Chapter 1. Introduction

A brief introduction to kdesrc-build

What is kdesrc-build?

kdesrc-build is a script to help the KDE community install KDE software from its Git source repositories, and continue to update that software afterwards. It is particularly intended to support those who need to supporting testing and development of KDE software, including users testing bugfixes and developers working on new features.

The kdesrc-build script can be configured to maintain a single individual module, a full Plasma™ desktop with KDE application set, or somewhere in between.

To get started, see Chapter 2, Getting Started, or continue reading for more detail on how kdesrc-build works and what is covered in this documentation.

kdesrc-build operation in a nutshell

kdesrc-build works by using the tools available to the user at the command-line, using the same interfaces available to the user. When kdesrc-build is run, the following sequence is followed:

  1. kdesrc-build reads in the command line and configuration file, to determine what to build, compile options to use, where to install, etc.

  2. kdesrc-build performs a source update for each module. The update continues until all modules have been updated. Modules that fail to update normally do not stop the build – you will be notified at the end which modules did not update.

  3. Modules that were successfully updated are built, have their test suite run, and are then installed. To reduce the overall time spent, kdesrc-build will by default start building the code as soon as the first module has completed updating, and allow the remaining updates to continue behind the scenes.


A very good overview of how KDE modules are built, including informative diagrams, is provided on an online article discussing KDE's Krita application. This workflow is what kdesrc-build automates for all KDE modules.