LXQt with kwin and KDE Breeze theme in Debian

LXQt, the fusion between LXDE and RazorQt desktop environments. Unlike KDE, LXQt is lightweight, though it supports KDE 5 Breeze theme. Breeze is the KDE 5’s latest widget style for Qt based apps, it has a pleasant look and feel. If you don’t have an experience with LXQt, just try it, for Debian, have a look this simple LXQt installation guide.

As of kwin, the window manager of KDE with lots of nifty features and very nice window decoration style.

lxqt with breeze and kwin

So how to make LXQt more cool looking with Breeze widget style and kwin without installing the whole KDE things ? Lets start !


Installing minimal kwin in Debian

Kwin and LXQt fits perfectly, before KDE 5 kwin had lot of KDE related dependency, but now the kwin 5 is much more modular, requires much less dependency.

The kwin 5 is available in two backend, Xorg based kwin_x11 and latest wayland based kwin_wayland, the X11 based kwin is more matured and has lesser dependency.

If you’re running Debian stable, currently Jessie, kwin 5 is not available, you’ve to go with the old kwin4 anyway.

So lets install them, make sure you have enabled the main repositary in Debian testing, currently Stretch.

 sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get --no-install-recommends install kwin-x11 kwin-addons

sudo apt-get --no-install-recommends install  kwin-style-breeze

This will install kwin with little bit plasma-framework dependency.


Installing Breeze Qt application theme

To install minimal Breeze widget theme, just install kde-style-breeze for Qt 5.x and kde-style-breeze-qt4 for Qt 4.x apps.

 sudo apt-get install kde-style-breeze kde-style-breeze-qt4 

The Breeze theme suite is also available packed with Breeze icon theme and Breeze cursor theme, but this package have more unnecessary dependency, though you could give it a try.

 sudo apt-get install breeze 

The new Breeze style is looks more smooth and flat compared to the previous Oxygen style. You can also use Qt5ct to change Qt5 application style.


Installing a matching Icon theme

There are many icon theme could be used with LXQt, but it’s better to use a icon theme which fits nicely with Breeze style. The Breeze icon theme is good too.

 sudo apt-get install breeze-icon-theme 

Note: The default Breeze icon theme may not show folder icons properly in PCManFM file manager.

Other icon theme that match Breeze style

The Emerald icon theme is better but lacks GTK+ application support, the Paper icon theme is modern and flat looking, supports both Qt and GTK+ apps.

To install the icon themes from zip or tar.gz archive, just download the icon archives and unpack them to the /usr/share/icons/ folder, example bellow

 sudo tar -xf ~/icons/emerald_icons.tar.gz -C /usr/share/icons/ 


Cursor theme and font style

Cursor theme and font selection depends upon your choice, but if you feel the Breeze cursor theme is somewhat bulky, use some minimal fonts like StormDrops, DMZ-White, DMZ-Black etc. etc.

Fix default X shaped cursor in some application:  Some applications mainly GTK ones, app menu items, drop down menus may show the default X shaped cursor instead of the arrow. To fix this, create a file named 100-cursor under the under /etc/X11/Xsession.d/ folder and put the line bellow there.

xsetroot -cursor_name left_ptr

Almost every font looks smooth, any Sans font like FreeSans, DejaVu Sans are pretty good. Adjust the font subpixel antialiasing according to your monitor, most monitors use the RGB pixel alignment.

Choose proper font hinting style and correct monitor DPI, if this setting is incorrect any text will look distorted.


Changing the system style and window manager

Now change the LXQt widget style to Breeze, available under the Preferences > LXQt settings > Appearance from the panel menu. Alternative you could also run the command directly


lxqt with breeze and kwin

To select kwin as window manager, select it from the Preferences > LXQt settings > Session Settings panel menu item. Alternative you could also change it by editing the ~/.config/lxqt/session.conf file and change the window_manager string to kwin_x11.

kwin lxqt with breeze

Lightweight Qt based applications for LXQt

You may install some Qt based lightweight apps for seamless integration with LXQt desktop. For example,

  1. Qterminal terminal emulator.
  2. Focuswriter, Juffed or tea for text editing.
  3. PCManFM-Qt file manager and Qpdf pdf viewer.
  4. Qupzilla as web browser and qbittorrent torrent client.
  5. LXimage-Qt as image viewer.
  6. SMPlayer, UMPlayer or VLC for multimedia.

The list is going to really huge, look here for a more complete list of Qt based applications.


LXQt with breeze and kwin makes a pleasant feeling and responsive desktop, perhaps this is going to be the best desktop environment for Qt lovers.

LXQt is not just a bare minimal desktop, it also provides policykit handler, notification daemon, power management tool, configurable and usable panel, shortcut key handler, MIME type editor, volume control daemon and many more, a real XFCE and LXDE killer.

So, that’s it 🙂 , if you have any suggestion or question fell free and just leave a comment. If you find this useful, don’t forget to share it with friends.

19 Responses

  1. rookpower says:

    anyway sytemsettings5 is not recognized in the terminal and I still have no settings icon on the desktop but instead i can open the kde settings from the right click menu. Problem solved

  2. LAL says:

    Do you know how can i change the Widget style to Breeze DARK?

  3. M4he says:

    How did you get kwin5 on Jessie? It’s not part of the official backport repo.

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