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Old 06-16-2005, 11:52 AM   #1
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Ohio
Distribution: Gentoo
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Guide to Xorg 6.8 and KDE 3.4.1 in debian.

I know debian is a good distribution, but I dont like xfree one bit, or I dont like it coming with kde 3.3.

This little guide is advanced, so if you are unexperienced, I don't suggest doing this.

Tested on a debian UNSTABLE system, I advise not to try it on any other one, but that's up to you. You also need synaptic installed, or you can do it with apt-get from the terminal, except this is just a little easier.

It's been awhile since using debian, I just made this to be helpful, maybe debian already has kde 3.4, but if not, use this guide.

<NOTE!: if you don't have synaptic, which is a graphical frontend to apt-get, install it by, apt-get --install synaptic, it's a great tool, you need to be in X to use it, so make sure you do startx, kdm, gdm, or xdm, to get into an x server.

What Debian has already installed or there <I think>
* KDE 3.3.2 - older version of kde
* XFree86 - x-window system, not very good in my opinion, flickery, hurts eyes more.
What you will get when your done.
* KDE 3.4.1 - Newest version of kde, released, but not in official debian repositories yet.
* 6.8.2 - Newest version of, way better than xfree86, not in any official debian repositories.

When i say it's not in official debian repositories, it means debian doesnt have it yet, but this guide shows how to use unofficial repositories, and it works just as good.

1. type in the following command in a terminal
"nano /etc/apt/sources.list"

NOTE: you can use another text editor, such as elvis,pico, or whatever else there is, but nano and pico are the simplest in my opinion.

2. add this line without quotes.
"deb hoary main"

3. then save sources.list

4. go into synaptic, hit refresh.

5. go into settings > preferences > distribution
* check the third point, and make sure in the drop down, it says "hoary"
<I can't help you by doing it from the command line here>

6. then search for, xserver

7. find xserver-xfree86, and right click it, and do, mark for COMPLETE removal
NOTE: Make sure it's complete removal, not just removal.

8. find xserver-xorg, and right click it, and do mark for installation
NOTE: also find all the necessary extra packages, maybe xserver fonts, etc, to install.

9. hit apply

10. now go into a terminal and type this <it may not be necessary, but sometimes X won't start if you just move xfree86config-4 to xorg.conf, so you're better off generating a new file>
# xorgconfig
<go through the process of creating a xorg.conf file.

11. next, type in.
# killall kdm <other options would be, XFree86, gdm, or xdm>

and make sure to change synaptic back to default settings, by unchecking the third point with hoary, and checking the first one.

"If KDM won't start back up, try typing in gdm or xdm, you can also add the line "startkde" "gnome-session" "icewm" etc (ONLY ONE OF THEM THOUGH! ) to your /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc file, but make sure you remove failsafe. Then X would start by typing in "startx"
INSTALLING KDE 3.4 <part 2 of guide>
----- up kde, or other window manager.

2. Then go into a terminal and type... <install nano, pico,elvis, or whatever, i prefer nano>
# nano /etc/apt/sources.list

3. Add this line to it, without quotes.
"deb ./"

4. Then open up synaptic

5. click reload

6. go to settings >preferences>distribution
and check the third bullet, or point, and make sure in the drop down you have experimental

7. then search for, kde,

8. find all the appropriate kde packages, and right click them, and hit, "mark for upgrade"
The most Important packages would be...
- kdebase
- kdelibs

Additional packages would be,,,
- kdegraphics
- kdemultimedia
- kdegames
- kdeaddons
- kdeartwork
- kdetoys

9. hit apply, and now kdm is dead so...

10. so search for kdm, do mark for removal.

11. search for gdm, do mark for installation <it does the same thing as kdm>

12. then hit apply

13. then change synaptic settings back to normal.

14. in terminal type in, killall kdm

15. then type, gdm, and it will start the x, and bring you into your login screen, which will allow you to login to kde 3.4

AND! make sure you change synaptic back to default settings, by going into synaptic, and the tab "Settings>preferences>distribution"
and check the FIRST bullet point again.

I hope this helps


Last edited by cheater1034; 06-16-2005 at 11:59 AM.
Old 06-16-2005, 12:23 PM   #2
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Ohio
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 141

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
gnome 2.10

Hey, just found this on debians website in case you want gnome 2.10 as well, unless it's already in there, I dont think it is.
Old 06-16-2005, 12:45 PM   #3
Dead Parrot
Senior Member
Registered: Mar 2004
Distribution: Debian GNU/kFreeBSD
Posts: 1,597

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RE: gnome 2.10

Gnome 2.10 is available in unstable.

Last edited by Dead Parrot; 06-16-2005 at 12:46 PM.
Old 06-16-2005, 02:36 PM   #4
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Ohio
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 141

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Ok, last time I used debian unstable it was 2.8 still, I don't use gnome anyway, so maybe I just didn't pay that much attention.

I run slack now, with kde 3.4.1, no gnome, and xorg 6.8.2 on my amd64 2800+, but I plan to install debian unstable on my extra partition, and on a duron 1200 mhz, and on a celeron 400 mhz.

I love slackware, except on my other boxes I'd rather run debian because of apt-get, it makes it pretty simple, expecially on a slower box.


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