Setting up a session and importing an existing project

Let's stick with the Linux® kernel and device driver example — you may want to substitute your own set of libraries or projects for these two examples. To create a new session that contains these two projects go to the SessionStart new session menu at the top left (or, if this is the first time you use KDevelop: simply use the default session you get on first use, which is empty).

We next want to populate this session with projects that for the moment we assume already exist somewhere (the case of starting projects from scratch is discussed elsewhere in this manual). For this, there are essentially two methods, depending on whether the project already is somewhere on your hard drive or whether it needs to be downloaded from a server.

Option 1: Importing a project from a version control system server

Let's first assume that the project we want to set up — the Linux® kernel — resides in some version control system on a server, but that you haven't checked it out to your local hard drive yet. In this case, go to the Project menu to create the Linux® kernel as a project inside the current session and then follow these steps:

  • Go to ProjectFetch Project to import a project

  • You then have multiple options to start a new project in the current session, depending on where the source files should come from: You can just point KDevelop at an existing directory (see option 2 below), or you can ask KDevelop to get the sources from a repository.

  • Assuming you don't already have a version checked out:

    • In the dialog box, under Select Source, choose to use From File System, Subversion, Git, GitHub, or KDE

    • Choose a working directory as destination into which the sources should be checked out

    • Choose an URL for the location of the repository where the source files can be obtained

    • Hit Get. This can take quite a long while; depending on the speed of your connection and the size of the project. Unfortunately, in KDevelop 4.2.x the progress bar does not actually show anything, but you can track progress by periodically looking at the output of the command line command

      du -sk /path/to/KDevelop/project

      to see how much data has already been downloaded.


The problem with the progress bar has been reported as KDevelop bug 256832.


In this process, I also get the error message You need to specify a valid location for the project which can be safely ignored.

  • It asks you to select a KDevelop project file in this directory. Since you probably don't have one yet, simply hit Next

  • Hit Next again

  • KDevelop will then ask you to choose a project manager. If this project uses standard UNIX® make files, choose the custom makefile project manager

  • KDevelop will then start to parse the entire project. Again, it will take quite a while to go through all files and index classes etc. At the bottom right of the main window, there is a progress bar that shows how long this process has come along. (If you have several processor cores, you can accelerate this process by going to the SettingsConfigure KDevelop menu item, then selecting Background parser on the left, and increasing the number of threads for background parsing on the right.)

Option 2: Importing a project that is already on your hard drive

Alternatively, if the project you want to work with already exists on your hard drive (for example, because you have downloaded it as a tar file from an FTP server, because you already checked out a version of the project from a version control system, or because it is your own project that exists only on your own hard drive), then use ProjectsOpen/Import project and in the dialog box choose the directory in which your project resides.