Install KDE 4.2 packages from the Debian experimental branchInstall KDE 4 Debian packages in your hard disk

Enabling the sid repository

KDE 4.2 requires some software that is not available in the Debian 4.0 "etch" or future 5.0 "lenny" release. Therefore, it can only be installed on systems using the unstable branches.

deb sid main 
deb-src sid main

You should replace by a mirror near you.

To enable unstable without upgrading your entire system, see this page.

Enabling the experimental branch

To install KDE 4.2, the experimental branch must be enabled. Add the following to /etc/apt/sources.list, then update APT.

deb experimental main
deb-src experimental main

You should replace by a mirror near you.

APT will not install packages from experimental unless specifically requested. To install a package from experimental, run the command:

aptitude -t experimental install package1 package2 package3...

KDE 4 packages

For a basic KDE 4 desktop, install the kde-minimal package, which includes

kdebase-runtime Essential runtime components
kdebase-workspace Desktop environment
kdebase Core applications

For (almost) all of KDE 4, install the kde4 package, which also includes

kdeplasma-addons Additional Plasma applets
kdegraphics Graphics applications, including the Okular document viewer
kdegames Assortment of fun games
kdemultimedia Multimedia players and utilities
kdenetwork networking-related applications, such as the Kopete IM client
kdepim Personal Information Management apps, such as Kontact or KMail
kdeutils General-purpose utilities
kdeedu Educational applications
kdeadmin System administration tools
kdeartwork Additional artwork and sound themes

Most users will also want to install kdm. There are still a couple of packages more:

kdetoys Desktop amusements
kdesdk Software development tools

Upgrading installed experimental KDE 4 packages automatically

Once you have installed all KDE 4 packages you want from experimental, you would probably like to keep them up-to-date to the latest releases in experimental. It is easy to do that with the help of APT pinning. Just add

Package: * Pin: release a=experimental Pin-Priority: 101

to your /etc/apt/preferences file (create one if it does not exist) and simple aptitude (or apt-get) dist-upgrade will always automatically upgrade only the packages you have installed from experimental to the latest versions in the experimental repository. Other packages, which are available in experimental but their experimental versions have not been manually installed by you, won't be automatically pulled in by dist-upgrade. Consult apt_preferences(5) manual page for more information about pinning.

Co-installable packages

You can co-install along your KDE 3 packages the following KDE 4 packages: kdelibs5, kdepimlibs5, kdebase-runtime

This is useful if you want to keep your KDE 3 enviroment but want to use a KDE 4 application like okular or even konsole. But remember KDE 4 apps will not integrate in your KDE 3 desktop so well as the current KDE 3 do.