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Top best KDE Plasma themes and icons

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(Last Updated On: January 10, 2018)

Hello all. Let’s look at the best KDE Plasma themes and icons that you can install on your system. Since KDE’s Plasma is one of the most advanced and powerful desktop environments available in the Linux world, I would like to show you how to install themes and other eye-candy tools for your Plasma DE.

The themes that we’ll install here are the official KDE themes that come pre-installed on Manjaro; namely Maia and Andromeda KDE themes, Hex Plasma theme, themes available from AUR Arch Linux’s repo and PPA repo in Kubuntu. We’ll also add color schemes, icons and look and feel themes to Plasma workstation.

The knowledge acquired from installation shown here can be leveraged to install different/other KDE themes for your Plasma desktop since the process will just be the same.

Thanks for complete customization that KDE give our system- trust me no other Desktop Environment can match the standards and power of KDE.

Installing KDE Plasma on Linux

We’ll first cover installation of KDE Plasma Desktop Environment on major Linux Distributions; Arch Linux, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora,OpenSUSE and Debian.

Installing KDE Plasma on Arch Linux

I don’t want to leave users running other DEs on the dark, if you’ll like to install Plasma DE on your machine, just open your terminal window and fire commands below:

# pacman -S plasma

Above command will install Plasma 5.x by default. If you had Plasma 4, uninstall it first by typing:

# pacman -Rc kdebase-workspace

After installing Plasma 5, it’s also recommended to install sddm display manager for it. Install it using commands below:

# pacman -S sddm
# systemctl enable sddm 
# systemctl start sddm

To install GUI configuration tool for sddm, type:

# pacman -S sddm-kcm

You can then remove or disable KDM display manager.

# systemctl disable kdm.service

This is enough for now. Later on in this tutorial, i’ll show you how to customize splash screen with sddm, and enable auto-login.

Installing KDE Plasma on Ubuntu and its derivatives like Kubuntu

# add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports
# apt-get update 
# apt-get -y install aptitude 
# aptitude -y upgrade 
# apt-get install kubuntu-desktop

Installing KDE Plasma on Debian

# tasksel install kde-desktop

Installing KDE Plasma on OpenSUSE

# zypper -n update
# zypper -n install -t pattern x11 kde kde_plasma

Installing KDE Plasma on Fedora 24

# dnf -y group install "KDE Plasma Workspaces"
# echo "exec /usr/bin/startkde" >> ~/.xinitrc
# startx

Installing Maia Plasma Theme

For complete installation of Maia Plasma theme, follow steps below:

  1. Install git client application
# pacman -S git

2. Create a directory to out cloned themes

# cd ~

# mkdir plasma-themes # cd plasma-themes

3. Download Maia theme

# git clone https://github.com/manjaro/artwork-maia.git
# cd artwork-maia

Check the contents of the directory. It should look similar to one below.

# ls -l
total 28
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1387 Aug 4 01:25 CMakeLists.txt
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Aug 4 01:25 colors
drwxr-xr-x 11 root root 4096 Aug 4 01:25 icons
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 Aug 4 01:25 lookandfeel
drwxr-xr-x 5 root root 4096 Aug 4 01:25 maia
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 412 Aug 4 01:25 Readme.md
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 Aug 4 01:25 wallpapers

4. We’ll copy each folder and files to end in its right theme system directory.

# cp colors/Maia.colors /usr/share/color-schemes/
# mkdir /usr/share/icons/maia 
# cp -r icons/* /usr/share/icons/maia 
# mkdir /usr/share/plasma/look-and-feel/org.kde.maia.desktop/ 
# cp -r lookandfeel/* /usr/share/plasma/look-and-feel/org.kde.maia.desktop/ 
# cp -r maia/ /usr/share/plasma/desktoptheme/ 
# cp -r  wallpapers/Maia /usr/share/wallpapers

Installing Andromeda Plasma Theme

  1. Download Maia theme
# cd ~/plasma-themes
# git clone https://github.com/manjaro/artwork-andromeda.git
# cd artwork-andromeda
# ls -l  
total 32
drwxr-xr-x 5 root root 4096 Aug 4 02:02 andromeda
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1421 Aug 4 02:02 CMakeLists.txt
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Aug 4 02:02 colors
drwxr-xr-x 12 root root 4096 Aug 4 02:02 icons
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 Aug 4 02:02 lookandfeel
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Aug 4 02:02 octopi_icons
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 328 Aug 4 02:02 Readme.md
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 Aug 4 02:02 wallpapers
# mkdir /usr/share/icons/andromeda
# cp -r icons/* /usr/share/icons/andromeda
# mkdir /usr/share/plasma/look-and-feel/org.kde.andromeda.desktop/
# cp -r lookandfeel/* /usr/share/plasma/look-and-feel/org.kde.andromeda.desktop/
# cp -r andromeda/ /usr/share/plasma/desktoptheme/
# cp -r wallpapers/Andromeda /usr/share/wallpapers/

Installing Hex Plasma Theme

  1. Download Hex Theme by garthecho
# wget http://orig03.deviantart.net/be19/f/2014/100/5/e/hex_by_garthecho-d79x3lg.zip -P ~/plasma-themes
# unzip hex_by_garthecho-d79x3lg.zip
# rm hex_by_garthecho-d79x3lg.zip
# cd Hex-KDESuite/

# ls -l
total 2052
-rw------- 1 root root 2356 Mar 12 2014 Hex.colors
drwxrwxr-x 17 root root 4096 Apr 11 2014 Hex-Plasma
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 2063328 Mar 14 2014 Hex.png
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 27322 Mar 14 2014 Hex.qtcurve

Then copy theme files to the right locations

# cp -r Hex-Plasma/ /usr/share/plasma/desktoptheme
# cp Hex.colors /usr/share/color-schemes/ 
# cp Hex.qtcurve /usr/share/QtCurve

Installing Icons

Install Luv Icon set

# git clone https://github.com/NitruxSA/luv-icon-theme.git
# cd luv-icon-theme/

# ls -l 
total 44
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 385 Aug 5 20:51 CONTRIBUTORS
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 22701 Aug 5 20:51 CREDITS
drwxr-xr-x 11 root root 4096 Aug 5 20:51 Lüv
drwxr-xr-x 7 root root 4096 Aug 5 20:51 'Lüv Dark'
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 3010 Aug 5 20:51 README.md
drwxr-xr-x 8 root root 4096 Aug 5 20:51 Wallpapers

Copy files to relevant directories.

# cp -r Lüv /usr/share/icons
# cp -r Lüv\ Dark /usr/share/icons 
# cp -r Wallpapers/* /usr/share/wallpapers

Installing Vertex-Maia Icons set

# git clone https://github.com/manjaro/vertex-maia-icon-themes.git
# cp -r vertex-maia-icon-themes/Vertex-Maia/ /usr/share/icons

Themes available on Kubuntu PPA and Arch Linux AUR repos.

Look and Feel themes for Arch Users

  1. Arch Dark

Install by running command below, run as non root user:

$ yaourt -S arc-dark-suite-git
  1. Papirus
$ yaourt -S papirus-look-and-feel

Look and Feel themes for Kubuntu 16.04 users:

  1. Papirus
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:varlesh-l/papirus-packsudo 
apt-get update sudo apt-get install papirus-pack-kde5
  1. Arch Dark
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:varlesh-l/papirus-packsudo 
apt-get update sudo apt install arc-dark-kde5

SDDM Themes for Arch Linux users

  1. Papirus SDDM Theme
$ yaourt -S yaourt -S papirus-sddm-theme

SDDM Themes for Kubuntu 16.04 users

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:varlesh-l/papirus-pack
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install papirus-pack-kde5

Color Themes for Arch Linux users

  1. Papirus Colors for Plasma
$ yaourt -S papirus-color-scheme
  1. Arc Dark Colors for Plasma
$ yaourt -S arc-dark-suite-git

Color Themes for Kubuntu 16.04

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:varlesh-l/papirus-pack
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install papirus-pack-kde5

Papirus plasma theme for KDE

  1. Arch Linux
yaourt -S papirus-plasma-theme
  1. Kubuntu 16.04
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:varlesh-l/papirus-pack
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install papirus-pack-kde5

Papirus icon theme for KDE

  1. Arch Linux
yaourt -S papirus-icon-theme-kde
  1. Kubuntu
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:varlesh-l/papirus-pack
sudo apt-get update

# Kubuntu 14.04
sudo apt-get install papirus-pack-kde4

# Kubuntu 16.04
sudo apt-get install papirus-pack-kde5

Arc Dark VLC Skins

  1. For Arch Linux
$ yaourt -S vlc-arc-dark-git
  1. For Kubuntu 16.04
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:varlesh-l/papirus-pack
sudo apt-get update sudo apt install vlc-skin-arc-darks

Changing theme and icons

Finally, to change your current theme settings, you have different elements to set. You have to select the elements separately under sections shown below:

System Settings > Appearance > Workspace Theme > Look And Feel

Kde plasma look and feel
System Settings > Appearance > Workspace Theme > Desktop Theme

kde plasma desktop theme
System Settings > Appearance > Workspace Theme > Splash Screen

splash-screen
System Settings > Appearance > Color

color-scheme
System Settings > Appearance > Icons

change-icon
System Settings > Appearance > Application Style > Window Decorations

kde-plasma-window-decoration

Using added wallpapers

Right-click on the desktop > “Desktop Settings”> Wallpaper, then select the background image you would like to use.

Customizing sddm

To customize sddm display manager, edit the file below

# vim  /etc/sddm.conf

– To allow auto login, enter username like below

 User= username

– Set autologin session by editing Session parameter under Autologin section:

Session=plasma.desktop

– Set sddm theme by changing current parameter under theme section block.

Current = papirus

Conclusion

We covered the installation of Plasma themes, icons, look and feel, Desktop theme and color schemes. If you’re using Arch Linux or Kubuntu, you must have noticed how easy it can be to install themes from PPA and AUR repositories.

Above theme sets are the best themes for Plasma I could get. Feel free to drop a comment if you know other good looking themes you think I should add to the list.

References
http://www.kde.org/
https://api.kde-look.org
https://www.kde-look.org
https://github.com/NitruxSA/luv-icon-theme
https://github.com/varlesh/Arc-Dark-KDE
https://github.com/horst3180/arc-theme

You can find more KDE and Plasma themes at:
http://nekron29.deviantart.com/favourites/45184096/KDE-Themes
http://guidoctor.deviantart.com/favourites/49227200/Desktop-Exellence
Wallpapers:
http://archlinux.deviantart.com/gallery/25194240/Wallpaper