Suggestions for a lean and quick desktop along with plasma

Hi there,

I use Plasma and am really satisfied. I only wish that it would start a bit quicker on my old laptop.

XFCE always was a good choice, but it’s GTK based and I don’t want to bloat too many additional packages on the system.

LXQt came into my mind, but as I use Wayland for two weeks now and don’ want to go back I guess I canT use it (X11 only?)

What are your ideas / suggestions?

It should be a bit more that a wondows manager only like Hyprland or Sway… But I donÄt mind give them a try if there’s no other alternative and package fottprint is small.

Thanks for your inspiration :wink:

If you want wayland, I think there are only two full DE options currently. Gnome and Plasma.

Otherwise you are looking at WMs of which there are several. You already named the most prominent two. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Depending on the hardware you might be able to use a minimal plasma install? There are a lot of things you can disable and some you can enable to make it much more pleasurable. The oldest hdd I’ve had plasma up and running in some form is about 4 gb ram intel duel core and a nvidia processer old as

It’s my play-around laptop. Lenovo x270 with 8GB RAM and a 1TB SSD. Intel i5 6200u. So not a bad machine, really. It’s just the startup time from SDDM to desktop running that takes a while. XFCE was so much quicker. Once running I’m still impressed how smooth and fast Plasma has become.

So now I just wondered what to install additionally to

  • speed things up
  • play around a bit
  • do not need to install too many packages (that’s why I asked for a qt based DE)

I already instaled hyprland in a VM - but I need more reading there as the default setup isn’t very fancy.

Slightly off-topic, but is there a well-documented way on how to speed up booting times in Arch Linux? That is probably the only thing that takes a little while no matter how hi-end your config is, of course once loaded and running, it is blazing fast.

Have you disabled the splash screen?

It is typically not a standard process. It depends entirely on your hardware, software and config.

You can use systemd-analyze and systemd-analyze critical-chain to see what is slowing down the boot process and go from there.

However, since this is more than a little off-topic, you probably should start your own topic to troubleshoot that further.

In that topic you should share how long it is currently taking since “slow” is a very subjective topic. For some people 5 seconds to boot is too long and for others it takes 5 minutes and they think nothing of it.

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Booting time is not the issue - BIOS takes some time depending on plugged to external devices or not. Initial boot from bootimg (dracut/initramfs) until I have to enter the decryption password are some more seconds. The fastest part is from password entered to SDDM may be 5 seconds - I’m fine with that.

Now just looking how to reduce Plasma startup time. Startup animation is one thing I used to turn off but my themeswitcher always turns it on again :wink:

I guess I need to go through the palsma autostarted background-services to see what I really need without breaking the system.

Is there an analyzer for that. systemd-analyze stops before that and going through the bootlog is somewhat hard to read.

The plasma splash screen causes a delay on most hardware. If you want to reduce that time, you need to disable it. If your themeswitcher is re-enabling it, you might want to either fix that or choose between startup time and theme switching.


Can’t get any leaner and quicker than that. Works very nicely alongside Plasma.