< Neon
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KDE neon on Docker

Do you want to test KDE applications from master without installing KDE neon Dev Unstable edition? Maybe you have Dev Unstable edition installed but want to develop on your stable branch? Maybe you like your larswm setup but wonder if Plasma is the desktop for you and are looking for an easy way to test it out? KDE neon Docker images are the solution to quickly give you access to use or develop another branch without reinstalling your system or spending hours compiling.

Screenshot 20211110 195707.png

The above screenshot shows a computer running its normal Plasma desktop with three KDE neon Docker containers. One is a full Plasma session of KDE neon User Edition, one is a full Plasma session of KDE neon Developer Unstable edition and one is a single app from Developer Stable edition running Okular.

KDE neon container registry on invent.kde.org

KDE neon Docker Images comes in two variants each with the same Plasma editions as our archives. Plasma images (~2GB) come with the same software as our installable ISOs, Plasma and minimal applications. All Applications images (~4GB) come with all applications built on KDE neon. Note that all applications image may be outdated.

Available flavours
Plasma minimal All applications
invent-registry.kde.org/neon/docker-images/plasma:unstable invent-registry.kde.org/neon/docker-images/all:unstable
invent-registry.kde.org/neon/docker-images/plasma:testing invent-registry.kde.org/neon/docker-images/all:testing
invent-registry.kde.org/neon/docker-images/plasma:user invent-registry.kde.org/neon/docker-images/all:user
invent-registry.kde.org/neon/docker-images/plasma:developer invent-registry.kde.org/neon/docker-images/all:developer

Default user is neon and password is blank. The user has password-free sudo access.

Dependencies & Setup

Before starting you need to make sure you have docker, ruby, ruby development, and xephyr installed on your system

#Ubuntu-based systems
sudo apt install docker.io ruby-dev xserver-xephyr
#rpm-based systems (tested on fedora)
sudo dnf install docker ruby-devel xorg-x11-server-Xephyr

To give it a try first set up Docker as you would for your distro

sudo usermod -aG docker $(whoami)
newgrp docker
sudo systemctl unmask docker.service
sudo systemctl unmask docker.socket
sudo systemctl start docker.service

This will download the latest unstable image from Docker Hub:

docker pull invent-registry.kde.org/neon/docker-images/plasma:unstable

The neondocker or x11docker [1] script lets you run Neon docker images easily, this is pre-installed on recent KDE neon installs but works on any distro

wget https://invent.kde.org/packaging/docker-neon/-/raw/master/neondocker/neondocker.rb -O neondocker
chmod +x neondocker
sudo gem install --version '2.2.0' docker-api

Running KDE neon on Docker

By default it will run a full session inside a Xephyr window.


Or you can tell it to run a single app

./neondocker okular

This will give you a Bash prompt, you can code as you would on your host machine and run X apps. Type exit to quit, the ~/src directory will be preserved on your host machine.

For a Wayland session running in a window under either X or Wayland run. (This seems to stop any more X apps running though, spooky.)

./neondocker -w

Tips on using neondocker script

  • For more help using neondocker:
    ./neondocker --help
  • For the container to persist after you have closed the window add -k
  • To update to the latest build add -p
  • To use the Neon All build which has more apps add -a
  • To run a different edition add -e unstable/plasma_lts

You can also commit your Docker images if you make changes you would like to come back to such as installing applications. For more information on using Docker see Docker Engine user guide.

For an interactive session where you have access to your coding directory ~/src run

xhost +
docker run -ti -v /tmp/.X11-unix:/tmp/.X11-unix -v ~/src:/home/neon/src -e DISPLAY=:0 invent-registry.kde.org/neon/docker-images/plasma:unstable bash

This page was last edited on 28 April 2023, at 11:01. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.