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Howto install KDE 4.2 on openSUSE

Posted in kde, opensuse by mschlander on 30/01/2009

Over on Zonker is pushing the Build Service KDE 4.2.0 packages in a major way. While I share the enthusiasm for KDE 4.2, I think that it’s a bit dangerous to push an unsupported upgrade to untested, under development packages of an entire desktop environment on the general public. At least I think that not all openSUSE users are geeks and experts, hopefully some of them are regular people who like their GNU/Linux operating system to be reliable and functional, and don’t just use it for play. So here’s what I think you should know about upgrading openSUSE to KDE 4.2.

1) Before installing 4.2

Before you decide to install the KDE 4.2 packages you should know that:

  • The 4.2 packages for openSUSE 10.3, 11.0 and 11.1 on the /KDE4:/Factory:/Desktop/ repository are actually packages under active development for openSUSE 11.2 (Indicated by the word “Factory” in the URL). There can be (minor or major) breakage at any time if you update – or install at the wrong time.
  • Installation is not 100% simple and convenient
  • If you decide that you want to install despite the above, first make sure you remove any build service KDE repositories, that you may have added before at some time.

2) Installing 4.2

2.1 Adding the repository

Start YaST -> Software -> Software Repositories -> Add -> Specify URL… -> Paste this URL: (replace “11.1” with “11.0” or “10.3” depending on your distro version.)

EDIT: The above factory repo moves to KDE 4.3 beta in early May. For KDE 4.2 use this repository instead:

2.2a Upgrading (you already have KDE 4.1/4.0)

Start YaST Software management -> Filter by Repositories -> Select the KDE4:/Factory/Desktop/ repository -> Right click a random package -> Select “All in this list” -> Update unconditionally


When you press “Accept” you’ll be met with a conflict dialog. A lot of people panic at the sight of it, but it’s perfectly simple, you just have to uninstall a few packages to resolve the conflicts. As you can see in the picture YaST offers you 3 different solutions – it should be obvious that our preferred solution will be to uninstall compiz-kde4.


Press “Ok, try again” until you’re done.

2.2b Installing KDE 4.2 (you don’t have any version of KDE4 previously installed)

If you wish to install KDE 4.2, and have previously been using a different desktop like KDE3, Xfce, IceWM or GNOME, you can do this easily – alongside your existing desktop, your display manager (kdm, gdm, xdm) will let you choose which session to start.

Start YaST Software Management -> Filter by patterns -> Check “KDE4 Base System” and “KDE4 Desktop Environment”


3) After installation of KDE 4.2

After the packages have finished installing, log out and log back in. If you come from a different desktop you can select to log into KDE 4.2 under “Session Type” at your display manager.

If your KDE4 desktop looks strange after the upgrade you can reset it with this command:

kquitapp plasma && rm ~/.kde4/share/config/plasma* && plasma &

And the last thing. Now that you’re using the KDE4:/Factory/Desktop/ repository, you have to follow planetsuse or join the opensuse-kde mailinglist. This way you’ll be notified about future repository changes – in about 3-4 months Factory is expected to move to KDE 4.3 beta – and this will cause you serious problems if you don’t pay attention.

12 Responses

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  1. TheBlackCat said, on 30/01/2009 at 20:37

    What can we do about conflicts between the KDE 4 files in KDE4:/Factory/Desktop/ and opensuse-11.1-oss? For instance
    kde4-kio_sysinfo is present in both. However, the one in opensuse-11.1-oss has a higher version number than the one in KDE4:/Factory/Desktop/ but is also incompatible with kdebase4-runtime-4.2. This means that every time I try to do an update I get an error, and if I want to actually update kde4-kio_sysinfo I have to find it and manually select the KDE4:/Factory/Desktop/ version.

  2. cb400f said, on 31/01/2009 at 12:39

    Hmm.. that’s a tricky one. I would have thought that was avoided by selecting “Update unconditionally” instead of “Update if newer available”. Discussed it with one of the openSUSE KDE team, the version in KDE4:/Factory/Desktop might get it’s version number bumped which should fix this.

    So as far as I can see you have two options.

    1) Give the KDE4:/Factory/Desktop/ repository a better priority – better priority means lower priority number – default is “99”, try changing that to “95” for example. You can set this in YaST -> Software Repositories


    2) After selecting to update all, when you get the conflict dialog, you press “Cancel” -> Search for kde4-kio_sysinfo-11.1 -> Under the “Version” tab (bottom right in YaST -> Software Management) you select the proper package manually.

  3. […] […]

  4. opensuse and KDE - openSUSE Forums said, on 04/02/2009 at 3:20

    […] Re: opensuse and KDE Have a read of this Howto install KDE 4.2 on openSUSE « The Blog is Hot […]

  5. Djan said, on 04/02/2009 at 10:07

    I used the factory repository on 10.3 and 11.0 for the KDE 4.0 and 4.1 desktops. I was aware of the risk but I must admit that I won’t do it again. To test KDE 4.2 (I’m translator) I’ve decided to install a second system on an other partition.

    With a huge update (that occured every weeks or days) I just killed my system: it downloaded all packages and made my root partition full. On reboot it wasn’t regnizing any root partition. Repair system with the DVD didn’t do anything and, as I’m not an informatician, I couldn’t fix it by hand. So I had to reinstall everything.

    So I agree with you than publishing such an announce is a bot dangerous.
    I’m convinced that there should be a repository “KDE 4.2 vanilla stable” available with no update from factory that would be pushed for non testers.

  6. rocky said, on 05/02/2009 at 22:29

    thank you for this detailed howto – it helped much 🙂

  7. Adpads said, on 22/02/2009 at 18:26

    Thanks for the heads up! Has this been resolved yet, and is an updated version of the compiz-kde package available, from one repository or another? I’ll be happy to try KDE 4.2 when the time comes, but I use compiz and I don’t want to break that..

  8. cb400f said, on 22/02/2009 at 18:58

    Updated compiz-kde packages should be available in the kde4:/Factory:/Desktop/ repository now. So that particular package conflict shouldn’t be relevant anymore.

    Alternatively you can get compatible compiz packages from this repo: (assuming your using 11.1, if you’re using 11.0 then just edit the URL accordingly)

    I deliberately omitted this information from the howto, trying to keep things simple, and thinking very few people will prefer compiz over KWin.

  9. Amarok 2 - openSUSE Forums said, on 26/04/2009 at 17:29

    […] it keeps asking me to downgrade to 4.1 There were some changes around KDE4 repositories. Read this blog post and make sure that you are using the right repositories. __________________ […]

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