Getting Started


This page is yet to be reviewed for changes required by the migration to Git. Information and commands on this page may no longer be valid and should be used with care. Please see the KDE Git hub page for more details.


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 once it is built.

You may want to:

  • Develop a standalone application using the KDE Platform
  • Develop one of the KDE Applications
  • Develop the KDE Workspace or the KDE Platform
  • Test the latest KDE Software or an earlier stable version

In particular, for application development you may only need to build some parts of the KDE SC while relying on the KDE Platform stable packages from your distribution.

The table below provides some guidance in making this decision, but before you start building please read the rest of the page for more detailed information on Getting Started.

Official Release Nightly Build Stable from Source Master (Recommended)
For the casual user, or for application testers and developers who are working on applications outside of KDE SC For application testers and developers who's applications require features from the unstable branch For KDE SC and applications developers or testers that want to spend less time setting up a build system For developers and testers working on core KDE SC functionality, and desire/need up-to-the-minute changes. Recommended for active developers.
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 Download and setup KDE SC on Kubuntu easily using Project Neon Build a Stable branch from source Build KDE Software from Source

Getting Help

If you have any questions or issues related to building and developing KDE feel free to ask us. However, be patient and do expect to be attempting to work through the issue as well (we aren't just going to do it all for you).

Source Repositories and Revision Control

KDE uses a common repository to store our Source Code and to track changes made to the code. Currently, KDE is in the middle of migrating our main repository from Subversion (SVN) to Git, so some software modules will be downloaded from Git and some from Subversion. This means you will need to become familiar with both systems.

For more information on using Git in KDE, please see the KDE Git page.

For more information on using Subversion, please see the following pages which may be outdated with regards to which modules live in SVN:

Development Tools

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 an graphical IDE for your development:

Building KDE

Instructions for building all or part of KDE SC on all the supported platforms can be found at Building KDE SC

Running KDE

Once you have built the KDE Software, you will normally run the required applications directly from the command line using your configured build environment. If you need to run the development Workspace or KDM then you will need to use other options to run KDE. Please note these pages are very outdated.

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.

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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.