KDE4 with KDE3

While the Debian KDE Team has done a great job of packaging KDE4 in time, with quality, it is not always possible to fulfill the request of every odd user.

Unfortunately, I fell into the Odd user category because I still want to have KDE4 and KDE3 installed together. For many reasons.

So here’s one way to do it.

  • Install KDE 3 Packages from Debian Repositories
  • Install KDE 4 from SVN
  • Create a X session file like this.

rrs@learner:~$ cat /usr/share/xsessions/kde4-svn.desktop
[Desktop Entry]
Encoding=UTF-8
Type=XSession
Exec=/opt/kde4-svn/kde/bin/startkde
TryExec=/opt/kde4-svn/kde/bin/startkde

  • Add the following to your .bashrc file

if [ $DESKTOP_SESSION == “kde4-svn” ]; then
# KDE
export KDE4DIR=/opt/kde4-devel
export KDEDIR=$KDE4DIR/kde
export KDEHOME=$HOME/.kde4-devel
export KDETMP=/tmp/$USER-kde4
mkdir -p $KDETMP
export KDEVARTMP=/var/tmp/$USER-kde4
export KDEDIRS=$KDEDIR
export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=$KDEDIR/lib/pkgconfig:$PKG_CONFIG_PATH
export PATH=$KDEDIR/bin:/usr/local/bin:$PATH
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$KDEDIR/lib:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH

unset XDG_DATA_DIRS # to avoid seeing kde3 files from /usr
unset XDG_CONFIG_DIRS

This will make the debug output prettier

export KDE_COLOR_DEBUG=1
export QTEST_COLORED=1

Make

# Tell many scripts how to switch from source dir to build dir:
export OBJ_REPLACEMENT=“s#$KDE_SRC#$KDE_BUILD#”
# Use makeobj instead of make, to automatically switch to the build dir.
# If you don’t have makeobj, install the package named kdesdk-scripts or
# kdesdk, or check out kdesdk/scripts from svn, or just don’t set the alias
# yet.
alias make=makeobj
fi

  • And then restart KDM and select KDE4-SVN from the listi of available Window Managers.

This will ensure that your KDE3 Data and Settings are safe and intact while you can still play with all of KDE4 and help the KDE team with bug reports. :-\)

KDE4 + KDE3