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This page has been proposed for deletion for the following reason:
This info is completely out of date but the app is still maintained and has a handbook.
Please use the discussion section of this page to voice your opinion on this.
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What are the different versions of Umbrello ?

The current stable version 2.21.3 is based on KDE 4.

There are also versions available for download on this site for older KDE releases.

When submitting bug reports with Umbrello it is helpful if you have tested against a recent build from KDE Git. Umbrello 2.x is based on the Qt4 and KDE4 technologies.

Can I use Umbrello command line features without an X server on Unix like OS ?

No, unfortunately the existence of a graphics display is encoded deep into Umbrello's design. As a workaround, you can use xvfb, which is part of xorg-x11-server or Xvnc to provide a virtual display without any real output. For further discussion see bug #283748.

Can I submit a patch ?

We love patches. Patches should be against a current git clone. Then run

git diff > mypatch.diff

to get the patch. Put the resulting patch on a webserver somewhere and send the URL with an explanation to the umbrello-devel mailing list or file a bug at and append the patch.

Umbrello takes up too much memory ?

Switch to a code generator other than C++ or Java. Recent Git versions also allow Undo to be switched off. Current Umbrello handles memory much better than previous versions for large diagrams.

How can I install the development version in parallel to the production version ?

You would need to install it to a separate path using (from the build subdirectory in the source)

cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/home/me/kdedevelopment ..

then set to include this

export KDEDIRS=`kde-config --prefix`:/home/me/foo

Can I help translate Umbrello into my spoken language ?

Certainly. As part of KDE you will have to work with the KDE i18n team for your language

Umbrello contains some UML and programming specific terms. Take care to research the most understandable translations of these terms for your spoken language.

How do I write a code generator ?

First check that there isn't already one in the KDE Git version of Umbrello.

Then read the instructions in codegenerator.h and use one of the other generators as a template. The C++ and Java code generators are a lot more advanced than the rest, it would be nice to have the others offer the same functionality as them.

Why the silly name ?

The program's name is Umbrello UML Modeller. The shortened form is Umbrello. When translating it translate UML Modeller in the most sensible way or if it can not be easily translated it can be left out. Umbrello should generally be left as is when translating to Latin alphabet languages.

Previously the program was called UML Modeller or UML Object Modeller or just UML. This was considered too generic by packagers and others. After some consultation and a public vote Umbrello showed surprising popularity, so the name Umbrello UML Modeller is now used. Umbrello does not mean anything as far as we know.

In sequence diagrams how do I extend the object's lifeline ?

Drag a message arrow downwards.

In previous versions you had to click and drag with the mouse at the bottom of the object's vertical line.

My package format is not supported and I can't install from source, what do I do ?

Contact us and if there are enough requests, we may be able to find a way to help you.

Can I have Git write access ?

Umbrello is now part of KDE (in kdesdk). Anyone with a KDE developer account can commit changes. Anything significant should be run past the mailing list first.

Can I have write access ?

You firstly need write access to KDE's Git.

Some UML features that I need don't seem to be supported ?

Let us know what features you require. The most requested features will be the first features introduced.

What file format does the program use ?

Versions before 1.4 used a file format that was only very loosely based on XMI and was not compatible with other UML programs.

Version 1.4 can read the static structure elements from most other UML tools which use XMI 1.x. Umbrello 2.14 will be able to import the subset of XMI 2.0 (UML 2.x) which maps to implemented features but cannot import UML-DI (Diagram Interchange.)

If you have a specific problem with XMI interchange then please add a detailed description to the bug #56184.

Why don't I have any icons on the toolbar ?

This occurs when you change the location of installing the program by using a prefix on cmake and KDE is unaware of that location.

To help KDE find the program you have to edit the environmental variable KDEDIRS. You will need to consult your distribution documentation for the exact file to edit, but there's a chance it will be .bash_profile in your home directory if you are the only one to use the program. If more than one person will use the program you can edit the file profile in the etc directory.

Just add the following lines

KDEDIRS="$KDEDIRS:<prefix use in cmake>"
export KDEDIRS



the first time you do this.

If you compiled from source you may have installed Umbrello in /usr/local or /usr/local/kde in which case you can add that directory to $KDEDIRS or change -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX so it installs in /usr or /opt/kde or whatever the norm for your distribution is.

I can't export diagrams as images, it complains about the mime type ?

Check your KDE install and upgrade or recompile kdelibs if possible.

Then delete /tmp/kde-storri/ksycoca file and restarting Umbrello fixed the problem.

What's the difference between $KDEDIR and $KDEDIRS ?

The following is taken from #kde-devel

  • one is a list of paths, the other is the single KDE installation path where the binaries and libs are expected to be
  • KDEDIRS is supposed to be used for configfile location resolution
  • install it wherever, but make sure that KDEDIR still points to the original KDE install path, and add the prefix where you're installing the app to KDEDIRS

Does Umbrello run on Windows ?

Yes. Umbrello is part of the KDE on Windows initiative.

My problem still isn't solved - help!

If it is a user related problem, send an e-mail to the Umbrello mailing list. If it is a developer problem, try the Umbrello development mailing list. Details of the mailing lists can be found on the Umbrello Developer Resources page.

My user-mode-linux won't work ?

Try asking User Mode Linux.

How do I print a diagram on multiple pages ?

Multi page printing could be performed by using pdf output and pdfposter, which is available in many distributions for example:


  • print diagram to pdf using a0 page size
  • to print out on a3 pages run
    pdfposter -mA3 -pA4 <input-file> <outputfile>

How to fix the error message 'There was a problem saving file'  ?

On saving a document I get a dialog box with the title 'Save Error: Umbrello UML Modeller' and the message text 'There was a problem saving file xxx'. How can I fix this ?

  • On Windows this can be caused by a local firewall which may block the communication between umbrello and the required background process kioslave.exe. kioslave.exe performs copying of the saved file from a temporary to the final location. To solve this issue umbrello.exe and kioslave.exe should be listed as firewall exception.
  • Another reason could be that umbrello tries to store files into write protected folders.
  • Umbrello can open files from an online resource like http, https or ftp urls. Saving a file to that url may fail because of missing access rights or not configured write access on the server.
  • Umbrello/KF5 may show this message if the required background process (kioslave) could not be started by klauncher5. This typical indicates a system configuration issue or missing support for autostarting the required processes inside the KF5 framework. A workaround is to start kdeinit5 before running umbrello.