KDE, Linux, OpenSuse

Installing KDE5 on OpenSUSE 13.2 as the only desktop enviorment

If you’re looking for a way to install KDE5 during the OpenSUSE OS installation there is a way. It takes a few steps but it works. I’ll explain how to do it below. As of this writing it will install KDE 5.1 on OpenSUSE 13.2.

Make sure you have a network connection during the install because the options you need don’t appear unless you add repos before installation. Fortunately the OpenSUSE installer now has you set up a network connection before you do anything else.

On this screen make sure you have “Add Online Repositories” checked off.

The default repos are all you need.

On this screen do not select any of the default desktop environments. Select “Minimal X Window”.

On this screen click software.

Check off Plasma 5 base on the left. Here you should also search for NetworkManager and install it as well. You might also want to check off some other packages such as image viewers and PDF readers. Everything you need to have a working OpenSUSE system with KDE 5.1 is selected already though.

Once you boot up you’ll have you’ll have a very minimal graphical interface. Log in as Root. You will need to go into Yast and then click the /etc/sysconfig editor.

Go to Desktop > Display Manager > DISPLAY_MANAGER and set it to kdm.
Then go to Desktop > Window Manager > DEFAULT_WM and set it to plasma5.

That’s it. Restart your system and you’ll have OpenSUSE KDE5 without the bulk of two full featured desktop environments.

You can try setting sddm as the display manager but as of now there is no easy way to get it running. Here is just one of several people I’ve heard feedback from:

From personal experience, sddm in openSUSE is very buggy. It does not allow a proper logout yet (display manager hangs during logout/restart/shutdown).

eeickmeyer (reddit.com)


17 thoughts on “Installing KDE5 on OpenSUSE 13.2 as the only desktop enviorment

  1. Firstly, thanks for the article. It is a useful tip. However, following this guide I’ve encountered couple of issues so far.
    1. It doesn’t install all component’s of plasma. Well, at least it doesn’t install monitor management for sure, so there is not way to change monitor resolution or set up dual monitors as extended desktop.
    2. Can not switch colour profile. I get that green is SUSE colour, but green title bar… c’on, that’s not for everyone.

    So I ended up adding Qt5 and Plasma5 repos (as listed on https://en.opensuse.org/SDB:KDE_repositories). Refreshed repos and did zypper dup. It pulled in another hundred or so packages. After a reboot I cant log in anymore. I enter my password and system throws me back to login screen. Good thing I’m experimenting on Virtual Machine 😉

  2. Right. Fist of al, my mistake of installing of installing unstable packages. I’ve upgraded from stable Qt5.4 and Stable Framework5 and can log in (sort of. I’m dropped to shell on boot and after login the graphical environment loads) again.

    As for the monitor settings, one needs to remove kscreen and install kscreen5 and libKF5Screen5. Reboot and screen settings should be back.

  3. Great article.
    I did hit a problem though. This metdod gives Plasma 5.1, but it is missing Display Settings (change resolution and set up dual monitors).
    On a virtual machine I was able to install add plasma 5.4 repos listed on OpenSUSE website, do upgrade and get plasma5 with display settings. However, I’ve tried the same methos on my Acer Aspire 5735 and Dell XPS L702x and they both fail. KDE progress bar stops at about 70%-80% and desktop never loads.

  4. This did not work for me. I followed the steps exactly and when rebooted, KDE4 opened. It looked differently then when I installed with KDE4, though.
    I checked the about of some KDE apps and they all said KDE 4.10.

  5. Hi, people.
    The information in this great article is accurate (thanks to he author for it).
    I did it, and it worked for me, although I had to do little tweaks in my case:

    All steps was fine, except until the post say:

    – “Then go to Desktop > Window Manager > DEFAULT_WM and set it to plasma5”
    I didn’t had the option “plasma5”, by the way I had to choose “kde”

    – Next step, I had to deactivate the automatic startup of the user session (you can do it while the installation process is not finished, too, unticking the option “automatic session startup”, but I don’t remember the exact words for this option).

    – Last step, I had to choose “Plasma 5” from the login screen.

    That’s all. Thanks again!

    1. I’ll note this in the article after I test what you are saying.

      It is odd though. I did the steps exactly as I listed them in order to capture the screen shots. If anything has changed it must be due to a package update or something.

      When you set default_wm it is a text field and you can type in whatever you want. I’m going to spin up a vm and see if anything has changed.

      1. Yes, you are right, I have no doubt with it.
        But after all, the information is good, and I have for first time, kde5 running, thanks to your post.
        I have shared it in my Google+ circles.

    2. I just did the entire process over. Everything worked fine. The sysconfig editor lets you type in whatever you want. If you type it in exactly as it says it works fine.

  6. Well, it seems like we are in a process that, for some reason, it is not the exactly same for all cases. Next time I realize it, I will tell you how it went (sorry about my English!). Thanks again!

  7. Wow. I am not disappointed. openSUSE delivers the best KDE experience once again, even with Plasma 5.
    The whole desktop is gorgeous from the bootsplash to the desktop, lockscreen, plasma theme.
    Sure, there are some rough edges, which will be gone when Plasma 5 is the official desktop of openSUSE.

  8. I thought you need sddm then kdm? I have it installed on my laptop with tumbleweed, it should be the right behavior for a plasma5 desktop.

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