Hyprland and KDE Applications

Updated on 8 March 2024 (for Plasma 6)

This is another post of the Hyprland series.

I am a big fan of KDE applications for many everyday tasks. Since Hyprland is not a full desktop environment, you can choose which applications to install for text editing, images, viewers, file managers, etc.

When I started using Hyprland, I was installing Thunar as a file manager; then I switched to Nemo because it’s more powerful, then to Nautilus (but it doesn’t look right in Hyprland). Finally, I decided to use Dolphin since I already used several KDE applications in Hyprland.

This is the list of Arch packages I install in Hyprland

  • kate (for text editing)
  • gwenview (for quick image editing)
  • konsole (as a terminal, though I still use also Alacritty)
  • breeze-icons (to have nice icons in KDE application)
  • kvantum (for Kate color schemes)
  • okular (for a better PDF viewer and annotator)
  • kcalc (as a calculator)
  • dolphin (for a powerful file manager)
  • dolphin-plugins (e.g., for Dropbox folder overlay)
  • ark (for Archive management, including Dolphin context menus)

Note that some of the above applications (namely, Dolphin and Gweenview) have “baloo” (the KDE file indexer and searcher) as a dependency. In Hyprland, that’s pretty useless and since it takes some resources for indexing, it’s better to disable that for good right after installing the above packages:

UPDATE (8 March): After the update to KDE Plasma 6, the name of the baloo command has changed:

Let’s look at a few features of KDE applications that I like.

Concerning Dolphin, it has several powerful features, too many to list here 😉 I mention better renaming for multiple files out of the box. This feature requires additional work for Thunar or Nemo, and I never like the final result.

Let’s see the enabling of the Dropbox plugin (see the installed “dolphin-plugins” above):

After restarting Dolphin, you’ll get the nice overlay on the “Dropbox” folder:

Another reason I like KDE applications is that they have built-in HUD (Head Up Display), that is, a global searchable menu: use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt + i and you get the menu: start typing to quickly reach the intended item (in this example, I quickly switch to a custom Konsole profile):

You may want to create or change the keybinding for the file manager, in my case it is:

Moreover, you’ll have to update the “~/.config/mimeapps.list” file accordingly, that is, specify this line and replace the corresponding existing ones:

Concerning theming, some applications like Kate allow you to choose the color scheme. For example, since we installed Kvantum, we can choose the color scheme in Kate with “Settings” -> “Window Color Scheme”.

Konsole has profiles that you can create and customize.

On the other hand, Dolphin has no such functionality, so we should theme all KDE/Qt applications. That’s the subject of another possible future post.

Enjoy your KDE applications on Hyprland as well! 🙂

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