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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 "branch" version of KDE. If you just want to use KDE, take a look at http://userbase.kde.org/. If you are developing applications, your distribution's dev packages and the kde-sdk may work. If your distribution does not have KDE you'll need to build it yourself.
If you want to hack at KDE's core modules, you'll need to build it, and TRUNK is the main branch where new features (and prerequisites) are added, however it can be difficult to keep up with.
Other versions and FAQ Including information for building on non-linux systems Incl KDE3
To See which versions/branches of KDE are available go to:
There may be advantages to putting your KDE in different locations.( Note that if using system Qt for a user based KDE install, the QCA plugin may have to be installed as root))
- Casual Curiosity
- development user home if you do not want to mess up your production KDE
- your home directory if you are willing to use environment variables to keep versions seporate( using scripts) or have no other access to the machine
- As root Not advised unless you have a dedicated machine
- Application Developer
- development user home same as for curious user
- as root will be more useful to simulate environment of customers
- your home directory may simplify your development
- Distribution Manager
- To test KDM, you may want to install as root and or use a virtual machine so you do not damage a production system.
Regardless of method chosen, reading up on the manual steps below will be very helpful. CMake may also be of interest.
- Fully Manual
- Distribution Specific
- Augmented (Recommended)
- Manual, but with a few scripts to keep everything easy
- Useful for automated builds, may be tough to set up
Your build will fail if you are missing one of them, and the list changes. There are some options, however the make system can often find optional packages even if you do not intend to use them, so you may need to pass disable options.
- Most used method, augmented with bash functions.
- Manual Steps
- KDE 4 (Development version, TRUNK)
- KDE 4.x (Stable version or 4.x SVN BRANCH)
- Upgrade KDE-4.4.x release version or KDE-4.4 SVN BRANCH)
- Other versions and FAQ Including information for building on non-linux systems
- distribution specific
There may be pre-made builds for your distribution, For example, in Kubuntu, Project Neon, aims to provide a recent trunk build environment, and PPA's provide latest branch versions.
This script will do most of the downloading and compiling for you. It can be configured to build most versions, by default it builds Trunk. There full-process instructions at http://kdesrc-build.kde.org and more here kdesrc-build, and here is a list of working configuration files.
- This will compile qt for you, or you can configure it to use system QT
- When you choose a branch
- edit your .kdesrc-buildrc
- set your branch
- you will have to tweak the kdeSupport module description, and maybe the qt-copy. For the kdesupport module: module-base-path tags/kdesupport-for-4.5
- edit your .kdesrc-buildrc
Getting the Source
- Anonymous SVN Quickstart Guide
- Using Subversion with KDE A more in depth look at accessing KDE source code with subversion, including the repository layout and working with revisions and patches.
- Amarok Git Tutorial Amarok has moved to Git (with the rest of KDE to follow), so it requires different steps to check out and develop.
- Daily Snapshots
- Browse code online, or search the code
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.
Using your KDE
After KDE has been built, you'll want a good way to launch apps and perform your regular development tasks:
- Environment Variables
Your system won't know to use your new KDE until you tell it how to find the KDE applications and libraries.
Set up Development Tools
You may need to set up or use, you will likely want to use a stable package from your distribution.
it is unclear if the kde-devel user or your normal user will be running the development tools. Please Help
For most development topics, and documentation, see Development
- Opening and creating KDE project files
This is a stub, please help.
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.