Packaging recommendations

I’d like to draw attention to a fairly new wiki page that might be of interest to both packagers and users of DIY-style distros like Arch Linux: our Packaging Recommendations. This page is a reference for how Plasma developers would like to see Plasma set up, and it goes over topics like packages to pre-install by default, packages to avoid, and recommended system configuration tweaks.

This data comes from years of experience with distros that didn’t ship a complete Plasma experience, not out of malice or neglect, but rather because it’s really hard to know the full list of things to do and install! Most of us have had the experience of distro-hopping, only to discover that some issue that was solved in one distro is present in another. Maybe you gained video thumbnails by default after switching, but KDE Connect stopped working, or maybe color Emojis started working but Samba sharing broke. Not fun! This page aims to solve that by providing a reference of how to ship and configure Plasma vis-a-vis these topics for an optimal user experience.

So if you’re a KDE packager, please have a look and adjust your packaging if you find that you’re currently missing anything!

25 thoughts on “Packaging recommendations

  1. It is written to avoid “xorg-x11-drv-wacom” since libinput handles the tablet. But does it provide command line utilities to configure tablet, does the wacom tablet kcm support libinput in x11? if there is no wacom kcm by default due to this it is a issue for artist groups trying plasma.


    1. Indeed, libinput can handle it and kcm_wacomtablet does not depend on xorg-x11-drv-wacom.

      I’m not aware of the status for command-line utilities, but kcm_wacomtablet provides a configuration GUI, at least. And my experience with artists in general is that they mostly prefer GUI tools to CLI tools.


    2. I think the KCM wacomtablet under x11 depends on the xorg-x11-drv-wacom, without that wacom tablets (not other companies) are not recognised and shown in the kcm so we can’t configure them.

      It is under wayland that libinput is used for the new KCM that Apol created.

      Furthermore the KCM for wacom under x11 is bugged, so the command line utility xsetwacom is the only solution for artists right now. I know this because it is what I use now on X11. And since wayland is dead on arrival for artists like me, because there is no colour management and no command-line utility for tablet config or advanced tablet config GUI. The new GUI lacks many things that x11 tablet config KCM has, so we are stuck in x11


    1. Preventing that is exactly what this wiki page is all about. We’re recommending that kdeplasma-addons be pre-installed, or marked as a component of any “KDE plasma desktop” metapackage. So this would be something to talk to the EndeavourOS or Arch people about.


  2. Umm, isn’t the point of Arch to build distro how user wants it?
    If something doesn’t work, then wiki is full of information, alternatively just Google it.
    Pulling whole bunch of dependencies for no reason is not a solution. That’s what package groups are for.
    I agree when it comes to distros for the masses.


    1. I had this problem for few month. I tried to check on arch wiki, google, reddit but I didn’t find anything.
      I think that Plasma should tell you that in the settings – this is the idea of the ‘get new thing’ button, but I didn’t find that there either (because it is a core function).


    2. Sure. These are recommendations, not requirements.

      But in our experience, a *lot* of people install Arch or Arch-based distros without really having sufficient technical know-how or understanding of what kind of distro they’re installing. Then they complain and make noise and file bug reports instead of doing what they’re supposed to to–read the Arch Wiki and figure out the situation for themselves.

      This is more of a cultural issue than a technical one (Arch is a “high prestige” distro that people want to use even if they shouldn’t) but Arch could make it easier by including more of these ancillary “nice-to-have” packages in their Plasma metapackage by default.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. > You can offer your users a better touchpad scrolling experience on X11 by setting the MOZ_USE_XINPUT2=1 environment variable in the environment. There are no longer any remaining known side effects. On Wayland, this has no effect and is not needed.

    That’s not true. There are still side effects present with Xinput2 on firefox. See the comments on this bug report from you:


    1. If GDK_CORE_DEVICE_EVENTS=1 the MOZ_USE_XINPUT2 variable still doesn’t do anything. Note that unsetting GDK_CORE_DEVICE_EVENTS also affects other GTK apps, so you might want to make a general note about it, not just firefox specific.

      Wanted to edit the wiki myself, but I didn’t have permission


  4. Info on input methods would be good to have too. For example, is Fcitx4, Fcitx5, or ibus the preferred input method? Compatibility with kimpanel? Etc.


    1. Never having used one of these, I’m not very familiar with how to set it up, so I’m afraid I can’t be the person to add information about it to the wiki page.

      But this is something we in KDE really need to improve in our code too. The integration is nowhere near as seamless as it needs to be.


  5. This blog post is golden! I hate when I reinstall a distro and basic things that used to work like ISO mounting, thumbnails in Dolphin (most important part imo), or GDrive integration don’t work out of the box. I’m used to it now, but when I started using Linux (and distro-hopping every other week) I had to spend quite some time hunting down how to get those things to work in different distros, and sometimes I even thought KDE was broken (eg: Dolphin and thumbnails). That’s a really bad look.

    Do many distro maintainers and packagers read this blog? If not done already, it would be good if KDE shared those guidelines with other distros in some official communication channel (eg. through a mailing list), otherwise, the wiki page might not have the desired effect.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I hope distro maintainers read this blog! 🙂 I already send out an email about this to the official distro mailing list 2 or 3 months ago. My feeling was that more communication via different channels might catch more eyeballs.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I think there is an inconsistency…it says that oxygen5 is optional and doesn’t need to be installed by default, however it is in the list of packages that need to be installed.


  7. [looks at recommendations]

    “(it’s the old Oxygen Plasma theme; this doesn’t need to be installed by default)”

    Nooooo! DO install Oxygen by default! Oxygen is what makes my KDE desktop beautiful to look at!

    (Sorry, but I *loathe* the flat-looking “modern” themes, and worse, they hurt my eyes. My desktop, regardless of distro, is Oxygen, Obsidian Coast, and Plastik. And for everyday, the original Ollis icons.)

    Otherwise, tho… KDE completeness has indeed helped attract me to certain distros.

    Tho I’ve never gotten networking with my other PCs to work consistently, with ANY distro. (Finally gave up and use WinXP in a VM when I need to schlep files back and forth.)


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