How to Make KDE Plasma More Like Windows

Get a Windows-like Linux desktop

PC running KDE Linux with Windows 10-like theming.



So you want to try Linux, but you’d rather do so in a more familiar looking environment. To that end, you’d like to know how to make the KDE Plasma interface appear somewhat like that of Windows 10. Fortunately, that process isn’t at all challenging.

Let’s take a look at a few quick steps you can take to transform the default KDE Plasma desktop into something a bit more comfortable for your Windows-centric world.

Version Information

For the purpose of this tutorial, we used KDE Neon, running KDE Plasma version 5.13.3. At a minimum you must be running KDE Plasma version 5.12 or newer.

The Theme

The first thing we’re going to do is re-theme KDE Plasma. The theme is a collection of options that, together, make a desktop look a certain way. What we want to do is switch the theme to a more Windows 10-looking design. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the K menu and click System Settings.

    Screenshot of the KDE menu and System Settings entry.
  2. Click Workspace Theme and then click Plasma Theme.

    Screenshot of the KDE Workspace Theme window.
  3. Type Windows 10 Plasma Theme in the search bar and click Install associated with the Windows 10 Plasma Theme entry.

    Screenshot of installing the Windows 10 theme.
  4. Go back to Workspace Theme > Plasma Theme, click Window 10 Plasma Theme, then click Apply.

    Screenshot of applying the new theme.
  5. Close out the System Settings window.

At this point, the KDE theme should look a bit more like Windows 10. You might, however, find the panel is a bit short for your taste. To make that panel a bit taller, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the panel and click Panel Options > Configure Panel.

  2. Click Height and drag the panel up until it’s more to your preference.

    Screenshot of resizing the panel.
  3. When finished, click the X to close the panel configuration pane.

Let’s take that theme one step further by changing the Wallpaper. The creator of the theme saw to it to include a default-looking Window 10 wallpaper. To set that wallpaper, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click anywhere on the desktop and click Configure Desktop.

    Screenshot of the Configure Desktop menu entry.
  2. Click Add Image.

  3. When the file manager opens, click Home and navigate to .kde > share > apps > Windows 10 Plasma Theme > Wallpapers. NOTE: If you don’t see .kde in the Home directory, type Ctrl + h to reveal hidden folders.

  4. Select the win10.jpg file and click Open.

    Screenshot of selecting the new wallpaper.
  5. Select the win10 wallpaper and click Apply.

    Screenshot of selecting and applying the new wallpaper.
  6. Enjoy the new wallpaper.

The Menu

Next we need to change the KDE Plasma default menu to a more Windows 10-like option. This is actually quite simple. Follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the K menu button and select Alternatives.

    Screenshot of the K button right-click menu.
  2. Click Application Dashboard.

    Screenshot of switching the menu type.
  3. Click Switch.

Now, when you click the K menu button, you’ll reveal a more Windows 10-like menu, where you can easily launch your applications or type to search for your applications.

Screenshot of the new KDE menu.

Enjoy That Windows 10-like KDE Plasma

And that’s how easily you can transform your KDE Plasma desktop into a much-more Windows 10-looking experience. No, this won’t make Linux behave like Windows, but it will make the interface feel a bit more familiar. Once you’ve spent enough time with this layout, and you’ve grown accustomed to how Linux works, you can then return KDE to its previous glory and make use of something a bit different.