FAQs see answers for =>

This frequently answered questions are collected from the kde-cygwin mailing list and the kde-cygwin related sourceforge foren. If you don't find an answer for your problem here, please take a look directly into the mailing list and/or the foren.


I have problems with my kde on cygwin installation. What can I do ?

  • Make sure, you have met all the requirements for the needed kde and cygwin package
  • Make sure, you have completed the installation process and all post installation steps, especially with path settings and so on.
  • If this all doesn't help, try to solve the problem by yourself and report the solution to the list, so that others people with the same problem does not need to investigate time for this problems once again. The best would be, if you can send in a short faq entry, that we can add to the faq section, so that the solution could be found very quickly. Here are some hints for doing like this:

    1. Check the output of the cygwin diagnostic informations if you can find some problems.
      $ cygcheck -s
      Cygwin Win95/NT Configuration Diagnostics
      Current System Time: Tue Jan 14 01:30:19 2003
      Windows 2000 Professional Ver 5.0 Build 2195 Service Pack 1
      Path:   c:\programme\cygwin\usr\X11R6\bin
      Often there are problems with path settings or missing files, dll's or packages.
    2. If you have problems with specific applications, it may help to strace the application (replace {application} with related application name):
      $ strace -o {application}.strace {application}.exe 
      This will produce a very detailed report of the called system functions and other internals. Inspect the results.

      There are other usefull strace options. See the strace man page for further informations.

  • If you still cannot find the problem, send the collected informations to the kde-cygwin list completed with the informations about the downloaded and installed kde packages.
  • At least, please note that KDE on cygwin is a very complex application suite and it helps us very much, if you can give good hints. (The more detailed and qualified information you can give, the more is the change that you will get qualified answers).

    I have downloaded and unpacked all of the KDE archives manually. How do I uninstall all this files ?

    You can use the content list of your archives to delete the unpacked files .

    $ cd / 
    $ tar -tjf <your_archive>.tar.bz2 | xargs rm   (for bzip2 archives)
    $ tar -tzf <your_archive>.tar.gz | xargs rm    (for gzip archives) 
    where <your_archive> should replaced by the name of one of your archives. Repeat this step for all archives, you are going to delete. If you have all your archives in on directory, you can try this:
    $ cd  
    $ for i in `ls *.tar.bz2`; do tar -tjf $i | xargs rm ; done 
    $ for i in `ls *.tar.gz`; do tar -tzf $i | xargs rm ; done 

    Note1: This commands may give you some messages about directories, which couldn't be deleted, you can ignore this message.

    To remove your personal kde configuration, enter you home directory and delete the .kde2 directory.

    $ cd 
    $ rm -r .kde2

    I cannot find an answer to my question. What can I do?

    Each entry in this FAQ has to be added manually, and that is not done every day. If you cannot find an answer here, look in the forums or the kde-cygwin mailing list. You are welcome to contribute.

    I'm a unix newbie and like to get some more informations about unix basic. What could I do ?

    For unix/linux newbies we have collected some documentation unde the following links:

    Introduction about UNIX

    Basic Unix Commands

    Cygwin documentation

    Cygwin/XFree86 documentation

    Addtional you may take a look at the Google unix newbie search results.


    Take a look on Amazon for a list of unix/linux relating books. Search for "Linux" or "UNIX".

    Why do I get an "accept() failed" error when I run startx?

    If you see output like the sample below when you run startx:

    Could not init font path element /user/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/Speedo/, removing from list!
    Could not init font path element /user/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/Type1/, removing from list!
    _XSERVTransSocketUNIXAccept: accept() failed
    X10: fatal IO error 104 (connection reset by peer) on X server ":0.0"
    after 0 requests (0 known processed) with 0 events remaining.

    then the version of Cygwin you are using is too old to run KDE properly.

    This error is caused by a bug in the standard Cygwin 1.3.2 release. You need to install the patched Cygwin 1.3.2-1p1 release, which you can find in the download area or upgrade to a Cygwin release > 1.3.2.

    Why does program X output "cannot connect to X server"?

    The X server wasn't started. To verify that your XFree installation is correct read the XFree installation manual at http://xfree.cygwin.com. Also check that if a .xserverrc is in your home directory, that it runs xserver. A sample .xserverrc file is contained in the kdemisc-1.1.2 archive.

    Why doesn't xserver recognise the -whitepixeloption?

    The -whitepixel 255 and -blackpixel 0 options have been removed starting with version 4.1.0 of the XFree server. The corresponding arguments should be removed from your .xserverrc file.

    Why do I get the error "Couldn't reserve space for cygwin's heap" when I run a QT program?

    This is due to a conflict between Cygwin's DLLs and QT's DLLs. Make sure you are using the most recent release of the QT files from the download area.

    Another possibility is to use the DLL rebase utility from the kde-cygwin download area to avoid such collisions. See below for examples:

    View the address and size of a DLL:
    $ rebase -l /opt/kde2/bin/cygkdeui-3.dll
    c:\programme\cygwin\opt\kde2\bin\cygkdeui-3.dll - ImageBase: 74410000 ImageSize: 001ee000

    Rebase a DLL: 
    $ rebase -b 0x74410000 /opt/kde2/bin/cygkdeui-3.dll
    c:\programme\cygwin\opt\kde22\bin\cygkdeui-3.dll: new base = 74410000, new size = 1f0000

    How do I run KDE applications without X? / Can I run X in 'rootless' mode?

    KDE requires QT. KDE is licensed under the GPL and can't be linked to non-GPL libraries (some files from early versions of KDE have specific exemptions for QT, since the original QT was licensed using the QPL, not GPL). The upshot of all this is that KDE can only be linked against the GPL'ed release of QT X11, and not any other version of QT, including the non-commercial Windows native version of QT. Besides, even if the license issues were resolved, the Windows native versions of QT are built with MSVC++ and cannot be linked against objects built with GNU C++. For the present then, we are stuck using X11 until someone implements the missing Windows native parts of QT and licenses them under the GPL. Even then KDE itself uses some features of X in, for example, DCOP (KDE's IPC mechanism).

    At present he XFree86 server for Cygwin cannot be run in 'rootless' mode (it can under, e.g. MacOS X) yet. However there is some good news: Donald Becker is working on a native Windows implementation of xlib which would mean 'foreign' KDE applications could run in their own windows alongside 'native' Win32 applications. His project is hosted on sourceforge here.

    On this topic mosfet wrote:

    If you look at the sources of Qt, *very* little of it is dependent on Xlib. Once you port QWidget, QPixmap, QFont, and QFontMetrics, virtually everything else is derived from that. 99% of the work will be in those 4 classes. Xlib is used in very little of Qt itself (for obvious reasons since Qt sells a native Windows lib). You can tell TrollTech was very careful to minimize the platform dependent code, because they want to sell the Windows version. Porting the GPL version to Win32 should not be a massive effort, since it's the same sources used in the professional version, just with the Win32 code missing.

    There are other classes that would require some work like the sound and network I/O classes, but KDE doesn't use these AFAIK. KDE is also a lot less X dependent than you'd think (which is why we also have Konq/Embedded ;-) While KWin and KDesktop doesn't make sense on Windows, getting the rest of kdelibs running natively on Windows should also be straightforward with a good Posix compiler.

    Why on earth did you port KDE to Windows?

    Ralf Habacker (project admin) writes:

    Somebody asked me, why one should port all this software to this X&%$§ windows ? Another one told me, that this would be perverse. Why are we doing this real ?

    I think, that kde is a great desktop and has the oppertunity to be a big player in gui apps and desktop area. Especially because of the famous qt library, which is designed very platform independed and already ported to many operation systems, porting kde application to other unix based operation systems isn't very much work. The one currently left operation system is windows.

    Windows is the standard os in many companies. How could this fact be used to enforce kde propagation ? The answer is simple: Build something that allow kde application running on top on windows. This goal we try to reach with this project.

    Paul Leddy [paul dot harbourlight.com] writes:

    I setup Cygwin last night. Why not just get a Linux box? Well, everybody can't just get a Linux box: maybe they need the tools at a MS-based corporate job, maybe there is a lack of cash, maybe a lack of know-how. So making these incredibly useful tools available to them instantly is wonderful, I think. And it is all free!
    So what is the reason here? Compassion, giving, sharing.

    What does that say to the commercial outlets and the consumers? Consumers ask what they should really pay for. Outlets ask what is necessary to create. It sends a message to those who are thinking of going into business building the same tools for Windows that already exist on Unix-type systems. That message? Already done; expand and add elsewhere. Or you have competition, so do a better job somehow. Of course, it will take time for this message to be heard and for it to be effective, but it is getting louder everyday.

    So what is the reason here? A bit of revenge and some social efficiency.

    By porting KDE, not only KDE, but hundreds of useful tools will be instantly available. And not just the command-line ones. What kind of impression does using KDE GUI apps make on a newbie? There is an alternative!

    Think of the impression made on the new and navie this when they hear: "You can get that C++ compiler you need for your college course setup at home [on a existing Windows box] for free. Thanks to? Gnu. Heard of them?"

    What kind of moral message does that send? Do you think some who hear this message may look at the world as a little rosier that day than the day before? I do.

    Reason: spread the love.

    Have the changes that were made to KDE 1 and KDE 2 in order to make them compile under Cygwin been applied to the main CVS tree?

    Chris January (developer) writes:

    IIRC, the majority of changes are configuration, autotool issues, etc. These (in theorey) should be fixed now - although I haven't tried to compile KDE 3.0 out-of-the-box under Cygwin yet! (I'll make a mental note to do so in the near future). Some are speed-up issues that only apply to Windows (e.g. using Win32 native calls instead of Cygwin ones) and it doesn't make much sense to back-port these. Other things are bugs that only manifested themselves under Windows or fringe operating systems - these have been fixed in KDE 3 already.

    Ralf Habacker (project admin) writes:

    There is only little to add. Currently there are some patches applied to the kde tree.

    • KDE2 uses ':' in filenames, which isn't allowed under windows (and I have heard in some other operations systems too). Waldo Bastian has applied this patch to KDE3.
    • Additional some minor changes in the kde-common/admin/Makefile.common are applied. This belongs for example for problems with original upper/lower case names used like "SUBDIRS" and "subdirs", which under windows are the same and some targets added to the .PHONY target, which are caused by upper/lower case problems like cvs: and CVS dir and other.

    There are some patches caused by the auto-import concept (basically this is a problem of the windows runtime concept), which prohibits referencing to global vars in dll's with an offset != 0. These patches has to be applied to all further kde/qt releases (if compiled with g++) and they are possibly candidates for applying to the kde tree.

    But anyway, the original kde source and any changes we've made are in the cvs, so it is no problem to apply any changes to the kde tree at any time (and if the kde maintainer grant this).

    Another point it much more important for the kde-cygwin project. KDE3 has put the x11 relating things in separate files like qt does for using qt embedded. This makes creating of a native kde ports much easier as in kde2, where one have to look into every sourcefile, if there are any x11 relating things.

    Currently I can't say, if this dividing is complete usable for a native win32 port, but it seems to me as a great step towards to a native running KDE.

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