A display manager is the component of your Operating system responsible for launching your display server and the login session. This is the reason it is sometimes called the login manager. The layout of the screen that you see while entering your username and password(the greeter), your login session and user authorization are some of the tasks that the display manager performs. A few common types of default display managers are gdm, gdm3, lightdm, kdm, and sddm, etc.

In this article, we will explain how to install KDE Plasma Desktop and use its sddm display manager for your Linux system. KDE Plasma Desktop is an enriched and beautiful desktop environment that offers high speed, customization, and security while being very simple in use.

We have run the commands and procedures mentioned in this article on a Ubuntu 18.04 LTS system. We will be using the Ubuntu command line, the Terminal, in order to install KDE Plasma on your system. You can open the Terminal application either through the system Dash or the Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut.

Step1: Install Tasksel; a prerequisite for installing Kubuntu

The tasksel command line tool for Ubuntu helps you in installing multiple related packages as a collective task. Ubuntu 18.04 LTS does not have this utility installed by default. Please use the following command as sudo in order to install it on your system as we will later be using it to install Kubuntu Desktop:

$ sudo apt install tasksel

Please note that only authorized users can add/remove and configure software on Ubuntu.

Install tasksel

The system might ask you to provide the password for your sudo account. Please enter the password after which the installation procedure will begin. During installation, the system will prompt you with a Y/n option for installation confirmation. Please enter y and hit Enter in order to complete the successful installation of the software.

Step 2: Install Kubuntu Desktop

Now that you have tasksel installed on your system, please enter the following command as sudo in order to install the Kubuntu Desktop:

$ sudo tasksel install kubuntu-desktop

The installation and package configuration procedure will begin as follows:

Install Kubuntu Desktop

This process will take some time, depending on your Internet speed and you will be able to see the following output at the end of the installation:

Meanwhile, the system will, ideally, start the configuration process for sddm as follows:

Configuring sddm

The sddm display manager is the default one for KDE Plasma desktop. Hit Enter for Ok. The system will then offer you to make a selection for configuring sddm as follows:

Use gdm3 display manager

You can see that my system has two display managers installed on it; gdm3(default for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS) and sddm. Since I have to select sddm, I will use the keyboard down arrow to select it and then hit Enter for Ok.

Workaround if the configuration choice is not presented to you

On some systems, this configuration choice is not presented by itself. For those systems, you manually need to install sddm by using the following apt command as sudo:

$ sudo apt install sddm

Install sddm

Even if that does not initiate the configuration process, it means that like us sddm was already installed on your system. In that case, simply run the following command to manually configure the already installed sddm display manager:

$ sudo dpkg-reconfigure sddm

This command will open the Package Configuration manager as follows:

Configure sddm

Use the keyboard down arrow to select sddm and then hit Enter for Ok.

Step 3: Restart your system to login to KDE Plasma

Once you have configured sddm, you now need to restart your system.

On the Login screen of Kubuntu Desktop, select the Desktop Session as Plasma and log in with your existing Ubuntu credentials.

This is how your Kubuntu Plasma Desktop looks like:

Kubuntu Plasma Desktop

You are now in the beautiful environment of the KDE Plasma desktop and ready to enjoy its integrated features. Some procedures on the Internet make it so long to achieve this process that many people leave the installation midway. This article, however, presented the simplest and quickest manner in which you can switch to Kubuntu Plasma.

How to Install the KDE Plasma Desktop on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS