWallets, importing and exporting passwords, there is kde-apps/kwalletmanager:
emerge --ask kde-apps/kwalletmanager
kde-plasma/kwallet-pam provides a mechanism to avoid being subsequently asked for access to kwallet after login.
emerge --ask kde-plasma/kwallet-pam
It requires the following setup:
- For KWallet security, use classic blowfish encryption instead of GPG
- Choose same password for login and kwallet
- Configure a display manager with support for PAM - both x11-misc/sddm and x11-misc/lightdm fulfill that requirement:
-auth optional pam_kwallet5.so -session optional pam_kwallet5.so auto_start
For LightDM, /etc/pam.d/lightdm needs to be edited instead.
If the filesystem containing your user's KWallet files is mounted by pam_mount upon logging on, you may need to copy ~/.local/share/kwalletd/kdewallet.salt to the same path on your root filesystem. Otherwise, PAM attempts to unlock KWallet before the home directory is available and fails. The file ~/.local/share/kwalletd/kdewallet.kwl which actually contains the encrypted KWallet passwords does not need to be copied.
To disable the KWallet subsystem completely, edit the following file:
SSH/GPG Agent startup/shutdown scripts
ssh-agent scripts are located in /etc/xdg/plasma-workspace/env and /etc/xdg/plasma-workspace/shutdown. Shutdown scripts require executable bit set because they are not sourced. The Keychain article provides more information about this.
Run GUI applications with root privileges
It could be a very bad idea to start GUI applications with root privileges, versus adding the regular user to the relevant group or simply just running the command unprivileged. Only use kdesu when absolutely necessary.
KDE Plasma has a utility in order to start graphical programs with root privileges. It is provided by kde-plasma/kde-cli-tools - if built with USE flag
kdesu, a graphical frontend to kde-frameworks/kdesu is installed. This requires Xorg, and only works within X.
# Build graphical frontend for kde-frameworks/kdesu (requires X) kde-plasma/kde-cli-tools kdesu X
Remember to rebuild the package to pick up the changes:
emerge -1 kde-cli-tools
It can be used by invoking kdesu either from KRunner or a terminal emulator:
A message dialog will be displayed prompting for the root password.
Some applications such as kwrite, dolphin etc. refuse to be opened with kdesu for security reasons.
Release Service consists of various applications and supporting libraries based on Qt 5/KDE Frameworks 5.
|KDE Release Service 20.08.3||kde-apps/kde-apps-meta-20.08.3||gentoo||Stable for amd64, arm64 and x86; Testing for ppc64|
|KDE Release Service 20.12 RC||kde-apps/kde-apps-meta-20.11.90||KDE||Masked, testing for amd64, arm64, ppc64 and x86|
|KDE Release Service 20.12 stable branch||kde-apps/kde-apps-meta-18.104.22.16899||KDE||Live version|
|KDE Release Service master branch||kde-apps/kde-apps-meta-9999||KDE||Live version|
KDE Release Service is divided in the following meta packages:
|kde-apps/kdeaccessibility-meta||Accessibility applications and utilities.|
|kde-apps/kdeadmin-meta||Administrative utilities, which helps in managing the system.|
|kde-apps/kdecore-meta||Basic applications such as file browser, editor, terminal emulator.|
|kde-apps/kdeedu-meta||Educational applications and games.|
|kde-apps/kdegames-meta||Standard desktop games.|
|kde-apps/kdegraphics-meta||Graphics applications such as image viewers, color pickers, etc.|
|kde-apps/kdemultimedia-meta||Audio and video playback applications and services.|
|kde-apps/kdenetwork-meta||Network applications and VNC services.|
|kde-apps/kdepim-meta||PIM applications such as emailer, addressbook, organizer, etc.|
|kde-apps/kdesdk-meta||Various development tools.|
|kde-apps/kdeutils-meta||Standard desktop utilities such as a archiver, a calculator, etc.|
The kde-apps/kde-apps-meta package provides the full Release Service bundle, but alternatively, one or several smaller meta packages from the list above may be picked instead:
emerge --ask kde-apps/kde-apps-meta
Plasma-5 and Applications are shipping their localization per-package. Enable your localization in systemsettings.
KDE PIM is a whole suite of applications to manage personal information including mail, calendar, contacts and more. It has several optional runtime dependencies to extend its functionality:
- Virus detection: app-antivirus/clamav
- Spam filtering: mail-filter/bogofilter or mail-filter/spamassassin
KDE Frameworks 5 is a collection of libraries and software frameworks that provide the foundation for KDE Plasma 5 and KDE Applications, but may be leveraged by any Qt application.
As Frameworks are mostly libraries and provide little user functionality, it's not necessary to install them manually - the required packages will be pulled in automatically as dependencies.
|KDE Frameworks 5.74.0||kde-frameworks/*-5.74.0||gentoo||Stable for amd64, arm64 and x86, testing for arm and ppc64|
|KDE Frameworks 5.76.0||kde-frameworks/*-5.76.0||gentoo||Testing for amd64, arm64 and x86, testing for arm and ppc64|
|KDE Frameworks master branch||kde-frameworks/*-9999||KDE||Live version|
More KDE software
Refer to the Troubleshooting sub-article.
- Plasma 4 to 5 upgrade page - Information on how to upgrade from Plasma 4, migration and troubleshooting.
- KDE/Ebuild repository — provides instructions on adding Gentoo's KDE ebuild development repository to a system.
- kde-sunset ebuild repository - For old KDE software that has been removed from the main ebuild repository.