How to Install KDE on Ubuntu 24.04

One of the key features of Linux distributions is their capability to switch or modify the desktop environment. The desktop environment combines various GUI elements to create a user interface. Various desktop environments are available such as GNOME, MATE, Cinnamon, and KDE. All of these desktop environments have their own set of features, appearance, and user interface. However, KDE excels when it comes to flexibility and personalization. Ubuntu comes with GNOME, which is lightweight and modern. If you want to experience more features on Ubuntu, flexibility, and a traditional user interface like Windows then you can install KDE. 

In this guide, I will be explaining the step-wise process to install the KDE on Ubuntu 24.04 Noble Numbat. Before that let’s understand various versions of KDE.

Table of Contents

KDE Editions

K Desktop Environment comes in three different editions.

KDE Full: Contains all the applications and tools for the ultimate experience.

KDE Standard: Contains selective applications and tools, for general experience.

KDE Plasma: Contains only the essential applications and tools providing minimal experience. 

How to Install KDE on Ubuntu 24.04

The step-by-step process to install KDE on the latest Ubuntu 24.04.

Step 1: Update the Packages List

Update the packages list using the apt update command in the terminal.

sudo apt update

All the packages in the local resources list will be refreshed. 

Step 2: Install KDE using APT

KDE comes in three editions, install KDE according to the preferred choice.

sudo apt install kde-full
sudo apt install kde-standard
sudo apt install kde-plasma-desktop

For this tutorial, I am going to install KDE Plasma, as it is lightweight and resource-efficient. 

If you have installed multiple display managers on Ubuntu then during the installation you will be interactively asked to choose a display manager. Note that a display manager is a graphical interface that manages the login screens and sessions. 

Press Enter, and a list of installed display managers will appear. Select one by using the arrow keys.

KDE Plasma has been installed successfully, but to use it you need to switch from the current desktop environment.

Step 3: Logout from the System

To switch to the desktop environment, log out from the system. 

On the menu bar, get the drop-down menu by clicking on the sound and power icons. Then in the drop-down menu log out by clicking the power icon.

Step 4: Switch the Desktop Environment from Login Screen

Depending upon the display manager, the switching process varies. However, all the display managers provide a mechanism to switch the desktop environment on the login screen.

I am using lightdm display manager, it comes with a small Ubuntu icon that is used to switch the desktop environment.

To switch click on it, and a list of all the desktop environments and window managers will appear, select Plasma (X11).

Enter the password to log in to KDE.

How to Delete KDE From Ubuntu 24.04

You can use multiple desktop environments at a time. However, having them can cause errors, incompatibilities, and other issues.

If you want to remove the KDE then follow the steps given below:

Step 1: Remove the KDE Desktop Environment

To completely delete the KDE Plasma from Ubuntu, you need to remove the main package file and associated configuration files.

sudo apt purge kde-plasma-desktop
sudo apt remove plasma*
sudo apt-get autoremove

Mention the exact edition of KDE that you have installed. 

Step 2: Verify

To verify log out and check the desktop environment list.

KDE has successfully been removed from Ubuntu 24.04.


KDE is more flexible fully customizable and provides a traditional user interface. KDE has three different versions, Full, Standard, and Plasma. Each edition can be installed on Ubuntu using the APT command.

This guide comprehensively discusses a method to install KDE Plasma on Ubuntu 24.04 and how to switch from the current desktop environment to KDE.