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There are many different ways to become involved in the KDE Community, ranging all the way from a simply using our software through to being a core platform developer.
You can find more general information on getting involved in KDE at the following links:
This section of KDE TechBase is designed to help get you started in participating in the technical side of the KDE community. It will explain to you how KDE Software is structured and built, and how you can participate by building KDE for yourself.
Using KDE Software
If you just want to use stable KDE software for your everyday computing needs, then you do not need to build KDE Software for yourself. You should instead use the software installer provided by your Linux distribution to install KDE package.
The best place to learn how to do this is through your distributions normal support channels, although you may find some useful information on the following pages:
- Distributions shipping KDE
- Install KDE Software on Linux and BSD Distributions
- Install KDE Software on Windows
- Mac OS X does not currently have an installer available for KDE Software, but you can simplify building it by using MacPorts or Fink
If you are looking for help in using the KDE Workspace or KDE Applications then please visit the KDE UserBase.
If you have any questions or problems with building or developing KDE Software please feel free to ask for help. However, be patient while waiting for a response, and try to work through the problem yourself, we aren't going to do it all for you. Working your way through and understanding why something doesn't work is a good way to learn how to do things the right way.
Browsing the code
The KDE project is all free and open source. You can view its source code and make changes.
http://projects.kde.org hosts the source for many KDE-related initiatives, including KDE itself. Choose a piece of KDE such as KDE Libraries, then click Repository to browse its source. Getting_Started/Sources explains the organization of KDE source code.
There are other utilities to browse the source code:
- http://lxr.kde.org/search lets you search the code (may be out of date?)
- http://api.kde.org lets you browse API documentation generated from the code. You can search for class names, but not filenames.
Building and Running KDE Software From Source
There are several possible ways to build and install KDE software and the method you choose depends on what you want to do with the software. In particular if you are only wanting to build and develop a single application you may not need to build the entire KDE Development Platform to do so. You can read more about this on the Build Methods page.
The following sections explain the steps you need to understand and give the instructions you need to follow to successfully build KDE Software from source:
- How the KDE Source Code is structured
- How to Build and Install the software
- How to Run a nested session of KDE
- How to Run a full session of KDE
TODO: General introduction to the dev model, release cycles, etc.
- The KDE Release Schedule
- The KDE Software Engineering Framework
- KDE Development Policies and Procedures to follow
- The development lifecycle for a new application
There are a number of Development Tools that are either required or helpful when building KDE Software. For these you will usually want to use the stable packages provided by your distribution.
You may want to use a graphical IDE for your development work:
Contributing To KDE
Once you have a copy of KDE built you can then start contributing back to KDE. The pages below will help you find out how you can help make KDE even better.