I want to restart my plasma desktop/shell without rebooting my machine and was looking for a way to do so. Is there some konsole command or something that would do just that?

6 Answers 6


So I think I found an answer. Modifing the KDE 4 command from humbug.in like so:

kbuildsycoca5 && kquitapp5 plasmashell && kstart5 plasmashell
  • 5
    The kbuildsycoca5 portion is unnecessary, the simplest way to do it is using kquitapp5 for Plasma 5. askubuntu.com/a/663702/72652 (best done in KRunner rather than in a terminal) Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 16:47
  • pkill plasmashell && kstart5 plasmashell works
    – alchemy
    Commented Feb 22, 2022 at 21:53

Kill plasmashell and start it in the background.

killall plasmashell
plasmashell > /dev/null 2>&1 & disown
  • 2
    This is fine as long as you don't mind plasmashell spewing a bunch of logging information to your terminal. You also won't be able to close the terminal, or else the plasma shell will be killed. Better to use kstart5 plasmashell as someone else suggested.
    – Psychonaut
    Commented Mar 3, 2017 at 18:51
  • @Psychonaut While kstart5 would be the more "correct" solution, plasmashell would not be killed as a result of closing the terminal as we start it in the background.
    – user542613
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 7:07
  • 1
    Putting the process in the background has no effect unless you also disown it. It will be killed along with its parent terminal.
    – Psychonaut
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 10:46
  • @Psychonaut Ah, right, of course. I'll edit the answer.
    – user542613
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 11:37
  • 1
    sh: disown: not found but the line had the required effect; I can then exit from all Konsole windows and plasmashell continues to run. FreeBSD 12.0-CURRENT #0 r320869: Mon Jul 10 13:57:55 UTC 2017 [email protected]:/usr/obj/usr/src/sys/GENERIC Commented Aug 28, 2017 at 18:24

For Plasma 5.27+

plasmashell --replace & disown

Now you can close konsole.


I'm having trouble with KDE right now. Sometimes it boots in a black screen, no nothing.

But if you type ALT+F2 and open up a konsole, you can see KDE is just running fine without plasmashell. No plasmashell in the process table, no need to kill it. In my case, just typing:

kstart5 plasmashell

will solve the case.

Also, no need to tell it to go on background (or disown it), because it will do just that anyway. You can close the konsole and it will keep running just fine.


I am running plasmashell 5.26.4 and the easiest way to restart it is

plasmashell --replace &
  • 1
    This is the best solution for recent systems. Thank you.
    – Demurgos
    Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 10:42
  • But if I close the terminal, plasmashell goes down. Plasma version 5.26.5
    – shmu
    Commented Mar 19, 2023 at 20:33
  • @shmu Did you forget the & at the end of the command? For me it works even if I close the terminal
    – stollr
    Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 15:52
  • @shmu, try to add disown at the end Commented Apr 4, 2023 at 9:15

In Debian 8 it's:

killall plasma-desktop && plasma-desktop

to restart

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