< Guidelines and HOWTOs
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Guidelines and HOWTOs/Build from source

Build requirements

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


  • deb-based distributions (Debian, Ubuntu...):
$ sudo apt-get build-dep qtbase5-dev
$ sudo apt-get install libbz2-dev libxslt-dev libxml2-dev shared-mime-info oxygen-icon-theme libgif-dev libvlc-dev libvlccore-dev doxygen gperf bzr libxapian-dev fontforge
  • OpenSuSE: All the necessary dependencies:
$ sudo zypper si -d libqt5-qtbase
$ sudo zypper in libbz2-devel libxslt-devel libxml2-devel shared-mime-info oxygen-icon-theme giflib-devel vlc-devel doxygen gstreamer-0_10-devel gstreamer-0_10-plugins-base-devel docbook-xml-slides docbook-xsl-stylesheets xcb-util-keysyms-devel perl-JSON boost-devel libxcb-devel libXrender-devel xcb-util-wm-devel xcb-util-devel xcb-util-image-devel gettext-tools
  • Fedora: All the dependencies used for building frameworks can be installed by running:
$ sudo yum-builddep qt phonon-backend-vlc phonon-backend-gstreamer
$ sudo yum install gcc-c++ ruby doxygen git bzr flex bison gperf socat boost-devel bzip2-devel libxslt-devel libxml2-devel shared-mime-info oxygen-icon-theme giflib-devel xcb-util-keysyms-devel perl-JSON perl-Pod-Usage "*xcb*-devel" perl-XML-Parser NetworkManager-glib-devel xapian-core-devel libxkbcommon-devel libxkbcommon-x11-devel  systemd-devel libwayland-cursor-devel libwayland-server-devel libepoxy-devel gtk3-devel sane-backends-devel libcanberra-devel libusb-devel libxkbfile-devel fontforge-devel libical-devel gpgme-devel cyrus-sasl-devel openldap-devel
  • Arch Linux: All the dependencies used for building frameworks can be installed by running:
$ sudo pacman -Sy phonon-qt5 qt5-webkit qt5-script qt5-svg qt5-x11extras enchant jasper openexr libutempter docbook-xsl shared-mime-info giflib libxss upower udisks2 bzr git doxygen perl-json perl-libwww
$ <your_AUR_helper> kf5-akonadi-git

Qt 5

To build all of qt5 execute:

git clone git://anongit.kde.org/qt/qt5.git --branch 5.3
cd qt5
./configure -prefix $PWD/qtbase -opensource -confirm-license -nomake tests -nomake examples -dbus -no-separate-debug-info -xcb -qpa xcb -no-gtkstyle -developer-build

To update qt5 later:

git pull
git submodule sync
git submodule update --recursive

If you saw changes (i.e. qt5.git got updated since last time),

./configure [...same as above...]
echo $?    # you should make extra sure that 'make' didn't abort with an error, especially when using -j

Experimental and not officially supported: if you don't have enough time and disk space for all of qt5, you could restrict yourself to separate checkouts of qtbase.git, qtsvg.git and qtx11extras.git, this is enough to build frameworks/* (but not enough for plasma-framework).

NOTE for ArchLinux users: qtwebkit uses python to generate some files, but it uses python2 syntax. So you have to either patch the qtwebkit code or make /usr/bin/python point to /usr/bin/python2. See also https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Python

Runtime setup

To use your new KF5 install prefix (let's call it $KF5) :

export KF5=<path to your intended frameworks install directory>
export QTDIR=<path to your qt5 install dir, or qtbase build dir if using uninstalled>
export XDG_DATA_DIRS=$KF5/share:$XDG_DATA_DIRS:/usr/share
export XDG_CONFIG_DIRS=$KF5/etc/xdg:$XDG_CONFIG_DIRS:/etc/xdg
export PATH=$KF5/bin:$QTDIR/bin:$PATH
export QT_PLUGIN_PATH=$KF5/lib/plugins:$KF5/lib64/plugins:$KF5/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/plugins:$QTDIR/plugins:$QT_PLUGIN_PATH
   (lib64 instead of lib, on OpenSUSE and similar)
export QML2_IMPORT_PATH=$KF5/lib/qml:$KF5/lib64/qml:$KF5/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/qml:$QTDIR/qml
export KDE_FULL_SESSION=true

Note that LD_LIBRARY_PATH isn't set. You shouldn't set it, the builtin rpath works magic instead, and if you set it you'll have issues when running tools that use uninstalled libs while building frameworks (e.g. meinproc, kconfig_compiler...)

To use separate user settings for KF5:

export XDG_DATA_HOME=$HOME/.local5/share
export XDG_CONFIG_HOME=$HOME/.config5
export XDG_CACHE_HOME=$HOME/.cache5

To be able to compile other stuff on top of KF5:


To get more information out of qDebug statements (i.e. make it more like kDebug) :

export QT_MESSAGE_PATTERN='%{appname}(%{pid})/%{category} %{function}: %{message}'

or even better, to get colors:

c=`echo -e "\033"`
export QT_MESSAGE_PATTERN="%{appname}(%{pid})/(%{category}) $c[31m%{if-debug}$c[34m%{endif}%{function}$c[0m: %{message}"
unset c

Don't bother with KDEDIR and KDEHOME etc. this stuff isn't used anymore.

Git remote prefix

Let's setup a "kde:" prefix for git commands. Add the following text to your ~/.gitconfig:

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

Build KDE Frameworks and its dependencies

Clone kdesrc-build

First you need kdesrc-build, it can be done with the following commands:

mkdir -p extragear/utils
git clone kde:kdesrc-build extragear/utils/kdesrc-build
ln -s extragear/utils/kdesrc-build/kdesrc-build .

Download the configuration file

At this point,

  1. download http://www.davidfaure.fr/kde/kf5-qt5-kdesrc-buildrc into your source dir
  2. rename it to kdesrc-buildrc

You can use this command:

wget "http://www.davidfaure.fr/kde/kf5-qt5-kdesrc-buildrc" -O "kdesrc-buildrc"

Adjust the paths

Take a look at those lines in the configuration file you've downloaded:

  qtdir /d/qt/5/kde/qtbase
  source-dir /d/kde/src/5
  build-dir /d/kde/build/5
  kdedir /d/kde/inst/kde_frameworks

and adjust the paths the way you want.

  • qtdir = Where Qt 5 is installed, or qtbase build dir if using uninstalled
  • source-dir = where KDE Frameworks 5 sources should be downloaded
  • build-dir = where KDE Frameworks 5 should be built
  • kde-dir = your KDE Frameworks 5 installation directory
The value of kde-dir/share must be included in the environment variable XDG_DATA_DIRS or otherwise the build will fail. kdesrc-build should handle this for you.
The Qt dir must be included in the environment variable CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH otherwise kdesrc-build will fail to configure most modules.

Build kdesrc-build

Note that this script uses GIT and Bazaar to download the sources, so ensure you have both installed.

You just have to run ./kdesrc-build to build the KDE Frameworks. It is the preferred way of building KDE Frameworks.

kdesrc-build will only pick up the kdesrc-buildrc file you downloaded and edited above if it is in the same directory you run kdesrc-build from. If you save it to ~/.kdesrc-buildrc, however, it will be used no matter where you run kdesrc-build from.

If you want you can also do the work by hand following the detailed instructions: Frameworks/Building/Details.

Use project neon 5 tools

Project Neon 5 in KUbuntu provides neon5-env and neon5-cmake tools which makes building KDE Frameworks easy. For more details see: http://community.kde.org/Frameworks/Building/ProjectNeon5

Running unit tests

Unit tests are ran from the build dir of each framework, you should first cd into it.

You need a separate DBus session because the dbus server needs to have the right value of XDG_DATA_DIRS, in order to find $KF5/share/dbus-1/services for starting services (e.g. kded5).

eval `dbus-launch`
make test

Warning: never start a KDE 4 application in this separate DBus session, it would conflict with your running Plasma 4 desktop. Note: KDE_FULL_SESSION=true is needed to make sure that the correct QPA will be loaded.

Many of the tests require an X server, and will pop up windows briefly. An easy way to allow these tests to run without interfering with your normal X session is to do

xvfb-run -s '-screen 0 1024x768x24' make test

(the -s argument tells Xvfb to set the first screen to be 1024x768 pixels, with a depth of 24; at least one test requires a depth greater than 8). In this case, if you also ensure DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS is not set, the tests should not find your existing D-Bus session, and instead launch a new D-Bus instance.

Note that the KWindowSystem tests require a NETWM-compatible window manager to be running. One way to do this is to create a script to run such a window manager, followed by whatever is passed to it. For example, if you have the window manager awesome installed, you could create a script called awesome-run as follows:

awesome &
exec "[email protected]"

and then run the tests as

xvfb-run -s '-screen 0 1024x768x24' /path/to/awesome-run make test

If you want to publish your test results, instead of "make test" run

make Experimental

The test results will appear on http://my.cdash.org/index.php?project=<projectname>

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