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General KDE Software FAQs

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This page with frequently asked questions (FAQ) has been gathered from questions in the #kde IRC channel. This list isn't comprehensive and may grow.

What about KDE 3?

Is KDE 3 going to be abandoned?

No. There is no EOL (end of life) planned for KDE 3. It will continue to exist and be used as long as there are people using it. However, there is no guarantee of bug fixes and maintenance for KDE 3.5 other than that given by your vendor and possible support contracts. Further development is not planned.

Is it necessary to upgrade to KDE 4?

KDE 3 will continue to exist and be used for a long time. But whether you will have to upgrade will mostly be dependent on your distribution's setup. In general terms, Enterprise distros (ultimate stability but not having the newer applications) use KDE 3.5. Examples of such distros are CentOS, White Box or Scientific Linux. End-user distros are by now usually using 4.4 or even 4.5.

Is there any help for me to get used to KDE 4?

Yes, indeed. UserBase can help a great deal. Some pages to get you started are Finding your Application which deals with applications that have changed their name or location, and Common Tasks which aims to get you productive quickly.

Don't forget that you can use the Search bar to find other pages related to any problem you meet, and clicking on the Category|Getting Started link at the bottom of this page will show you other helpful pages.

Will I be able to keep using KDE 3 or KDE 3 apps?

Yes, you will be able to continue using KDE 3 or KDE 3 apps as long as the necessary dependencies are installed. As the changeover to KDE 4 software progresses some of those dependencies will be missing. However, at the same time, most applications are either getting new versions to run with the more up to date dependencies, or similar, new packages are being written.

How KDE 4 and KDE are set up depends on your distribution. Please consult with your distribution for more information. Some distributions allow both KDE3 and KDE 4 SC to be installed on the same system. However, since the release of KDE 4.3 that is less frequently found.

General Troubleshooting techniques

There are a few basic steps that can help in troubleshooting problems with KDE software. You should try these steps before asking on #kde or the kde general mailing list, since you'll probably be told to try them anyway Face-smile.png.

  • Try creating a new user and running your KDE software with that user. If the problem doesn't occur with the new user, there's probably a problem with a file in your .kde directory. You should then try:
    • Rename the file causing the problem. To find an appropriate file, look in .kde/share/apps/<application-name> or in .kde/share/config/<application-name>rc where <application-name> is the name of the application you are having problems with.
    • Log out, then log in afresh. New default files will replace your renamed ones.
  • Clean out /tmp and /var/tmp. KDE stores some temporary files which can sometimes cause problems. You will need to be root to do this. You might also like to try removing the following files. Make sure you exit KDE first though! (The easiest safe way is to choose Failsafe at bootup.):
    • ~/.DCOPserver-* (on KDE3 systems there are usually two of these; one is a symlink to the other)
    • ~/.kde/socket-<hostname>
    • ~/.kde/tmp-<hostname> which is normally a symlink to the next file:
    • /tmp/tmp-kde-<USER>
    • ~/.kde/socket-<hostname> which is also normally a symlink to:
    • /tmp/ksocket-<USER>
  • If you're running an old release from KDE, try updating to the latest version - many bugs are fixed with each new version, so your problem might already be fixed.
  • Try searching the Bugzilla at . Many common problems have been reported and discussed there.
  • If your problem is more general than just one KDE application (e.g., "sound stops working when I start my KDE desktop"), try starting X with a different window manager. Even if you haven't installed another WM, 'twm' will be available, as it ships by default with X.
    • If you start X with the 'startx' command, just put the appropriate command in the file .xinitrc in your home directory. (If it doesn't exist, create it)
    • If you start your desktop from kdm, this will not work.

If your problem is with sound in KDE software, you could try looking at Sound Problems

Some Common Questions

Helping the KDE Community

How can I help in development? Do I need to learn how to code?

There are many ways to help the KDE community, not only through programming. There are other areas of contribution that need talent of other kinds. All that's necessary is the desire to help and some commitment. Of course, if you want learn how to program in order contribute, we will be more than willing to get you started as well.

Some other ways to help include

  • End-user support - if you are experienced, consider joining a mailing list or the Forum to help support newer users.
  • If you are able to help with translation as part of the official team, consult this list to find a contact point. If you would like to help with UserBase translation, use the sidebar link to get a translator account, then read the Tasks and Tools page.
  • English documentation is also needed, and here on UserBase is a good place to start.

This page was last edited on 15 October 2014, at 15:57. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.