From KDE TechBase

    UPDATE 2014-12-16: These build instructions are current as of 2013. The mission statement below is current as of today. Contact me at [email protected] to assist with any updates.

    I am interested in compiling KDE SC on a stock ubuntu-server distribution in under 7 days, and then updating the documentation so that a new contributor to KDE can do this in under 6 days. I think the huge up-front commitment to build from trunk is a barrier to entry for new contributors.

    Here is a list of documentation that I am consulting and working on. They are listed in order from, a place where new contributors can start, and is hierarchal based on hyper links. Action that is required is also included on this list. Ultimately, this should result in a runnable system.

    Going with kdesrc-build

    Latest problem with kdesrc-build method

    Kernel panic during git update on qt-copy


    I also read that you wanted to know how long the build process takes for new comers. In that regard, I had a very hard and long time at first understanding the process of building trunk besides my stable KDE. I tried building it several times, but every time it gave some compilation errors in different pieces of codes. This was may be because of wrong bashrc that I used for settings the env variables for KDE_SRC and KDE_BUILD.

    But after I got that clear (a friend helped me through), the cmakekde on kdesupport+kdelibs+phonon+kdebase took about an hour and a half, excluding the source-code download time (it took really long due to my slow internet connection).

    Glad I could help! Considering the ENTIRE time, it took me about a month (I know its too long but I gave up every time it gave errors, and did not try again till a week or so) to setup KDE from trunk. And of course, I don't mind my response being put on the wiki if it helps. Actually, I just posted a small and simple walkthrough on my blog for building KDE from trunk beside the stable distro-provided KDE. Take a look, if it helps either,

    -- Viranch

    Installing KDE SC and its Prerequesites

    There are several ways to install KDE SC so that you can use and develop KDE software. Below are complete instructions for installing KDE4 on a Linux system based on whether you want an Official Release, a Nightly Build, Stable 4.x Release, or Trunk.

    Official Release Nightly Build Stable from Source Trunk
    For the casual user, or a developer who is working on applications outside of KDE SC For application developers or package managers who are not modifying the core of KDE SC For KDE SC and applications developers that want to spend less time setting up a build system For developers working on core KDE SC functionality
    1. Use a Distribution with KDE to set up a fully functional KDE system in one step. Also install the "developer packages" if you want to compile KDE software 1. Install build requirements from your distribution 1. Install build requirements from your distribution 1. Install build requirements from your distribution
    2. Download and setup KDE SC easily using Project Neon 2. Download KDE source from SVN 2. Download KDE source from SVN
    3. Build a stable 4.x release 3. Build KDE SC from trunk
    4. Set up scripts to ease KDE development 4. Set up scripts to ease KDE development

    For instructions on installing KDE SC on Windows, BSD, or Mac OS X, or instructions for installing KDE3, please see the other supported platforms page. There are also upgrade instructions from a branch to trunk.

    Below is additional information you may be interested in before installing KDE.

    Build Notes for Special Users


    In each installation scenario above, QT in installed in the most appropriate way. For you reference, there are three ways to install:

    System Qt
    Often the easiest way to go, because most people have it already, you may have to install the QCA plugin as root though.
    Previously known as qt-copy -- This is the minimum version of Qt any of your users are expected to have. Some bugs may be fixed in new Qt, so you may have to work-around bugs in lower versions, including this one.
    Main Qt
    Get it straight from Nokia, experience the latest cool features, but note that many people will be using older distributions with older Qt.

    Source Repository

    Currently, KDE SC source code is [using git].

    Troubleshooting the build

    See Troubleshooting

    Compile and Linking errors are frequent sources of discouragement. Make careful note of the first occurrence of an error in your build process. It could be as simple as a bad environment variable, an unexpected version of a library or missing prerequisite.

    Please review your logs and do searches for fixes. If you cannot find a solution, try Build/KDE4/Errors, the IRC channel, and the mailing lists. You can post your detailed issue from Build/Stories.

    If you are building from trunk and following the instructions linked from here or from Build KDE 4.5 on Kubuntu and would like free support, please contact:

    Aaron Peterson
    206-334-5925 (lives in GMT -8 hours)
    Or leave a message at

    Extra Tools

    You will likely want to use a stable package from your distribution instead of the ones of the KDE version you are working on.

    For most development topics, and documentation, see Development

    Opening and creating KDE project files


    You may not need the latest bleeding-edge version of KDE with which to develop. Much of the code will be similar between versions and your patch might work. However, Trunk is where major changes are introduced, and branches are mostly for maintenance/bug fixes.