From Alpine Linux
KDE Plasma screenshot.

KDE is a software project comprising a desktop environment known as Plasma, a collection of libraries and frameworks known as KDE Frameworks, and several applications known as KDE Applications. Their UserBase wiki has detailed information about most KDE Applications.

Note: the plasma-desktop-meta package isn't available for the ppc64le, s390x, armhf, or riscv64 architectures due to the kdeplasma-addons dependency not being available there. However, the rest of Plasma may be installed separately to potentially get a functional desktop.



Using setup-desktop

You may use the alpine provided setup-desktop to install and configure KDE, by running the command:

# setup-desktop

on a shell and selecting KDE as your desktop.

Manual Installation

The following command will install the Plasma desktop as specified by the plasma metapackage, including the sddm display manager and other assorted niceties.

# apk add plasma-desktop-meta

Setting up eudev on a desktop system is recommended:

# setup-devd udev

For more details and advanced instructions see Device Manager.

Note: polkit and udev are optional services for authentication and device management respectively. While KDE will function without these services enabled, some functionality may be missing or incomplete.

KDE Applications

To install the full set of KDE Applications, install kde-applications. You can also choose to install a smaller set of applications by installing any of the subpackages:

Note: Most of these are not available on ppc64le or s390x.

Starting Plasma

Plasma can be started using a display manager or from the console.

Using a display manager

When Plasma is installed via the plasma meta-package, the display manager is set up using sddm.

Make sure you enable and start the SDDM service.

rc-update add sddm rc-service sddm start

  • Select Plasma to launch a new session in Wayland
  • Select Plasma (X11) to launch a new session in Xorg

From the console

The Xorg session can be launched by installing xinit and appending exec startplasma-x11 to your .xinitrc file. To start X:


For the Wayland session run

XDG_SESSION_TYPE=wayland dbus-run-session startplasma-wayland


HiDPI Scaling

When using high resolution screens, e.g. 4K, you might need to apply scaling so the fonts and windows are not too small.

In order to achieve this you can open Settings -> Display and Monitor and change the slider under Global Scale to an appropriate value.

You can also change the mouse cursor and icon size under Settings -> Appearance.

If your taskbar and window decorations are still too small, you might want to create the file ~/.xprofile to define the PLASMA_USE_QT_SCALING environment variable:


After creating this file, you may need to restart your session to apply this modification.

See also