Use KDE Plasma on Gnome with Emerald and Compiz

The plasma desktop effect of KDE is mouth-watering. It not only looks beautiful, but also has a good amount of usability. But, the interface is available(by default) only on the KDE desktop environment.
Here is an easy way to get the plasma effect on Gnome along with Emerald and Gnome. The tutorial works on Ubuntu Karmic Koala.


  • Go to System >> Administration >> Hardware Drivers, select the latest driver for Graphics and activate it.
  • Go to System >> Preferences >> Appearance >> Visual Effects, activate the extra mode.
  • Press Alt+F2, bring up xterm. Install required packages with the command
    sudo apt-get install compiz compizconfig-settings-manager emerald fusion-icon kde-minimal
    compiz-kde kdeplasma-addons plasma-scriptengine-python gtk2-engines-qtcurve

    , this installs the packages named here.

  • Save the given code into a file, say “”,
    killall fusion-icon
    killall gnome-panel
    killall plasma-desktop
    gnome-panel &
    fusion-icon &

    This will create a launcher for Gnome desktop.

  • Save the given code into a file, say “”,
    killall fusion-icon
    killall gnome-panel
    killall plasma-desktop
    plasma-desktop &
    fusion-icon &

    This will create a launcher for Plasma desktop.

  • Now, run these commands:
    chmod +x ~/Desktop/ ; chmod +x ~/Desktop/

    This makes the files executable.

  • Open “gconf-editor” by typing it in the terminal. Go to the location
    desktop >> gnome >> session >> required_components

    and remove the “gnome-panel” value in the “Panel” section. This prevents Gnome panel from being reborn each time.

  • Install any Emerald theme.
  • Run the PlasmaDesk script you just created.
  • From Compiz Fusion icon, select  Window Manager as Compiz and Window Decorator as Emerald.
  • In KDE menu,  select Favorites >> System Settings >> Style, and set “GTK+” in  “Widget style”. Use the Humanity Icon set for best results.

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Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.

  • Is there any advantage to this compared to installing KDE and switching between Gnome and KDE?? Because it still needs to install 120 packages (211MB download, 488MB installed)…

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  • Jamesmotif

    Hi. I tried this up until I got an error about unsatisfied dependencies for kde-minimal needing kdebase-workspace:

    The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    kde-minimal: Depends: kdebase-workspace (>= 4:4.3.1) but it is not going to be installed
    E: Broken packages

    D0 you have any idea’s on what the problem might be?