How do I speed up or slim KDE?

The question of
"How do I speed up or slim KDE?" does get asked from time to time.
There is information scattered across the forums and on the web.
But the questions persist, so I am going to take a shot at consolidating a list of mostly things I would do plus a handful of other things that may be useful.

As a reference.
This is not an exhaustive list (yet). Nor should it be taken as a whole, or as a step-by-step guide.

What follows is simply a collection of options particular to KDE Plasma.
[ other considerations such as swappiness will not be covered here. ]

System Settings -> Application Style -> Widget Style -> Applications -> Configure:

  • Disable animations.

System Settings -> Desktop Behavior -> Desktop Effects:

  • Disable anything you dont need.
  • I find That Login/Logout feel snappier enabled.
  • Resize Windows is snappier enabled - it disables resizing of objects while resizing windows.

System Settings -> Startup and Shutdown -> Autostart:

  • Disable anything you dont need.

System Settings -> Startup and Shutdown -> Background Services:

  • Disable anything you dont need.

System Settings -> Startup and Shutdown -> Desktop Session:

  • On Login start with an empty session.

System Settings -> Search -> File Search:

  • Consider adding items to the exclusion list, or disabling completely.

System Settings -> Search -> Plasma Search:

  • Disable anything you dont need.

System Settings -> Applications -> Launch Feedback:

  • Consider 'No feedback' for Cursor.
  • Consider Disabling animation for task manager.

System Settings -> Display and Monitor -> Compositor:

  • Set Animation speed to instant, or as close as you like.
  • Scale method impacts performance and appearance. In order of fastest and ugliest to slowest and most pretty the options are: Crisp then Smooth then Accurate.
  • Test out Rendering backend options. OpenGL 3.1 is best, as long as it works with your hardware. Conversely older or niche hardware may benefit from augmenting this option in the opposite way.

Well, um, erm {{puts on running shoes ready for fast escape}} clearly what you like in your Plasma is "quite different" [massive euphemism] to me. :open_mouth:

Heh. Think of it like what you used to do with windoze on underpowered machines - turn off a bunch of things like aero. This is just a list of such things for whomever it might help.

I have identified the source of my great surprise. Might i please respectfully suggest a slight tweak to the thread title? My eye was drawn to read this thread from the title

KDE Plasma Optimization

which for me at least does NOT automatically have to have a tie-in with

Hence i managed initially to miss noting your subsequent

which i now see underpins the entire thrust of your list. In that context, i get it, but feel the title might better become something similar to your preamble's

Then, if the forum ever happens to be sufficiently unlucky to attract other pedantic idiots like moi, they'll not need to darken your doorstep as i have.

Fine there ya go :wink:



If i were to respond with "Thank you Sam" [or the much bigger giveaway "Thank you McCloud"], might you have any idea to what i allude?

I have no idea. Couldnt even reliably pin it down after searching. :thinking:

Ok, no worries.


all you talked about is kwin compositer and animation.
i dont see any other kde part here.
so its better to name the thread how to make kwin faster.

but if anyone wants to use kwin without animation and desktop effects
i suggest them to use openbox or i3 as replacement.

desktop search, sessions, background services, and more are not kwin.

As to kwin itself I wasnt trying to write about replacing components .. more 'taming' the normal plasma.

You missed out removing all the PIM stuff :smiley:


well they dont slowdown anything.
as far as i know.

They gobble up huge amounts of memory and waste processor cycles.

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John Wayne played the theatrical version, IIRC.

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ah yes, akonadi and PIM.

As you can see I just started with 'slimming' system settings options.