This is the community page for KDE Connect. Feel free to edit it! It should contain useful and up-to-date resources for both users and developers.
What is KDE Connect?
KDE Connect is a project that enables all your devices to communicate with each other. Here are a few things KDE Connect can do:
- Receive your phone notifications on your desktop computer and reply to messages
- Control music playing on your desktop from your phone
- Use your phone as a remote control for your desktop
- Run predefined commands on your PC from connected devices. See the list of example commands for more details.
- Check your phones battery level from the desktop
- Ring your phone to help finding it
- Share files and links between devices
- Browse your phone from the desktop
- Control the desktop's volume from the phone
To achieve this, KDE Connect:
- implements a secure communication protocol over the network, and allows any developer to create plugins on top of it.
- Has a component that you install on your desktop.
- Has a KDE Connect client app you run on your phone.
This video from 2013 demonstrates some other cool features: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkCFngNmsh0
Installation and Usage
Please see the KDE Connect Userbase page for detailed information on the different ways KDE Connect can be installed and used.
Build KDE Connect from source
KDE Connect is a free/ libre open source software, being developed for over 8 years now.
KDE Connect can be built directly from source using CMake and system-installed dependencies.
Alternatively, you may use a meta-build system like kdesrc-build or Craft, both of which have the added benefit of leaving your linux installation unaffected and containing the dev files to a single directory.
Using a meta-build system
- Craft is a cross-platform meta-build system that works quite well on Windows and Linux for KDE Connect devel.
- kdesrc-build is a meta-build system that is used by many long-term KDE developers as their daily driver for KDE devel on Linux. See here for comprehensive build instructions.
Without a meta-build system
KDE Connect uses CMake as its build system, which will tell you if you are missing any dependencies. See here for build instructions.
KDE Connect is officially supported on Windows. See here for build instructions.
The most convenient dev-flow way is to pass the project URL to Android Studio, build the app and install it to your phone. Remember to uninstall any already-installed KDE Connect app from your target Android device. You can also build the android app through CLI using gradle.
You can also run the app in an emulated Android device for devel. See [/Android_Emulator/ here] for instructions.
Since KDE Connect iOS is being developed in native frameworks, a recent version of Xcode is required to build the app. However, due to the special entitlements used in the complete version of KDE Connect, it can only be signed by the KDE e.V. development team. A wiki page is currently being written with information on how building and distribution would work and the possible resources available to contributors without macOS access.
KDE Connect works fairly well on macOS, however there is no official version as of yet. See here for build instructions.
You can get the Nightly Build from the Binary Factory.
Special instructions for specfic topics.
You can use
plasmawindowed to easily run the Plasmoid (even on non-KDE environments).
Set up your dev environment as above, then run
make install, then run
plasmawindowed org.kde.kdeconnect to launch the Plasmoid and see your changes.
Mobile-Friendly QML App
The kdeconnect-app component of the desktop version is suitable for mobile Linux environments, too.
Desktop SMS Messaging App
KDE Connect has an SMS messaging app which lets you type and view SMS messages from your computer. It supports basic features and works correctly most of the time. If you are interested in trying or developing it, you can build it from source. It is automatically built as part of the rest of KDE Connect and is output as 'kdeconnect-sms'.
KDE Connect is a perfect project to start contributing to KDE. You'll need a basic understanding of programming concepts, the rest can be learned by doing. Experience with Android or Qt is beneficial, but not needed.
We have a group to discuss development. You can access it from Matrix or Libera IRC network (#kdeconnect). If you cannot find the correct room on Matrix, it might help if you first join the KDE Matrix Space. You can read more about KDE's use of Matrix here Feel free to ask any development-related questions there. We also have a mailing list.
All patches are submitted on Gitlab. The Android repository is here and the C++ Desktop repository is here. Be sure to select the most relevant template. You don't need to assign any reviewers, the developers are subscribed to notifications. Should this be your first patch, it's good to know that it might take some time before your patch is reviewed (we all work on KDE Connect in our free time), and you'll probably have to make some changes a couple of times. That's not because you're new, that's what happens for all reviews (even for long-time contributors).
There are a couple of tasks marked as Junior Jobs on our workboard. Those have some extra information on how to approach them that help you get started.
Setting up KDE Connect Repository for Development
KDE Connect is actually composed of two repositories; one for the Android implementation and one for the C++ (Desktop) implementation. You can have a local clone of both on your computer and the steps to set them up are the same. For these directions, I will use the C++ repository, but if you want the Android repository, just replace every instance of 'kdeconnect-kde' with 'kdeconnect-android'
- Fork the repository
- With your web browser, open the Web GUI to KDE Connect's GitLab: https://invent.kde.org/network/kdeconnect-kde
- If you are not already, sign in with your KDE identity by clicking the "Sign In" button in the top left
- Click the "Fork" button, near the top right
- Wait for the forking to complete
- Clone your fork
- Open your new fork in the GitLab web GUI
- Click the "Clone" button in the top right
- Select the method of cloning
- I recommend SSH. This will require you add an SSH public key to your KDE GitLab account.
- An HTTPS clone will require you to log in with your KDE Identity credentials to push changes.
- In the folder you want to clone, do 'git clone <cloning path from above>'
You are all set up! See the optional steps for ways to make life easier.
Set up second remote (Optional)
Having a second remote allows you to have your local 'master' branch track the upstream kdeconnect-kde master branch, so you can easily get all the latest changes.
These steps assume you are using command-line git. If you are using a GUI tool, the steps will be different, but the ideas will be the same.
- On the command line, change to your local repository clone
# Note that we use HTTPS cloning here so that you don't need a verified account to pull changes!
git remote add upstream https://invent.kde.org/network/kdeconnect-kde.git
git fetch upstream
git checkout -b upstream-master --track upstream/master
- Now whenever there are new changes upstream, simply pull the upstream-master branch, then merge or rebase your local branches onto those changes!
Restarting the daemon
Whenever you do a change to KDE Connect you need to restart the daemon for the change to take effect.
By default, most Linux distributions tell Qt to restrict what logging you will see. You can control this using the QT_LOGGING_RULES variable. Running something like the below command will show most all logging.
export QT_LOGGING_RULES="*.debug=true; qt.*.debug=false"
The daemon communicates with various UI components (Plasmoid, CLI, Indicator etc.) over DBus. QDbusViewer allows inspecting the DBus interface provided by the daemon which can be incredibly useful for debugging.
Running KDE Connect on an emulator
How to setup running KDE Connect on an emulator is described here Android_Emulator
The following sections describe how to release a new version KDE Connect
Tarball releases are handled automatically through KDE's release process. These are typically consumed by downstream distros in their release process.
- Do some QA on a build you would like to release. Navigate to the repository pipelines, grab the latest signed *-sideload.appx of a release (not master) build you would like to test, and put it through the paces. Make sure all the plugins work, and make sure the UI elements look right.
- File a sysadmin ticket, and request that the .exe and -dbg.7z files from the build you tested be uploaded to the stable download path, like https://download.kde.org/stable/release-service/23.08.0/windows/
- Once the download files are in the mirror network, update the appstream data like https://invent.kde.org/network/kdeconnect-kde/-/commit/5639905b8dc3c36675bd8c042db7e2849023f6dc
- Use the microsoftstore pipeline step to upload the .appx to the Microsoft store.
- Open the Microsoft Store partner center and approve the new release. If you don't have access to the partner center, you need to file a sysadmin ticket, as described here.
Before making an Android release we have to:
- Bump the version name and number in the AndroidManifest.xml file.
- Create an annotated version tag on git (the name should start with "v").
Google Play Store
We build and sign the APK packages for the Play Store ourselves (we don't use Google's App Bundles which get signed by Google). To release on the Play Store you need two things:
- Access to the KDE organization on the Google Play Console.
- The KDE Connect signing key and passphrase.
We build an APK from a git version tag using Android Studio (Build > Generate Signed Bundle/APK and then select APK) and upload it to the Google Play Console through the web UI.
The FDroid package is not built by us. It is built and signed by the FDroid build server. Version information is stored in a metadata file on FDroid’s Gitlab. We don't update the metadata file manually for new releases, though.
FDroid periodically (every 2-3 days) scans our git repo and if there's a new version tagged it will update the metadata and trigger a build automatically. Each build attempt produces logs which can be checked to debug issues.
The FDroid community is quite active and they usually reply fast when we open an issue or a MR (eg: to update the app description or some other metadata).
Apple App Store
TODO: written description of the process