If you’re like me and really enjoy using the KDE Plasma desktop environment, especially since it has gotten very light in the last year or two compared to when it was known to be very resource intensive, you are likely disappointed that Linux Mint does not offer a KDE version of its popular Ubuntu-based distribution. However, installing KDE is very simple and doesn’t take long.
To do this, I first installed the Linux Mint 20.02 “Uma” Cinnamon Edition, which is based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. As a mini-side tutorial, however, I would also like to note that my installation was not without problems. I am using a GTX 1660 Super for my GPU and the Nouveau open source driver for NVIDIA hardware has given me problems more than once as described in my article on OpenSUSE Leap. To fix this, I followed the same process as in this article to graphically get the computer to boot and then installed the proprietary driver from the driver manager in Linux Mint. After that, I had no further driver problems with my GPU.
Once the system was fully installed and working properly, I updated my system to make sure everything was up to date before making any changes. This can be done using the Update Manager graphical tool or using the following command line entries:
sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
Finally we can start installing KDE. As mentioned earlier, Linux Mint 20.02 is based on Ubuntu 20.04 so we can use packages from the Kubuntu repositories to install KDE on our Linux Mint system. First we need to add the Kubuntu backports repository:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa: kubuntu-ppa / backports
Press ENTER when prompted.
Then enter the following commands:
- sudo apt update
- sudo apt install kde-plasma-desktop
During the installation process you will be asked which display manager you want to use in the future, Light DM or SDDM. Light DM is what came with cinnamon, SDDM is what comes with KDE, but both work. I prefer Light DM personal but you are free to choose your preference. The simple explanation of what a display manager is would be the login screen that you get when you start your system which begins your session.
If your installation completed without any problems, restart your PC and then select plasma on the login screen to boot into your new KDE Linux Mint.
It should be noted that it is not advisable to go to the Linux Mint support centers such as forums or the IRC channel if you run into problems afterwards as you are running a setup that is not officially supported by the Linux Mint team will. instead, the Ubuntu forums / Kubuntu forums or IRC channels would probably be a better support unit for you when it comes to KDE-related issues. The official KDE support page also has numerous areas where you can get support for KDE-specific problems.
Would you use KDE with Linux Mint or do you prefer Kubuntu, KDE Neon or other Ubuntu-based distributions with KDE? Let us know!