The releases of this section are outdated and will not be supported. The relating packages may work, but we encourage you to install a recent KDE release.
How do I setup X to run KDE?
The X Window System provides a way to execute programs
(including a graphical environment such as KDE) in a
general way when
startx is executed. This is
in the form of two files (
.xinitrc). Normally these reside in your
home directory and are used for starting server and
client related applications respectively. The
startkde script in the
directory executes all the programs required by KDE in
one handy script. You can therefore start KDE along with
your X server by adding a line to execute
startkde to the
in your home directory. The table below shows samples for
the relevant files.
$ cat ~/.xserverrc
exec X -screen 0 1024x768x16 -engine 4 -ac -nowinkill -noreset -emulate3buttons 100
$ cat ~/.xinitrc
There are two ways to install these files:
- Copy the above samples to the related lines manually, for example
$ echo /usr/local/kde1/bin/startkde >~/.xinitrc
- Install the kdemisc-1.1.2 package, which will
install these files in /home/administrator by default.
After that you can move/copy the files to your home
directory. Before installing this package make sure
that you backup your previous files.
Once you have created the two files you can start KDE
on the base prompt with:
Related topic: "How do I run KDE from an
How do I run KDE from an icon?
Make a copy of the file
cygwin.bat in the
cygwin root directory and call the new file
startkde1.bat. Next, edit the line that
bash --login -i and change it so it
bash --login -i -c "startx". You can
also install the
which contains this file.
startkde1.bat file can be used like
cygwin.bat. You can copy the
file or create a shortcut to it on the desktop, the start
menu or anywhere else. NB: This assumes you have perfomed
the steps necessary to start KDE with X as described in
the answer to "How do I setup X to run
Why do I get the error "kwm:
it looks like there's already a window manager running.
kwm not started"?
You are running another window manager before KDE is
started. Make sure you are using
start X, and not
startxwin.bat. Also make
sure that you have
exec startkde in your
.xinitrc and not, for example,
This error also appears after changing and applying
KDE themes, caused by Cygwin's incomplete emulation of
the Unix-style environment. This may possibly be fixed in
one of the later Cygwin beta releases. A workaround is
not to directly apply a theme, but instead confirm the
changes and restart the whole KDE desktop.
Can I run KDE under Windows 98?
In short, yes. For additional information check this
page for a list of supported platforms.
Why do I see escaped control
characters when I run
Add the line
export SHELL="/bin/bash" to
/etc/profile. Also, if you are using
konsole, try switching the console emulation
mode to "Linux console".
Why is KDE so slow?
KDE requires some memory and CPU horsepower, even
under Linux, *BSD, etc. However there are issuses
specific to Cygwin which also slow it down. There are
certain POSIX calls which can't be mapped directly to
Win32 calls (e.g.
and these can have a significant overhead. In particular,
fork() is very slow under Cygwin.
There are indeed some optimisations that could be
made; but these will be added in later alpha releases.
Currently we are focussing on stability rather than speed
and this is no small task.
NB: sometimes an application can crash and end up
going into an "endless loop"; CPU usage will be at 100%
for an extended period of time. If this occurs, close the
offending application from Task Manager and your other
applications should become more responsive. Please report
any crashes or lock-ups to the kde-cygwin developers.
How do I run
kfm as my
This isn't currently recommended and you are on your
own if anything goes wrong. If you want to do this
anyhow, here are some instructions for Windows 2000:
- Follow the hints in How do I run KDE
from an icon?
- Read the tips at http://www.jsiinc.com/SUBH/tip3600/rh3651.htm
for changing your shell. You want to change it to
- Have fun!
Why was KDE 1.1.2 ported first and
not KDE 2?
On this subject Ralf Habacker
On starting the port there was no way to build dll's
with global variables without patching headers. If have
tried compiling KDE2 as static version, but this
doesn't work because KDE2 is based extremly on dll's,
so I went back to KDE1 and compiled it static and this
The next step was patching ld to allow dll's with
global variables without patching headers (thanks to
Paul Sokolvsky) and I compiled KDE 1.1.2 with dlls.
This ld feature is known in the cygwin world as
So KDE 1.1.2 is the pre-project for porting KDE2,
whoses client server technology (dcopserver) and dll
preloading mechanismen (kdeinit,klauncher) is much more
difficult to get running. Single application are
already running (games for example), but the desktop
communcation isn't working.
How hard was it to port KDE to
Porting KDE 1.1.2 in the closest meaning was quite
easy. I think for KDE 1.1.2 I have patched only about
100 lines and this were minor changes especially
missing functions oder include files. Most of my time
was spent to get a running ld and to patch the libtool
used to create the dll's, integrating it into the X
environment, testing the applications, preparing
distribution and so on.
This is because :
Note: KDE 2 porting was much harder because of the
complexitivity and weight (about 200 dll's).
- cygwin is a very good posix eumlation (only one
- the cygwin-xfree server was very portable (only
one header patch)
- qt is very portable (creating cygwin specific
config, patches some header and one source file
because of gcc bug)
- the KDE source are very portable (minor changes
especially missing functions oder include
Why does Windows complain it can't
find one or more DLLs when I try to start KDE?
This is caused by the way Windows searches for DLLs.
As far as I understand, in order for you to run a program
which depends a DLL in path X, the path must
be included in the
PATH environment variable
of the parent process. In practice this means that you
Example (add this line to
$ export KDEDIR=/usr/local/kde1
$ export QTDIR =/usr/local/lib/qt2
$ export PATH=$KDEDIR/lib:$KDEDIR/bin:$QTDIR/bin:$PATH
Where can I get
Make sure you have installed the Cygwin
libz package. The KDE binaries rely on the
libz library being called
libz.dll, but recent Cygwin releases have
changed their naming scheme and with these, the file is
cygz.dll. The solution is to copy
$ cp /bin/cygz.dll /bin/libz.dll
Why do I get the error "can't
Make sure you have installed the Cygwin
Why do I get the error
"kdecore-2-0-0.dll not found" when I try to
Make sure you have downloaded and installed all the
packages. Files labelled
incremental; you need to install the original file first,
and then install this file on top.
Additional look in the answer of Why
does Windows complain it can't find one or more DLLs when
I try to start KDE?