Getting Started/Build/Historic/KDE4 Windows

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Revision as of 01:39, 14 January 2008 by SaroEngels (Talk | contribs) (KDE Installer for Windows)

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Perhaps actual developers should summarize status of KDE4 on Windows here, while we encourage users to describe their experiences on the Talk page?

KDE Installer for Windows

You can use this installer to download and install the various binary packages that you need to run KDE applications on MS Windows. KDE is free and open source so you can build all the applications "from scratch" from their source code; but as a convenience for others, volunteers create these precompiled packages and make them available on the Internet.

Disclaimer These are early days for KDE4 on Windows, some programs work better than others and some fail to run altogether.

If you experience any problems please have a look into our mailing list.

You can also use the KDE Installer for Windows to install source code and the packages that you need to build KDE4 on Windows (although if you are building KDE4 on Windows you may prefer to use the emerge system to build KDE and its requirements from latest source); see Getting Started/Build/KDE4/Windows.

Summary of Steps

  • Visit
  • Download and save the latest version to a directory, e.g. C:\KDE4
  • Run the installer, download what you need (see #Download needed packages below).
  • Add your lib directory, e.g. C:\KDE4\lib to your Windows %PATH%. (Start > Control Panel > System > Advanced > Environment Variables, double-click the Path System Variable and add this to your path separated by semicolon.)
  • Add a KDEDIRS environment variable (Start > Control Panel > System > Advanced > Environment Variables, click [New] User variable and create Variable name KDEDIRS with Variable value the directory where you installed KDE4, e.g. C:\KDE4).
  • Try running a Qt application in the bin directory, such as linguist.exe
  • If that works, try running a KDE application such as kruler.exe.

Download needed packages

A single program in the The K Desktop Environment depends on many other libraries and packages; that is why each .exe is comparatively small. The KDE Installer for Windows has some awareness of dependencies, but not complete. So, the first few times you try to run an application you may see alerts about missing DLLs.

If you do not intend to build from source, do not click "all" and do not click "src", as you do not need to download the source for each package. Unclear whether you need lib for each.

There are two development systems for KDE on Windows, Microsoft's Visual C and MinGW. Even if you are only running binaries and do not intend to build KDE4 yourself, you need to choose between these. As of October 2007, the former is more stable, so when you have a choice of packages in the KDE Installer for Windows, prefer the -msvc version.

The KDE programs themselves are organized into several groups: kdeedu, kdegames, and kdegraphics.

Here are some of the minimal packages you need to run a KDE application:

dbus-msvc, kdebase-msvc, kdewin32-msvc, qt-msvc, vcredist, ??

The Dependencies tab for a particular package lists some of the additional packages it needs. However, the dependency checking currently only works for first-level dependencies Other dependencies are not easy to determine in advance. For example, if you install kdegames only with its dependencies, you will not be able to start it because you also need libstreamanalyze (for which you have to install the strigi package).

Getting_Started/Build/KDE4/Windows/3rd-party_libraries is a more complete list of libraries that a full installation needs.

Issues with KDE Installer for Windows

Currently no issues known. If you found an issue, please report to [1].

Testing your installation

Navigate to the bin directory.

See if you can run the Qt program assistant.exe. Qt programs have fewer dependencies than a full-blown KDE application.

If that works, try running a simple KDE application, such as kruler.exe from the kdegraphics package.

The first KDE application you run will start a console window in order to run the D-Bus daemon.


Using the kdewin-installer-gui-0.8.1-2.exe to install packages, dbus-daemon.exe starts up, and many games run.

It seems running kbuildsycoca4.exe by hand helps applications like KStars and Okular to run.

There are problems with the file open dialog:

  • Besides I/O errors if you do not have KDEDIRS set (see elsewhere), you may see "Windows - No Disk" exceptions for each empty removable drive on your computer (floppy disk, CD-ROM, etc.). Click [Continue] for each one.

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