2

KDE.org promotes Plasma Desktop as "fast and efficient" (see the following screenshot), but there is no relevant information given in order to have such experience.

KDE Plasma Desktop is promoted as "Fast and Efficient"

Fast & Efficient

Plasma is faster and more efficent than ever, using fewer resources than the previous generation desktop. -- Relevant text from screenshot

KDE documentation includes several wiki sites, but none of these had any relevant information. Although KDE UserBase Wiki for KWin has mentioned the hardware requirements for the window manager counterpart, that doesn't tell much for the desktop environment itself.

KWin supports compositing, which means using 3D effects for handling your windows [...] It’s hardware requirements are very modest and pretty much every reasonably modern system since 2002 supports it.

There are dated forum threads that mentioned system requirements for KDE on Ubuntu Forums in 2009 and Kubuntu Forums in 2014, however these are either unofficial or uncertain.

Even Kubuntu (KDE-based distro) has its dedicated article on Wikipedia that mentioned system requirements, the article has been revised to note that "not in citation given" for the quoted source. See dated revision of the source via Wayback Machine and one will notice that it was loosely mentioned and poorly quoted.

Above all, what is the official system requirements for KDE?

2

The minimum requirements for KDE neon can be found on KDE Community Wiki. The following have been noted for KDE neon User Edition 5.6.

Installing KDE neon requires:

  • 64-bit PC (Intel or AMD)
  • 2GB memory
  • 10GB disk space

However, according to the FAQ page of KDE neon, KDE neon is a rapidly updated software repository, not "the KDE distro" and limited to 64-bit builds only. Therefore, the requirements are intended for KDE neon only.

Revised text 2017.04.25

Despite KDE Neon is a relatively new project announced in early 2016, the requirements may be suggested similarly for KDE Plasma Desktop. However, the requirements are inaccurate.

The following are findings based on searches and experience:

  • KDE Plasma Desktop can run on both 32-bit PC and 64-bit PC.

  • KDE Plasma Desktop (esp. 4.X) can run with less memory (512 MB or may be less), although not fast and not smooth, at least usable even for low-end machines.

  • KDE Plasma Desktop (esp. 4.X) can be installed using less free disk space (6 GB or less), depending on the distribution that includes KDE as desktop environment.

From above findings, albeit generic, KDE supposedly has minimal requirements that are more lenient than KDE Neon counterpart. Except, it is not really documented to this date.

TL;DR The minimal requirements for KDE Neon are inaccurate, and shouldn't be considered as the requirements for KDE Plasma Desktop. This is not the final answer.

0

After some digging, I found that Kubuntu 16.04 which had KDE Plasma 5.5 as desktop required 1 GB RAM, 10 GB hard drive and a 1 GHz processor. See the following : "Recommended system requirements for Kubuntu 16.04 LTS remain the same as for 14.04 LTS. The run competently the distro asks for 1GB of RAM, a 1GHz (x86) or better dual-core processor, and 10 GB of hard-drive space."

See What's New in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Flavors | OMG! Ubuntu!

  • OMG! Ubuntu! didn't quote the source at anywhere within the article, which may suggest the recommendation is unofficial. Also, the part "requirements for Kubuntu 16.04 LTS remain the same as for 14.04 LTS" seems to be misleading, since KDE.org actually claim that "[Plasma is] using fewer resources than the previous generation desktop". Unless the source is clarified, I will neither downvote nor upvote this answer. – clearkimura Apr 15 '17 at 18:13

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