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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 for the next release. 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 snapshots either on Kubuntu or openSUSE||Build a Stable branch from source||Build KDE Software from Source|
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.
Installing KDE Software for daily use
If you just want to use stable KDE software for your everyday computing needs, then you do not need to build KDE Software yourself. You should instead install the binary packages provided by your distribution or for your platform. 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:
- Install KDE Software on Linux and FreeBSD 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
This is also a good choice if you wish to develop a KDE Application outside of the main KDE Software Compilation, as it is quicker to set up and a more stable API to target. In this case you will need to ensure you install the required development packages for the KDE Development Platform.
Building and Running KDE Software From Source
There are a series of steps you need to understand and follow to successfully build KDE Software from source. The following sections will take you through the process:
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.