Revision as of 00:21, 13 July 2010 by AaronPeterson (talk | contribs) (→‎Choose Version Method and Location: used ; instead of === which would be more propper but bad theme)

Getting Started


Determine Your Needs

KDE versions are split into branches off of the Trunk. The steps to build most branches are very similar. However, Each branch has different prerequisites.


For production use, we recommend using a stable version of KDE. You may be able to do just fine with your distribution packages.

If you need to build it yourself You will probably want the latest stable version for which you have the ,prerequisites or build requirementsfor your distribtion.

For developers, The TRUNK is the main branch where new features (and prerequisites) are added, however it can be difficult to keep up with.


It is possible to install KDE in a variety of ways. Actual instructions for installation are determined by the method, however much is common between methods and reading all may be helpful.


on development builds, do it to test KDM and other system level KDE functionality. Obviously desired for production use. If you are just testing KDM, you may want to use a virtual machine so you do not damage a production system.

your home directory

Useful on development machines, or if you have no other access to the machine, however it can be confusing to set environment variables, however there are other advantages. and some scripts to help you use it.

development user home

This is a common way to do it so that it does not interefere with the rest of your system. A common user name is kde-devel


Reading up on CMake may also be of interest.

distribution specific

If you use Kubuntu, consider Project Neon, where you may be able to download recent-enough Trunk Kubuntu packages and build enviornment.


This script will do most of the downloading and compiling for you. There are good instructions at

You can configure kdesrc-build to build most versions.

  • You will likely want to choose a recent branch
  • If you choose a branch, you will have to tweak the kdeSupport module description in the .kdesrc-buildrc

Manual Steps

Getting the Source

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Troubleshooting the build

Troubleshooting information is similar between branches as well.

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, Build/KDE4/Errors and IRC channel, and mailing lists.

Using your KDE

After KDE has been built, you'll want a good way to launch apps and perform your regular development tasks:

Setting up Enviornment

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You may not need the latest bleeding-edge KDE to develop with, Much code will be similiar between versions and your patch might work, however Trunk is where major changes are introduced, and branches are mostly maintenance/bug fix.

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This page was last edited on 7 September 2020, at 15:50. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.