Projects/KDE on Windows/Installation

< Projects‎ | KDE on Windows
Revision as of 19:24, 1 February 2008 by Rhabacker (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
Perhaps actual developers should summarize status of KDE4 on Windows here, while we encourage users to describe their experiences on the Talk page?



KDE Installer for Windows

You can use this installer to download and install the various binary packages that you need to run KDE applications on MS Windows. KDE is free and open source so you can build all the applications "from scratch" from their source code; but as a convenience for others, volunteers create these precompiled packages and make them available on the Internet.

Disclaimer These are early days for KDE4 on Windows, some programs work better than others and some fail to run altogether.

If you experience any problems please have a look into our mailing list.

You can also use the KDE Installer for Windows to install source code and the packages that you need to build KDE4 on Windows (although if you are building KDE4 on Windows you may prefer to use the emerge system to build KDE and its requirements from latest source); see Getting Started/Build/KDE4/Windows.

Summary of Steps

  • Visit
  • Download and save the latest version to a directory, e.g. C:\KDE4
  • Run the installer, download what you need (see #Download needed packages below).
  • Add your lib directory, e.g. C:\KDE4\lib to your Windows %PATH%. (Start > Control Panel > System > Advanced > Environment Variables, double-click the Path System Variable and add this to your path separated by semicolon.)
  • Add a KDEDIRS environment variable (Start > Control Panel > System > Advanced > Environment Variables, click [New] User variable and create Variable name KDEDIRS with Variable value the directory where you installed KDE4, e.g. C:\KDE4).
  • [TEMPORARILY] Follow the instructions at #post-install steps
  • Try running a Qt application in the bin directory, such as linguist.exe
  • If that works, try running a KDE application such as kwrite.exe.

Download needed packages

A single program in the The K Desktop Environment depends on many other libraries and packages; that is why each .exe is comparatively small. The KDE Installer for Windows has some awareness of dependencies, but not complete. So, the first few times you try to run an application you may see alerts about missing DLLs.

If you do not intend to build from source, do not click "all" and do not click "src", as you do not need to download the source for each package. Unclear whether you need lib for each.

There are two development systems for KDE on Windows, Microsoft's Visual C and MinGW. Even if you are only running binaries and do not intend to build KDE4 yourself, you need to choose between these because of the provided runtime environments. You're free to decide which to take.

The KDE programs themselves are organized into several groups: kdeedu, kdegames, and kdegraphics.

Here are some of the minimal packages you need to run a KDE application:

dbus-msvc, kdebase-msvc, kdewin32-msvc, qt-msvc, vcredist, ??

The Dependencies tab for a particular package lists some of the additional packages it needs. However, the dependency checking currently only works for first-level dependencies Other dependencies are not easy to determine in advance. For example, if you install kdegames only with its dependencies, you will not be able to start it because you also need libstreamanalyze (for which you have to install the strigi package). rhabacker: This is fixed in installer version > 0.8.4.

Getting_Started/Build/KDE4/Windows/3rd-party_libraries is a more complete list of libraries that a full installation needs.

Issues with KDE Installer for Windows

Currently no issues known. If you found an issue, please report to [1].

post-install steps

You currently need to run a number of command-line programs to set up KDE. Here are the steps.

Run update-mime-database

Be sure that you have no KDE-related applications: run the Windows Task Manager (taskmgr.exe), switch to its Processes tab, and kill all occurences of dbus-daemon.exe, kded4.exe, kioslave.exe and klauncher.exe (and all other KDE apps).

Open a Windows command prompt (cmd.exe) and navigate to the directory where you installed KDE. Say you installed KDE to C:\KDE4, then run from the cmd.exe window:
C:\KDE4> '''bin\update-mime-database C:\KDE4\share\mime'''
This will give you a lot of warning message. Most of them you can easily ignore; even if you should set XDG_DATA_HOME or XDG_DATA_DIRS it worked perfectly. If it says you should rerun update-mime-database as root then you're not within your installation directory.

Run kbuildsyscoca4

After finishing the previous step, run
C:\KDE4> '''bin\kbuildsycoca4 --noincremental'''
If this tells you that your disk is full (which is most probably not the case) you have still some executables from KDE running. Please close them and try again.

Excuse us for the inconvenience — we hope for a better solution in the next release.

Testing your installation

Navigate to the bin directory.

See if you can run the Qt program assistant.exe. Qt programs have fewer dependencies than a full-blown KDE application.

If that works, try running a simple KDE application, such as kruler.exe from the kdegraphics package.

The first KDE application you run will start a console window in order to run the D-Bus daemon.


Set Oxygen style for widgets

The default KDE widget style on Windows is the native one. You already have Oxygen style installed (which is a plugin library %KDEROOT%\lib\kde4\plugins\styles\oxygen.dll), so it can be used as well. To set it for a single user:

  1. edit %UserPROFILE%\.kde\share\config\kdeglobals with any text editor (e.g. kwrite)
  2. locate line containing "[General]" text, what is a section, if there is no such line, add one
  3. replace or add widgetStyle=.... line with widgetStyle=oxygen.

Newly started applications should be displayed with Oxygen style now.


Using kdewin-installer-gui-0.8.5.exe to install 4.00.80 packages:

  • starting a KDE program correctly starts dbus-daemon.exe
  • many games run
  • choosing File > Open correctly starts klauncher.exe, kioslave.exe and kded4.exe, and runs kbuildsycoca4.exe as needed.
  • Help > Program Handbook (often mapped to the [F1] key) does not work because the KDE Help Center is not available on Windows. This is due to its use of the K3Process interface and external dependencies not ported such as perl scripts, htdig, and other libraries.

General notes:

  • There are many other KDE programs that are not part of KDE 4.0.0 and are not currently packaged for Windows, such as KOffice 2 and Amarok.
  • By design, KDE-windows does not provide the full-blown KDE desktop, thus no KWin composite manager, KDE-specific "start" menus, Plasma desktop, etc.

Package status and contents

package status contains applications
kdebase packaged Konqueror, Dolphin, KWrite, etc.
kdegames packaged Kgoldrunner, Kpat, KMahjongg, etc.
kdesdk packaged Kate, Umbrello, etc.
kdetoys packaged KTeatime, etc.
kdeedu packaged Marble, Parley, KStars, KHangman, etc.
kdegraphics not packaged Okular, kolourpaint, etc.
amarok not packaged Amarok
koffice not packaged KWord, Krita, Karbon, etc.
kdepim not building KMail, AKregator, etc.
kdenetwork not building Kopete, KGet, etc.

KDE® and the K Desktop Environment® logo are registered trademarks of KDE e.V.Legal