Get It

KDE 4.x

For information how to obtain a copy or build Kate 4.x (KDE 4.x based), please refer to the Get It – KDE 4.x page.
This page will handle the case of the current KF5 based Kate.

Distribution Packages

As Kate and KWrite are part of the KDE project, you can get them simply by installing the KDE packages from your Linux distribution. To get Kate for Mac OS X, please visit KDE’s Mac pages. Windows packages are available through the KDE on Windows project.

Building Kate from Sources

This quick howto explains how to build Kate without touching your stable KDE installation. Right now, Kate’s source code is located on To build Kate from git, you need a recent KF5 frameworks installed. Further,

      1. make sure you have the following packages installed: git and the KF5 development package (and CMake).to install on openSUSE (13.2, with Qt5/KF5 repos activated):
        sudo zypper in libgit2-devel gettext-tools extra-cmake-modules libQt5Widgets-devel libQt5Xml-devel libQt5Test-devel \
          libQt5Gui-devel libQt5DBus-devel libQt5Concurrent-devel libqt5-qtscript-devel libQt5Sql-devel ktexteditor-devel \
          kactivities5-devel kiconthemes-devel kguiaddons-devel kcrash-devel kdoctools-devel kinit-devel kwindowsystem-devel \
          kdbusaddons-devel kwallet-devel plasma-framework-devel kitemmodels-devel knotifications-devel threadweaver-devel knewstuff-devel

        to install on Ubuntu and derivates: List of required packages:

        qtbase5-dev qtscript5-dev
        extra-cmake-modules plasma-framework-dev libkf5crash-dev libkf5config-dev libkf5activities-dev kinit-dev kdoctools-dev libkf5i18n-dev libkf5parts-dev libkf5guiaddons-dev libkf5iconthemes-dev libkf5jobwidgets-dev kio-dev libkf5texteditor-dev libkf5windowsystem-dev libkf5xmlgui-dev libgit2-dev


        libkf5wallet-dev libkf5service-dev libkf5itemmodels-dev libkf5notifications-dev libkf5threadweaver-dev libkf5newstuff-dev

        to install on Arch Linux: ? help us to fill this?

        to install on RHEL: ? help us to fill this?

        to install on Fedora: List of required packages:

        git cmake gcc-g++ extra-cmake-modules qt5-qtbase-devel qt5-qtscript-devel kf5-kiconthemes-devel kf5-kxmlgui-devel kf5-kwindowsystem-devel kf5-ktexteditor-devel kf5-kparts-devel kf5-kguiaddons-devel kf5-kinit-devel kf5-kdoctools-devel kf5-kcrash-devel kf5-kactivities-devel kf5-kdbusaddons-devel


        kf5-kwallet-devel kf5-knewstuff-devel kf5-threadweaver-devel kf5-kitemmodels-devel kf5-plasma-devel kf5-knotifications-devel libgit2-devel


      2. create and change into a KDE development directory:
        mkdir -p ~/kde/usr; cd ~/kde
      3. get a copy of the Kate code:
        git clone git://
        cd kate
      4. create and change into a build directory inside the kate directory for compilation:
        mkdir build; cd build
      5. run the configure process with cmake:
        For just using Kate, build it optimized but with debugging symbols to get useful backtraces for bugreports:
      6. cmake .. -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=RelWithDebInfo -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=~/kde/usr

        For developing Kate, build it with debug support (if you have problems using gdb because of optimizations, swap Debug with DebugFull):

        cmake .. -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=~/kde/usr
      7. compile Kate:
      8. finally install Kate:
        make install
        This installs Kate locally into the separate directory ~/kde/usr, so that your global KDE installation will not be touched at all.
      9. Now on to starting the newly compiled Kate. Create a file ~/kde/ with the following content:
        # export some vars we need
        export KF5=~/kde/usr
        export XDG_DATA_DIRS=$KF5/share:$XDG_DATA_DIRS:/usr/share
        export XDG_CONFIG_DIRS=$KF5/etc/xdg:$XDG_CONFIG_DIRS:/etc/xdg
        export PATH=$KF5/bin:$PATH
        export QT_PLUGIN_PATH=$KF5/lib/plugins:$KF5/lib64/plugins:$KF5/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/plugins:$QT_PLUGIN_PATH
        export QML2_IMPORT_PATH=$KF5/lib/qml:$KF5/lib64/qml:$KF5/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/qml
        export KDE_SESSION_VERSION=5
        export KDE_FULL_SESSION=true
        # nicer debug messages
        c=`echo -e "\033"`
        export QT_MESSAGE_PATTERN="%{appname}(%{pid})/(%{category}) $c[31m%{if-debug}$c[34m%{endif}%{function}$c[0m: %{message}"
        unset c

        Now you can run the compiled Kate version from you shell via kate after sourcing this script via . ~/kde/

Your copy of Kate contains all of the Kate code, i.e.: Kate, KWrite and all bundled plugins. You can keep your copy up-to-date by typing `git pull --rebase` in ~/kde/kate. Feel free to send patches to our mailing list And join #kate on :–)

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