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How To Use The Arc Theme On KDE Plasma Desktop

Arc is a great GTK theme that many people love, but what if you’re a KDE Plasma user? As it turns out, KDE Plasma users can now enjoy Arc thanks to the Arc KDE project. In this article, we’ll go over how to install the Arc theme on KDE and enable it for use in the Plasma desktop.

Note: To use Arc KDE, please ensure you have a fairly recent version of KDE Plasma 5 (at least version 5.7).


Ubuntu users who are looking to install the Arc KDE pack have it easy, as there is a PPA available. Open up a terminal and enter the following command to enable the Arc KDE PPA.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:papirus/papirus

After adding the new PPA, you’ll need to update Ubuntu’s software sources. Using the apt update command, refresh the new Papirus PPA.

sudo apt update

Running the apt update command often reveals that software updates are ready to install. Don’t ignore this step. Instead, use the apt upgrade command to ensure that Ubuntu’s software is fully up to date.

sudo apt upgrade -y

When the upgrades finish installing, it’s safe to install the Arc KDE theme stuff.

sudo apt install --install-recommends arc-kde

Arch Linux

Arch Linux users can get quick access to Arc KDE by grabbing the package directly from the Arch AUR. The first step in the process of installing Arc KDE is to sync the latest version of the Git program with Pacman.

sudo pacman -S git

Next, use the Git tool to clone the latest version of the Arc KDE snapshot package to your Linux PC.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/arc-kde-git/

At this point, it’s time to build the package. Please keep in mind that though makepkg generally collects all important dependencies, it doesn’t always work. In the event that a dependency fails to install, visit the official AUR page, and scroll down to “Dependencies”.

makepkg -si

The Arc KDE Aur package is built and installed, but we’re not done. Next, you’ll need to install the companion Kvantum theme for Arc KDE. Luckily, this package doesn’t require any interacting with the AUR. Instead, sync it with Pacman.

sudo pacman -S kvantum-theme-arc


Thanks to the OBS, OpenSUSE users can easily install the Arc KDE packages. Follow this link, find your version of OpenSUSE, and click the download button next to it. Selecting a download next to any release will automatically launch YaST.

When YaST launches, follow the instructions to enable the new repository and software.

Generic Instructions

Are you a Debian user? Fedora fan? Use a version of Linux that doesn’t have a nice native package for Arc KDE? Not to worry, the project as a generic Bash script that any Linux user can run to quickly install the software. To install it, open up a terminal and run one of the commands below.

Install Arc KDE System-wide

The best way to install Arc KDE is to do it system-wide. Going this route ensures that Arc KDE is accessible to multiple users, rather than just a single user.

sudo wget -qO- https://raw.githubusercontent.com/PapirusDevelopmentTeam/arc-kde/master/install-arc-kde-root.sh | sh

Install Arc KDE For One User

Though not recommended, it is very possible to install Arc KDE for a single user. However, please understand that you’ll need to repeat this process for each user that wants to use Arc KDE.

wget -qO- https://raw.githubusercontent.com/PapirusDevelopmentTeam/arc-kde/master/install-arc-kde-home.sh | sh

When the Arc KDE theme is installed, the next step is to install Kvantum. In the terminal, search for “kvantum”, or “kvantum engine” and install the software. Then, run “kvantummanager”. Alternatively, build it from source here.

Uninstalling Arc KDE

If you’re looking to get rid of Arc KDE and have installed it with the generic script, you’ll need to run a separate script to get rid of it. In the terminal, do the following:


sudo wget -qO- https://raw.githubusercontent.com/PapirusDevelopmentTeam/arc-kde/master/remove-arc-kde.sh | sh

Single user

wget -qO- https://raw.githubusercontent.com/PapirusDevelopmentTeam/arc-kde/master/remove-arc-kde.sh | sh

Applying Arc KDE

Applying Arc KDE is quite easy, thanks to the KDE “Look and feel” app. Go to the application menu, search for “look and feel” and click on it. Inside of “Look and feel”, you should see “Arc KDE” in the list of themes to apply. Highlight the theme and click “OK” to instantly enable it.

After applying the Arc KDE theme with the Look and Feel manager in Plasma 5, you’ll need to enable the theme in Kvantum. All installation methods should install Kvantum. However, if for some reason the Kvantum tools didn’t install, open up your Linux distribution’s package manager, search for “kvantumengine” and install it.

Press Alt + F2 on the keyboard to bring up the Plasma command launch dialog, write “kvantummanager” in it and press enter.

Inside the Kvantum Manager app, look for the “Arc” theme and apply it to enable the theme on your Linux PC.

With Kvantum set up, your Linux PC is now using Arc KDE!

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