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.
- 1 Prerequisites
- 2 Frameworks
- 3 Plasma
- 4 Applications
- 5 Plasma 4
- 6 More KDE software
- 7 See also
- 8 External resources
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:
eselect profile list
 default/linux/amd64/13.0  default/linux/amd64/13.0/selinux  default/linux/amd64/13.0/desktop  default/linux/amd64/13.0/desktop/gnome  default/linux/amd64/13.0/desktop/gnome/systemd  default/linux/amd64/13.0/desktop/kde  default/linux/amd64/13.0/desktop/kde/systemd  default/linux/amd64/13.0/desktop/plasma  default/linux/amd64/13.0/desktop/plasma/systemd ...
Then, select the right profile, substituting
X with the appropriate profile number:
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
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.
Read and follow the instructions in the X server article to setup the X environment.
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.
|KDE Frameworks 5.21.0||kde-frameworks/*-5.21.0||gentoo||Stable for amd64 and x86|
|KDE Frameworks 5.23.0||kde-frameworks/*-5.23.0||gentoo||Testing 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 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.
|KDE Plasma 5.5.5||kde-plasma/plasma-meta-5.5.5||gentoo||Stable for amd64 and x86|
|KDE Plasma 5.6.5||kde-plasma/plasma-meta-5.6.5||gentoo||Testing 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-188.8.131.5299||kde overlay||Live version|
|KDE Plasma master branch||kde-plasma/plasma-meta-9999||kde overlay||Live version|
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.
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
||Enable Bluetooth Support||global|
||Pull in a graphical display manager||local|
||Pull in Breeze theme for sys-boot/grub||local|
||Add support for x11-libs/gtk+ (The GIMP Toolkit)||global|
||Enable handbooks generation for packages by KDE||global|
||Pull in kde-plasma/plasma-mediacenter||local|
||Enable net-misc/networkmanager support||global|
||Add support for PAM (Pluggable Authentication Modules) - DANGEROUS to arbitrarily flip||global|
||Pull in Breeze theme for sys-boot/plymouth||local|
||Add support for PulseAudio sound server||global|
||Pull in the x11-misc/sddm display manager and KCM||local|
||Pull in kde-plasma/plasma-sdk||local|
||Install the KDE wallpapers||local|
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:
emerge --ask kde-plasma/plasma-desktop
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.
Many useful widgets are in the kde-plasma/kdeplasma-addons package:
emerge --ask kde-plasma/kdeplasma-addons
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.
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
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.
|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:
emerge --ask kde-apps/kde-apps-meta
It will install the following smaller meta packages, which of course can also be hand-picked:
|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.|
E.g. to use the German language, set:
emerge --ask kde-apps/kde-l10n
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).
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 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.
|KDE Plasma 4.11.22||Stable for amd64 and x86; testing for arm|
emerge --ask kde-base/kdebase-startkde
Yes, this is going to pull in also some
kde-frameworks/ packages - it is no mistake.
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.
Many useful widgets are in the kde-base/kdeplasma-addons package:
emerge --ask kde-base/kdeplasma-addons
KDM (KDE Display Manager) is the long-serving login manager for Plasma 4 although any other login manager can be used.
emerge --ask kde-base/kdm
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:
systemctl enable kdm
Now start the service:
systemctl start kdm
More KDE software
- KDE hints - Hints on working in a KDE desktop environment.
- KDE troubleshooting - An extended article on troubleshooting KDE.
- KDE/KDEPIM-4.7 upgrade
- KDE overlay - Instructions on adding Gentoo's KDE overlay.
- KDE removal and clean up - Instructions on removing and cleaning up KDE.