How to downgrade plasma?

Hi all,

Just installed 42.1 (clean), and saw KDE Plasma 5 for the first time. It’s pretty, but I really miss a certain feature (different widgets on different virtual desktops). According to the bug tracker, this is not a bug; the feture has been removed and will never be supported. Is there a good way to downgrade to Plasma 4, or would I be better off just starting over with 13.2?

Secondary question: For those familiar with other GUIs, is there one easy to set up as I had Plasma 4? Key elements:

-Clean, only slidewhow wallpaper visible until some action taken. When I have anything else visible, I spend my time trying to get rid of it instead of doing productive things.
-Different widgets, mainly launchers, on each desktop, with different wallpaper themes on each desktop as a visual reminder of its function.
-Widgets that should be accessible from each desktop collected in dashboard. Especially liked having a terminal window constantly open on the dash.



I see that in fact you are quitting Plasma5 for reasons like not being able to discern between different backgrounds. I will watching this thread with iinterest.

I agree with gfagan :
many features are missing on plasma 5, such as

  • the favorite launcher with a left click on the desktop,
  • the BII window decoration,
  • the bold for highlight characters in Misc Fixed font.
  • klipper doesn’t display a long list of the last cut/copied text
    There are also some strange behaviors at the beginning with the network applet, which seems to be repaired.

And last but not least : the systray doesn’t obey me when i want to force him to display the battery state, the network state or any other systray element. That’s really messy.

I tried the other desktop environment such as lxde, enlightenment, gnome, and son… But nothing better.

Is it possible to roll back to KDE4 easily ?

Will there be a less buggy plasma5 release, please ?

NB : this is not only a rant -> i need a working environment for a small company and also for my home.

If you use wolfi’s repo you can install kde4 alongside with plasma5:

If you install plasma5-session from Wolfi’s repo it will pull in the necessary rpm’s.

I alternate between kde4 and plasma5 and have been using his repo system for about a year now and it provides a fanrastic resource.

Leap should have in large friendly letter on the splash

Don’t panic!!

Me, too, because I am getting quite peeved at the KDE Devs – who for at least a year, now – are ignoring so many things that Users want.

I find the current regressions to be a deal breaker, in my case.

OK … Just for a larf… lol!

Download this image: and rename as logo.png

In “/usr/share/plymouth/themes/openSUSE/” rename the existing logo.png and then replace with the downloaded one.

yes you can replace plasma 5 with kde4 from the oss repo’s
you can do it in zypper or with yast, just install the base kde4 packages

zypper in kdebase4-session kdebase4-workspace kdebase4-workspace-addons kdebase4-workspace-ksysguardd kdebase4-runtime kdelibs4support kscreen kate4-parts konsole4-part kdm dolphin4

you will get conflict warnings and you will be given an option to replace plasma5 with kde4, I’d suggest doing the switch from a different desktop environment (lxqt or xfce).
as dth2 said you can have both kde4 and plasma 5, if you want to use wolfi’s plasma 5 add these 3 repo’s
and do a zypper dup witth them (after you add the repo’s post zypper lr -d and we’ll help) so you replace the oss rpm’s with wolfi’s packages.

you should note that a few apps like ark have been ported to kf5 and their kde4 predecessors are gone and forgotten dolphin from kde4 is still here named dolphin4

Thanks for the info. Work got busy; I’ll give your advice a shot on Sunday and let y’all know how it goes. I can be patient while features are developed, but what I see on the bug thread isn’t “Not yet” but “Never” where widgets-by-desktop are concerned.

Yes, my conclusion is also that we can forget Virtual desktops being supported by KDE.

On 2016-01-08, hcvv <> wrote:
> Yes, my conclusion is also that we can forget Virtual desktops being
> supported by KDE.

I disagree. The virtual desktop implementation in KDE5 is in opinion simpler yet superior compared to KDE4. What the OP
needs to know about are Activities.

If you want different widgets on different desktops, then there’s nothing can be done across different virtual desktops
that can’t be more efficiently performed across different activities. Novice KDE users sometimes think that virtual
desktops and activies are in competition with one making the other redundant. Many experienced KDE users know however
that nothing could be further from the truth: they are in fact complementary.

Thanks Flymail, but I tried to learn to love activities in KDE4. Back then, there was nothing I needed them for that I couldn’t do with virtual desktops. The ability to keep different sets of tabs open in the browser is cool for some people and that’s great, but I tend to close tabs by habit. Now, the only reason I’d consider activities is to do what I used to do on different desktops, with the loss of some convenient methods of switching*, and frankly, more important than that is widgets on the dashboard. Small widgets like launchers go on hidden panels; big ones go on the hidden dash.

*The cube. Default hotkey makes it useless, but map it to Alt-Z and it quickly becomes unconscious.

The Activities implementation in Plasma5 (not KDE5, BTW) is inferior and unacceptable>:).

Sorry, I apreciate your contribution, but it is beyond my understanding. I only talk about virtual desktops. That is the two, or maybe four desktops you can simply switch between because miniatures of hem are in the panel. I use them since I used CDE on HP and SunOS workstations and X-terminals in the nineties. Even in those times you could see which one you had active because each had a different background colour. Later, in Linux and KDE, you could use different pictures, a nicety. This is now gone and thus seeing on what virtual desktop you are is impossible. I do not realy need a photo/picture/wall paper (or how you want to call it), a different colour as 25 years ago would be enough (but a shame of course).

I know nothing about Activities except that the word shows up sometimes. So any mentioning of them in connection with Virtual Desktops to me is more or less useless because ogf my ignorance.

If you read Martin Gräßlin’ blog it’s pretty clear that the old virtual desktops isn’t coming back as part of core plasma, as he sees it. But he’s very open to the idea of third party development of it, similar to SDDM or LightDM. So things could work out in the long run, but it won’t happen overnight.

When KDE4 became the default I switched to XFCE. The last version of KDE that I liked was 3.5. I just did a test install of Leap, and had to switch from sddm to lxdm because I was not able to login as root. In my opinion Gnome and KDE are slowly truing LINUX into windows.

Dave W

But note that there’s a problem with that (on Leap and Tumbleweed): kscreen is not available any more, and KDE4 won’t start without it.
My repo does have it though, also for Leap 42.1.

Alternatively, you can create a dummy script /usr/bin/krandrstartup with just this content:


(don’t forget to make it executable, i.e. run “sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/krandrstartup”)

Or install krandr instead, the old (pre 4.11) screen configuration tool.

Btw, this has not been removed to force users to switch to Plasma5, it just fails to build with newer kdelibs4 and therefore got dropped from Factory.
The same happened with the KDE4 versions of plasma-nm and kde-gtk-config too, I also build them in my repo if you need them.

PS: you don’t need to install kdelibs4support, that’s a KDE Frameworks5 library, only used by KF5 applications. It provides some KDE4 classes that got dropped to ease the porting to KF5.

KDE has always been Windows/OS2 alike. but these principles works. Start button, taskbar, notification area and time… Basically what you saw in Windows 95. I believe KDE plasma 4+5 are fine as they are. If people are not satisfied that can just fork it, that’s why neither GNOME or KDE will turn into Windows. We kinda already saw that on the MATE desktop environment.


IMHO, login in in the GUI as root is very much more like Windows.

I most emphatically agree with this. The practice of logging in as root (Administrator, in Windows lingo) is a Windows habit.>:(

Good Linux practices discourage logging into the GUI as root, and it should never be done.