KDE Packages

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Since KDE 4.3, separate packages for each application are provided. This article describes the concepts of groups and meta-packages.


  • module: KDE's source code is organized into several categories called modules. The project releases one source archive per module. See the Coordinator List for details.
  • group: Packages can be listed within a package group. pacman is able to select packages by groups during installation or removal. This meta-information does not imply any hard dependencies.
  • meta-package: An empty package which just connects several packages by using dependencies.

Package groups

There are groups for each KDE module. In addition to this there is the kde group which includes the whole KDE distribution.

Using groups makes it easier to install and maintain a set of packages. There is no hard dependency between a group and its packages. That means there is no need to install all packages of a group, for example. On the other hand, pacman will not install any packages new to a certain group on its own.

To install specific groups:

# pacman -S kdebase kdeutils ...

To install the entire software distribution:

# pacman -S kde


There are meta-packages for each KDE module. Each of these replace and provide one of the previous packages that were used before KDE 4.3. This also ensures a smooth update to the new split packages.

In contrast to groups, a meta-package has a hard dependency to all its KDE modules. So, you cannot remove any sub packages without removing the meta-package itself. If there are new modules available, the use of meta-packages ensures that pacman will install those automatically.

All meta-packages are member of the kde-meta group and thus can be easily installed or removed.

You can remove or install meta-packages at any time in order to use modular packages or emulate the previous monolithic set of packages.

To remove those groups use:

# pacman -R kde-meta

This will not remove any KDE packages but only the meta packages!

Package list

To get a complete list of KDE applications use

pacman -Sg kde

Get a list of all meta packages:

pacman -Sg kde-meta

Get a list of all KDE module groups:

for i in $(pacman -Sqg kde-meta); do echo ${i#kde-meta-};done

Get a list of all KDE packages and their module group:

for i in $(pacman -Sqg kde-meta); do pacman -Sg ${i#kde-meta-};done

You could also use the web interface at archlinux.de to browse package groups.