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

Revision as of 19:34, 10 March 2016

Building KDE4 From Source/Troubleshooting
Tutorial Series   Getting Started
Previous   Build KDE
What's Next   Build KDE
Further Reading   n/a

NOTE: This information should mostly be moved to the pages describing how to build the packages for easier reference. Only generic solutions, or solutions that are take too much space should live here.

This page contains some troubleshooting tips for issues you may encounter while building kde4 from source.

Many of the issues listed here may be out of date.


You can hit problems building KDE in any of the build steps.

When configuring KDE using CMake you may see messages about missing requirements that you need to fix. Fix the missing requirements then try configure again. You may sometimes need to delete the CMakeCache.txt file in the build directory.

If you have a problem compiling a KDE program it error may not be in the most recent output, you need to first find the exact place where the error occured by scrolling back. If it is hard to find the error message in a long output, instead of using:

make -jn

use a simple


to stop the compile output as soon as the first error message is found.

If you do not understand the error message, use

make VERBOSE=1

to see the compile or link command that actually failed.

When using the kdesrc-build script you can view the kdesrc-build log files to find the build output.

Issues building kdelibs

If you have problems compiling kdelibs, first make sure the software in the Required Software section above is installed and works. If you install additional software, it may be necessary to remove ~/kde/src/KDE/kdelibs/CMakeCache.txt before trying the build again. In particular, pay attention to the requirement of kdesupport (such as the components for automoc, strigi, phonon, etc).

Other possible hints include:

  • If the cmakekde command fails stating that CMake requires an out of source build directory, remove ~/kde/src/KDE/kdelibs/CMakeCache.txt, and try again.

    If cmakekde still gives the same error then try this
    1   cd
    3  -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=debugfull \
    5  ~/kde/src/KDE/kdelibs
    6  make
    7  make install
  • If you received an error stating ((Output|1=Please create a separate build directory and run 'cmake path_to_kdelibs [options]' there.}}, then you need to change to your build directory before running cmakekde. (e.g cs KDE/kdelibs && cb && cmakekde) If the message stays, run svn status in the kdelibs directory and remove all files labelled with '?'.
  • If Qt wasn't found or the wrong version of Qt was found, make sure that the qmake from the Qt you need is the first qmake in the path.
  • If qmake wasn't found and you are using Debian packages, /usr/bin/qmake probably points to a wrong qmake version. To fix this run as root:
    update-alternatives --config qmake
  • If the problems persist, try the CMake make-option --keep-going.
  • Here you need the libungif library, otherwise you will get an error message like
    Could NOT find GIF
  • Qt-4.3 upgrade: if you get a link error in kjsembed talking about QScriptEngine, edit CMakeCache.txt in kdelibs and remove the lines that talk about QT_QTUITOOLS_LIBRARY, then type make again (that static library has a new dependency, and the cmake code that adds it needs to run).
  • if you get
    CMake Error: KDE Requires Qt to be built with SSL support
    , install openssl-devel, remove CMakeCache.txt and re-compile QT.
  • if you get
    kdelibs/kimgio/ico.cpp:188: undefined reference to `QImage::jumpTable()'
    it means you compiled Qt without Qt3 support(no, linking to a true Qt3 install won't work)
  • if none of the errors above match yours, you might just try a quick'n'dirty make clean in kdelibs.
  • if you get
    The PCRE regular expression library has not been found  >=4.5
    then watch out Recommended packages or
    remove ../..

build/kdelibs cs KDE/kdelibs


  • [stub] What to do if you have a problem like
    kde-config.cpp:56: undefined reference to `KLocalizedString::~KLocalizedString()' and /Depot/Temp/kdelibs-4.0.2/kdecore/kde-config.cpp:197: undefined reference to `KConfigGroup::readPathEntry(char const*, QString const&) const' and kde-config.cpp:66: undefined reference to `ki18n(char const*)'

Seems to happen with some localization stuff

Issues building kdebase

If you have troubles compiling kdebase:

  • Due to a bug in building kdelibs, if you do not build your own copy of kdesupport/polkit-qt then you will get install errors in kdebase:
-- Installing: /usr/share/polkit-1/actions/org.kde.kcontrol.kcmremotewidgets.policy
CMake Error at plasma/remotewidgetshelper/cmake_install.cmake:54 (FILE):
  file INSTALL cannot copy file
  to "/usr/share/polkit-1/actions/org.kde.kcontrol.kcmremotewidgets.policy".

To resolve this issue either install kdesupport/polkit-qt and rebuild kdelibs and kdebase (remember to remove the CMakeCache.txt), or pass an extra parm to cmake for -DKDE4_AUTH_POLICY_FILES_INSTALL_DIR=$KDEDIR/share/polkit-1/actions

  • XINE is needed to compile kdebase-runtime
  • Make sure you have the libxss headers installed. (Usually you got undefined references on xscreensaver objects if you do not have those headers)
  • which meinproc4 has to deliver /home/kde-devel/kde/bin/meinproc4
  • if cmakekde can not find the path of kdepimlibs, edit the file $KDE_BUILD/KDE/kdebase/CMakeCache.txt and manually set KDEPIMLIBS_INCLUDE_DIR:PATH=$KDE_BUILD/kdepimlibs
  • 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.
  • if you get an error complaining about a missing variable X11_Xrandr_LIB, you need the devel package for libxrandr (libxrandr-devel on ubuntu-systems)
  • if you get the error
    , then you need to install the libfontconfig headers
  • if you get the error
    CMake Error: This project requires some variables to be set, and cmake can not find them. Please set the following variables: KMETADATA_LIBRARIES
    , you need to install soprano from kdesupport and to rebuild kdelibs
  • if you get the error
    ‘XserverRegion’ does not name a type
    make sure you have libxcomposite headers installed (libxcomposite-dev in ubuntu)
  • if you get the error
    CMake Error: This project requires some variables to be set, and cmake can not find them. Please set the following variables: QT_QTOPENGL_LIBRARY (ADVANCED) "
    try editing CMakeCache.txt and setting QT_QTOPENGL_LIBRARY:FILEPATH=/home/kde-devel/qt-copy/lib/libQtOpenGL.so
  • if you get messages as
    KDE4_INSTALL_HANDBOOK() is deprecated. Remove it please. Now all is done in KDE4_CREATE_HANDBOOK.
    then, either find the files containing the offending line and comment it out manually, or run the following script in ~/kde/src/KDE/kdebase: macros_corrector.sh. It will just REMOVE the line that has "kde4_create_handbook" in it from all the found files.
  • If you get an error (in ubuntu) concerning libxtst.so install the <ttlibxtst-dev package
  • If you get the message
    kdebase/workspace/kcontrol/kxkb/x11helper.cpp:131: error: ‘KGlobal’ has not been declared
    , you might need to install libxklavier development packages.
  • If you get
    /home/kde-devel/kde/lib/libkio.so: undefined reference to `Strigi::AnalysisResult::AnalysisResult(std::basic_string<char, std::char_traits<char>, std::allocator<char> > const&, long, Strigi::IndexWriter&, Strigi::StreamAnalyzer&)'
    you probably have an outdated version of strigi installed by your distro. By the way, after update the strigi, you must recompile kdelibs for a new libkio.so.
  • If you get the issue
    can't find REQUIRED package Blitz
    , install qimageblitz4 and qimageblitz-dev
  • If you get an error
    class QWebFrame' has no member named 'contentsSize'
    you need to upgrade your Qt
  • If you have troubles building networkmanager-0.6, check if you have networkmanager-dev and libnm-util-dev installed
  • If you get during cmake
    Please set the following variables:

CLUCENE_LIBRARY_DIR (ADVANCED) Make sure you have clucene installed and clucene-devel. If necessary, get the source from sourceforge and compile it. If you have SUSE and an x64 installation, you need to make cmake aware your library path is /usr/lib64, not /usr/lib. Do this with

cmake -DLIB_SUFFIX=64


make sure it has been set by calling



  • If you get an error saying your soprano libraries are too old, but you've installed them under kdesupport, check to see if your build is using your system libraries instead. If so, then set:

and delete the CMakeCache.txt in your build directory.

  • If you get such error:
CMake Error at workspace/plasma/scriptengines/python/cmake_install.cmake:68
  file INSTALL cannot copy file
  to "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/PyKDE4/plasmascript.py".
Call Stack (most recent call first):
  workspace/plasma/scriptengines/cmake_install.cmake:40 (INCLUDE)
  workspace/plasma/cmake_install.cmake:43 (INCLUDE)
  workspace/cmake_install.cmake:62 (INCLUDE)
  cmake_install.cmake:39 (INCLUDE)

try to set: -DPYTHON_SITE_PACKAGES_INSTALL_DIR=~/.local/lib/python2.6/site-packages (check that this path corresponds to something in your system, you might have a different version of python) as a parameter for cmake (or cmakekde)

  • After any error you get, be sure to delete CMakeCache.txt, so that it forces cmake to reprocess it, instead of just reading the file and not seeing changes.
  • If you encounter an error somewhere along the lines of using an older version of automoc 4, and thus not being able to compile. Since this is included in kdesupport, be sure you have this built. If it still does not work after this, open your ~/.bashrc file and add the line export CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH=$KDEDIR. Be sure that it is added after the declaration of $KDEDIR (something I had overlooked :D ).

Issues building kdepimlibs

If you have trouble compiling kdepimlibs:

  • the cmakekde command may require a later version of the gpgme library. This is available from the project's web site: http://www.gnupg.org/download/index.html - please note that the build of gpgme also requires libgpg-error, also available from the same location. Both libraries are installed by the "./configure", "make" and "sudo make install" sequence, with the gpgme library configured with the additional "--with-gpg-error-prefix" parameter. You may need to overwrite your existing "/usr/bin/gpgme-config" file with the newer version for the kdepimlibs to pick up the new install.
  • if cmake complains about missing akonadi headers, CMake Error: Could not find Akonadi includes. or something similiar), then you lack the akonadi package which can be found in the kdesupport module. Since the kdesupport as a whole is quite large it is recommended that you selectively download the packages you need instead of fetching the entire kdesupport module.Akonadi relies on automoc, so we have to install it prior to building akonadi. The Automoc module can also be found in kdesupport.

The Recipe for Automoc

1  cd
2  cs
3  mkdir kdesupport && cd kdesupport
4  git clone git://anongit.kde.org/automoc
5  cd automoc
6  cmakekde

The Recipe for Akonadi

1  cd
2  cs
3  cd kdesupport
4  git clone git://anongit.kde.org/akonadi
5  cd akonadi
6  cmakekde

Issues building kdebindings

Installing python bindings

If you are building and installing packages as a dedicated user, you may find that the installation of the python bindings fails because it can't install the necessary files in some system-wide directories. To resolve this, execute the following code as root:

 mkdir -p /usr/share/sip/PyKDE4
 for dir in  /usr/lib/python*; do
   mkdir -p  $dir/site-packages/PyKDE4
 chown $KDE_DEVEL_USER /usr/share/sip/PyKDE4 \

Note: You may need to change /usr/lib to /usr/lib64

Note: I had to use "dist-packages" instead of "site-packages" in the above

This will allow your development user to install the files it needs to, without giving it unnecessary access to your system.

Running programs

  • If you get

This page was last edited on 10 March 2016, at 19:34. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.