Install KDE Desktop in Ubuntu

KDE is a powerful graphical desktop environment for Unix workstations. It combines ease of use, contemporary functionality and outstanding graphical design with the technological superiority of the Unix operating system. KDE is a completely new desktop, incorporating a large suite of applications for Unix workstations. While KDE includes a window manager, file manager, panel, control center and many other components that one would expect to be part of a contemporary desktop environment, the true strength of this exceptional environment lies in the interoperability of its components.

By default Ubuntu desktop installation will install gnome desktop enviroment and if you want to install KDE desktop enviroment you have three options.Those options are

kubuntu-desktop -This is the recommended metapackage to install; the full Kubuntu installation, with all the Kubuntu recommended packages. This includes OpenOffice, Kontact, Konversation, amaroK, K3B, and others.

kde -This will install the following KDE packages: kde-amusements, kdeaccessibility, kdeaddons, kdeadmin, kdeartwork, kdegraphics, kdemultimedia, kdenetwork, kdepim, kdesdk, kdeutils, kdewebdev, kdevelop3 and the kde-core metapackage

kde-core -This will install the core — the bare-minimum required– of KDE. That is, kdebase, kdelibs, arts and fontconfig.

If you choose to not install kubuntu-desktop, then you can still get all the Kubuntu-specific tweaks by installing the kubuntu-default-settings package.

First thing you need to make sure you have universe source list under /etc/apt/sources.list file

If you want to install kubuntu-desktop use the following command

sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop

This will starts installing all the required packages you can see in the following screen


During this installation process, you will be asked whether you want to use KDM or GDM as your default display manager. If you think you’ll use KDE , make KDM your default. If you think you’ll use Gnome , keep GDM as your default.Select which one is best for you.


This will complete the installation now you need to logout from ubuntu gnome session and now you are on ubuntu login screen in this you need to select options—> selectsession


You should see the following screen with gnome and kde options you have select kde and click on change session


Now it will disply the following screen in this you want to change to KDE just for this session or if you want to make KDE your default desktop environment.

Once you select the above option it will start loading KDE session you can see this in the following screen


Once it loads complete KDE session here is the KDE desktop for your ubuntu.


Nice KDE Desktop


If you want to switch back to Gnome, just log out and select Gnome from the session menu.

If you want to install only KDE use the following command

sudo apt-get install kde

If you want to install only kde-core use the following command

sudo apt-get install kde-core

Uninstall KDE in ubuntu

If you want to uninstall KDE session use the following command

sudo apt-get remove kubuntu-desktop

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22 thoughts on “Install KDE Desktop in Ubuntu

  1. This article really helped me out! I needed the KDE desktop to get for my Amarok running through proxy.


  2. It’s better if you want to remove, sudo apt-get autoremove kubuntu-desktop because then you uninstall everything from kde and not only kubuntu-desktop.

  3. kubuntu-desktop is meta package and won’t remove anything and autoremove doesen’t help.

    sudo apt-get remove kubuntu-desktop doesent work.

    The proper command is
    sudo aptitude remove kubuntu-desktop
    (If you used aptitude to install the package)

    If you still want to remove ubuntu or kubuntu and all genome/kde programs, then you must make a list of the packages.
    Fortunately here is comlete list:

    If you use option purge, it will remove allso all configuration files,

  4. i did not use aptitude while installing kubuntu-desktop, so how can i uninstall it? which of the aptitude one or the autoremove one convenient for me?

  5. Thanks for the great page! I knew of this but had forgotten it!!

    When Hardy Heron came out, my working laptop upgraded and then became unstable. I tried all kinds of ways to get KDE working on that Dell D630. The very last step I tried before simply going down the list of distributions was to install ubuntu and then apt-get install kubuntu-desktop.

    It worked. Not only that, this was the first time I’ve ever had sound, wireless, video all working perfectly on an install — or in kubuntu.


  6. Is there a way to update to KDE4 from this? Is KDE4 stable? Thanks for your help.

  7. HI there.
    I tried to intall KDE and XFace through synaptic package manager and the way you suggested but in both the processess it give s the same errors
    unresolvable dependencies
    the following is printed as it is
    Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard [ToH]-RC2 SSE3/SSE2 Intel Only
    Please help me

    Thanks in Advance

  8. Recently installed the alternate version of xubuntu 6.06 Dapper on my Toshiba tecra 520cdt, running a 166MHZ MMX on 160MB ram, 40gb HD and DVD-Rom drive. It starts up in text mode and i want to change it to GUI / Desktop. I assume i use the commands above to install off the CD in the drive or will it require network connection to get the desktop?


  9. i have a problem . please provide me a “link” from where i can download packages of kde environment for ubuntu 8.10 .

  10. Deepak, Linux isn’t like Windows where you go about searching for web sites and links to download software (packages).
    Just type “sudo apt-get remove kubuntu-desktop” in the terminal window to get the K package.

  11. I tried Ubuntu 8.1 on my PS3 and instead of going to a main screen it goes directly to the sudo command line. How do I get it to go to the desktop?

  12. @matt

    If you install desktop environment try to run the following command


    if it is not opening definitely some disply problem

  13. tried getting kubuntu desktop….this is what i got, i would appreciate any help i can get, thanks.

    The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    kubuntu-desktop: Depends: smbclient but it is not going to be installed
    E: Broken packages
    mike1@hackersanonymous:~$ apt-get install kubuntu-desktop
    E: Could not open lock file /var/lib/dpkg/lock – open (13 Permission denied)
    E: Unable to lock the administration directory (/var/lib/dpkg/), are you root?
    mike1@hackersanonymous:~$ sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
    requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
    distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
    or been moved out of Incoming.
    The following information may help to resolve the situation:

    The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    kubuntu-desktop: Depends: smbclient but it is not going to be installed
    E: Broken packages

  14. Hi,

    I just installed Ubuntu 9.04 and I’m find bug after bug… It seems to get worse with each update! Would KDE help? The bugs all seem to related to the Gnome desktop. My apps run great. Also, can I use Firefox, Evolution and my other apps that I’ve already set up in Gnome with KDE. I’m a newby.. so any feedback would be greatly appreciated!



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