Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at 21:40

After I presented Kvantum-based desktop theme "Mojave-CT" in the last tutorial, you might wonder in particular how to install the Kvantum Engine itself properly. As you might know as well, many Kvantum-based themes are very gorgeous and some are beautifully translucent.

See for example Glass White. You cannot install such theme without first installing Kvantum Engine. This simple tutorial gives you step by step instructions to install Kvantum Engine on Ubuntu GNU/Linux. You can apply this tutorial on Debian, neon, or Trisquel if you wish as they are all basically same. Enjoy!

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Read also all about KDE: Plasma Mojave-CT| Plasma Oxygen | neon Review | neon for Designers | Plasma 5.11 Review

A Brief About Kvantum

Suppose you want to theme how every window looks on KDE Plasma desktop. Kvantum is a special software integrated to Plasma to create and custom a theme it real in fully controllable way. Kvantum is not just a software for us the users, but also a framework to create themes for theme artists. Thus, themes that are created for Kvantum engine is called Kvantum Themes. Kvantum is a work by Tsu Jan and the official website is at GitHub.

1. Prepare Required Pakages

There are dependencies you need to fulfill in order to compile Kvantum from source. On KDE neon 5.15.1, it took up to 60MB total data.

$ sudo apt-get install g++ libx11-dev libxext-dev qtbase5-dev libqt5svg5-dev libqt5x11extras5-dev libkf5windowsystem-dev qttools5-dev-tools cmake checkinstall

The process should looks like this:

2. Download Kvantum Source Code

Kvantum Engine official page is at GitHub. To download it quickly, follow this link. Extract it in your Downloads directory then you get a directory named Kvantum-master. Inside this directory, you will find diretory named kvantum, and, inside it you will find bunch of files such as CMakeLists.txt, COPYING, and Makefile.

(Download page and download button)

(Files and folders within the kvantum/ directory)

3. Compile

Now, transform the source code of Kvantum into binary code. First attempt is cmake, it needs a few seconds. And then second attempt is make, it needs a minute or two.
$ mkdir build && cd build 
$ cmake .. 
$ make

The results should look like below:

(Screenshot of Konsole within file manager: running cmake command)

(Screenshot of Konsole within file manager: running make command)

Successful make command (building process) will show you two messages:
[100%] Linking CXX executable kvantummanager
[100%] Built target kvantummanager build 

Up to this point, you are ready to install it.

4. Install Kvantum Engine

Now, install the successfully compiled (the binary code) Kvantum program into your GNU/Linux system.
$ sudo make install 

The result should looks like this:

(Screenshot of Konsole within file manager: running make install command)

5. Run It

Find Kvantum Manager in your start menu. At first run, it looks black.

(Kvantum Engine successfully installed and running)

6. Make Debian Package

This optional step is just for your future convenience. You can transform the binary code program you have produced into Debian package file (.deb) so you do not have to repeat whole installation processes later, as you can just install the .deb package to have the Kvantum Manager. The command used is checkinstall and it must be run right after make command. Do this command in the same directory as above:
$ sudo checkinstall --install=no

And simply answer all questions by pressing Enter. There result is a file named build.deb. Rename this to kvantum-manager-amd64.deb (or i386 is you PC is 32-bit).

(See the .deb file selected and packaging successful message shown)

Share Kvantum with Your Friends

For your own purpose (store it to reuse later) and for sharing with others (so everybody benefits from your packaging), you can keep and share the Debian package (.deb) you produced above. This way, everybody will get easier to install Kvantum on their Debian-based systems. Enjoy customizing, enjoy sharing!

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.