How to Install KDE 4.5

KDE 4.5 is a milestone release that took several months to complete, fixing over 16,000 bugs. While it also added new features, the selling point of this release is the stability that typically comes with a x.5 version of KDE. The desktop, applications, and development platforms have matured, and many of the outstanding bugs have been resolved.

Not all Linux distributions will offer packages for KDE 4.5 upgrades, and none of them, at this time, are supporting them in their official repositories. This takes time, and most distros will include a version of KDE 4.5 with their next official releases. Therefore, keep in mind that the packages you are about to install may not be supported by your distribution. Some are included in their distribution’s “unstable” or “testing” repositories, while others are from third-party packagers.

I tried to include as many major Linux distributions as possible, but if I missed your favorite distro, feel free to add instructions for it in the comments section.

KDE 4.5 screenshot

Kubuntu 10.04 packages are available in the backports repository, but they are not officially supported as part of the distribution. The development release (Maverick) 10.10 includes KDE 4.5 packages by default.

1. Add the following repository through KPackageKit or using apt-get in a terminal.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/beta
Update: It should be the backport repository, not the beta.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports

2. Run a full upgrade using the graphical package manager or the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

KpackageKit search screen

Packages for OpenSUSE are available in the 11.3 KDE repositories.

1. If you have not already, add the repository with:

zypper ar -f http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/KDE:/Distro:/Factory/openSUSE_11.3

2. Upgrade with:

zypper dup --from KDF

1. Remove repositories from previous versions, with a command like this:

 urpme.removemedia kde-4.5rc3

2. Add the KDE 4.5 repository. For 32-bit systems, enter as root:

urpmi.addmedia kde-4.5 ftp://ftp.kde.org/pub/kde/stable/4.5.0/Mandriva/2010.1/i586/

For 64-bit systems, type:

urpmi.addmedia kde-4.5 ftp://ftp.kde.org/pub/kde/stable/4.5.0/Mandriva/2010.1/x86_64/

3. Update repository list and test:

rpmi --auto-update --auto-select --test

4. Finally, type:

urpmi --auto-update --auto-select

1. Enable the KDE repositories using the instructions found here

2. Enable kde-testing and kde-unstable in KPackageKit

3. In a terminal, type as root:

yum groupupdate kde-desktop

AlienBOB has published instructions on upgrading to KDE 4.5. Users should follow them to get the latest packages.

According to the Gentoo KDE guide, an official release of KDE 4.5 will not be made until KDE-PIM, which was delayed, is made available. This will probably be in KDE 4.5.1. There are also other bugs that Gentoo developers said KDE developers have not yet address. Users who still want KDE 4.5 can compile it themselves, as they normally would, and just use KDE-PIM 4.4.5. A full explanation is available at the KDE4 guide website.

At the time of this writing, PCLinuxOS developers were preparing KDE 4.5 packages, and they should be available soon. There was one bug in Konqueror that prevented YouTube from playing correctly, and they have already received help from KDE developers to fix it. You can receive updates by following them on Twitter.

Synaptic package manager

Linux Mint users can follow the Kubuntu instructions to upgrade to KDE 4.5. Simply add the Kubuntu backports ppa and run:

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

For other Linux distributions, FreeBSD, and other operating systems, you should check the official websites, wikis, announcement sections of forums, and mailing lists to see if KDE 4.5 will be included in their repositories and/or future releases.