KDE is a powerful graphical desktop environment for Unix workstations.
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 latest branch live ebuilds through the kde overlay.
Choose what KDE SC version is most appropriate:
|KDE SC version||Gentoo version||Repository||Status|
|KDE SC 4.12.5||4.12.5||Portage||Stable for amd64, ppc, ppc64 and x86; testing for arm|
|KDE SC 4.14.3||4.14.3||Portage||Stable for amd64; testing for arm, ppc, ppc64 and x86|
With the arrival of Qt5, KDE has ceased synchronized, monolithic releases and instead split releases into three parts: KDE Frameworks 5, KDE Plasma 5, and KDE Applications. The KDE part of the Portage tree is currently undergoing restructuring (refactoring? renaming? reallocation?) to reflect the structural changes of KDE. However, most (if not all) of the new Qt5 packages remain masked (bug #454132).
|KDE part & version||Gentoo package & version||Repository||Status|
|KDE Frameworks 5.6.0||kde-frameworks/*-5.6.0||Portage||Masked for amd64|
|KDE Frameworks nightly||kde-frameworks/*-9999||kde overlay||Live version|
|KDE Plasma 5.1.2||kde-base/plasma-desktop-5.1.2||kde overlay||Masked for amd64|
|KDE Plasma 5.1 stable branch||kde-base/plasma-desktop-5.1.9999||kde overlay||Live version|
|KDE Plasma nightly||kde-base/plasma-desktop-9999||kde overlay||Live version|
|KDE Applications unstable branch||kde-apps/kde-apps-meta-14.12.0||kde overlay||Masked for amd64|
|KDE Applications nightly||kde-apps/kde-apps-meta-9999||kde overlay||Masked for amd64|
Users with stable systems need to put this keywords file in /etc/portage/package.keywords to install testing versions.
When KDE PIM is installed and needs to upgrade from 4.4 to 4.13, please have a look at the KDE PIM 4.7 Upgrade Guide first (it still applies)! To stick with KDE PIM 4.4 it is possible to mask KDE PIM 4.13.
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 the system to using only the equivalent desktop environment. In order to choose the most suitable profile, run the following command to list the available profiles:
eselect profile list
Then, select the right profile with the following command, substituting
X with the appropriate number of the profile:
eselect profile set X
See the page on profiles for more details.
For a full KDE desktop environment it is recommended to use the desktop/kde profile, which is specially tailored for KDE with OpenRC. If KDE with systemd is to be used, it is recommended to use the desktop/kde/systemd profile, which is specially tailored for KDE with systemd.
Before installing KDE SC it is recommended that several other services are set up first. Part of that is done automatically if a desktop/kde or desktop profile is used. These services are:
- 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 selected applications re ran instead of a full KDE desktop environment), but may be unsupported, untested, or lead to unexpected loss of functionality.
Read and follow the instructions in the X server article to setup the X environment.
For update instructions, check the upgrade subpage.
For live versions see the kde overlay article.
In Gentoo there are various packages that will install a KDE environment:
- kde-base/kde-meta, the full KDE suite
- kde-base/kdebase-meta, a basic KDE environment
- kde-base/kdebase-startkde, a very minimal, effectively unsupported KDE environment (no KDE applications or artwork)
It is usually a good idea to start with the kde-base/kdebase-meta package and install the additional software when needed:
emerge --ask kde-base/kdebase-meta
There are other meta packages that can be installed to pull in parts of the KDE suite:
- kde-base/kdeaccessibility-meta: Accessibility applications and utilities.
- kde-base/kdeadmin-meta: Administrative utilities, which helps in managing the system.
- kde-base/kdeartwork-meta: Extra themes, screensavers, etc.
- kde-base/kdebindings-meta: Bindings for various languages.
- kde-base/kdeedu-meta: Educational applications and games.
- kde-base/kdegames-meta: Standard desktop games.
- kde-base/kdegraphics-meta: Graphics applications such as image viewers, color pickers, etc.
- kde-base/kdemultimedia-meta: Audio and video playback applications and services.
- kde-base/kdenetwork-meta: Network applications and VNC services.
- kde-base/kdepim-meta: PIM applications such as emailer, addressbook, organizer, etc.
- kde-base/kdesdk-meta: Various development tools.
- kde-base/kdetoys-meta: Toy like applications.
- kde-base/kdeutils-meta: Standard desktop utilities such as a archiver, a calculator, etc.
- kde-base/kdewebdev-meta: Web development tools.
E.g. to use the German language, set:
emerge --ask kde-base/kde-l10n
KDM (KDE Display Manager) is the recommended login manager for KDE.
Set KDM as the default display manager:
To start KDM on boot, add xdm to the default runlevel:
rc-update add xdm default
To start KDM now:
Enable KDM at boot time through systemctl enable:
systemctl enable kdm
Now run the following command to start the service:
systemctl start kdm
Many useful widget are in the kde-base/kdeplasma-addons package:
emerge --ask kdeplasma-addons