< Calligra‎ | Building
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These instructions are for Unix and similar operating systems.

See also:

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


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

Recommended setup

Here is recommendation of a directory structure:

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

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

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.

Geting the source code

There are two options: to get the source code for the latest stable version or for the for the development version. The later option is 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.

Geting the source code for the latest stable version

The latest stable KOffice version is 3.1.0.

cd $HOME/kde4/src
svn co svn://anonsvn.kde.org/home/kde/branches/koffice/Template:StableBranch/koffice

This will create directory $HOME/kde4/src/koffice.

Get the source code for the development version

The latest development version of KOffice is 3.1.0; developers always refer to it as to trunk. Once tested and released, it will become new stable version Template:UnstableBranch.

  • Option 1: when you do not use KDE developer account you can get the latest source code from subversion:
cd $HOME/kde4/src
svn co svn://anonsvn.kde.org/home/kde/trunk/koffice
  • Option 2: when you have a KDE developer account you can get the latest source code from subversion:
    • If you have https access (it's apparently no longer available option!):
cd $HOME/kde4/src
svn co --username=login https://svn.kde.org/home/kde/trunk/koffice

    • If you have svn+ssh access:
cd $HOME/kde4/src
svn co  svn+ssh://[email protected]/home/kde/trunk/koffice

For more information see using subversion with KDE.

Directory $HOME/kde4/src/koffice will be created regardless of the way how the source code has been downloaded.

  • Option 3: if beta or rc version was released, the source code for the latest beta can be found on KDE's ftp koffice-latest. Uncompress the code so that $HOME/kde4/src/koffice is created.
There is no guarantee that the content of the snapshot can be build successfully

  • (no longer an option, because of migration to git)Note that doing a new Subversion checkout takes a long time. So, download svn trunk snapshots from kdesvn-build.kde.org. Uncompress the code so that $HOME/kde4/src/koffice is created.

Build requirements

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

  • Qt 4.6.0
  • kdelibs, the minimal requirement is currently 4.3.0. But KOffice should build fine with either kdelibs from svn (see techbase for an explanation on how to compile kdelibs from svn), or any 4.3, 4.4 or 4.5 release packaged in your distribution (4.4.x is recommended)
  • kdebase/runtime 4.3 (4.4.x is recommended)
  • kdepimlibs 4.3 (4.4.x is recommended)
  • cmake 2.6.2
  • lcms 1.18

For KSpread:

  • libeigen 2.0

For Krita:

  • libeigen 2.0
  • libexiv2 >= 0.16
  • libqimageblitz

For Kexi:

  • sqlite and sqlite-devel packages (package names can differ on various distributions), version >= 3.6.16

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 bot be built because given missing dependency.

Simplified installation of dependencies on various distributions

  • 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 koffice
  • OpenSuSE: All the dependencies used for building KOffice can be installed by running:
zypper si -d koffice2
  • ArchLinux: All the dependencies used for building KOffice can be installed by running:
sudo pacman -S docbook-xml exiv2 glew graphicsmagick gsl kdebase-runtime kdepimlibs lcms libwpd poppler-qt pstoedit qca qimageblitz shared-mime-info wv2 xdg-utils

Build KOffice

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


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

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 KOffice with debug information, useful for bug reporting, one can set CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE to "Debug" to get a slower KOffice 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 KOffice 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/koffice
svn up
cd $HOME/kde4/build/koffice
make install
make -j4 or make -j8 can be used instead of make to speedup the build on multicore machines

The above recipe will not work if the source code has not been obtained from Subversion

Build only selected applications from KOffice

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/koffice
ccmake .

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 KOffice applications

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

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

And then you need to execute:


For example for the recommended directory structure:

export KDEDIRS=$KDEDIRS:$HOME/kde4/inst
export PATH=$PATH:$HOME/kde4/inst/bin
  • Option 2: Being able to run KOffice 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 KOffice 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 cmake -DKDE4_BUILD_TESTS=ON, or by running ccmake .. Both commands must be executed in the build directory.

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)/koffice (lib komain) KoPluginLoader::load: Loading plugin "Animation Tool" failed, 
"Cannot load library /home/michael/kde4/inst/lib/kde4/kpresentertoolanimation.so: 
(/home/michael/kde4/inst/lib/libkopageapp.so.7: undefined symbol:
_ZN28KoShapeContainerDefaultModel3addEP7KoShape)" ( 1 ) 

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

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