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 KDE SC 4, next generation KDE Frameworks, Plasma, and Applications 5, as well as a wide array of other miscellaneous KDE-based software.
- 1 Prerequisites
- 2 KDE SC 4
- 3 KDE Frameworks, Plasma, and Applications 5
- 4 More KDE software
- 5 See also
- 6 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 a full KDE 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. For Plasma 5 desktop environment choose
desktop/plasma with OpenRC or
desktop/plasma/systemd 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 are run 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.
KDE SC 4
KDE SC 4 is the previous major version of KDE. Although it is no longer maintained upstream, it is considered stable, and is recommended for most users. As upstream support for KDE SC 4 has slowly come to an end, certain packages have releases with versions that do not match the rest of the SC. For example, KDE Workspaces and KDE PIM have received their last bugfix releases with 4.11.22 and 4.14.10 respectively, while kdelibs enjoys 4.14.x point releases well beyond. Meanwhile, newer Applications releases are still shipping with KDE4-based packages that are seamlessly able to serve as bugfix updates from 4.14.3.
|KDE SC 4.14.3||Stable for amd64, ppc, ppc64 and x86; testing for arm|
|KDE Workspaces 4.11.22||Stable for amd64 and x86; testing for arm, ppc and ppc64|
In Gentoo there are various packages that will install a KDE environment:
- kde-apps/kde-meta - The full KDE suite.
- kde-apps/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-apps/kdebase-meta package and install the additional software when needed:
emerge --ask kde-apps/kdebase-meta
There are other meta packages that can be installed to pull in parts of the KDE suite:
- kde-apps/kdeaccessibility-meta - Accessibility applications and utilities.
- kde-apps/kdeadmin-meta - Administrative utilities, which helps in managing the system.
- kde-apps/kdeartwork-meta - Extra themes, screensavers, etc.
- kde-base/kdebindings-meta - Bindings for various languages.
- 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.
Many useful widgets are in the kde-base/kdeplasma-addons package:
emerge --ask kde-base/kdeplasma-addons
E.g. to use the German language, set:
emerge --ask kde-apps/kde4-l10n
KDM (KDE Display Manager) is the recommended login manager and is pulled in automatically via kde-apps/kdebase-meta by default if no other login manager is installed.
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
KDE Frameworks, Plasma, and Applications 5
The next generation of KDE splits the SC into three components, each with their own individual release cycles: KDE Frameworks 5, KDE Plasma 5, and KDE Applications.
|KDE component & version||Gentoo package & version||Repository||Status|
|KDE Frameworks 5.21.0||kde-frameworks/*-5.21.0||gentoo||Stable for amd64; Testing for x86|
|KDE Frameworks 5.22.0||kde-frameworks/*-5.22.0||gentoo||Testing for amd64 and x86|
|KDE Frameworks master branch||kde-frameworks/*-9999||kde overlay||Live version|
|KDE Plasma 5.5.5||kde-plasma/plasma-meta-5.5.5||gentoo||Stable for amd64; Testing for x86|
|KDE Plasma 5.6.4||kde-plasma/plasma-meta-5.6.4||gentoo||Testing for amd64 and x86|
|KDE Plasma master branch||kde-plasma/plasma-meta-9999||kde overlay||Live version|
|KDE Applications 15.12.3||kde-apps/kde-apps-meta-15.12.3||gentoo||Stable for amd64; Testing for x86|
|KDE Applications 16.04.1||kde-apps/kde-apps-meta-16.04.1||gentoo||Testing for amd64 and x86|
|KDE Applications master branch||kde-apps/kde-apps-meta-9999||kde overlay||Live version|
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.
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.
Before proceeding, make sure to choose a plasma profile. KDE 4 users will need to take extra steps.
Upgrade from KDE SC 4
Information on how to upgrade from KDE SC 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 KDE4.||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.
For QT 4 / KDElibs 4 based slot 4, two variants of KDEPIM, the KDE personal information management suite (including kde-apps/kmail, kde-apps/kontact, and kde-apps/korganizer) are available. The current, uptodate 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, you can force usage of the "noakonadi fork" including a non-Akonadi kmail (also known as kmail1).
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:
|Package name||Available major version||Description|
|kde-apps/kdeaccessibility-meta||15.12, 16.04||Accessibility applications and utilities.|
|kde-apps/kdeadmin-meta||15.12, 16.04||Administrative utilities, which helps in managing the system.|
|kde-apps/kdebindings-meta||16.04||Bindings for various languages.|
|kde-apps/kdecore-meta||15.12, 16.04||Most basic applications.|
|kde-apps/kdeedu-meta||15.12, 16.04||Educational applications and games.|
|kde-apps/kdegames-meta||15.12, 16.04||Standard desktop games.|
|kde-apps/kdegraphics-meta||15.12, 16.04||Graphics applications such as image viewers, color pickers, etc.|
|kde-apps/kdemultimedia-meta||15.12, 16.04||Audio and video playback applications and services.|
|kde-apps/kdenetwork-meta||15.12, 16.04||Network applications and VNC services.|
|kde-apps/kdepim-meta||4.4, 4.14||PIM applications such as emailer, addressbook, organizer, etc.|
|kde-apps/kdesdk-meta||15.12, 16.04||Various development tools.|
|kde-apps/kdeutils-meta||15.12, 16.04||Standard desktop utilities such as a archiver, a calculator, etc.|
|kde-apps/kdewebdev-meta||15.12, 16.04||Web development tools.|
|kde-apps/kdeartwork-meta||15.08 (final)||Emoticons, wallpapers, etc.|
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.
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.