How to install and configure KDE Desktop on Arch Linux

This article is the last part of my Arch Linux Destop tutorial series were I explain the installation and configuration of various desktop enviroments. KDE is another desktop manager of Linux which is used widely. In this tutorial we are going to check the installation and some other work around applications used by KDE. The tutorial will consist of Installation, Configuration, Startup and then some other applications.


KDE has two options for the installation:

1) Full install.
2) Minimal Install.
sudo pacman -S kde/kde-meta (either use kde or kde-meta)

The above is the command for the Full installation.

sudo pacman -S kdebase-workspace

This will be the command for the base install.

I'm not mentioning the installation of Plasma as Plasma 5 conflicts with KDE4 and pacman will probably demand for the removal of Plasma.


TO configure KDE4 to startup you need to type the following:

sudo nano ~/.xinitrc

For the above command you can use your own text editor as you wish.

Simply uncomment the line by removing # or add your own line like the above. Once your are done editing that part save it.


After editing the .xinitrc file save it and type:


The above command should give you the startup screen of KDE.

This is the default splash screen for KDE4. You can change it later on to whatever you feel like.

Work around and other applications

KDE4 configurations are saved under .kde4 or .config folder by default. For reseting all the setting of KDE4 at once you can rename these two folder and restart your session, it will load all the default configurations by re-creating all the folder and files.

This is how a working KDE4 Desktop looks like, even if your desktop background is black no need to panic, you can change it from the settings.

Widgets and Themes

For adding widgets you got an option on the top right side of the desktop, select the option Add Widgets, the Add Panel option will simply add panels on the screen.

You can then add the widgets you feel are good for your need.

Installing Fonts.

Fonts in KDE4 are not that good, you may want to change it:

sudo pacman -S ttf-dejavu

This will give your fonts a decent look.

Autostart Applications

KDE4 has a option of manually adding files and scripts on startup.

kcmshell4 autostart

This will give you a popup like this:

You can add your stuff to autostart by using the button on the right.


Baloo is the file indexing and file search framework for KDE. Baloo focuses on decentralization of data, and does not have any central database. Baloo focuses on providing a very small memory footprint along with with extremely fast searching. Baloo config file is located in ~/.kde4/share/config/baloofilerc or ~/.config/baloofilerc

You can see the file location in the above image. The other option is for enabling it for You can use


for using Baloo. To disable baloo you can use:

balooctl start (To start Baloo)
balooctl stop (To stop Baloo)
balooctl enable (To enable baloo at startup)
balooctl disbale (to disable baloo permanently, however you can use it again, once enabled.
balooctl status (To know the status for baloo)

Here is an output for the status:


You can go to:

System Settings > Workspace Appearance > Window Decoration/ Cursor Theme/ Desktop Theme/ Splash Screen

You can select any of those and select the one you like for your desktop. Also to:

System Settings > Application Appearance > Style/ Colors/ Icons/ Fonts/ Emoticons

Here is it, for the appearances of KDE4. You have quite some options for the appearances you edit whatever you like whatever way you like.

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