K Desktop Environment (KDE) Plasma 5 is a free, user-friendly and modernized desktop environment with clean user interface based on QT5 GUI Toolkit with OpenGL & OpenGL ES based compositing window manager (Compositor) which greatly improve  performance with smoother and stunning graphics.

KDE include over hundred base applications which help the user to operate and control the desktop more flexible and easy, the base applications mostly based on QT Application Framework.


KDE 5 Plasma using dark breeze theme

Check the system for updates

Check the system for updates and install it if available

Install KDE Plasma 5

Install the X Window server for the graphical environment display

Install the KDE Frameworks 5 for libraries and software frameworks

Install the K Desktop environment 5 Plasma with the base applications

Remove the Plasma Media Center

Install the ttf-freefont it includes Freefont Serif, Sans, and Mono Truetype fonts, without these font, KDE will display only black screen with a mouse cursor

Install the Display Manager (Login Manager) for starting X (KDE 5 Plasma) sessions at the end of the boot process, choose display manager such as sddm

Configure Simple Desktop Display Manager (sddm) to use breeze themes, edit the configuration using a text editor such as nano

Then add or append following configuration to sddm.conf

Install Essentials Packages

Install the GTK (GIMP Toolkit) 2 and 3, and the GNOME Desktop themes and icon for GTK (GIMP Toolkit) application themes support

Install the NTP (Network Time Protocol) for online date and time synchronization

Install the NetworkManager and DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) daemon to enable the network (including WLAN)

Install the essentials packages to enable audio support on KDE Plasma 5

Install sudo to allows non-root users to run administrative applications with the root privileges such as superuser

Create a new user

Create a new user accounts for authentication or login

Create or change user accounts password

To allows the new user to access root privileges from sudo, add the new user to sudo configuration (sudoers)

Add the username under root at user privilege specification’s section

After completed the above steps, reboot the system then the display manager will show graphical login manager for login to the K Desktop Environment 5 Plasma  sessions

Tips and hints

Optimize the Compositor

Go to K > Compositor

Click Apply and Reboot if necessary

If the desktop display shows artifact or glitch, try to reboot or re-check the setting

Date and Time automatic synchronization

If you’ve already installed NTP and enable it then the date and time already synchronized automatically otherwise try below steps

Go to K > Date & Time > Time Zone

  1. Select your time zone
  2. Click Apply

If above steps doesn’t work or you receive an error, try below steps

Go to K > Date & Time > Formats

Go to K > Date & Time > Date & Time

Click Apply and Reboot if necessary

Kdesu or K Authorization using current user instead of root

Create or edit the file using a text editor such as nano:

Install Thunar Archive Manager

Improve Font Rendering on KDE5

It is recommended to enable no-bitmaps to improve the font rendering:

Go to K > Fonts > Use Antialiasing > Enabled > Configure

Click Apply and Reboot if neccesarry

If above steps doesn’t affect to font rendering, try to install necessary font or use Infinality Font Bundle

Improve GNOME Application Style

Go to K > System Settings >  Application Style > Gnome Application Style (GTK)

Click Apply and Reboot if neccessary



Shadow.service failed to verify integrity of password and group files (KDM)

Make a backup of /etc/passwd, /etc/group, and /etc/shadow then edit the files using a text editor such as nano:

Then delete kdm line e.g. (kdm:x:991:991:kdm) (kdm:!:16501::::::)

Verify the integrity of password files using pwck and attempt to remove if there one or more bad password entries:

If asked for confirmation, type “y” to accept to remove bad password entries

Verify the integrity of group files using grpck and attempt to remove if there one or more bad group entries:

If asked for confirmation, type “y” to accept to remove bad group entries

Then reboot the computer, if there are issue occurred after run above command try to restore the files to solve the issue

Recommended: Remove the backup file if there are no issue occurred.

Could not write on NTFS Filesystem

At default Arch Linux doesn’t have support to read or write for NTFS Filesystem to add support for NTFS Filesystem install the ntfs-3g  packages:

See also

  1. KDE – New Plasma brings a cleaner interface
  2. KDE Plasma 5 section – Arch Wiki
  3. Arch Linux – Package Library
  4. Sudo – ArchWiki
  5. [Solved] shadow.service fails – Arch Linux Forums
  6. Image captured from KDE5 Plasma splash screen