KDE

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Resources

KDE is a free software community, producing a wide range of applications including the popular Plasma desktop environment.

Gentoo support for KDE is excellent, with comprehensive packaging of the legacy Plasma 4, next generation KDE Frameworks 5, Plasma 5, and Applications 5, as well as a wide array of other miscellaneous KDE-based software.

Prerequisites

Profile

Choosing an appropriate profile, although not required, is recommended as it sets a number of global and package-specific USE flags to ease installation and ensure a smooth KDE experience.

In order to choose the most suitable profile, first list what's available:

root #eselect profile list
  [1]   default/linux/amd64/13.0
  [2]   default/linux/amd64/13.0/selinux
  [3]   default/linux/amd64/13.0/desktop
  [4]   default/linux/amd64/13.0/desktop/gnome
  [5]   default/linux/amd64/13.0/desktop/gnome/systemd
  [6]   default/linux/amd64/13.0/desktop/kde
  [7]   default/linux/amd64/13.0/desktop/kde/systemd
  [8]   default/linux/amd64/13.0/desktop/plasma
  [9]   default/linux/amd64/13.0/desktop/plasma/systemd
  ...

Then, select the right profile, substituting X with the appropriate profile number:

root #eselect profile set X

For Plasma 5 desktop environment choose desktop/plasma with OpenRC or desktop/plasma/systemd with systemd. For legacy Plasma 4 desktop environment it is recommended to use the desktop/kde profile, which is tailored for use with OpenRC. If systemd is used, choose desktop/kde/systemd instead.

Services

Before installing KDE related software it is recommended that several other services are set up first. Part of that is done automatically if a desktop/plasma 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 are run instead of a full KDE Plasma desktop environment), 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 the X environment.

Frameworks

KDE Frameworks 5 is a collection of libraries and software frameworks that provide the foundation for KDE Plasma 5 and KDE Applications 5, but may be leveraged by any Qt application.

As Frameworks are mostly libraries and provide little user functionality, it's not necessary to install them manually - the required packages will be pulled in automatically as dependencies.

Available versions

KDE Gentoo Repository Status
KDE Frameworks 5.23.0 kde-frameworks/*-5.23.0 gentoo Stable for amd64 and x86
KDE Frameworks 5.24.0 kde-frameworks/*-5.24.0 gentoo Testing for amd64 and x86
KDE Frameworks master branch kde-frameworks/*-9999 kde overlay Live version

Plasma

Plasma 5 is the next generation of KDE's desktop environment, based on Qt 5 and KDE Frameworks 5. Upgrading is fairly simple, although it cannot be coinstalled with Plasma 4 due to upstream design decisions.

Note that while Plasma 5 is in a good state, it is still under heavy upstream development and is missing some features present in KDE 4.

Available versions

KDE Gentoo Repository Status
KDE Plasma 5.6.5 kde-plasma/plasma-meta-5.6.5 gentoo Stable for amd64 and x86
KDE Plasma 5.7.2 kde-plasma/plasma-meta-5.7.2 gentoo Testing for amd64 and x86
KDE Plasma 5.7 stable branch kde-plasma/plasma-meta-5.7.49.9999 kde overlay Live version
KDE Plasma master branch kde-plasma/plasma-meta-9999 kde overlay Live version
Note
Before proceeding, make sure to choose a plasma profile. KDE 4 users will need to take extra steps.

Upgrade from Plasma 4

Information on how to upgrade from Plasma 4, migration and troubleshooting can be found on the upgrade page.

Installation

The kde-plasma/plasma-meta package provides the full Plasma 5 suite, configured by the following USE flags:

USE flags for kde-plasma/plasma-meta Merge this to pull in all Plasma 5 packages

bluetooth Enable Bluetooth Support global
display-manager Pull in a graphical display manager local
grub Pull in Breeze theme for sys-boot/grub local
gtk Add support for x11-libs/gtk+ (The GIMP Toolkit) global
handbook Enable handbooks generation for packages by KDE global
mediacenter Pull in kde-plasma/plasma-mediacenter local
networkmanager Enable net-misc/networkmanager support global
pam Add support for PAM (Pluggable Authentication Modules) - DANGEROUS to arbitrarily flip global
plymouth Pull in Breeze theme for sys-boot/plymouth local
pulseaudio Add support for PulseAudio sound server global
sddm Pull in the x11-misc/sddm display manager and KCM local
sdk Pull in kde-plasma/plasma-sdk local
wallpapers Install the KDE wallpapers local

root #emerge --ask kde-plasma/plasma-meta

Alternatively, kde-plasma/plasma-desktop provides the basic desktop, leaving users free to install only the extra packages they require:

root #emerge --ask kde-plasma/plasma-desktop
Note
Please note that such installations will be missing important packages such as kde-plasma/powerdevil (power management, suspend and hibernate options) and kde-plasma/systemsettings if this alternative installation is used.

Widgets

Many useful widgets are in the kde-plasma/kdeplasma-addons package:

root #emerge --ask kde-plasma/kdeplasma-addons

Display manager

SDDM (Simple Desktop Display Manager) is the recommended login manager and is pulled in automatically via kde-plasma/plasma-meta by default. This is the preferred option. Alternatively, LightDM can be used and pulled in by setting USE flag -sddm for kde-plasma/plasma-meta. Change the setting accordingly in /etc/conf.d/xdm. Also, be sure to read through the SDDM page if further issues appear.

Applications

Releases consist of various applications and supporting libraries based on Qt 5/KDE Frameworks 5 as well as Qt 4/KDElibs 4, with the latter still being in long term support mode. In Portage, the distinction is made using slots 4 and 5. Porting is an ongoing process where each major release is making inroads to Frameworks 5, and therefore contains both well matured and newly ported applications. Note that it also means potential dependency conflicts even within one major release, when two packages depend on slot 4 and 5 of the same library that can not be installed at the same time. The meta packages are taking these conflicts into account and will in some cases prefer the more reliable version over a new port.

Available versions

KDE Gentoo Repository Status
KDE Applications 15.12.3 kde-apps/kde-apps-meta-15.12.3 gentoo Stable for amd64 and x86
KDE Applications 16.04.3 kde-apps/kde-apps-meta-16.04.3 gentoo Testing for amd64 and x86
KDE Applications 16.08 stable branch kde-apps/kde-apps-meta-16.08.49.9999 kde overlay Live version
KDE Applications master branch kde-apps/kde-apps-meta-9999 kde overlay Live version

The kde-apps/kde-apps-meta package provides the full Applications bundle:

root #emerge --ask kde-apps/kde-apps-meta

It will install the following smaller meta packages, which of course can also be hand-picked:

Package name Description
kde-apps/kdeaccessibility-meta Accessibility applications and utilities.
kde-apps/kdeadmin-meta Administrative utilities, which helps in managing the system.
kde-apps/kdecore-meta Basic applications such as file browser, editor, terminal emulator.
kde-apps/kdeedu-meta Educational applications and games.
kde-apps/kdegames-meta Standard desktop games.
kde-apps/kdegraphics-meta Graphics applications such as image viewers, color pickers, etc.
kde-apps/kdemultimedia-meta Audio and video playback applications and services.
kde-apps/kdenetwork-meta Network applications and VNC services.
kde-apps/kdepim-meta PIM applications such as emailer, addressbook, organizer, etc.
kde-apps/kdesdk-meta Various development tools.
kde-apps/kdeutils-meta Standard desktop utilities such as a archiver, a calculator, etc.
kde-apps/kdewebdev-meta Web development tools.
kde-apps/kdeartwork-meta Emoticons, wallpapers, etc.

Localization

To localize KDE Applications, install the kde-apps/kde-l10n package. If only a selected few languages needs to set, define the L10N variable beforehand in /etc/portage/make.conf

E.g. to use the German language, set:

FILE /etc/portage/make.confSetting the L10N variable for the German language
L10N="de"
root #emerge --ask kde-apps/kde-l10n

To localize the packages included in kde-apps/kdepim-meta install the kde-apps/kdepim-l10n package.

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

KDE PIM

Two variants of KDE PIM, the KDE personal information management suite (including kde-apps/kmail, kde-apps/kontact, and kde-apps/korganizer) are currently available, still based on Qt 4 / KDElibs 4. The current, up-to-date version including an Akonadi-based kmail (also known as kmail2) is installed by default. By locally placing a mask file into /etc/portage/package.mask, the "noakonadi fork" is used including a non-Akonadi kmail (also known as kmail1).

kdesu5

The utility that is used to run GUI programs as root is provided by kde-plasma/kde-cli-tools. If built with USE flag kdesu, a graphical frontend to kde-frameworks/kdesu is installed, which can be used by invoking kdesu5.

As always, ensure that the command actually needs to run as root, versus adding the regular user to the relevant groups or simply just running the command unprivileged.

Plasma 4

Plasma 4 is the previous major workspace version by KDE. Although it is no longer maintained upstream, it is considered stable and might still be a viable alternative for some. Users need to be aware that end-of-life since 19th August 2015 means no security bugs have been fixed since then.

Available versions

KDE version Status
KDE Plasma 4.11.22 Stable for amd64 and x86; testing for arm
root #emerge --ask kde-base/kdebase-startkde

Yes, this is going to pull in also some kde-plasma/ and kde-frameworks/ packages - it is no mistake.

Note
Please note that previously used meta packages kde-apps/kde-meta and kde-apps/kdebase-meta are unfit as they are pulling in new Plasma 5 already.

Widgets

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

root #emerge --ask kde-base/kdeplasma-addons

Display manager

KDM (KDE Display Manager) is the long-serving login manager for Plasma 4 although any other login manager can be used.

root #emerge --ask kde-base/kdm

OpenRC

Set KDM as the default display manager:

FILE /etc/conf.d/xdm
DISPLAYMANAGER="kdm"

To start KDM on boot, add xdm to the default runlevel:

root #rc-update add xdm default

To start KDM now:

root #/etc/init.d/xdm start

systemd

Enable KDM at boot time through systemctl:

root #systemctl enable kdm

Now start the service:

root #systemctl start kdm

More KDE software

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

See also

External resources