Monday 17 March 2008

Installing KDE 4.0.2 on Fedora 8

[First published on Dasun's blog]
This guide illustrates how to compile and setup KDE 4.0.2 Stable release on a Fedora 8 Werewolf desktop. For instructions on building the latest version from trunk, refer to the official KDE Techbase article at and Go2Linux forum guide at Some of the steps in this guide are taken from the above sources and credit should go to respective authors.

Step 1 : Getting the sources

  1. Create the directories for the KDE install. I chose to setup KDE in the /opt directory.

    su -c "mkdir -p /opt/kde4/kde/src"

  2. Give full access to the kde4 directory temporarily

    su -c "chmod 777 /opt/kde4"

  3. Download the KDE 4.0.2 source tarballs from to /opt/kde4/kde/src

  4. The required tarballs for a basic install are :

  5. Extract the tarballs

    for i in *.bz2; do tar -jxvf $i ; done

  6. If you're a neat freak like me, get rid of the tarballs to make it look pretty :)

    mkdir tarballs && mv *.bz2 tarballs

Step 2 : Setting up the environment

  1. Copy the sample .bashrc file from and append it to your existing .bashrc

  2. We need to make some changes to the .bashrc to reflect the directory structure we require. In the KDE section, change the KDEDIR as follows:

    export KDEDIR=/opt/kde4

    Comment out the Qt section entirely. We are not building Qt from source.

    #export QTDIR=$HOME/qt-copy
    #export QT_PLUGIN_PATH=$KDEDIR/lib/kde4/plugins:$QT_PLUGIN_PATH
    #export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=$QTDIR/lib/pkgconfig:$PKG_CONFIG_PATH

    Assuming you didn't have anything in .bashrc before you copied over the .bashrc from, scroll down to line 52 and make the following changes.

    export KDE_BUILD=/opt/kde4/kde/build
    export KDE_SRC=/opt/kde4/kde/src

    Save changes and exit.

  3. Source the new .bashrc

    source .bashrc

  4. Now lets install some of the prerequisite packages.

    sudo yum install clucene-core-devel libxml-devel libxslt-devel \
    dbus-devel boost-devel bzip2-devel openssl-devel alsa-lib-devel \
    redland-devel rasqal-devel raptor-devel hspell-devel aspell-devel \
    cups-devel xine-lib-devel avahi-devel gamin-devel OpenEXR-devel \
    enchant-devel jasper-devel ilmbase-devel pcre-devel gpgme-devel \
    libxklavier-devel glib-devel libusb-devel libsmbclient-devel \
    libxcb-devel NetworkManager-devel lm_sensors-devel libraw1394-devel \
    bluez-libs-devel gcc-c++ libXext-devel cmake subversion giflib-devel \
    libpng-devel libXdamage-devel libXcomposite-devel libXrender-devel \
    fontconfig-devel libXft-devel libXcursor-devel libXfixes-devel \
    ruby-devel libXScrnSaver-devel libkdcraw-devel exiv2-devel \
    lcms-devel libtiff-devel sqlite-devel libxkbfile-devel \
    imlib2-devel patch gstreamer-plugins-base-devel

    sudo yum install strigi strigi-devel

    sudo yum install qt4-devel qt4-doc

    sudo yum install blitz blitz-devel qimageblitz qimageblitz-devel

Step 3 :
  1. Finally it's time to build everything. The magic command is cmakekde. I illustrate the process below for kdelibs.

    cd /opt/kde4/kde/src/kdelibs-4.0.2

  2. You need to repeat the above process in the following order:


    If you're building other packages, the process is the same and the order does not matter.

  3. Expect to spend about 1 to 2 hours to compile only the basic packages. (Depends on the speed of your computer)

Step 4 : Setup a new session

  1. Assuming the build process went without any glitches, it is time to setup KDE4 as a login session.

    su -c "cp /opt/kde4/share/apps/kdm/sessions/kde.desktop /usr/share/xsessions/kde4.desktop"

  2. If you have an older version of KDE on your machine, to avoid confusion do the following change to /usr/share/xsessions/kde4.desktop


  3. Now you're all set. Logout from the current session and login again, but this time select "KDE4" as your session.


  • Maybe it's me, but I couldn't find a link to the control center on the Kickoff menu. If you have the same problem, do the following:

    Press Alt+F2 and type "system-settings" without the quotes and press enter.

  • KDE4 has some cool Compiz like effects. Be sure to enable visual effects to see them in action. Some key combinations to try are Ctrl+F8, Ctril+F9, Ctrl+F10

  • Some mouse gestures also work. For example, move your mouse over to the top left corner to get a Mac Expo like effect. I am sure there are many more, but this should be enough to get you started. Have fun !


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