Different KDE Wallpaper for each desktop


If you’ve been around KDE for a long time you remember that you could have different wallpaper for each different virtual desktop.

This feature disappeared somewhere in between KDE4 and KDE5, was said to be impossible, then promised by one developer, only to get side tracked.

Its been two years. TWO YEARS, and 200 posts on the bug report:

Finally one clever guy, Jonathan Marten, found a way to do it with a tiny utility that hijacks the slide-show wall paper option to change wallpapers as you switch desktops.

Scroll down the page, there are step by step instructions (6 easy commands) in a clear writeup. and it works. Flawlessly.

Wow have I missed this feature. Boy Am I glad to have it back.

New KDE Plasma 5.xx Features & Improvements

Thanks for the link and posted it on the KDE sub-reddit for others.


If you get an error about “ECM”

sudo pacman -S extra-cmake-modules 

Took me a while to work it out…


I got lucky on my KDE/Plasma install because apparently a complete QT development environment got installed for some reason. (I remember bitching about this at the time).

So for me it worked first time on Manjaro.

But on Opensuse I was chasing dependencies for a while, each time i would find one, it would get a little farther and choke on another dependency. I finally dug down into the source code and found the list of things it was checking for and loaded them all.

You have to find packages that provide these items:

KF5::ConfigCore KF5::ConfigWidgets
KF5::KIOCore KF5::KIOFileWidgets


Sadly I don’t think the developers are ever going to implement a native solution, - they’re really pushing hard for people to use Activities.

I’d long since given up on this coming back, to the point of switching back to XFCE. I’ve jumped back to Plasma 5.8.x recently to see if the workflow is functional using Activities, - it’s not perfect and lacks visual feedback (VD pager), a little slower too, but doable ; I’d set up an activity per virtual desktop.


I will try this. But actually I kind of get used to Activities.

But before I was using this kind of set up to achieve different wallpaper per workspace.

  1. In the KDE activity settings, I was marking the option to remember workspace per activity.
  2. Creating the same number of activities and workspaces
  3. Adding Activity pager widget in the panel next to workspace pager.
  4. Making sure that when the Activity 1 is open it is on the workspace 1 , if A 2 is open then it is W2, and so on
  5. Setting up the wallpaper for each activity
  6. Removing workspace pager from the panel.

and vuola :smiley: now when you switch activity in the pager it will switch the workspace as well and if you have, for example, desktop cube enabled for workspace switching, you will see that effect (as now switching activity also means switching workspace).

There was an option to set up manual shortcuts for changing activities, you may choose the same shortcuts as you were using for changing workspaces and as a result, you will have different wallpaper per “workspace” (well at least visually) :smiley: