(If you use source tarballs, you can skip "make -f Makefile.cvs" and should use "make distclean" instead of "make cvs-clean")

What you need

Make sure you get the following stuff from CVS:

It is important that you compile AND INSTALL the above packages in the above order.

Further you will need GNU make, autoconf 2.52, automake 1.5 and a working C++ compiler (eg. gcc 2.95.2)


Before you start you must decide two things:

1) Where do you want to have Qt installed? Qt is a bit lame in that it basically installs itself in its own source-tree, but symlinks are your friend. E.g you could link /usr/local/lib/qt3 to where you keep your Qt source. Qt libs then end up in /usr/local/lib/qt3/lib.

2) Where do you want to have KDE installed. A good candidate is /usr/local/kde

Make sure you do (if using sh, ksh, or bash):

export TDEDIR=/usr/local/kde

With csh or tcsh the following is more appropriate:

setenv TDEDIR /usr/local/kde

Now you want to make sure that Qt and KDE libraries are picked up correctly.

On systems that respond to environment variables something similar to the following is appropriate:


On systems whose diety of choice is ldconfig, try:

ldconfig -m $TDEDIR/lib
ldconfig -m $TQTDIR/lib

You probably also want to add $TDEDIR/bin and $TQTDIR/bin to your path.

See for tips about setting up KDE 3.0 next to KDE 2.x.

Preparing CVS modules

All KDE modules require an "admin" sub-directory. You can create it by making a symbolic link from kde-common/admin, make sure to check out the kde-common module.


cd tdelibs
ln -s ../kde-common/admin


The magic sequence to compile & install a package is:

gmake -f Makefile.cvs
./configure --enable-debug
gmake install 

(On Linux, GNU make is the default make, and gmake in the above commands can be replaced with make).

For Qt the magic sequence is:

./configure -debug -shared -qt-gif -thread -sm -system-zlib -system-libpng -system-jpeg

Common problems

One of the biggest problems is picking up the correct version of Qt, especially if your system has more version of Qt installed. Be aware that information about library paths gets saved in the "config.cache" file, "" as well as "Makefile" files. So it can be that after some struggle to get TQTDIR/TDEDIR setup correctly your setup is actually correct, but old -incorrect- settings are still lying around.

The best thing to do in such a case is to do a "make cvs-clean". This removes all files which aren't stored in CVS. You can then start all over again with "makefile -f Makefile.cvs". Make sure you don't have any important files lying around in your source tree any more, they will be deleted!


See for common build problems and their solution.

If you encounter _LINK_ problems you are probably doing something wrong. Do a "make cvs-clean" and start from scratch, usually this solves the problem.

If you encounter missing include files, especially if the files start with a 'q', you probably have not setup your TQTDIR correct or have the wrong version of Qt.

If you encounter compile errors after updating from CVS, check whether you need to update tdelibs as well. If the problems persists, wait a few hours, usually compile errors are fixed shortly after they have been introduced.

If you still have problems read the mailinglist and/or post your problem there. You can subscribe by sending mail to with "subscribe" in the subject.

Have fun!

Waldo Bastian