Chapter 2. Installing KDE Plasma Desktop™ and KDE Applications

You can install KDE applications, including KDE Plasma Desktop™, on a variety of different platforms, ranging from smartphones and tablets to computers running Microsoft® Windows®, Mac® OS, UNIX®, BSD™ or Linux®. Binary packages are available for many different platforms and distributions, or advanced users may build the source code.

Installing Packages

Hundreds of developers worldwide have done a lot of work to make it easy to install KDE on a variety of different devices and platforms.


Nearly every Linux® distribution provides binary packages for individual applications and the KDE Plasma Desktop™ as a whole.

To install an individual application, look for its name in your distribution's package collection. To install one of the KDE Plasma Workspaces™, like KDE Plasma Desktop™, look for a metapackage or package group, typically plasma-desktop.


Some applications may be installed together with other applications in a combined package named after the KDE package they are provided in. For instance, Konqueror might be found in the kde-baseapps package.

If you have trouble locating KDE packages for your distribution, please contact their support resources. Many distributions also have a team dedicated to packaging applications by KDE that can provide assistance specific to them.

Microsoft® Windows®

The KDE on Windows Initiative provides binary packages of KDE applications for Microsoft® Windows®. They also provide a special installer application that permits you to install individual applications or groups and all necessary dependencies easily.

For more information on the initiative and to download the installer, visit the KDE on Windows Initiative.

Mac® OS

Individual KDE applications can be installed through several different ports systems available for Mac® OS. Several different KDE applications also provide their own binary builds for Mac® OS.

For more information, visit KDE on Mac® OSX.


Most BSD™ distributions allows you to install KDE applications and the KDE Plasma Desktop™ through their ports system.

For more information on installing ports, see your BSD™ distribution's documentation.

Mobile Devices

Plasma Mobile™ is an exciting initiative to bring a new KDE experience to mobile devices like smartphones or tablets. Binary releases are provided for several different devices.

For more information, visit Plasma Mobile.

Live Media

Several Linux® and BSD™ distributions offer live media. This permits you to try out the KDE Plasma Desktop™ without installing anything to your system. All you have to do insert a CD or connect a USB drive and boot from it. If you like what you see, most offer an option to install it to your hard drive.

There is a list of distributions that offer the KDE workspace and applications on live media on the KDE website.

Building from Source Code

For detailed information on how to compile and install KDE Plasma Desktop™ and applications see Build from source.

Since KDE software uses cmake you should have no trouble compiling it. Should you run into problems please report them to the KDE mailing lists.

The recommended tool to build Frameworks, KDE Plasma Desktop™ and all the other applications is kdesrc-build