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Project Neon is a nightly build of the latest KDE trunk. It is an easy way for new contributors to KDE to get started without having to build the entire KDE-SVN tree and maintain the checkout. Additionally, dependencies are automatically handled and updated. This is suitable for new developers, translators, usability designers, documenters, promoters, bug triagers etc. This process makes the steps detailed on this page.
However, for developers, it may at some point become necessary to build more components from SVN as you become more involved in the project. The kdesrc-build script is an easy way to build all or parts of KDE SVN.
Project neon always requires the latest stable Kubuntu release or development release. Previous versions of Kubuntu are not supported.
To use Project Neon, add the following PPA (Personal Package Archive) to your sources.list using your preferred method:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:neon/ppa
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/neon/ppa/ubuntu maverick main
After that, you can simply install the nightly package of whichever modules you want to work on. The Packages are named project-neon-<git/svn module name>.
You can install all of the packages or just the ones you are interested in, depending on what you want to use them for. For example if you want to install the KDE Workspace with the extra plasmoids, you would install the project-neon-kdeplasma-addons and project-neon-session so you get KDM support for Project Neon.
sudo apt-get install project-neon-kdeplasma-addons project-neon-session
If you are only interested in application development in another module, you can install just the module package.
sudo apt-get install project-neon-kdepim project-neon-common
That command will also install the kdelibs, kdepimlibs and other dependencies too. In your regular (stable) KDE session you can then run the nightly version of your chosen application after setting up the environment.
Instead of sourcing the settings by hand every time, you could add this to your .bashrc:
or use neon-env (see below), but you can't run non-Project Neon apps when you use neon-env.
You'll need to close the terminal session for the settings to be undone.
This will correctly use the nightly version of libraries instead of using the stable versions, so no other changes are necessary to your library path etc.
Note that settings for applications that you run from project neon do not conflict with your regular application settings and data. .project-neon-kde/ is used instead of .kde/
If you are joining one of the development teams in KDE, you will need a real SVN/GIT checkout in order to contribute your code back to the project and create patches easily.
Some extra tools are provided for this purpose in the package project-neon-utils:
NOTE: both neon-cmake and neonmake require neon-env to be run first!
neon-env - sets up the necessary environment settings for project neon builds and opens a subshell.
neon-cmake - cmake wrapper with neon environment settings for cmake, same synopsis as cmake and passes arguments to cmake
neonmake - convenience script which will create a build folder, configure the source, build it and install it in /opt/project-neon/ so you can test your changes.
neon-clean - This script will reset all changes you did to /opt/project-neon after installing the packages. Since this script reinstalls the packages it might require a working internet connection.
neonbuild - pbuilder/pdebuild wrapper to rebuild a neon package in a chroot. Takes the same options as pbuilder. If no pbuidler action is given pdebuild is run instead.
You can change the cmake and make options used by setting these variables in ~/.neonrc:
NEON_CMAKE_OPTS="" Here you can add additional cmake options that should be used together with the default neon options.
NEON_CMAKE_OVERRIDE="" If you set this variable cmake will ignore the default neon options and only use the ones in NEON_CMAKE_OVERRIDE.
NEON_MAKE_OVERRIDE="" If you set this variable make in neonmake will only use your options. By default make uses '-j CPUs+1'
The debugging symbols for every package are in it's corresponding -dbg package, so to install the debugging symbols for kdelibs you can use
sudo apt-get install project-neon-kdelibs-dbg
If you are already using a nightly package of the module you want to develop for, you should remove that, and checkout the development version. For example:
sudo apt-get purge project-neon-kdepim
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/neon/ppa/ubuntu maverick main
sudo apt-get build-dep project-neon-kdepim cd ~
git clone git://anongit.kde.org/kdepim cd kdepim
Note that you should usually checkout a module from KDE, not an application. Most modules contain libraries shared within the module and which are necessary to build the applications in the module.
Also note that when using apt-get build-dep it will always get all build-depends, so watch out that it doesn't install a component you want to build yourself as that would overwrite your changes should you install the packages after installing your build.
The Project Neon nightly packages include English language strings only. Translated packages are not available. However, if you are translating KDE applications, you can install the translations from KDE SVN in your normal workflow.
svn co -N svn://anonsvn.kde.org/home/kde/trunk/l10n-kde4 cd l10n-kde4
svn up scripts
svn up de
./scripts/autogen.sh de cd de neon-env neonmake
After building the translations it is possible to either change the language in system settings, or run applications in another language using the environment variable KDE_LANG.
switchtonightly # or neon-env
exit the shell to reset the settings.
The Project Neon nightly source packages include the official KDE User Documentation in English.
TODO: How to build user docs from SVN.
If you are creating screenshots or screencasts of the latest version of KDE, project Neon is a simple and fast way of getting a default KDE4 session.
The KDE Promotion team recommends using the default background, theme, icons etc when preparing official promotional materials (unless the feature you are showing is related to configuring KDE artwork). Project Neon uses the default artwork that comes with KDE4, so it is useful for creating promo materials.
Here is a shortcut to get all available modules from the PPA:
sudo apt-get install project-neon-all
The application screenie is provided since Kubuntu 8.10 as screenie-qt.
sudo apt-get install screenie-qt
You can reach the Project Neon team on IRC in
by mail at
or you can ask a question on launchpad
If you think there is a bug in our packaging of the provided software you can file a bug on launchpad