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Revision as of 11:53, 7 February 2013 by Astaecker (Talk | contribs) (KDE 4.10.0 in Portage)

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KDE is a powerful graphical desktop environment for Unix workstations.

Available versions

KDE SC 4 is the current KDE version supported by upstream. In Portage there is a stable version, and there might be one (or more) non-stable versions. Under normal conditions new versions get in stabilized after a month. In addition, KDE upstream provides live git source repositories. The Gentoo KDE team provides trunk and latest branch live ebuilds through the kde overlay.

Choose what KDE SC version is most appropriate for you:

KDE SC version Repository Status
KDE SC 4.9.5 Portage Stable for amd64, ppc and x86, testing for arm
KDE SC 4.10.0 Portage Testing for amd64, arm, ppc and x86
KDE SC 4.10 stable branch kde overlay Live version
KDE SC trunk kde overlay Live version
Users with stable systems need to put this keywords file in /etc/portage/package.keywords to install testing versions.
If you are running KDE PIM and upgrade from 4.4 to 4.9, please have a look at the KDE PIM 4.7 Upgrade Guide first (it still applies to 4.9)! If you want to stick with KDE PIM 4.4 you can mask KDE PIM 4.9.



The Desktop profile has been split to KDE and GNOME subprofiles. This means that KDE and GNOME specific USE flags have been stripped from the basic desktop profile and have been migrated to the subprofiles. Choosing a subprofile does not restrict you to use only the equivalent desktop environment. In order to choose the profile that suits you, run

root #eselect profile list

to get the profile list, and

root #eselect profile set X

where X is the appropriate number of the profile you want to select. See the page on profiles for more details. For a full KDE desktop environment we recommend to use the desktop/kde profile, which is specially tailored for KDE.


Before you install KDE SC it is recommended that you set up several services. Part of that is done automatically if you use a desktop/kde or desktop profile. In detail you should use:

  • ConsoleKit: Enables the ConsoleKit framework for defining and tracking users, login sessions and seats.
  • D-Bus: Enables use of the D-Bus message bus system.
  • polkit: Enables the polkit framework for controlling privileges for system-wide services.
  • udev: Enables support for udev Linux dynamic and persistent device naming.
  • udisks: Enables support for some storage related services.

Follow the links for information how to set up these services. Note that other USE flag combinations than set in this profile may technically be possible (especially if you do not run a full KDE desktop environment but only selected applications), but may be unsupported, untested, or lead to unexpected loss of functionality.

X server

Read and follow the instructions in the X server article to setup your X environment.


If you're updating, check the upgrade subpage.
For live versions see the kde overlay article.


In Gentoo there are various packages that will install a KDE environment:

It's usually a good idea to start with kdebase-meta and install whatever else you need as you go:

root #emerge --ask kdebase-meta

There are other meta packages that can be installed to pull in parts of the KDE suite:


For localization of KDE install kde-base/kde-l10n. If you want only selected languages, define beforehand the LINGUAS USE flag, e.g. for German:



This is a deprecated template. Help us update this template!

root #emerge --ask kde-l10n

For localization of packages included in kde-base/kdepim-meta you need to install kde-base/kdepim-l10n.

app-office/calligra has its own localization package too, app-office/calligra-l10n.


Boot service

Set KDM as your default display manager:



This is a deprecated template. Help us update this template!

To start KDE on boot, add xdm to your default runlevel:

root #rc-update add xdm default

To start KDE now:

root #/etc/init.d/xdm start

Add-on Software


Many useful widget are in the kde-base/kdeplasma-addons package:

root #emerge --ask kdeplasma-addons

More KDE software

The most important KDE applications are in the portage tree and many are located in the kde-base and kde-misc categories.

See also

External resources