Getting Started/Build/Example

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Example Build

The following example recipe shows the full sequence of commands you would need to enter into the command line to build a typical KDE module:

cd ~/kde-devel/src
git clone git://
mkdir ~/kde-devel/build/kdelibs
cd ~/kde-devel/build/kdelibs
cmake ~/kde-devel/src/kdelibs \
      -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=debugfull \
make install

Let's break that recipe down and explain each step.


First you navigate to a convenient folder to save the code in:

cd ~/kde-devel/src

Then request a copy of the code from the KDE source repository, in this example a copy of kdelibs from Git:

git clone git://

This may take some time to process. For Git you will see out output similar to:

myuser@mybox:~/kde-devel/src> git clone git://
Initialized empty Git repository in /home/myuser/kde-devel/src/kdelibs/.git/
remote: Counting objects: 722134, done.
remote: Compressing objects: 100% (138759/138759), done.
remote: Total 722134 (delta 586243), reused 715797 (delta 580373)
Receiving objects: 100% (722134/722134), 140.90 MiB | 706 KiB/s, done.
Resolving deltas: 100% (586243/586243), done.

This example will create a folder called ~/kde-devel/src/kdelibs containing all the kdelibs source code and all its history since KDE began.

For an SVN checkout you will instead see output similar to:

myuser@mybox:~/kde-devel/src> svn checkout svn://
A    kdesdk/cmake
A    kdesdk/cmake/samples
A    kdesdk/cmake/samples/kpager
A    kdesdk/cmake/samples/kpager/CMakeLists.txt
A    kdesdk/COPYING.LIB
U   kdesdk
Checked out revision 1223739.


First you create a convenient folder to build the code in:

mkdir ~/kde-devel/build/kdelibs
cd ~/kde-devel/build/kdelibs

Next you need to run CMake to create the configuration files to be used in the build:

cmake ~/kde-devel/src/kdelibs \
      -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=debugfull \

Various options can be passed to CMake to control how a project gets built, but these are the most common:

  • The first line tells CMake where it can find the source code that is to be built.
  • The second line tells CMake what type of build is required, in this example a debugfull build that will include useful information for when we are debugging any the software.
  • The third line tells CMake we also want the unit tests to be built.
  • The fourth line tells CMake where to install the software.



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