Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Friday, February 22, 2019 at 13:41

(Latest KDE 5 using KDE 4 "Oxygen" desktop theme)

I am a KDE user who loved KDE 4 even before it turned its name to "Plasma". The default theme of KDE 4 is called Oxygen, where KDE 5's is Breeze. Got modern Plasma and today the latest version reached 5.15, I had lost my favorite Oxygen theme. Thanks to a Kubuntu Forum post, I find it again. I can turn my Plasma 5 into Oxygen once again. This tutorial explains in step by step how to setup Oxygen desktop theme full with icons set by some manual customization through the System Settings. It's very easy. Enjoy!

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Result Talks First

Okay, here's the result on KDE neon 5.15.1 with really latest Plasma 5.15. It works.


(Default desktop theme of the Plasma 5 "Breeze")
(Notice the start menu logo, the icons, the Dolphin titlebar, and system tray)


Start menu, panel, widgets, and window turned back to KDE 4 style:

(KDE 5 using KDE 4 desktop theme "Oxygen")
(Notice the start menu logo, the icons, the folder widget behind, the window decoration, and the system tray)

Dolphin and About System in the metallic theme and Oxygen folders:

(Same Plasma 5, but with Oxygen)
(Notice the window control buttons, the Dolphin statusbar, blue drop shadow, and every task on the taskbar)

KDE Applications turned back to the old KDE 4 style:

(Applications in Oxygen theme)
(Notice that there is no color separation between window and its decoration on each application)

The System Settings turned back to use Oxygen Icons again:

 (Notice the icons and the nostalgic scroll bar; it feels like home)

And our beloved KDE Help Center once again goes KDE 4:

(Notice the toolbar icons)

1. Install Oxygen Theme

This tutorial is applicable to Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, PureOS Plasma, and of course KDE neon operating systems.
$ sudo apt-get install plasma-theme-oxygen

2. Install Oxygen Icon

$ sudo apt-get install oxygen-icon-theme

3. Install Oxygen Cursor

$ sudo apt-get install oxygen-cursor-theme

3. Configure Them

Now you need to enable 5 configurations in System Settings: Look and Feel, Plasma Theme, Splash Screen, and Widget Style and Window Decoration.

Go to System Settings > Workspace Behavior > Look and Feel > choose Oxygen > Apply. 
Same place, but go to Plasma Theme > choose Air > Apply.

Same place, go to Cursors > choose Oxygen White > Apply.

Same place, go to Splash Screen > select Oxygen > Apply.

Go to System Settings > Icons > choose Oxygen > Apply.

Go to System Settings > Application Style > Widget Style > choose Oxygen > Apply.

Same place, Window Decorations > choose Oxygen > click Configure > choose Button size=small > Apply > OK > Apply.

(Making the window control buttons small)


I would like to thank all developers of the Oxygen Project who created and maintained Oxygen up to today. I would like to thank all contributors and anyone who helps this amazing UI/UX project. I am glad I can use Oxygen again in 2019 with latest Plasma. Personally, to be honest, I still like Oxygen more than Breeze (the current Plasma theme). Thank you, I love Oxygen!

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.