Projects/KDE on Solaris/OpenSolaris

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KDE on OpenSolaris is like Projects/KDE on Solaris but with some extra setup steps. There are IPS packages available intermittently.

Status: For an overview of current issues, see the KDE4 on OpenSolaris status page.

At the moment 'Effortless building' is the only uptodate part of this page.


Effortless building of KDE 4

  • Install a current Solaris (S11e. OpenIndiana is likely to work too).
    Make sure you have enough memory (>=1GB) and swap (~2GB).
  • Make sure your user ("test" in this case) has privileges to install software etc.
    # usermod -P "Primary Administrator" test
  • Add the repo so you can install Sun Studio 12.1
    pfexec pkg set-publisher -g
  • Install Mercurial, the version control system. You need this to keep up-to-date with the packaging information.
    pfexec pkg install developer/versioning/mercurial text/gnu-sed file/gnu-coreutils
  • Now fetch the repository containing the build information. The repository is approximately 8MB large at this point.
    hg clone
  • Set-up a configuration file. Usually it's enough to just
cd kde4-specs-460/specs/ ; cp tools/build/config.template tools/build/config
  • Let a script install all the dependencies and the build environment.
     sh tools/install-be --osol
  • Go for a walk, sleep, enjoy the life, as pkg is quite slow and has a lot to do (~1 hour)
  • When it's finished, do:
    so that the new .bashrc is used
  • Run
    cd ~/src/kde4-specs-460/specs/; make KDEgdm-integration
    to start the build (build time may grow up to 24 hours on a decent machine).
  • Logout and login to your brand new KDE4.x session
  • Check KDE4 on OpenSolaris status page for workarounds for some known issues.

Installing KDE4 IPS packages

The current KDE4 IPS package server is at This is a fairly standard IPS setup. The bionicmutton domain is Adriaan's and has been previously used to serve up SysV packages as well. The URL is changing over time, always check the forum ( or IRC (#kde4-solaris) for the latest news.

To add the kde ips repository:

pfexec pkg set-publisher -p

Remember that KDE includes setuid code. Remember that installing packages from untrusted and unsigned third parties is insecure. Remember that the KDE codebase is huge and not extensively tested on OpenSolaris yet. Consider whether you really want to install KDE4 on the machine you're working on. Then decide to do it anyway. You will need KDEbase-apps for things like Konqueror and Konsole, and KDEgdm-integration to be able to choose KDE as a session; other KDE packages may be installed as you need them (such as KDEpim, KDEgames, etc.). There is a KDEconsolidation package as well that pulls in everything we know of.

pfexec pkg install KDEgdm-integration

After installing KDEgdm-integration, you should be able to log out and choose KDE as a session type from the login manager. Then you get a full KDE4 desktop. On my machine with Radeon graphics it is very slow to start up and launch applications, but fairly fast after that. There is a discussion on performance tweaking on

Please report problems to KDE bug tracker with Operating System set to "Solaris". Please check for duplicates [1] first.

Building KDE4 on OpenSolaris

Installing Tools

Set up SunStudio 12 (not Studio Express) and patch it up as described on the Projects/KDE on Solaris page. Tar that up and then extract it on your OpenSolaris machine. This will give you /opt/SUNWspro. Leave that alone.

You will also need to install more development tools with the following package installation command:

pfexec pkg install SUNWmercurial \
    SUNWgmake \
    SUNWcurl \
    SUNWgnu-automake-110 \
    SUNWaconf \

And now you need more bits and pieces. The easiest way I've found it to install Studio Express because it drags in whatever it is, and then uninstall Studio Express because you don't really want it.

pfexec pkg install sunstudioexpress
pfexec pkg uninstall sunstudioexpress

Installing Headers

OpenSolaris ships without many of the headers you will need, instead packaging them separately (like the -devel packages in Linux, but with less-consistent naming). You will need at least the following:

pfexec pkg install SUNWhea \
    SUNWaudh \
    SUNWsfwhea \

Installing Other Dependencies

Although the build will warn you about them much later, you should install the following dependencies (which will also pull in headers) now.

pfexec pkg install SUNWmysql51 \
    SUNWmysql51lib \
    SUNWlibmng \
    SUNWgnu-gettext \
    SUNWgnu-libiconv \
    SUNWiconv-unicode \
    SUNWperl-xml-parser \
    SUNWGtk \
    SUNWicu \
    SUNWgnome-media-mp3 \
    SUNWpostgr-83-libs \
    SUNWpostgr-83-devel \
    SUNWcups \
    SUNWlibtool \
    SUNWsvn \
    SUNWbison \
    SUNWflexlex \
    SUNWdoxygen \

Configuring Paths

For consistency, let's set up some standard directories in your home directory. Then we need to set up your build environment -- in this example by adding to your .bash_profile, but you may want to do that differently.

mkdir ~/src ~/bin ~/packages
mkdir ~/packages/SOURCES
cat >> ~/.bashrc

(note: on Nevada, you need /usr/gnu/bin somewhere in the front of the PATH)

Don't worry that /opt/dtbld doesn't exist yet. We'll create it shortly. Note that we are adding the Studio12 paths to your environment and also ~/bin, which we will use to override some of the system path defaults.

Installing CBE Components

Next, we'll fetch sources for pkgtool and build it. The pkgtool program is used to build SysV packages and is part of the CBE (Common Build Environment). We won't be building all of the CBE, though.

cd ~/src
gtar xvjf desktop-cbe-1.7.0-rc1-x86.tar.bz2
cd desktop-cbe-1.7.0-rc1
./cbe-install -k -g -s -o
gtar xvjf pkgbuild-1.3.101.tar.bz2
cd pkgbuild-1.3.101
./configure --prefix=/opt/dtbld
# Lots of output snipped
# Not much output snipped
pfexec gmake install
# More output snipped
pfexec chgrp bin /opt/dtbld/{bin,lib}

Check if /opt/dtbld/bin/pkgtool will run; for instance pkgtool --help should do the trick. You can remove ~/src/pkgbuild-1.3.101* now. You need to fix up the groups on bin and lib or the next installations will fail -- suspended for administrative reasons.

Next up we will install some other CBE components, using KDE's copy of their specfiles. We need to get the KDE specfile repository for this, though:

cd ~/src
pfexec pkgrm CBEcmake
pfexec pkgrm CBEyasm
hg clone
cd kde4-specs-dev/specs
gmake CBEcmake CBEyasm

This will build and install cmake 2.6.2 and yasm into /opt/dtbld. The cmake is newer than what CBE 1.7.0 will deliver; yasm is the same as CBE yasm.

Installing the Rest

You will need to put some symlinks into your ~/bin (or switch around your PATH, but I think using symlinks is safer). There is a target check-version that will check the versions of installed components and what's in your path and print out a report. Something like this:

$ make check-version
! $AUTOMAKE is unset and automake is not in your PATH.
!   Make sure an automake is available (CBEautomake).
! install is not GNU install; make sure GNU install
!   is in your path and can be called as "install"
! System will probably not compile properly.
!   hit ^C now to abort compilation.

It's a good idea to listen to what check-version prints, because it will save you from mysterious compile failures much later. To solve typical problems, we add symlinks in ~/bin as follows:

cd ~/bin
ln -s `which automake-1.10` automake
ln -s `which aclocal-1.10` aclocal
ln -s `which ginstall` install
ln -s `which gmake` make
for i in autoconf autoheader autom4te autoreconf
    ln -s `which $i` $i

Configuring the Build

All of the build action happens in ~/src/kde4-specs-dev/specs, and packages and other build things happen in ~/packages; the latter is configurable through pkgtool's ~/.pkgtoolrc and the former is where you checked out the sources. You still need to configure the build to make it an OpenSolaris build instead of a regular one; the difference is: - A regular build builds all of the dependencies in /opt/foss, including many duplicates of packages already installed on the system. - An OSOL build uses as many of the installed system packages as is feasible.

To configure for OSOL, do the following:

cd ~/src/kde4-specs-dev/specs
cat > Makefile.config
PKGTOOL_ARGS=--without-64 --with-osol

This suppresses 64-bit builds (of limited use if your interest is only KDE, which is going to be built in 32-bit mode anyway) and changes the dependencies to OSOL style. For documentation on what can go in Makefile.config, see the Makefile.

Now do a test build of a single package, to see if things work a little:

make FOSShier

Building KDE in Four Big Steps

To break down the build into a few somewhat manageable steps, we distinguish Qt, KDEgdm-integration, BOOST and KDEconsolidation. Build them in turn:

cd ~/src/kde4-specs-dev/specs
make FOSSqt
make KDEgdm-integration
make FOSSboost
make KDEconsolidation

Those will pull in the dependencies they need one-by-one. It can take a long time to download and build it all; count on about a day on a modern desktop. Look in Makefile.templates for other interesting targets.

Creating KDE4 IPS packages

If you want to create your own IPS packages (in order to test them before contributing them to OpenSolaris contrib repo eventually, maybe), you will need to follow a series of steps:

Enabling your own IPS repo

You will need a IPS repository running in your machine up & running:

pfexec svccfg -s pkg/server "setprop pkg/port=10000"
pfexec svcadm refresh pkg/server
pfexec svcadm enable pkg/server

Once you have your own IPS repo listening in localhost, you will need to recognize it as a valid authority from where to install packages:

pfexec pkg set-authority -O http://localhost:10000 localrepo

You can check that it's configured properly if it appears as a valid IPS repo:

pkg authority
# Some other repos
localrepo                           http://localhost:10000/

Creating the IPS packages and commiting them to the repo

To create the IPS packages, you can use the ips-$PACKAGE target of make, using the following format (for the case of FOSShier):

make ips-FOSShier

One tool you can use to find out what the direct or indirect dependencies are for a package is 'show-missing' which is a target in tools/Makefile.admin:

make -f tools/Makefile.admin show-missing TARGET=KDElibs


OSOL System Issues

Swap - If the build dies claiming fbe is out of free space, it is likely that your swap is too small. About 1 Gb should be fine, but 2 Gb is recommended. To set your swap size to 2 Gb, execute the following as root, replacing 'rpool/swap' with the location of your swap partition, given by 'zfs list':

pfexec zfs set volsize=2G rpool/swap

Reboot afterward, as the change may not register immediately with the kernel.

Qt Jambi

Ant - If the system claims it can't find ant, or CBEant then you need to install JDS-CBE from . The ANT_HOME is often not set for you, so set it to the following in your shell profile:

export ANT_HOME=/opt/jdsbld

java.lang.OutOfHeapSpaceError - Sometimes the given heap space for the XSLT generation at the beginning of the compile isn't enough and the build stops. Add the following to your .bashrc or shell profile to increase to a suitable size of 256m:

export ANT_OPTS=-Xmx256m

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