Top 9 KDE-Based Distros for Avid Linux Users

As a desktop environment, KDE Plasma is marketed with unique features, including an image-rich desktop with nifty utilities. Many on-demand Linux distributions available in the market offer a KDE flavor variant for users.

Here is a list of the nine best KDE Plasma-based distros you need to check out.


Manjaro desk

Manjaro is an Arch-based Linux distribution that meets all your Linux computing needs. The Distribution Desktop speeds up your tasks with a high-performance, productivity-focused user interface. This well-tested distro is configurable, allowing you to run it on various hardware with different customizations.

Manjaro KDE is suitable for a versatile desktop user who relies on Linux for everything from entertainment to business cloud productivity. Manjaro’s excellent hardware detection capabilities help configure it for various scenarios, whether it’s work, gaming, or just casual browsing.

The desktop environment keeps you on track with prompt notifications for even the most minor changes to your system. Depending on your use case, you can easily customize Manjaro’s software ecosystem from its extensive repository.

Related: How to Install Manjaro Linux in a QEMU/KVM Virtual Machine


Kubuntu desktop interface

Kubuntu is a user-friendly open source distribution offering a solid Ubuntu-based operating system with the KDE Plasma desktop. The operating system is a free alternative to Windows and is perfect for Linux newcomers.

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The highly stable Kubuntu immediately impresses users with its Windows-like file manager. It includes a comprehensive software repository including productivity and office tools, email clients, graphics software, multimedia applications, and instant messaging tools.

You can expect to use Ubuntu supported software with the default APT package manager. The latest version of the distribution includes Ubuntu Focal Fossa 20.04 and promises 5 years of LTS support.


MX LINUX KDE desktop interface

MX Linux KDE is a distribution based on the Debian stable branch, a KDE Plasma version of its namesake distribution. This version of the distro is 64-bit only and comes with Advanced Hardware Support (AHS). The distribution is undemanding and highly compatible with Qt library framework software.


MX Linux is the first in its line to take over KDE support since the MEPIS project in 2013. Therefore, it offers a significant advancement in the ingenious library of MX tools. The distribution contains the antiX live USB system and promises a release cycle of 1.5-2 years.

By integrating your copy of MX Linux with Xfce, you can enjoy a fuller range of computing benefits suitable for multifaceted purposes.

Related: Reasons Why You Should Try Lightweight Xfce Desktop


Fedora KDE Plasma desktop interface

If you are new to Linux, then the Fedora KDE Plasma edition is the need of the hour. Fedora needs no introduction, as it continues to be one of the most versatile Linux operating systems.

This functional operating system offers you a diverse set of software for different computing needs. You can rely on Fedora KDE for official documentation, e-learning, programming, instant messaging, social media, entertainment, and more. Keep track of your files with Dolphin File Manager.

Moreover, you can use the rich open source repository of this distro. Fedora KDE Plasma continues to be a primary workstation for VM-enhanced server-side programming and advanced IoT tasks.


Garuda desktop interface

If you’re looking for a rolling, versatile, open-source distro, Garuda Linux ticks all the boxes. The distro offers a KDE-based version, just like it does for other popular desktop environments.

Related: Garuda Linux: An Arch-Based Linux Distro Built For Speed ​​And Beauty

Garuda’s quick and easy installation helps you set up a working desktop in minutes. The brightly colored shell design, interspersed blurring and transparency of menus and panels give the desktop a dark and contrasty look.

Garuda deploys with a default BTRFS filesystem with highly fault-tolerant zstd compression. The system is easily governed with boot recovery options to save you from the worst accidental crashes.

Garuda’s software repository comes from the Chaotic-AUR, which provides you with a library of over 2400 software.


neon interface

Developed by the makers of KDE, KDE Neon is an Ubuntu LTS-based distro that brings you the Plasma desktop with state-of-the-art software support. KDE Neon hosts applications and software packages compatible with the Plasma desktop.

As a KDE-driven distro, Neon offers you a neat and easy-to-customize themed desktop to your preference. You can use the standard version of the distribution for traditional computing. Alternatively, you can use the Developer edition for web programming, generic coding, and research, with Qt library packages for advanced software development.

KDE Neon scores exceptionally well in the bug-handling department, as its solid Ubuntu foundation deftly handles shortcomings, which is a common problem with previous releases. Besides the main Ubuntu updates, you can rely on the quarterly KDE updates to fix intermittent bugs that disrupt your user experience.


KAOS desktop interface

If you want another Plasma desktop environment, you should pay attention to the robust and open-source distro, KaOS. This operating system is a self-proclaimed lightweight distribution based on KDE, ideal for users who love the KDE desktop.

The distribution’s focus on quality over quantity is reflected in its end-to-end Qt library-based system. KaOS grabs your attention right from the start, with its translucent curved windows and menus that combine aesthetics with a productive interface.

The quality of the desktop environment reflects on the software repository that KaOS makes available to you. The distribution includes the pacman package manager to quickly download and build your packages.

The KaOS Support Community offers you many KaOS Community Packages (KCPs) with KaOS-exclusive package versions to meet your software needs.



OpenSuse KDE Plasma Desktop

As the title suggests, openSUSE KDE gives you the opportunity to experience the Plasma desktop environment in addition to the highly portable and developer-friendly openSUSE. The sleek Plasma desktop takes you to an operating system powered by the Qt library toolkit.

openSUSE KDE boosts your productivity with a neat desktop theme that’s nice to look at and some very nifty widgets. The desktop is highly customizable and lets you customize menus and panels to speed up your tasks. openSUSE offers stable services for multimedia-oriented tasks, digital entertainment, and web development.

After installation, you can expect applications such as Firefox, LibreOffice, Dolphin file manager and Okular file reader to help you start using your desktop immediately.


Nitrux desktop interface

Nitrux is a Debian powered distribution built with Qt libraries supported by KDE Plasma. The distro is well suited for those looking for an open source desktop solution for productivity. Rest assured, you can customize the desktop to suit your needs, thanks to the NX desktop tool.

The distro is adept at installing modern themes for an ultra-chic look. Nevertheless, notable improvements have been made to desktop workflows, notifications and widgets to increase your productivity.

NX enhances the basic KDE Plasma user interface and provides granular control over the simple desktop display manager.

Nitrux sets you up with a macOS-style dock to manage shortcuts to your favorite apps. The Python-based foundations of Nitrux also make it well suited for software development.

You can install KDE Plasma on any Linux distribution

The list mentioned above is not as exhaustive as it seems. Nevertheless, these are some of the best KDE Plasma based distros. Each distribution is the best in its own field and provides ultimate value to end users.

If none of the aforementioned distros fascinate you, you can always manually install the KDE desktop on your current operating system, including Ubuntu.


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