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KDE released Plasma 5 yesterday, which is built using Qt 5 and Frameworks 5 and it introduces an updated artwork concept with cleaner visuals and improved readability, called Breeze, along with improved high DPI support and a converged shell, as well as a fully hardware accelerated graphics stack. A lot more information about the latest Plasma 5 can be found HERE.

Below you can watch a quick Plasma 5 visual feature guide video:


(direct video link)

Kubuntu users who want to try the new Plasma 5 have 3 choices:
  • use the Project Neon 5 ISOs in a virtual machine / boot off an USB stick;
  • Ubuntu 14.04 only: use the Project Neon KDE Frameworks 5 PPA (the PPA description advises to use the kf5-snapshot-weekly PPA but that didn't work well in my test) - this PPA contains bleeding edge KDE Frameworks 5 / Plasma 5 builds which doesn't overwrite your current KDE installation (so it doesn't affect your system) as it's installed under /opt/project-neon5/;
  • Ubuntu 14.10 only: use the Kubuntu Next PPA which provides KDE Frameworks 5 / Plasma 5 - using this PPA will upgrade your current KDE installation.

There is a 4th option of course: to compile it from source, but that's a tedious task and I'm sure many of you won't take it into considerations.

Using the ISO to try Plasma 5 doesn't require any instructions so below you'll find instructions on installing Plasma 5 via PPA in Ubuntu 14.10 (using the Project Neon KDE Frameworks 5 PPA) and 14.04 (using the Kubuntu Next PPA).

Before proceeding, please note that both PPAs are pretty unstable and most probably you'll encounter bugs. In my test, I encountered various visual glitches and slowness using the Project Neon PPA while using the Kubuntu Next PPA I only encountered a few minor issues like the menu font being too large (and I couldn't change it from the settings) or some missing icons. But that's just after a quick test. So use these PPAs at your own risk! It's also important to note that even though this article includes instructions for how to revert the changes, things can go wrong when following those instructions so you'll have to know how to recover from such situations.

That said, let's proceed.


Install KDE Plasma 5 in Kubuntu 14.04


KDE Plasma 5

To install Plasma 5 in Kubuntu 14.04 using the Project Neon KDE Frameworks 5 PPA (installing it won't overwrite your current installation however, this PPA is highly unstable), use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:neon/kf5
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install project-neon5-session project-neon5-utils project-neon5-konsole project-neon5-breeze project-neon5-plasma-workspace-wallpapers
Once installed, it's probably a good idea to restart the system to avoid any issues. And, to log in to the newly installed Plasma 5, select "Plasma" from the login screen session menu:

KDE Plasma 5


Install KDE Plasma 5 in Kubuntu 14.10


KDE Plasma 5

To install Plasma 5 in Kubuntu 14.10 by using the Kubuntu Next PPA (using this PPA, your current KDE packages will be upgraded!), use the following commands:
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/next
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get install kubuntu-plasma5-desktop plasma-workspace-wallpapers
Once installed, restart the system (or else you may run into issues). You may not be able to restart the system from the menu and if that happens, run "sudo reboot" in a terminal or tty (CTRL + ALT + F1).


KDE Plasma 5


How to revert the changes


If you want to revert the changes made by following the instructions above, here's what you need to do.

For Kubuntu 14.04 (Project Neon KDE Frameworks 5 PPA), use the following commands to remove all the packages installed from the Project Neon 5 PPA:
sudo apt-get purge project-neon5-*
sudo apt-get autoremove

For Kubuntu 14.10 (Kubuntu Next PPA), use the following commands to remove the KDE Plasma 5 desktop and purge the Kubuntu Next PPA (this will downgrade all the packages installed from this PPA to the version available in the official Ubuntu repositories and then disable the PPA):
sudo apt-get install ppa-purge
sudo apt-get remove kubuntu-plasma5-desktop
sudo ppa-purge ppa:kubuntu-ppa/next

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