Introduction to <acronym>KDE</acronym> KDE is a comprehensive desktop environment that builds on XFree86 and Qt to provide a window manager and many user tools, including a browser, word processor, spreadsheet, presentation package, games, and numerous other utilities. It provides extensive capabilities for customization. We divide the KDE instructions into two parts. The first part, the core packages, are needed for the rest of KDE to work. The second part presents additional packages which provide functionality in various areas (multimedia, graphics etc). KDE also has many internationalization packages in the form of: kde-i18n-xx-&kde-version;.tar.bz2 where the xx is a two to five letter code for the country covered. We do not cover the installation of these packages here. There are two alternatives for installing KDE. Option one, that is used by most of the commercial distributions, is to install KDE in the standard system prefix: /usr. This option allows the use of KDE without the need for any additional configuration such as modification of various environment variables or configuration files. Option two is to install it in a unique prefix such as /opt/kde or /opt/kde-&kde-version;. This option allows for easy removal of the package. Based on your preference, set KDE_PREFIX. If KDE is your desktop of choice: export KDE_PREFIX=/usr If you want to try-out KDE: export KDE_PREFIX=/opt/kde-&kde-version; Remember to execute ldconfig after installation of libraries to update the library cache. If you are not installing KDE in /usr you will need to make some configuration changes: Add to your system or personal profile: export PATH=$PATH:/opt/kde-&kde-version;/bin export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=$PKG_CONFIG_PATH:/opt/kde-&kde-version;/lib/pkgconfig Add to your /etc/ cat >> /etc/ << "EOF" # Begin kde addition to /etc/ /opt/kde-&kde-version;/lib # End kde addition EOF Add to your /etc/man.conf: cat >> /etc/man.conf << "EOF" # Begin kde addition to man.conf MANPATH /opt/kde-&kde-version;/man # End kde addition to man.conf EOF If you prefer installing KDE in /opt one trick to avoid the above configuration changes is to replace /opt/kde-&kde-version; with /opt/kde and to create a symlink from /opt/kde-&kde-version; to /opt/kde. ln -sf &kde-version; /opt/kde All the KDE packages are comprised of various components. The default is to install most of the components. If specific components are to be eliminated, the official way is to set the variable DO_NOT_COMPILE. This comes in handy when there are problems compiling a particular component. DO_NOT_COMPILE="component1 component2" \ ./configure --prefix=/opt/kde... The core KDE packages also honor this variable, but omitting components from the core packages is not advisable since it may result in an incomplete KDE installation. In each of the packages, one other option to configure can be added: --enable-final. This option can speed up the build process, but requires a lot of memory. If you have less than 256MB of RAM, this option may cause swapping and significantly slow compilation.