KDE in Gentoo, an update

KDE 4.3.3 was released on Tuesday, with ebuilds instantly available to users in the main tree.

We also have KDE 4.3.1 in stable \o/

KDE 3.5 is on its way out of portage, with kde-sunset being the overlay that will (hopefully) be maintained by users still interested in it.

Finally, KDE 4.4 Beta 1 is due December 1st and you’ll find it in the kde-testing overlay as usual 🙂

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posted in gentoo by wired

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18 Responses to “KDE in Gentoo, an update”

  1. Trizt says:

    It’s sad that KDE3.5 will fall away from portage and I fear that the community driven overlay will not work, even if I know there are many of us who don’t like the beta like KDE4 (lacks still many features, for me the lack multi X support is one reason why I have to choose another DE/WM) 🙁

    • wired says:

      The real problem is that upstream stopped supporting kde 3.5 long ago…

      With no fixes what-so-ever, problems with latest autoconf, security issues poping up here and there and several apps failing to build if you have kde 4 around, kde 3.5 has become a maintainer’s nightmare. No one wants to even try. No one showed up when we were actively looking for a maintainer that would be interested in keeping it alive.

      Please note that we tried to keep it alive as long as possible. We even made the main part of it co-installable with kde 4. But you can’t really keep supporting something that upstream is considering dead.

      So, now that kde 4.3.1 is stable (at least in amd64/x86), its time for it to fade away. It’ll go in an overlay where anyone interested in maintaining it can actively help and an overlay is only a few commands away anyway 🙂

      • Trizt says:

        As it’s dead up stream, thats the reason I don’t believe in a community driven “keep it working” overlay, it will be as maintained as Gnome was after that horror story gnome2 was released. For me dual X (not twin/dual view) is essential for usage of my main desktop and it’s almost a “wontfix” upstreams as none of the developers seems to be interested of this feature (sure you can always do that yourself, but for me that includes to learn kde4/qt4/xorg, it’s a bit too much up hill).
        The big problem with these big changes is that, that developers seems to get so much into making new eye candy that they forget what the existing user base wants. Another things that is missing in KDE4 is a way to properly import data from KDE3, it’s a pita to remember passwords which you set 10 years ago or loose history for kopete and so on.

        Don’t take it as a criticism over you decision to give up KDE3, more a criticism for the eye candy policy of the KDE4 developers (how useful is that snow effect?).

  2. ChojinDSL says:

    Yeah its unfortunate that kde-3.5 is to go the way of the dinosaur. It’s just the way it goes I guess. Resources are limited, and of course working on a shiny new project is more exciting than trying to maintain an old one which is not going to evolve anymore.

    But who knows. This is the opensource community after all. Maybe someone with masochistic tendencies will either continue the kde-3.5 project or make a fork and evolve it from there.

  3. Torsten says:

    While I’m not perfectly happy with KDE4, I understand that Gentoo can’t keep a codebase of the size of KDE3 alive without upstream support.

    So currently my ~amd64 has no longer a kdelibs-3.5 installed, even as that meant losing quadkonsole. The 2×2 mode of yakuake is not a complete replacement, but at least good enough for my needs.

    But my two stable amd64 systems still need some KDE3 parts, because there is no koffice-2 marked stable. I didn’t find any hints on a stable request on bugzilla. Do you know want the plan for koffice is?

    • scarabeus says:

      Hi Torsten,
      koffice still dont have usable kde4 version. I am eagerly waiting for 2.1 release which will go stable. Sadly 2.0.X is not worth the gain. :/

      • Torsten says:

        I wasn’t aware that the 2.1 release was already at RC1. Looking at their schedule it might be only 2 weeks until 2.1. 🙂

        I was just concerned, that this package somehow fell through the cracks, as even a K3B alpha version has been marked stable.

  4. Niko says:

    Thanks for a finally stable KDE4!

  5. Since KDE 4 is now stable (I hope it will also be stable for ppc, soon – my wife still has KDE 3.5 on her iMac), I think your decision is perfectly justified and right – and doesn’t even need to be defended – on one condition: Does the transition work completely smoothly now, with all data migrated automatically, so users only see “wow, it now looks far better, and everything still works”?

    I switched from KDE 3.5 in the pre KDE 4.1 days, and I still remember that the migration was kinda rough…

  6. dfsqffdqsfq says:

    kde people really dropped the ball. It’s ridiculous.

    I know in OSS you can never complain, you just have to go fix it yourself. And equally in OSS it’s always somebody elses fault. but meh. Why can’t we just keep a good thing working.

  7. Robert Cabrera says:

    Is it possible for Gentoo to release KDE ebuilds that don’t require gstreamer? I find the dependency ridicules. Xine is the only backend to phonon that works for me. My laptop uses an AC’97 codec for sound, very common for laptops.

    Alsa works beautifully, pulseaudio runs poorly (lot’s of crackles and pops with lack of synchronization), jack and gstreamer don’t work at all. They haven’t worked with any distro I’ve ever tried and they haven’t worked with any version of KDE I’ve ever used, yet gstreamer remains a “hard” use flag that can’t be unselected.

    Can’t the Gentoo KDE development team just release ebuilds without requiring gstreamer? Or just give a choice between gstreamer or xine, so I’m not forced to compile and install something I can never use?

    Thanks for all of your efforts in making KDE in Gentoo a success.


    • wired says:

      KDE doesn’t depend on gstreamer.

      Maybe something else on your system depends on it?

      Try running “equery d gstreamer” to find what pulls it in 🙂

  8. Jens says:

    Hi, though I am favorite of dropping KDE 3.5 from gentoo (i stepped over to 4.3 before it went stable), I miss now one applet from old KDE: KNetworkManager. It has been already kicked out of portage, but I was not able to find an equally functional substitute (and I do not want to pull in half of gnome in order to use nm-applet. I reactivated it by using the old ebuild (fortunatley I make backups :-)) and it seems to work well for me with current KDE 4.3 stable, but obviously it’s a temporary patch.

    Anyone knows of a real working alternative?

    • Tim says:

      According to news.kde, upstream finally released a kde4 compatible version of KNetworkManager last week. I think it depended on KDE 4.4, but hopefully that means it will be back into the tree soon.

    • wired says:

      You can try the live ebuild of kde-misc/knetworkmanager available in the kde-testing overlay 😉 Although I think that trunk doesn’t work with 4.3.3, you might need to get an older revision.

      • direvus says:

        Unfortunately, the only version of knetworkmanager available from kde-testing is 9999, and it depends on qt 4.6.0.

        Since knetworkmanager was dropped from the stable tree, things have been difficult. I was able to build the 0.7_p20090427 version from rbu’s overlay, although this required a lot of manual intervention to get working (the Manifest in his overlay is out-of-date), see comments on

        This version leaves a lot to be desired. It won’t compile with OpenVPN support, and the configuration dialog crashes if you try to set up a WEP connection. According to the last comment in the bug I linked, a fully functional knetworkmanager is currently targeted for KDE 4.4 (?!) and the poster generously suggests “Meanwhile, use wicd”. As far as I can tell, wicd doesn’t support OpenVPN either, so I guess I’m just hosed?

        While all of this is going on, those of my friends using Ubuntu seem to be having no trouble continuing to use their OpenVPNs with KDE 4. I’m not sure how exactly Ubuntu has pulled this off given the upstream situation, but in any case I’m envious!

  9. Mat says:

    I understand perfectly that Gentoo is dropping support for KDE3, many other distributions are doing the same or have already done it.

    What it’s sad is that KDE4 is no replacement for KDE3 for many users. Low end computers, users with special needs, KDE3 applications not ported… The list is too long. I think at least binary pacakages of the current KDE3 versions should be available in every linux distribution.

  10. Michelle says:

    kde people really dropped the ball. It’s ridiculous.

    I know in OSS you can never complain, you just have to go fix it yourself. And equally in OSS it’s always somebody elses fault. but meh. Why can’t we just keep a good thing working.

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