These instructions are for Unix and similar operating systems. For Windows, see the building Calligra on Windows page.


First, to avoid conflicting copies of software, make sure you do not have other copy of Calligra or KOffice either installed through the package manager of your distribution or installed in any other way. Calligra and KOffice are mutually exclusive!

Recommended setup

Here is recommendation of a directory structure:

source code
directory that Calligra will be built in
directory that Calligra will be installed in

The build directory is needed because you cannot (or should not) build Calligra inside the source directory; the source and build directory have to be separated.

Create these directories with:

mkdir -p ~/kde4/src; mkdir -p ~/kde4/build; mkdir -p ~/kde4/inst

Advantages of this setup:

  • It is possible to have different builds (e.g. with different options out of the same source code)
  • David Faure's scripts can be used to make development easier. With those scripts "make" can be typed in the source directory and building will happen in the right (build) directory automatically.

Also, check the Techbase instructions on setting up a build environment. That contains some useful scripts and functions.

Getting the source code

There are two most useful options:

  1. Get the source code for the latest stable version.
  2. Get the source code for the current development version. Needed to test, check and give feedback about features that is in development and have not been released yet.

If unsure pick the stable version.

Getting the source code for the latest stable version

The latest stable Calligra version is 3.1.0.

It can be downloaded as single archive file from

If you prefer, stable versions are also available on the git repository too. To get stable version x.y from git, first clone the repository (git clone kde:calligra) and switch to calligra/x.y branch (that's the notation). Full procedure of cloning is available in the Get the source code for the development version section below.

The branch for the latest stable version is calligra/3.1 and it contains code updates for current minor stable release 3.1.0 plus updates for the next minor stable (if there are any).

Get the source code for the development version

The latest development version of Calligra is 3.1.0 Alpha; developers always refer to it as to Master. Applications from Master should always compile and be reasonably stable. Calligra developers never place experimental features there. Once tested and released, Master becomes the new current stable version 3.1.

TODO: Here we should explain local branches, staging and always-release-ready Master, if we have that setup.

  • Option 1: directly from git

To retrieve the source code from Git you have to use the following setup:

Add the following text to your ~/.gitconfig:

[url "git://"]
    insteadOf = kde:
[url "ssh://[email protected]/"]
    pushInsteadOf = kde:

Then execute

$ git clone kde:calligra

By using the kde: prefix, read access will automatically happen over Git, and authenticated SSH is only required for pushes.

Note that pushing your changes will only work if you have a KDE developer identity (

The $HOME/kde4/src/calligra directory will be created regardless of the way how the source code has been downloaded.

  • Option 2: download a repository tarball

Go to Press the "Tarball" button. Copy the url text and paste it on your command line. It will look like:

wget -c

Unpack and cd into directory, then run

$ ./

From now on, you can run

$ git pull

to update, or

$ git rebase origin/master

if you have local changes

  • Option 3: if beta or rc version was released, the source code for the latest beta can be found on KDE's ftp calligra-latest. Uncompress the code so that $HOME/kde4/src/calligra is created.

Build requirements

This section provides information about hard (required) and optional software packages needed to build the Calligra software.

Hard dependencies

A note for developers: to add (or remove) a hard dependency, an explanation of the reason, and possibly a discussion must be posted in advance on [email protected] The new dependency need to be packaged in the most widely used distributions (Debian, Fedora Core, OpenSuSE, (K)ubuntu). First try to make your new feature optional.

Following are the general must-have dependencies for Calligra:

  • Qt 4.6.0 or newer
  • kdelibs and kdelibs development files
    • the minimal requirement is currently 4.3.0, any 4.3, 4.4 or 4.5 release packaged in your distribution is OK
    • On opensuse the development package is called libkde4-devel; on Ubuntu and Debian it is called kdelibs5-dev. (TODO: add info for other distributions)
    • Calligra should also build fine with either kdelibs from git repository (see techbase for an explanation on how to compile kdelibs from svn), needed for parts of Calligra build with the Mobile Frameworks Profile of the KDE platform (Calligra Words, Calligra Sheets, Calligra Stage, krita)
  • kdebase/runtime 4.3 or newer
  • cmake 2.6.2 or newer
  • lcms 1.18 or newer
  • libpng development package (libpng14-devel on opensuse, libpng-dev on Ubuntu/Debian)
    • development packages for other libraries may be needed; on ubuntu/Debian these can be installed using 'apt-get build-dep kdelibs5'

For Calligra Sheets:

  • libeigen 2.0

For Krita:

  • libeigen 2.0
  • libexiv2 >= 0.16
  • libqimageblitz

For Stage:

  • boost

For Kexi:

  • sqlite3 and sqlite3-devel packages (package names can differ on various distributions), version >= 3.7.10
  • icu, libicu and libicu-devel (unicode support)

Optional dependencies

All optional dependencies are logged at the end of the cmake run, so it is easy to figure out what is missing. The buildsystem also reports what component will not be built because given missing dependency.

Simplified installation of dependencies on various distributions

Most distribution don't ship calligra yet, so you may replace it by "koffice" or "koffice2" in those command lines
  • deb-based distributions (Debian, Ubuntu...): All the dependencies used for the packages can be installed by running
apt-get build-dep {packagename}

for instance on Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get build-dep calligra
  • OpenSuSE: All the dependencies used for building Calligra can be installed by running:
zypper si -d calligra
  • Fedora: All the dependencies used for building Calligra can be installed by running:
yum-builddep calligra
  • ArchLinux: All the dependencies used for building Calligra can be installed by running:
sudo pacman -S kdepimlibs eigen2 freetds kdegraphics-okular libgsf libwpd libwpg libwps libvisio pstoedit glew gsl cmake automoc4 boost libkdcraw libpqxx fftw opengtl lcms2
  • Chakra: All the dependencies used for building Calligra can be installed by running:
sudo pacman -S kdelibs kdepimlibs eigen freetds kdegraphics-okular kdeedu-marble xbase libgsf libwpd libwpg libwps libvisio pstoedit glew gsl cmake automoc4 libspnav libqtgtl boost libkdcraw libpqxx fftw opengtl docbook-xsl create-resources lcms2 qrencode libdmtx

Build Calligra

It is not possible to build Calligra in the source directory. Set up your directories as described in the Recommended setup section above


mkdir -p $HOME/kde4/build/calligra
mkdir -p $HOME/kde4/inst
cd $HOME/kde4/build/calligra
cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=$HOME/kde4/inst $HOME/kde4/src/calligra -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=RelWithDebInfo

There is a bug in Qt 4.8.0 and 4.8.1 which crashes the textshape quite havily. The bug is fixed in Qt 4.8.2. There is a patch avaliable for Qt and most distributions that ship calligra have included the patch in their QT. See README.PACKAGERS for more information on the topic. If you have applied the patch here is the cmake command you need to use so all gets build.

cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=$HOME/kde4/inst $HOME/kde4/src/calligra -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=RelWithDebInfo -DIHAVEPATCHEDQT=true

cmakekde tool can be used as explained on the build instructions for KDE4.

Then type:


Note that on dual-core machines compilation can be greatly speed up with the -j parameter of the make program, for example for dual-core:

make -j4

and for quad-core:

make -j8

Then type this command to install the software:

make install

Debugging options. Instead of setting CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE to "RelWithDebInfo" for cmake which gives an optimized Calligra with debug information, useful for bug reporting, one can set CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE to "Debug" to get a slower Calligra but with even more interesting debuggong (backtrace) information. For this replace -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=RelWithDebInfo in the above cmake command with -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug.

Please follow the Running Calligra Applications instructions before trying to run an application.

Updating the already built software

If the source code has been checked out Subversion from trunk or a branch, it is possible to update the source code with newly added changes and build again. Usually only changing parts will be built, so this operation would be faster than building the source code from scratch.


cd $HOME/kde4/src/calligra
git pull --rebase
cd $HOME/kde4/build/calligra
make install
make -j4 or make -j8 can be used instead of make to speedup the build on multicore machines

Build only selected applications from Calligra

CMake comes with a command-line tool ccmake that lets you configure build options. You can use it after executing cmake and before executing make. To use it, go to the build directory and issue the following commands:

cd $HOME/kde4/build/calligra
ccmake .

ccmake is a text user interface application. Simple usage: move the selection using up/don arrow keys. Press Enter to set option ON/OFF (for text options, you enter the text). When you're done with setting the options, press c key to configure the source code to apply your changes. When done, press e key to exit. At any time you can press Ctrl+C to stop the application without saving your changes. Any change is saved to $HOME/kde4/build/calligra/CMakeCache.txt file. You can remove this file to get back to the default configuration (in this case you have to re-execute cmake first.

For applications that you do not want to compile, set the corresponding BUILD_{application} variable to "off", replacing {application} by the app's name. For instance, setting BUILD_krita to off will prevent Krita from being built.

Alternatively you can run "-DBUILD_{application}=off" from the cmake command line.

Running Calligra applications

There are two options to make the Calligra applications available for running.

  • Option 1: Being able to run Calligra applications from the command line. If you have installed Calligra in a different prefix than KDElibs (which was recommended in this document), you have to set the following environment variables:
export KDEDIRS=/path/to/install:$KDEDIRS
export PATH=/path/to/install/bin:$PATH
export KDEHOME=/path/to/a/config/dir

And then you need to execute:


For example for the recommended directory structure:

export KDEDIRS=$HOME/kde4/inst:$KDEDIRS
export PATH=$HOME/kde4/inst/bin:$PATH
export KDEHOME=$HOME/kde4/.kde

It is important to set KDEHOME to a directory different of $HOME/.kde, and if the directory does not exist, it will be created automatically.

  • Option 2: Being able to run Calligra applications from the menu or by clicking on desktop icons. Instead of using KDEDIRS, you can add these lines to $HOME/.kde/share/config/kdeglobals file using text editor:

And then you need to execute:


The advantage of this is that KDE4 will always look for the services where Calligra is installed. For example for the recommended directory structure:


Executing unit tests

To be able to execute unit tests, you need to explicitely enable them in the build configuration. To do so, set the KDE4_BUILD_TESTS variable to "ON", either by issuing the command in the build directory:

cd $HOME/kde4/build/calligra

Or you can run ccmake . in the buld directory and set KDE4_BUILD_TESTS to "on".

You can then run the test by executing:

make test

or individually in the tests directories.

It is recommended to execute

make install

before running tests.

CMake Build Options

When you enter your build directory, you can type "ccmake ." to see many build options, e.g. you can turn off compilation of apps you don't want - you can save time when compiling.

Here is list for Krita related options:

  • HAVE_MEMORY_LEAK_TRACKER [On/Off] - You can turn on compilation of the tool in krita which detects memory leak. If you want to help debug Krita memory usage, it is useful. Otherwise you just slow down your Krita.
  • HAVE_BACKTRACE_SUPPORT [On/Off] - It is related to the memory leak tool. If you activate, you will be able to see code path which leads to memory leak.


Possible issues

If you get errors when running an application like:

krita(8565)/calligra (lib komain) KoPluginLoader::load: Loading plugin "Animation Tool" failed, 
"Cannot load library /home/michael/kde4/inst/lib/kde4/ 
(/home/michael/kde4/inst/lib/ undefined symbol:
_ZN28KoShapeContainerDefaultModel3addEP7KoShape)" ( 1 ) 

or crashes when starting an application, then you very likely have a version of Calligra installed through your package manager. As emphasized earlier in this document, you can only have one version of Calligra, and you should uninstall your packaged Calligra.

See also:

Note: if you want to build FreOffice using the Nokia Qt SDK, please check out the build instructions on techbase.

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