Getting Started/Build/KDE4

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Revision as of 18:17, 14 January 2007 by Albert Astals Cid (Talk | contribs) (These are not needed in KDE4)

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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

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=$HOME/qt-unstable
export KDEDIR=$HOME/kde
export PATH=$QTDIR/bin:$KDEDIR/bin:$PATH
## Uncomment if dbus doesn't work
#alias dbusstart="eval `PATH=$DBUSDIR/bin \
#$DBUSDIR/bin/dbus-launch --auto-syntax`"
function cmakekde { cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=$KDEDIR \
-DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=debugfull $@ && 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.

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 >=2.4.3 installed.

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

tar zxf cmake-2.4.5.tar.gz
mkdir cmake-build
cd cmake-build
sudo make install

Set up Qt

svn co svn://
cd ~/qt-copy && ./apply_patches && \
./configure -qt-gif -no-exceptions -debug -fast \
-prefix $QTDIR -qdbus && make && make install

Set up kdelibs

svn co svn://
mkdir kdelibs-build
cd kdelibs-build
cmakekde ../kdelibs

Install additional CMake modules

There are additional CMake modules in kdelibs that are necessary for building KDE applications. To install them:

cd kdelibs/cmake/modules
cmake .
make install

You may need to do the last step as root (e.g. using su or sudo), depending on your system setup.


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 co svn://
mkdir kdepimlibs-build
cd kdepimlibs-build
cmakekde ../kdepimlibs

Set up kdebase

You may need kdebase for some kioslaves.

svn co svn://
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.


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