Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Sunday, May 22, 2022 at 23:40

This tutorial will explain how you can turn Ubuntu 22.04 with GNOME Desktop into Kubuntu with KDE Plasma Desktop. This will not remove the original GNOME, but we simply install Plasma Desktop on top of the system so we will have two different desktop environments as the result. Follow it carefully and have a friendly computing with Kubuntu!

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Why does someone want to do this instead of installing Kubuntu OS itself right away? Isn't the latter simpler? Because there are a few cases where one might want to. Perhaps you found that Kubuntu's installer crashed, or want to teach students into a bit larger packages installation. This tutorial is based on our teaching experience this May where one student failed the Kubuntu installation, but succeeded with Ubuntu instead, so we just later instruct him to turn the installed one into Kubuntu instead.


Step 1. Install Kubuntu Packages 

1. Run Terminal. 

2. Do this command line until finished:

$ sudo apt-get update

3. Do this command line until finished:

$ sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop 

This will take more than 400MB on a freshly installed 22.04.

4. When Ubuntu asks about some encryption filesystem, answer with OK by pressing Enter.

5. When Ubuntu asks about choice of display manager, choose 'SDDM' then OK by hitting keyboard's arrow keys and Enter. 


Step 2. Restart

Once all packages finished installing successfully, restart your Ubuntu computer.


Step 3. Login into Plasma

Now you should see a new login screen, not the same as Ubuntu's built-in, which is from Kubuntu. 

1. Look at the bottom of the login screen. 

2. At bottom-left corner, there is a selection with several choices:

  • Plasma on X11
  • Ubuntu on Xorg / X11
  • Ubuntu on Wayland

3. Select Plasma on X11 and then login.

4. Ubuntu turned into Kubuntu successfully.

Final Result

Once all packages installed successfully, congratulations, now you have Kubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish!

Go Back to Ubuntu GNOME

As mentioned, we do not remove the original Ubuntu GNOME Desktop. Sometimes, you might want to go back to it. To revert back from Plasma:

1. Logout. 

2. Login screen will be displayed again. 

3. At bottom-left, there is the selection.

4. Switch the selection from Plasma to 'Ubuntu on X11'. 

5. Login.

6. Ubuntu GNOME desktop is ready.


If the installation process stopped or interrupted, whatever the cause is, you should finish the job by repeating the exact command line:

$ sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop

If the trouble persists, your Ubuntu computer will tell you at the end of the command line's messages to run the 'magical' recovery command line:

$ sudo dpkg --configure -a

Once everything is finished, restart and login into Kubuntu Desktop. 

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.