Question about having minimal KDE with Gnome Wayland co-existing


I’m in the process of testing KDE (again) on my Thinkpad T450 (where I have a fully working Gnome Wayland install).

I was reading the below thread so I can do a minimal install where I will use:

  • Wayland
  • Pipewire
  • Firejail



Should I add anything further to my minimal install list?

Minimal KDE Install co-existing Gnome Wayland:

  • plasma-desktop
  • plasma-wayland-session
  • xdg-desktop-portal-kde (for Flatpak Application Support)
  • kde-gtk-config
  • khotkeys (assume needed to allow thinkpad keyboard brightness and volume).
  • kinfocenter
  • plasma-nm
  • kscreen
  • powerdevil
  • dbus-python
  • kio-fuse
  • kio-gdrive
  • audiocd-kio
  • ark
  • kdiff3 (prefer to use meld if possible)
  • plasma-pa
  • plasma-disks
  • dolphin
  • okular
  • kinit
  • breeze-gtk
  • kdeconnect
  • kcalc
  • print-manager

Minimal Install with KDE Applications:

  • kate (prefer geany)
  • konsole (prefer kitty)
  • spectacle (prefer flameshot)
  • discover (prefer pamac-aur)
  • kwalletmanager
  • kwallet-pam
  • Dragon (prefer mpv)
  • elisa (prefer clementine
  • gwenview (prefer xnview)

Not needed till removing gdm:

  • sddm
  • sddm-kcm

Updated the above list based on everyones feedback.

You don’t need to explicitly install solid. It will get pulled in as a dependency.

This is terrifying :scream:

I prefer flameshot as well but it has some issues on wayland if you use multiple monitors.

Please don’t use discover or any other packagekit-based application(Gnome Software) to install/update packages on Arch-based distros. On the other hand, it is fine for managing flatpaks and kde components.


Packages you could consider are:

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Wholehearted agreement with this :arrow_up:

As a point of reference:


Thank you @pebcak

kinit and breeze-gtk are worth considering as well.

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The only reason I mentioned ‘Discovery’ is I will search for packages from there when I am reading in posts. But then install from command line.

The sad thing is I really like Gnome Screen capture for video when I bug things. My goal is to break free from Gnome … but I will be doing allot of testing.

A very laudable goal :clap: IMHO

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kwalletmanager and kwallet-pam t

Is there an equivalent Gnome application to these?

Part of what I am trying to figure out is what cases I will be prompted for passwords.

The closest is seahorse.

There’s more on the KDE Wallet here:

Ah yes seahorse. I had one of THOSE conversations with the Gnome developers on how the fingerprint authentication was implemented. So one of many reasons I am drifting to KDE.

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So technically before I talked to you all I ran into 3 problems with KDE which work in Gnome:

(1) Unable to change volume in KDE.

(2) Thinkpad keyboard controls for brightness and volume not working.

(3) When laptop lid is closed KDE does not make external monitor the primary one.

So I will install the minimum recommendations and re-test.

I wanted to provide an update on my progress. So I went ahead and installed the following packages:

sudo pacman -S plasma-desktop plasma-wayland-session xdg-desktop-portal-kde kde-gtk-config khotkeys kinfocenter plasma-nm kscreen powerdevil dbus-python kio-fuse kio-gdrive audiocd-kio ark kdiff3 plasma-pa plasma-disks dolphin okular kinit breeze-gtk kdeconnect kcalc kwallet-pam

This seemed to go ok and now in KDE Wayland I am able to:

  1. Control brightness and volume from my laptop using the built in keys.
  2. Logitech Keyboard volume, mute, search and suspend buttons all working.
  3. KDE now automatically switch between laptop LCD and external monitor as a primary when I close the lid.


  1. I notice the controls (minimize, maximize and close) on applications show the 3 following combinations after installing the ‘breeze-gtk’:

Gnome Calculator shows the correct style (native arch repository):

KCalc shows a mix of the Gnome and KDE control (native arch repository):


Geany controls show like it is a KDE application (native arch repository):

Any ideas how to correct the controls?

Well just figured out that going into gnome tweaks that ‘Legacy Applications’ got switched to ‘Breeze’. So this is why the controls looked like KDE Style.

Looks like you’re getting there :+1: I’ve never run a system with both Gnome and KDE installed, and others have reported minor conflicts and problems when they do. If you do decide to switch to KDE full time, a clean install might have some benefits.

To avoid problems with several configurations it’s crucial you don’t use the same user with both DEs.

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The only reason I mentioned ‘Discovery’ is I will search for packages from there when I am reading in posts. But then install from command line.

That’s why I liked the application Pacseek - A terminal user interface for searching and installing Arch Linux packages . You get a TUI for searching and installing packages instead of needing to use a GUI just to browse.

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Very neat suggestion. It would definitely work for me when I put on my suckless hat.

The truth is I support 5 other users in the family on EndeavourOS (long hard fought battle to get them off Windows 10 then onto Gnome). I have 2 more people I would like to move this year to Gnome. So for non technical users I try to have GUI like experiences like the Pop Store where possible.

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I 100% agree with having a separate profile. My goal is not longterm co-existence. Its to help me monitor Wayland, Pipewire and Firejail changes as I plan to move fully over to KDE.

I’m actively writing documentation so I can re-build my setup by doing a new install. So at the moment I am writng a Matrix for the applications I intend to use in KDE for when I full switch my workflows to KDE…

So the real challenge for me is I am doing this while also trying to get my day to day work done. So perhaps I won’t do any crazy Linux Scoop theming till I am ready

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This kind of switch reminds me of when I compare Windows (Gnome) to OS/2 (KDE). KDE is like the ultimate lego. And to be really honest that last time I used KDE was maybe 2003.

So today I figured out that KDE is not remembering my Mic and Volume preferences every time I sign out and then sign back in again (it resets to 69%). So now I am research what solution I should use for a pipewire\wayland setup.

I hope it is not creating a manual configuration file.