Changing Wallpapers and Themes in KDE 4.4
By on February 22nd, 2010

If you’re new to KDE4 or KDE for that matter, you might be a little bit lost in trying to customize it, especially when it comes to themes and wallpapers. Here’s how you can change them.

Right-click on the desktop and left-click “Desktop Activity”

Desktop Activity

Desktop Activity

Desktop settings opens up.

Desktop Settings

Desktop Settings

From the above screenshot – you’ll see two options – open, and Get New Wallpapers. By clicking on Open you can browser to the directory where all your images are stored, select it and set it as your wallpaper.

Select the required wallpaper

Select the required wallpaper

Once you’re chosen your required wallpaper, hit apply, and your selected image will be set as the wallpaper.

Selected wallpaper is set

Selected wallpaper is set

If you don’t have too many wallpapers on your system, or prefer getting some excellent wallpapers from outside sources, KDE4 provides a neat way to get and install them. At the Desktop Settings screen, click on the Get New Wallpapers button.

KDE 4.4 Get Hot New Wallpapers

KDE 4.4 Get Hot New Wallpapers

You’ll get the Plasma Addon installer screen. The screen gives you various options to get your desired wallpaper. You can sort by highest ratings, downloads, most popular, or just enter a search criteria of your own. Once you’ve selected your wallpaper, just click on the Install button, and the wallpaper will be ready to be installed.

Choose your wallpaper

Choose your wallpaper

Hit the close button to head back to the previous screen. You’ll see that the wallpaper is available, just select it, and hit Apply. Your new wallpaper is ready!

Your new wallpaper is ready!

Your new wallpaper is ready!

Let us have a look at how you can change themes. Like wallpapers, you can change themes by downloading from the Internet or by using the Get Hot New Stuff interface. We’ll use the Get Hot New Stuff interface. The screen for changing themes is a bit hidden, we’ll have to goto Desktop settings (read: Personal Settings / Configure Desktop)   first.   Once there, click on Appearance.

Desktop Settings

Desktop Settings

Once in Appearance, click on Styles and Workspace tab. Then proceed to click on Get New Themes.

Get new themes

Get new themes

Select a theme which you like, and click on the install button. Then click on close to go back to the theme selection screen. Click on the theme and click Apply. That’s it, your new theme is installed!

If you want to change individual aspects of the theme, mix and match best elements of multiple themes, head back to Personal Settings, and click on the Advanced tab, and from there select Desktop Theme details

Desktop Theme Details

Desktop Theme Details

Once in, mix and match and customize till you’re happy with the final results!

Your masterpiece!

Your masterpiece!

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Author: Sathya Bhat Google Profile for Sathya Bhat
Sathyajith aka "Sathya" or "cpg" loves working on computers, and actively participates in many online communities. Sathya is a Community Moderator on Super User, a collaboratively maintained Q&A site which is part of the Stack Exchange network. Sathya also contributes to and is a Super Moderator at Chip India Forums. While not writing SQL queries or coding in PL/SQL, Sathya is also a gamer, a Linux enthusiast, and maintains a blog on Linux & OpenSource. You can reach Sathya on twitter.

Sathya Bhat has written and can be contacted at sathya@techie-buzz.com.
  • soj

    good one!!.. how did you get the wallpaper which is displayed on the 7th screenshot from top. Which has a "Linux" text on it.?

    • http://sathyabh.at Sathya Bhat

      @Soj – it's as shown in the 6th screenshot – Head over to get new wallpapers, and filter as per the screenshot. Else you can search with "Misty Trees".
      Glad to know you liked the article :)

  • http://www.pyxis.astronomy.com.ph/ Bamm

    Why is it called Desktop Activity Settings? It should just be called Desktop Settings to be intuitive.

    • Darth Tesla

      You're so smart… you make my ass itch. Heres a clue: Sathya didn't name it.

  • vonskippy

    Geesh, have you ever heard of WEB OPTIMIZATION?

    You have 11 bloated, oversized, and hugely fat graphic files on this single page.

    • Darth Tesla

      still using the old 486 w/ dial-up?

  • http://www.coolwallpaperfree.com Jason @ coolwallpape

    Great guide! I really didn't know how to apply, install, or even customize the installed themes.

  • Tugudu

    Thanks a lot Sathya :-)

    I was searching for hours without finding anything useful on how to
    change the theme on my KDE 4.4.2 (Ubuntu Karmic 10.04 btw), until I
    found your page. Then I was able to change my theme in a few seconds.

    Tugudu from Paris, France

  • Anonymous

    Hello
    Honestly, I have taking two full days managing to install themes and always get confused what to do exactly. I have kubuntu 11.04 and with this tutorial I succeed to make theme and wallpaper works like a sharm together. So full thinks to the author.

    Still to add a tip how to change login screen but this task is easy I succeed to make it my self. Just Install KDM theme from kde-look.org and go to login screen menu in system settings and install from local directory.

    Regards

 
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