How to install Plasma 5 in Kubuntu or go for a test drive

The much awaited Plasma 5 was released yesterday, I did a detailed review of it after using it for over a week on Arch Linux and Kubuntu. I found it much easier to try it out on Kubuntu without breaking the system. So if you are curious about testing out Plasma 5, there are two ways of doing it.

You can use the live ISO which lets you run Plasma 5 on your system without touching your hard drive and installing anything on your system. While it does allow you to check what’s new there, you won’t get the complete experience of Plasma 5, something you get when you use a system for work so you may consider installing it and spending some time with it. I have it running on my main system for a week now and have been doing office work on it, so that says a lot about the stability and usability of the very first release of Plasma 5.

Warning: Even if I found Plasma 5 to be stable and usable, it is work in progress. I will not recommend using Plasma 5 on production machines where a broken system will hurt your business or work, please stick to KDE SC 4.x branch on such systems.

Test out live Plasma 5

There is live CD of Project Neon which you can download from this link. If you want to burn a live CD/DVD, just burn the image from K3B or Brasero.

Create live USB for Plasma 5

If you want to create live USB of Neon ISO then follow these steps (you can use these steps to create live USB of any Ubuntu-based distributions):

Plug in the USB and run lsblk command. This command will list the connected USB drives and here you have to note the device name of your USB. I will recommend removing every other USB connected storage devices so you don’t end up formatting any of those devices.


Here is the output I get on my system:
mukt@the-mukt-online:~ > lsblk
sda 8:0 0 119.2G 0 disk
└─sda1 8:1 0 32.6G 0 part /
sdb 8:16 0 931.5G 0 disk
└─sdb1 8:17 0 931.5G 0 part /media/1TB
sdc 8:32 0 3.7T 0 disk
└─sdc1 8:33 0 3.7T 0 part /media/4TB
sdd 8:48 0 931.5G 0 disk
└─sdd1 8:49 0 931.5G 0 part /media/Internal
sde 8:64 1 7.5G 0 disk
├─sde1 8:65 1 1.4G 0 part
└─sde2 8:66 1 2.2M 0 part
sr0 11:0 1 942M 0 rom

Here sde is my USB drive which I will use to create live USB of Project Neon. The actual name used in the command to create live USB would be /dev/sde, so keep that in mind and use the name of the devices showing up on your system.

Now run this command to create the live USB:


In my case it would be:

mukt@the-mukt-online:~ sudo dd if=/home/mukt/Downloads/neon5-201406131309.iso of=/dev/sde bs=1

NAME_OF_USB_DEVICE would be a complete path such as /dev/sde

Now you can use this drive to check out Plasma 5.

How to install Plasma 5 on Kubunbtu?

If you want to test Plasma 5 then Kubuntu is your best bet as it installs Plasma 5 in /opt/project-neon5 directory without touching your current install. You will be able to switch between Plasma Workspace (4.x) and Plasma 5 from the login screen (we have already covered this earlier but I am repeating here due to demand for such an article).

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 all packages are installed, reboot your system and then choose Project Neon 5 from the login screen.

As I said that Project Neon 5 won’t touch your current install (while sharing system settings from the home folder), you can continue to use both systems side by side. However if you do want to remove Plasma 5, it is extremely easy. Just use the purge option of Kubuntu and get rid of it

sudo apt-get purge project-neon5-*
sudo apt-get autoremove

Now if you also want to remove the plasma 5 repository to avoid any conflict in future, install ppa-purge

sudo apt-get install ppa-purge

Then purge the ppa:

sudo ppa-purge ppa:neon/kf5

Now your system is Plasma 5 free. So what do you think if Plasma 5 so far?

  • David Okwii

    Thanks for the tutorial. But how do I install plasma 5 on an Opensuse distro (12.3)