Plasma/Create a Global Theme Package

From KDE UserBase Wiki

How to create your own Look and Feel package

First of all we need to install Plasma Look And Feel Explorer, which is a part of the plasma-sdk package.

Plasma Look and Feel Explorer is a rather simple app. On the right panel/side you have three options:

  • A list of installed look and feel themes in your system, so you can pick one and edit it directly.
  • Open Theme folder - It opens a directory where look and feel themes are saved.
  • New Theme, where you can fill in all details of your theme, like name, author etc. You need to fill in all the fields, otherwise the OK button will stay grayed out. If you click OK you will get a notification saying Plasma Layout successfully duplicated.

You can now choose your freshly created look and feel theme from the list of available themes and edit it in the main window.

  • Main window
    It is rather self-explanatory. You can edit details of your look and feel package (name, author, etc). These details are saved into metadata.desktop in your look and feel directory. You also have two buttons there:
  • Layout from current Plasma setup
    It saves your current desktop layout like placement of panels, plasma applets, wallpaper etc. All these settings are saved into:


    This is a javascript file executed when you check "Use desktop layout from theme" in the Look And Feel module of System Settings. If your look and feel theme does not change desktop layout, you can safely remove that file.

    The content of the Javascript file will recreate a plasma configuration mirroring the contents of your current main plasma configuration file: ~/.config/plasma-org.kde.plasma.desktop-appletsrc

If you want to have more granular control over what exactly happens with your theme, especially with the layout you can use Plasma desktop scripting. Check out this tutorial for more info.

  • Defaults from current setup
    It creates a file:
    The following settings are saved:
    • widget style
    • color scheme
    • icons
    • plasma theme
    • cursor theme
    • window switcher
    • desktop switcher
    • window decoration.

You can also add an image which will be used as a preview, stored in .local/share/plasma/look-and-feel/nameofyourtheme/contents/preview

How to add dependencies from KDE Store.

First of all you need to add


to your metadata.desktop. Lets take a look at this example

Elementary Luna Plasma Color Schemes


kns:// - the name of the protocol

colorschemes.knsrc - type of the resource we want to download (color scheme in that case) Here is a list of available resources on my system (/etc/xdg)

  • aurorae.knsrc
  • cgcgtk3.knsrc
  • cgcicon.knsrc
  • cgctheme.knsrc
  • colorschemes.knsrc
  • comic.knsrc
  • discover_ktexteditor_codesnippets_core.knsrc
  • emoticons.knsrc
  • icons.knsrc
  • kfontinst.knsrc
  • ksysguard.knsrc
  • kwineffect.knsrc
  • kwinscripts.knsrc
  • kwinswitcher.knsrc
  • lookandfeel.knsrc
  • plasma-themes.knsrc
  • plasmoids.knsrc
  • sddmtheme.knsrc
  • servicemenu.knsrc
  • wallpaper.knsrc
  • xcursor.knsrc - the url to the content stored on the server, from my experience is always the same, only id changes. You can get the id from the kde store url 1001720.

You can specify more than one dependency. Here is an example from United metadata.desktop



X-KPackage-Dependencies: { "kns://colorschemes.knsrc/", "kns://plasma-themes.knsrc/", "kns://aurorae.knsrc/" }

You can install your look and feel package from terminal using

kpackagetool5 -i "name of your theme"

It will be installed to .local/share/plasma/look-and-feel/

This will also install dependencies specified in metadata.desktop, so you can test it locally on your system. Type kpackagetool5 -h to see more options.

System dependencies (experimental)

You can specify system dependencies using their AppStream URI scheme. More information about it can be found here.

To look up what's the resource you are looking for, you can check on your system by calling appstreamcli search <something>

When the Look and Feel package is installed, if a system dependency is specified, it will be the system deciding how to install it, most likely using PackageKit.