Give your KDE a Plasma 5 Looks Via The Following Customization

Revisiting: Beautify your KDE desktop as in the accompanying screen-shots by applying just a few simple style tweaks.

Updated Oct 7, 2016Customization
KDE 4 Plasma 5 looks

Sept 11, 2014: This post is a revision of Give your KDE a Plasma 5 Looks Based On Breeze Free Customization, containing updated theming packages which results in a better, more accurate resemblance to Plasma 5 looks & feels.


As you already know, the KDE project is working hard to bring us a newer, slicker and shinier version of its famous Plasma desktop, KDE Next Gen Plasma Workspace is Getting Near Production.

While it’s still not ready for a prime-time appearance, that doesn’t mean we can’t barrow it’s design and apply it to our own KDE 4.X workspace now, does it? if the mountain won’t come to Muhammad…

So how do we do that? how do we give our desktop a refreshing face-lift without compromising its stability for that sake? Easily – by changing a few of our theming options, follow these steps:

Refresh Your KDE Desktop With a Bit of Kvantum & Breeze

1. First, Download the following list of files needed for theming process:

2. Extract the files, and in case you don’t have it installed by now, you’ll need to install Kvantum by compiling it from the Kvantum-master directory (don’t worry I’ll guide yo through it ;) ).

2.a) First, make sure you have Qt4 (>= 4.8) and X11 development packages (libqt4-dev and libx11-dev in debian-based systems).

Now open up a Terminal >> change directory into Kvantum by typing: cd /home/<YOUR-USER-NAME>/Downloads/Kvantum-master/Kvantum >  press Enter >> enter: qmake && make

Optionally, if you have “strip” on your system, also type:  strip ./style/

2.b) After the compilation has finished (with no errors of course), we need to distribute the created files. Type: sudo dolphin  to open Dolphin instance with elevated privileges, and use it to do the following file operations:

The file found inside /home/<YOUR-USER-NAME>/Downloads/Kvantum-master/Kvantum/style/ needs to be put inside /usr/lib/qt4/plugins/styles/. Note, if the folder styles doesn’t exists on your distro – create it.

Import “color/Kvantum.colors” from System Settings > Application Appearance > Colors > Scheme, select it and click Apply.

You may now delete Kvantum-master directory (so it won’t confuse you on the next step).

3. Now move (copy) the files into their designated directories (Note: you might need to enable ‘show hidden files’ first):

  • /home/<YOUR-USER-NAME>/.config/Kvantum/
  • /home/<YOUR-USER-NAME>/.kde/share/apps/color-schemes/Dynamo.colors
  • /home/<YOUR-USER-NAME>/.icons/dynamo-icon-theme
  • /home/<YOUR-USER-NAME>/.icons/Breeze (Mouse cursor)
  • /home/<YOUR-USER-NAME>/.kde/share/apps/desktoptheme/Dynamo Plasma
  • /home/<YOUR-USER-NAME>/.kde/share/apps/aurorae/themes/Dynamo

*Note: on some distributions the correct path might be: /home/<YOUR-USER-NAME>/.kde4

* Another method to apply these, is by going into both Application and Workspace Appearance (inside ‘System Settings’) and install the zip files from there.

4. Almost done, the last step is to apply the themes, colors, etc…
Go inside System Settings (via start menu) >> Application Appearance >> inside Style under Applications tab select Widget style: Kvantum.

Inside Colors option, under Schemes, select Dynamo. Inside Icons, under Theme tab select Dynamo icon theme.

Go back to Overview and enter Workspace Appearance:

Inside Window Decorations select Descartes Breeze. Inside Cursor Theme select Breeze. Inside Desktop Theme select Dynamo Plasma.


There you go, a beautiful KDE desktop!

COMMENTS (beta 4)

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Murat Ursavas Aug '15
Thanks for the great tutorial. I've found some missing and confusing points from a fresh Linux Mint 17.2 KDE install. For step 2.a I needed to install g++ and libxext-dev packages (sudo apt-get install g++ libxext-dev) Also step 3 is confusing. The previous tutorial was better from this point of view. If you could add the information about which downloaded package/folder to where, this tutorial would be perfect. Thanks again.
George Gzirishvili Apr '15
I'm sorry, but this tutorial is bad. Like really, really bad. Firstly, where is the window decoration? Inside Window Decorations select Descartes Breeze. I can't see it anywhere in this tutorial. Secondly, how to install the Kvantum theme engine? After copying the "style/" file to "/usr/lib/qt4/plugins/styles" folder, there was no "Kvantum" option in the widget styles list. I had to do sudo make install to enable it. Thirdly, where is the color scheme? Inside Colors option, under Schemes, select Dynamo. I've figured out that it's in "dynamo_kvantum__aurorae_and_colors___rc2_by_hombremaledicto-d7tse8l/color-schemes", but the tutuorial should be easy to understand. Also, you know, we have a great command called "cp" in *nix systems. Instead of describing how to copy/paste, you could just write the commands to execute.
Dnk Mar '15
Also, same for the /home//.kde/share/apps/aurorae/themes/Dynamo Which folder is that? Where is the source located? For clarification... after I downloaded the packages above and expanded I was left with: Breeze compressed dynamo-icon-theme dynamo_kvantum__aurorae_and_colors___rc2_by_hombremaledicto-d7tse8l Dynamo Plasma Kvantum-master So some of the paths referenced make sense, but the two I have highlighted, do not seem to 9unless I am missing something).
Liron Mar '15 Dnk
Hi @disqus_KZUY326eJ3:disqus , Thanks for commenting, the folder "Kvantum" that's inside "dynamo_kvantum__aurorae_and_colors___rc2_by_hombremaledicto-d7tse8l" is the one you copy into: "home//.config/Kvantum/". Same goes for "/home//.kde/share/apps/aurorae/themes/Dynamo", there's an aurorae folder inside: "dynamo_kvantum__aurorae_and_colors___rc2_by_hombremaledicto-d7tse8l", copy it from there. Note: on some distributions the correct path might be: "/home//.kde4/share/apps/aurorae/themes/Dynamo"
Dnk Mar '15
Quick question - step 3: You talk about copying: home//.config/Kvantum/ > Which folder is the source folder to copy there? In the previous step you mention to delete the master folder... so I have no reference to Kvantum.