KDE Plasma Mobile on QEMU: I try for a second attempt at a review.

Hi everyone!

I tried reviewing this before, in this post. It didn’t go too well XD. This time, I’m reviewing KDE Plasma Mobile properly with QEMU (it doesn’t play nicely with virtualbox). I still used the NVIDIA GPU, because I’m stupid, hence the black screens, but you can just ignore those – I confirmed they don’t happen with integrated Intel or Radeon graphics. This time I’m reviewing the 2018/03/06 build, which seems to have fixed a few problems.

KDE Plasma Mobile on QEMU: The video review


Hmm. Didn’t really work, we got some wayland-related error. But this is an alpha, and they don’t seem to say we should install it, so yeah, never mind.

Software Manager

Nice visually appealing design, but a little glitchy with the scroll wheel. Not really an issue, because use the mouse to simulate sliding across the screen to scroll, like you would on a phone/tablet, works just fine. I can now install apps (or would be able to if I installed it and set a user password), and it looks nice and intuitive. It does show desktop apps too, which in my experience work well with the KDE plasma mobile interface. Shame I didn’t show it in the video, but Firefox integrates nicely with plasma mobile.


Not as much as usual out of the box for a Linux distro, but this is alpha. At the moment, you can adjust things like screen timeout, and font size, and it comes with a nice selection of themes, all of which look nice and seem to work well. What other mobile OS comes with themes out of the box? I reckon this will be a much-liked feature for users.

Default Apps

It comes with a few of these. It has a maps app, as well as VLC, vPlayer (another media player), a comic book viewer, and an XMPP client, amongst other things. I believe XMPP is for integrating with Facebook but correct if I’m wrong :).

KDE Plasma Mobile on QEMU: A Summary

While it has a few bugs, it’s not bad for an alpha. As I mentioned in the video, it does tend to black screen on NVIDIA cards (at least with the NVIDIA drivers), but NVIDIA cards have always been a pain in the backside with Linux in my experience anyway. It has a fair number of nice features, including a few I didn’t touch upon like the desktop widgets, and generally looks very visually appealing and professional. I’ve been following this project excitedly for a while now, so I’m glad to see a release. I’ll be testing it again when they release the second alpha/beta/a major new build. If you want me to cover new versions of this in videos or blog posts, let me know in the comments section :). As mentioned in the video, I want to have the PXE stuff done soon. It’s tricky to find the time, it being a much more complex topic, but I will try to get it done in the next few weeks at least. Anyways, that’s it from me for now, so I’ll see you soon with a new post.


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About Hamish McIntyre-Bhatty

I'm a self-employed software developer working on Free Software projects, as well as studying for my degree with the Open University. Being pedantic when it comes to detail is fortunately useful for both of these things! A strong believer in free software, I have a few pay-for programs available under the GPLv3 and enjoy reporting bugs and helping to improve various open source projects, including volunteering at Wimborne Model Town to work on their river control system.

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