Customizing KDE4

How to make your KDE4 install look good

December 29, 2013 - 2 minute read -
archlinux linux design

I have been a GNOME fan for as long as I can remember. It was Ubuntu/Gnome2 that got me interested in Linux about 5 years ago. My desktop looked like this in those days:

ArchLinux in Ubuntu Colors

After the Gnome3/Gnome-Shell debacle, I decided to finally part ways with Gnome, using ArchLinux, I had a whole load of choices of DEs/WMs to use. I’ve used Openbox, i3, XFCE and finally KDE4, I have a fairly fast system with good specs so my system would be more than capable of running KDE4.

Without any modification, my KDE system looks like this:

KDE 4.11

I got tired of the KDE default look and I began tinkering with the interface, after a lot of hits and misses, I finally settled on this look:


Things I did/installed to get this look on ArchLinux -

  • moved the default desktop panel from the bottom to the top
  • removed the task manager applet from the panel and added a menu bar applet (installed these packages to get this done: appmenu-qt from the main repo and kdeplasma-applets-menubar from the AUR)
  • created a new panel and moved it to the left
  • added the icon-task-manager applet to the left panel

KDE4 offers a lot(a bit too much in my opinion) of packages as standard. I had to disable Nepomuk cos I don’t need it and it unnecessarily hogs my system resources.

Now, I have a very stable KDE4 installation running on ArchLinux and I think KDE4 is going to be running on my system for the foreseeable future.