Tips for making KDE Plasma more comfy for GNOME users

Seeing as recent events in the GNOME issue tracker have soured my 13yr+ love of the GNOME desktop Ive recently made the switch to KDE Plasma. Needless to say, as a GNOME user for a very long time this wasnt without some pains.

The KDE Plasma install doesnt pull every single package you might expect for instance GNOME to pull in for your general daily use. This can leave you scratching your head looking for certain things to be available on default that arent.

Here is a list of general packages you would look to install as a user coming from GNOME

EDIT: @dalto suggested that plasma should be used instead of plasma-meta.

gnome-color-manager (needed for ICC profiles)

with these packages/metas you should be in a very similar situation to a stock gnome install (plus or minus maybe a few things but i havent noticed)

Now itll just be a matter of setting things up for personal preference. KDE settings is a bit daunting IMO and to figure out what you want you’ll have to explore it. I took a few days to get things to a comfortable position myself. I cant easily walk you through that but i can point you towards 4 things that make it more GNOME like.

  1. Youll need to install Plasma Drawer, this is similar to GNOME app menu
  1. If you want a GNOME like overview of applications you can either press Meta+W or you can go into
    System Settings → Workspace Behavior → Desktop effects → Scroll down to Overview and click the cog wheel → Reassign Toggle Overview to Alt+Tab , I prefer the overview to the usual alt+tab personally

  2. Assign the top left corner to open applications or overview by going to System Settings → Workspace Behavior → Screen Edges → Click the box in the top left of the mock screen and assign it to Overview or Application Launcher based on preference

  3. Obvious one, move your Panel to the top of the screen, this can be done by Right Click Panel → Enter Edit Mode → Drag to Top. This edit mode will also allow you to rearrange the widgets on the panel, add new ones, and get things figured out just right. One change i made was to add the Lock/Logout widget to the right end of the panel similar to where GNOMEs logout/shutdown would be. In the Edit Mode click and explore the add widgets section to see what you like.

Now this isnt some comprehensive end all be all of Gnome-> Plasma conversion. This is just some general tips based on my recent experience switching from Gnome and what i personally expect as a long time GNOME user. If you have any other tips for people converting from GNOME feel free to leave them here.


Although it is up to the individual, I would recommend using plasma instead of plasma-meta. With the meta package, some components will be uninstallable. Also, then when you remove the meta package, all of plasma becomes orphaned.


This is good to know, as i dont believe this is mentioned in the Arch Wiki entry

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Are you converted? :slight_smile: I tried Gnome 43 after using Xfce/little Cinnamon for a long time, but with that momentum I already turned to KDE Plasma, which I used a long time ago. That was two months ago, and I haven’t changed since. KDE is quite stable, it has outgrown its childhood mistakes. Maybe there is no Gnome application that I miss, or I am so bold that I also use some GTK-based programs.

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Itll depend on the future for Gnome if i go back, its not so much a love for Plasma as a disagreement with the GNOME devs that has forced my shift to it. I love GNOME as a DE but the issue recently wouldve drastically effected my workflow and usability for GNOME and the responses from maintainers soured things for me on it.

A long time ago, I got into an argument on the Gnome discussion page because I asked when Gnome would become customizable enough. (re-enabling desktop icons, etc.) They disagreed with my opinion that Gnome by default (ie without extensions) should be at least as customizable as Xfce or even KDE.

List is good for what should be in the OS already if you’re running Plasma, but not need for plasma-meta, kate over kwrite especially since kate will be inheriting the features of kwrite it doesn’t have yet.

Using plasma-meta i was missing everything listed beneath it. Kwrite vs Kate though im not sure. KWrite is simpler which is what i liked vs kate which was too busy for me and i just wanted a simple editor

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kate and kwrite use the same code base these days. kwrite just has less functionality in the UI. It depends what you are using it for. IMO, kate is better if you are using it to write code. I usually use it for shell scripts.


I really see no point in doing this. Plasma is a perfectly fine DE as it is, why on Earth would you want to ruin it by making it more like ɢɴᴏᴍᴇ! Absolutely ghastly!

Kate is not busy. This is how I have it set up:

I bet your KWrite is busier than that :rofl:

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I agree. If you don’t like Gnome why the hell would you want to use Gnome features on KDE. Plasma KDE has it’s own and they are great! They are better! If you don’t like something about Gnome find another extension then. :rofl:


You cant get an extension for them wanting to nuke things like network settings into oblivion or the fact that simply because 1 developer there didnt see the use of some of it and didnt first bother to find a maintainer they had started thinking of basically removing it entirely and telling users who need it to piss off and use something else and the lone dissenting opposition in the gnome devs was being hand waved away because they didnt want to hear it.

The only reason it isnt being nuked is because 2-3 random people came in to save it and the only reason Im using Plasma atm is i just cant be wondering if that feature set that i use constantly will be purged. It was the last straw for me because while i love GNOME that doesnt work for me.

I get you dont like gnome @ricklinux and @Kresimir, but i really REALLY dgaf and unless you have something to contribute to the topic i kindly ask you to go. I like to believe ive been pretty decent to Plasma folks around here so kindly return the favor at the very least.


I’ve swapped to VSCode nowadays for that stuff, i only use something like kwrite for basic edits of txt files for instance and kate has too much in it for that basic use case for me. I dont need a full office suite so kwrite does the job.

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You seem rather upset. I reckon it’s bottled up anger from all those years of using ɢɴᴏᴍᴇ…

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Okay … I’ll just lurk.


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I can relate to this; I always install Mousepad for the same reason. It is plain as they come, no features or frills at all. Basically the equivalent of Notepad in Microsoft Windows.

Somehow having a little temporary text dumping place became an intuitive part of my workflow years ago and I still prefer having a bare-bones application for it.

While it is true this kind of program is not the best choice for [insert your thing here], if you need to work on something that has a specifically appropriate tool then you just open that thing.


@dalto took your advice and used the plasma package instead, it pulled in a few more things than the meta and i fixed the orphan packages :+1:


Welcome to KDE @Echoa

I’m sure you’re finding that it’s very flexible and can be set up in a number of different ways. I too prefer KWrite and have set it as the default for plain text in System Settings>Applications>File Associations, as well as pinning it to my panel.

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This would be my diagnosis as well.

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