How to install KDE 4.1 beta 1 from experimental

The first beta of KDE 4.1 was released a couple of days ago, and of course, we did upload packages to experimental.
It is finally time of encouraging users to try KDE 4. So here are some instructions of how installing KDE 4 and how going back to KDE 3.5 if you feel like KDE 4.1 is not yet for you :)

If you do not want to risk your system, you can use this instructions to install KDE 4.1 in a virtual system such as qemu or VirtualBox.

Some previous notes:

  • Please, pretty please, report the KDE related bugs in the KDE bugzilla at: Report it in the Debian BTS only gives us extra work that we do not have resources to handle.
  • Report in the Debian BTS the packaging problems you find. If you are not sure, ask in the users mailing list:
    Archives at

Update to KDE 4

1 Add experimental sources to /etc/apt/sources.list

deb experimental main 

2 Run:

aptitude update

3 Install minimal functional KDE 4 system.
This requires some polishing and if you are using non official repositories for KDE related stuff, your system might break badly. Then run:

aptitude install -t experimental kde4-minimal

It will need remove some packages like: kwin, kicker or ksmserver, that is fine.

4 Restart your system.

Assuming you are using kdm, after restar, you will get kde4’s kdm. Log in and voila! KDE 4.

5 Installing the remaining packages.

You still will have KDE 3 stuff in your system and plenty of KDE 4 to install. I would recommend upgrade module to module, for example, for upgrading kdeutils:

aptitude install -t experimental kdeutils

So you can see clearly what is being updated, what programs dissapear and what is new. And if you do not want to test all the KDE modules, you do not need to install it all.

Available KDE 4 modules are:
kdeadmin kdeartwork kdeedu kdegames kdegraphics kdemultimedia kdenetwork kdepim kdetoys kdeutils kdepim and extragear-plasma

6 You can see all the KDE 3.5 packages that are still in your system from a Konsole with:

dpkg -l | grep 4:3.5

Translations are in the package kde-l10n-XX where XX is your language code.

Once you have installed all the KDE 4 packages you want, I would suggest you comment out the experimental source line by adding a # in the beginning.

How to go back to KDE 3

1 Remove experimental from your sources.list

2 Remove all the base packages:

aptitude remove kdelibs5 kdelibs5-data kdepimlibs5 kdepimlibs-data
kdebase-data kdebase-bin kdebase-runtime kdebase-runtime-bin-kde4
kdebase-runtime-data kdebase-runtime-data-common kdebase-workspace
kdebase-workspace-bin kdebase-workspace-data kdebase-workspace-libs4+5

3 Install the minimal KDE 3:

aptitude install kdelibs kdebase kdm

4 Restart your system and the good old kdm should be on your screen again.

5 Now you can continue installing all the KDE 3 packages you like using.
You always can use aptitude install the meta package KDE, but since that installs a lot of packages I would recommend install the metapackages you really want.

The list:
kdeaccessibility kdeaddons kdeadmin kdeartwork kdeedu kdegames kdegraphics kdemultimedia kdenetwork kdepim kdetoys kdeutils kdewebdev

5 You can see the remaining KDE 4 bits on your system with

dpkg -l | grep 4:4.0.80

What KDE will be available in Lenny?

We do not know yet, we would like to ship KDE 4.1 but it is still early to know for sure.

Money and DebConf

I am having a hard couple of days trying to decide what to do with respect attending to DebConf in Argentina. Nothing new on planet, I know. I could buy my flights for about 1150 euros now. And that is only the flights, the travel expenses are more than that.

The reasons that do not motivate too much to buy the tickets at this moment are:

  • I do not think I will get sponsorship (I am above position 20 in the queue) and since I would have to take the month off at work, that will mean a month without income as well.
  • The looooooong trip, my “cheap” flights are via Uruguay with a duration of about 30 hours. Then when you arrive to Buenos Aires, go to Mar de Plata, that is about 6 hours trip. By the way, a trip that costs ~ 37 euros extra. And I do not think somebody else will take the same flights, so it will be boooooring too :(
  • Due a lot of people not getting sponsorship and DebConf being so far for most of Debian contributors, I am expecting a smaller and more familiar DebConf. One of the key points of DebConf is meeting the people you work with, and I would be the only member of the KDE team (it is true we are a small team, but yet…), and similar with another teams.

The current budget of DebConf basically does not have spare money for sponsoring travel, so far the money we got from the sponsors is just for covering the basic stuff we need for the conference: venue and lodging.
This is not a fault at all of the debconf team, actually we are lucky this year we have a more experienced team that in the previous years (key people have been involved in Debconf for years now) and they are acting very professionally. It is the effect of both: DebConf in Argentina being more expensive than expected and getting more money from sponsors. We clearly need more sponsors, and then is where the bit “We (as a project) suck at marketing” enters.


I’m going to ground myself working in KDE stuff for the next couple of days to avoid thinking about this.