This page aims to setup a nice KDE Plasma5 desktop for someone who's coming from Windows.

KDE Neon: Missing Software / Fixes

There are a few things missing from User Edition of KDE Neon for regular usage.

sudo apt install -y kdeplasma-addons # "Big Icons" Alt+Tab
sudo apt install -y libnotify-bin # notify-send (Dota 2 Notifications)
sudo apt install -y p7zip-full p7zip-rar # (.7z)
sudo apt install -y qapt-deb-installer # (.deb) GUI Installer
sudo apt install -y software-properties-common # add-apt-repository
sudo apt install -y unrar # (.rar)

Useful Software

sudo apt install -y clementine # Music Player (.mp3 SoundCloud)
sudo apt install -y comix # Image Viewer (.cbr .zip .rar)
sudo apt install -y gimp # Image Editor (.jpg .png)
sudo apt install -y htop # Command Line Task Manager
sudo apt install -y inkscape # Vector Image Editor (.svg)
sudo apt install -y scrot # Command Line Screen Capture
sudo apt install -y xbindkey # Remap Mouse Buttons / Keys
sudo apt install -y xdotool # Command Line Trigger Mouse/Keys
sudo apt install -y vlc # Video Player (.mp4 .mkv)

## Chrome
cd ~/Downloads
sudo dpkg -i google-chrome*.deb
# Set Chrome as the default browser for hexchat (TODO: xdg-mime)
gvfs-mime --set x-scheme-handler/http google-chrome.desktop
gvfs-mime --set x-scheme-handler/https google-chrome.desktop

## Calibre
# (Isolated install)
# Installs to ~/calibre-bin/
wget -nv -O- | python -c "import sys; main=lambda x,y:sys.stderr.write('Download failed\n'); exec(; main('~/calibre-bin', True)"

## Redshift (Redden the Screen / f.lux Alternative)
sudo apt install -y redshift
# Unlock Widgets > Right Click ☰ > Add Widgets
# Get New Widgets > Download New Widgets > Redshift Control
# System Tray Settings > General Tab > Enable Redshift

Windows Software Emulation

sudo apt install -y virtualbox-qt # Virtual Machine

Developer Software

sudo apt install -y cmake
sudo apt install -y curl
sudo apt install -y pgadmin3 # DB Editor (PostgreSQL)
sudo apt install -y postgresql postgresql-contrib
sudo apt install -y python-pip python3-pip
sudo apt install -y sqliteman # DB Editor (.sqlite)

## Android Studio
# Via ubuntu-make:
# "umake android" is broken in 16.04
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-desktop/ubuntu-make
sudo apt update
sudo apt install ubuntu-make
umake android # Prompts InstallDirectory + License
sudo apt install openjdk-8-jre
# Run with:
# JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/java-8-openjdk-amd64/ ~/.local/share/umake/android/android-studio/bin/

## Git
sudo apt install -y git
git config --global push.default matching

## Heroku
wget -O- | sh
heroku login # Prompts for Credentials

## NodeJS
curl -sL | sudo -E bash -
sudo apt install -y nodejs
sudo apt install -y build-essential

## Sublime Text
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/sublime-text-3
sudo apt update
sudo apt install -y sublime-text-installer
# To install Package Control:

Gaming Software

sudo apt install -y steam # Prompts with License Agreement
sudo apt install -y playonlinux

LibreOffice (Microsoft Office/Word Substitute)

(Optional) If you want a more up to date version of libreoffice (v5.4) vs the LTS version (v5.1), use the following ppa.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/ppa
sudo apt update

Otherwise, install the gtk3 version (since it's designed for it) and the breeze style. We need the Calibri and Cambria replacement fonts otherwise Microsoft Office files will look weird. Lastly we should clean the icon cache just in case.

sudo apt install -y libreoffice libreoffice-gtk3 libreoffice-style-*
sudo apt install -y fonts-crosextra-carlito fonts-crosextra-caladea
rm ~/.cache/icon-cache.kcache


Autostarted Apps

Disable restoring session on Login (restarting apps open during Logout)
System Settings > Startup & Shutdown
Desktop Session Tab > On Login: Check Start with an empty session


Show the (~/Desktop) files/links on the desktop.
Right Click the desktop wallpaper > Desktop Settings
Wallpaper Tab > Layout: Folder View
Icon Tab > Arrange In: Columns
Icon Tab > Sorting: Unsorted
Icon Tab > Size: 4 (out of 6)
Hide the ☰ button in the top corner
Right Click the desktop wallpaper > Desktop/Folder View Settings
Tweaks Tab > Uncheck: Show the desktop toolbox
Hide the ☰ button in the panel on the bottom right
Right Click the ☰ button > Lock Widgets.
Always Hide System Tray Notification Icons
Right Click the “Expand System Tray Triangle” > System Tray Settings.
Entries Tab > Networks > Visibility: Hidden
Disable Icon in System Tray
Right Click the “Expand System Tray Triangle” > System Tray Settings.
General Tab > Extra Items > Uncheck: Clipboard, Battery
Classic “Start” Menu
While the widgets are unlocked
Right Click the “Start” menu > Alternatives > Application Menu
Don’t sort windows in Taskbar
Right Click a Task > Task Manager Settings
General Tab > Sorting: Manual
General Tab > Uncheck: Keep Launchers Separate
Hide windows from other Desktops in Taskbar
Right Click a Task > Task Manager Settings
General Tab > Filters > Check: Current Desktop
Pin Apps to Taskbar
Launch App
Right Click app in Taskbar > Check: Show Launcher When Not Running
Hide audio indicator in window list
Right Click a Task > Task Manager Settings
General Tab > Uncheck: Mark applications that play audio
Disable Top Left “Hot Corner”
System Settings > Desktop Behaviour
Screen Edges Tab > Top Left: No Action
Bind Ctrl+Alt+Left/Right to Switch Desktop
System Settings > Desktop Behaviour
Virtual Desktops Tab > Switching > Shortcuts
Switch One Desktop Left: Ctrl+Alt+Left
Switch One Desktop Right: Ctrl+Alt+Right
Switch To Desktop 1, 2, …: None
Disable Switch Desktop when scrolling over desktop wallpaper
Right Click the desktop wallpaper > Desktop/Folder View Settings
Mouse Actions Tab > Remove: Vertical Scroll => Switch Desktop
Disable focus stealing prevention
System Settings > Window Management
Window Behaviour Tab > Focus Stealing Prevention: None
“Normal” Alt+Tab popup
System Settings > Window Management
Task Switcher Tab > Click the "star icon"
Install "Thumbnail Grid", then close the installer window.
Select "Thumbnail Grid" in the dropdown.
Show Alt+Tab popup as fast as possible
Normally it will wait 90 milliseconds before trying to show the popup. This makes quick switches faster since it doesn't need to draw anything.
We need to set DelayTime=0 under the group [TabBox] in the file ~/config/kwinrc, then reload kwin.
It's easier to use these commmands than doing it by hand.
kwriteconfig5 --file ~/.config/kwinrc --group TabBox --key DelayTime 0
qdbus org.kde.KWin /KWin reconfigure
Disable Lock Screen
System Settings > Desktop Behaviour > Screen Locking Tab
Uncheck: Lock screen automatically after __ min
Uncheck: Lock screen on resume
Disable Logout/Shutdown Confirmation
System Settings > Startup and Shutdown
Desktop Session Tab > Uncheck: Confirm Logout
Windows Keybindings for moving windows
System Settings > Shortcuts > Global Keyboard Shortcuts Tab
KWin > Show Desktop: Win+M
KWin > Maximize Window: Win+Up
KWin > Minimize Window: Win+Down
KWin > Quick Tile Window to the Left: Win+Left
KWin > Quick Tile Window to the Right: Win+Right
To open the “Start Menu” with the Windows key see the next item.
Present all windows with Win+Tab
System Settings > Desktop Behavior
Desktop Effects Tab > Check Present Windows
Click the Gear Icon > Change the Ctrl+F10 shortcut to Meta+Tab
Open “Start Menu” with Windows/Meta key
KDE 5.8.2
Feature has been added by default.
If it's not working, make sure your "Start Menu" has a global shortcut like Alt+F1 set (you can't assign it only to Meta, but it will open with Meta if another shortcut is assigned).
Right Click the KDE Icon > Application Menu Settings
Keyboard Shortcuts Tab > Shortcut: Alt+F1
<= KDE 5.7
sudo apt install ksuperkey
<= KDE 5.7 (Or just use Win+Space)
Right Click the KDE Icon > Application Menu Settings
Keyboard Shortcuts Tab > Shortcut: Meta+Space
Do not open the “Start Menu” with Windows/Meta key (KDE 5.8)
We need to set Meta= under the group [ModifierOnlyShortcuts] in the file ~/config/kwinrc, then reload kwin.
It's easier to use these commmands than doing it by hand.
kwriteconfig5 --file ~/.config/kwinrc --group ModifierOnlyShortcuts --key Meta ""
qdbus org.kde.KWin /KWin reconfigure
Hide titlebars when maximized (like Ubuntu)
We need to set BorderlessMaximizedWindows=true under the group [Windows] in the file ~/config/kwinrc, then reload kwin.
It's easier to use these commmands than doing it by hand.
kwriteconfig5 --file ~/.config/kwinrc --group Windows --key BorderlessMaximizedWindows true
qdbus org.kde.KWin /KWin reconfigure

Multi Screen

Don't show ~/Desktop folder on every screen (Workaround)
Create ~/Desktop2, ~/Desktop3... for each screen.
Right click wallpaper on screen 2 > Configure Desktop
Location > Check: Specify a folder > ~/Desktop2

Login Screen (SDDM) / Lock Screen

Change Login Screen Wallpaper
System Settings > Startup and Shutdown
Login Screen (SDDM) Tab > Background > Load From File
We should also change the lock screen.
System Settings > Desktop Bahviour
Screen Locking Tab > Wallpaper > Wallpaper Type: Image

Dolphin (File Manager)

Double Click to open files
System Settings > Input Devices
Mouse Tab > Icons: Double Click to open files and folders
Always Show Hidden Files
☰ Control > Adjust View Properties
Check: Show hidden files
Apply view properties to: All Folders
Check: Use these view properties as default
Browse (.zip / .tar.gz / .rar) with Dolphin
☰ Control > Configure Dolphin
Navigation Tab > Check: Open archives as folder
Clean up Context Menu (Right Click Menu)
☰ Control > Configure Dolphin
Services Tab > Uncheck: “Copy To”, “Delete”, “File to activity”, “Send as Email”, “Send to IM”, “Send via Bluetooth”, “Send via KDE Connect”
Show Terminal Panel
☰ Control > Panels > Terminal (F4)
Paste into Terminal Panel
☰ Control > Configure Shortcuts
Paste > Set Alternative (Defaulted to Shift+Insert) as “None”


Overlay tabs on top of the title bar
⋮Button > Settings
Appearance > Uncheck: Use system title bar and borders
Match Titlebar with Desktop Theme
Breeze Dark: Chrome Theme
Enable Hardware Acceleration
If you notice tearing while playing video, check chrome://gpu and see if it says hardware acceleration is unavailable. It's very likely that it's just that chrome doesn't recognize that it can use your GPU.
> Origional Article
Go to chrome://flags#ignore-gpu-blacklist, search for "Override software rendering list", enable it and restart Chrome.
Don't use native Linux notifications
Since Chrome v64, Chrome now uses native notifications. If you prefer Chrome's however, you can still use them.
Go to chrome://flags#enable-native-notifications, search for "Enable native notifications", disable it and restart Chrome.


PixelVision2 Skin
cd ~/.steam/skins
git clone
Steam > Settings
Interface Tab > Select Skin: default skin => PixelVision2
Hide “Big Picture”, etc in the System Tray Context Menu
Steam > Settings > Interface Tab
Set Taskbar Preferences > Only Check: Library, Exit Steam
Hide “Friend is playing ___” Notifications
Steam > Settings > Friends Tab
Uncheck: When friend joins a game: display a notification
Never Show Advertisement Popups
Steam > Settings > Interface Tab
Uncheck: Notify me about additions to my games and other releases


Clean up UI
Tools > Preferences
Playback Tab > Uncheck: Show a glowing animation on the current track
Search Tab > Uncheck: DigitallyImported, DropBox, Google Drive, Jazz Tab > Uncheck: Show the “love” amd “ban” buttons Tab > Uncheck: Show the scrobble button
Don’t fade between songs
Playback Tab > Uncheck: Fade out when stopping a track
Playback Tab > Uncheck: Cross-fade when changing tracks manually
Double Click song should play song now
Behaviour > Using the menu to add a song will: Always start playing
Behaviour > Double clicking a song will: Replace the playlist + Always start playing

Gtk Apps (Gimp/Hexchat/etc)

Fix white text on white bg tooltips
System Settings > Colors
Uncheck: Apply colors to non-Qt applications

Known Bugs

Tooltips broken in Chrome/Chromium (Fixed?)

This page was last edited on 6 February 2018, at 05:00. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.