Multiple versions of KDE on the same machine

Sean McGlynn sean at
Mon Mar 10 22:49:39 GMT 2003

On Monday 10 March 2003 19:28, Nils Holland wrote:
> Hi everybody,

Hello Nils,

> well, just recently I browsed through the KDE FAQ and stmbled accross the
> following:
> "One thing you should avoid: installing two or more versions of KDE in
> parallel. This might happen if you specify a different target directory for
> one version than for the other. The result may be unpredictable. The same
> is true if you have different versions of Qt™ installed at the same
> time."

I think this was just general advice for the newbie to compiling, who might 
do everything under the same userid and get themselves into a mess by mixing 
environment vars (QTDIR/KDEDIR/PATH etc.), include directories and libs from 
different versions. There's no reason why you can't have different versions 
of QT/KDE on the same system when you know what you're doing.

> Now, interestingly this is something I've been done for two years or so
> without any problems at all.

Likewise. I'm replying here using KMail from KDE2.2, whilst running an old 
KDE3.1 beta, and compiling the latest CVS under a different userid :-)

> To be more precise, I do things like this: I
> have one "system-wide" version of KDE and QT installed under /opt/kde and
> /opt/qt. This version was compiled by "root" and can be used by all users
> on the system. When I update this system-wide KDE, I always de-install the
> old version first.
> Then, I have some versions of KDE that are either somewhat old or very new
> (=CVS) installed, but these are tied to a particular user. For example, my
> main KDE version in /opt/kde is currently KDE 3.0.3. Additionally, I have a
> user set up that's called "kde31", and this user has compiled and installed
> KDE 3.1 and the latest QT somewhere below his home directory. His QTDIR,
> KDEDIR and PATH are set so that he will run "his" version of KDE, while all
> other users will get the standard version under /opt. Soon, KDE 3.1 may be
> made available for all users, and the user kde31 (who was only there for
> testing purposes in the first place) may be deleted.
> So, as I said, having two or more versions of KDE on my system at the same
> time by using the method I described above has always worked fine for me.
> Looking again at the FAQ item I quoted in the beginning, is there still a
> reason why I shouldn't be doing what I'm doing because it will eventually
> lead to problems? Or does the FAQ only mean that I should not "blindly" mix
> up multiple versions of KDE, which is not what I'm doing right now, since
> my KDE versions are kept strictly separate?

I basically do the same as you, but I don't bother with a global KDE setup 
(for this single user machine). The FAQ isn't really clear in its 
explanation, but it hasn't been updated for quite a while anyway by the look 
of it :-)
What you're doing is fine, so don't worry about the FAQ ;-)

> Bye,
> Nils <nils at>

Sean McGlynn
sean at

Going into a war without France is like going deer hunting without an 
accordion player.
(borrowed from posting ;-)
This message is from the kde mailing list.
Account management:
More info:

More information about the kde mailing list