Difference between revisions of "Getting Started/Build/KDE4"

(The kde-devel User's Shell: clarification: you can change your shell without having root privileges)
(plugins are nice)
Line 54: Line 54:
<code bash>
<code bash>
export YACC='byacc -d'
export YACC='byacc -d'
export QTDIR=$HOME/qt-unstable
export QTDIR=$HOME/qt-copy
export KDEDIR=$HOME/kde
export KDEDIR=$HOME/kde
Line 61: Line 61:
export PATH=$QTDIR/bin:$KDEDIR/bin:$PATH
export PATH=$QTDIR/bin:$KDEDIR/bin:$PATH
export QT_PLUGIN_PATH=$KDEDIR/lib/kde4/plugins:$QT_PLUGIN_PATH
## Uncomment if dbus doesn't work
## Uncomment if dbus doesn't work
#alias dbusstart="eval `PATH=$DBUSDIR/bin \
#alias dbusstart="eval `PATH=$DBUSDIR/bin \

Revision as of 21:13, 30 January 2007


This tutorial shows one way to get KDE from trunk running. It consolidates info from several places, e.g. the official KDE developer pages. The official pages may be updated without this page being updated too, so check there if you have problems.

Throughout the tutorial the bash shell is used.

Set up the development user account

useradd kde-devel mkdir /home/kde-devel passwd kde-devel chown kde-devel:kde-devel /home/kde-devel 2>/dev/null || \ chown kde-devel:users /home/kde-devel

Switch to the user kde-devel: (the dash also changes to the new home directory)

su - kde-devel

The kde-devel User's Shell

On some systems a new user is configured by default to use /bin/sh. If this is not the case on your system, you can skip this section. Using /bin/sh can be very inconvenient to work with and you may want to change it to /bin/bash or another shell.

To change the user's default shell you will need write access to /etc/passwd. Usually this means running a command as root. See below for a possible way to do this without requiring root privileges, but which will not work in all circumstances.

If your system comes with the usermod application you can run the following command as root: usermod -s /bin/bash.

If you don't have root privileges and your system supports the changing of your own shell with the chsh application, then you could try to change your shell to /bin/bash by using chsh -s /bin/bash your-kde-devel-username.

Another option is to use the vipw application as root to safely edit your /etc/passwd. Locate 'kde-devel' in the the file. Change '/bin/sh' at the end of the line to read '/bin/bash', save your changes and exit.

The new shell will be started automatically when you log in as the kde-devel user again.

Prepare for software setup

Please look also in Getting Started/Increased Productivity in KDE4 with Scripts .

Add these lines to your shell's configuration file, e.g. ~/.bashrc. export YACC='byacc -d' export QTDIR=$HOME/qt-copy export KDEDIR=$HOME/kde export KDEDIRS=$KDEDIR export DBUSDIR=$KDEDIR export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=$DBUSDIR/lib/pkgconfig:$PKG_CONFIG_PATH export PATH=$QTDIR/bin:$KDEDIR/bin:$PATH export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$QTDIR/lib:$KDEDIR/lib:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH export QT_PLUGIN_PATH=$KDEDIR/lib/kde4/plugins:$QT_PLUGIN_PATH

    1. Uncomment if dbus doesn't work
  1. alias dbusstart="eval `PATH=$DBUSDIR/bin \
  2. $DBUSDIR/bin/dbus-launch --auto-syntax`"

function cmakekde { cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=$KDEDIR \ -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=debugfull [email protected] && make VERBOSE=1 && make install; }

Now either relogin or activate the settings with: source ~/.bashrc

Set up D-Bus

Skip this if you have D-Bus >=0.93 installed.

wget http://dbus.freedesktop.org/releases/dbus/dbus-1.0.2.tar.gz
tar xvfz dbus-1.0.2.tar.gz
cd dbus-1.0.2/
./configure --disable-qt --disable-qt3 --prefix=$DBUSDIR \
--localstatedir=/var && make && make install
dbus-uuidgen --ensure

Set up CMake

Skip this if you have CMake >=2.4.5 installed.

The default prefix is /usr/local, make sure /usr/local/bin is in your $PATH.

wget http://www.cmake.org/files/v2.4/cmake-2.4.5.tar.gz
tar zxf cmake-2.4.5.tar.gz
mkdir cmake-build
cd cmake-build
sudo make install

Set up Qt

svn checkout svn://anonsvn.kde.org/home/kde/trunk/qt-copy
cd ~/qt-copy && ./apply_patches && \
./configure -qt-gif -no-exceptions -debug -fast \
-prefix $QTDIR -qdbus && make && make install

Set up kdelibs

svn checkout svn://anonsvn.kde.org/home/kde/trunk/KDE/kdelibs
mkdir kdelibs-build
cd kdelibs-build
cmakekde ../kdelibs

Additional KDE-specific CMake modules

There are additional CMake modules in kdelibs/cmake/modules/ that are necessary for building KDE4 applications. These will be installed for your when kdelibs itself is installed.


If you have problems compiling kdelibs, first make sure the following commands can be executed: gcc, g++, pkg-config.

If you get "Could NOT find GIF", install the devel package of libungif (the actual name may vary between operating systems).
In order to avoid compilation problems, GCC should be at least of version 4.1. The minimum supported compiler is not yet determined at the time of writing this.

If the problems persist, try the make-option --keep-going

Set up kdepimlibs

Before kdebase you need to install kdepimlibs

svn checkout svn://anonsvn.kde.org/home/kde/trunk/KDE/kdepimlibs
mkdir kdepimlibs-build
cd kdepimlibs-build
cmakekde ../kdepimlibs

Set up kdebase

You may need kdebase for some kioslaves.

svn checkout svn://anonsvn.kde.org/home/kde/trunk/KDE/kdebase
mkdir kdebase-build
cd kdebase-build
cmakekde ../kdebase


If you have troubles compiling kdebase:

  • Make sure you have the libxss headers installed. (Usually you got undefined references on xscreensaver objects if you haven't those headers)
  • which meinproc has to deliver /home/kde-devel/kde/bin/meinproc
  • if cmakekde cannot find the path of kdepimlibs, edit the file /home/kde-devel/kdebase-build/CMakeCache.txt and manually set KDEPIMLIBS_INCLUDE_DIR:PATH=/home/kde-devel/kdepimlibs-build
  • if you get an error saying "Please set the following variables: X11_XTest_LIB (ADVANCED)", install the devel package of Xtst. On some systems, this is packaged separately from xext and called x11proto-xext-dev or libxtst-dev. You may also need to remove the CMakeCache.txt file in the build dir after installing the package.
  • the same for "X11_Xinerama_LIB (ADVANCED)" where you will need the devel package for xinerama.

Generating local API documentation

Although the API documentation for KDE is available online at api.kde.org, it is sometimes useful to have it on your own disk, for example when you want to use KDevelop for browsing the documentation or when you are not able to be online all the time.

Be aware that generating the API documentation can take several hours and takes almost half a gigabyte of diskspace. The generation is handled by a script in kdelibs/doc/api, you need doxygen to be able to run it.

To build the API documentation for kdelibs, type the following:

mkdir apidox
cd apidox
../kdelibs/doc/api/doxygen.sh ../kdelibs/


You are now ready to start building other svn modules in the same fashion as you built kdebase, running and testing KDE4 or writing your own patches and applications.

See the Starting a KDE4 Environment and Applications tutorial for how to start working on your new KDE4 installation.

Additional notes

This page was last edited on 30 January 2007, at 21:13. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.