|Regarding the KDE article series (partners 1, partners 2, partners 3, partners 4, partners 5, partners 6 y partners 7), I put many things in some comments that deserve to be in a separate article, so here are some tips for the different distributions we can have.
Let's remember: in most cases the best distribution for KDE is the one you have, but there are some severe problems with many of them, so the idea, in addition to knowing which to choose and which to avoid, is how to make the distribution that one has work fine with KDE.
Table of Contents
Debian Sid, Debian's unstable repository, has KDE 4.8.4 as the latest version available. This gives an idea of how outdated Debian is. It is reasonable, and even expected, to ask Debian stable to have an old, tested version with all bugs fixed, but having such an old version in an unstable repository defies human understanding. As we will see later, there is a semi-official way to install KDE 4.10.2 on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, a distribution as stable or more stable than Debian Stable itself.
If you really want to install Debian with KDE, the two options available are:
1. Bring the ZevenOS repositories into Debian Testing. I don't know for how long, or how compatible, this option is. They should add these two lines to /etc/sources.list.
deb http://proindi.de/zevenos/neptune/repo/ sid main
deb http://proindi.de/zevenos/neptune/kde-repo/ sid main
Afterwards, Aptitude should be used to refresh the repositories and update.
aptitude install kde-workspace
2. Shuffle the Debian Experimental repositories. New disappointment here: one would expect to find, in a really experimental repository, KDE weekly git snapshots (which is what OpenSuSE does with Factory), or at least KDE 4.11 beta, but no, one finds neither more nor less than with KDE 4.10.4, a really stable version. The problem is that many Debian Experimental packages depend on really unstable versions of other packages, so you have to carefully handle the priority of the deb lines in /etc/sources.Slackwarelist and install KDE by hand every time you upgrade. I do not recommend it.
The problem with Mageia is the same with many distributions, and with Mandriva: once they release a version of KDE, they stay with it forever. That means: if Mageia 3 came out with KDE 4.10.2 it is really difficult for them to upgrade to KDE 4.10.3, or to KDE 4.10.4.
It happened to me with Mandriva that I had to go to "Mandriva International Backports" to get a point update, and the team behind MIB decided not to support Mageia, but to migrate to ROSA Linux. So if it comes to the Mandriva family, ROSA Linux is the choice over Mageia, and I highly recommend the new Desktop R1 version. If you are new to KDE, you will be surprised.
The quality of the Mandriva International Backports group packages is good, but as I said, their packages are only compatible with ROSA Linux. Adding this repository is very easy: go to http://urpmi.mandriva.ru/ and click where it says "MIB". EasyURPMI will take care of the rest.
Patrick Volkerding's distribution, despite having a reputation for being stable, and never having the latest packages, is incredibly good for KDE. There are two options.
1. Slackware-current is a true rolling version, just like Arch. If you like instability, it's perfect, but if not, watch what follows.
2. Eric Hammeleers has put together a special repository with fresh Slackbuild scripts full of KDE 4.10.4, perfect for combining the stability of Slackware 14 with the power of KDE. You have to install two packages first:
After that, the sources are downloaded and compiled with the supplied SlackBuild script.
rsync -av rsync: //alien.slackbook.org/alien/ktown/source/4.10.4.
cd 4.10.4 / kde
Wait a while and you will have KDE 4.10.4 ready to install. This can only be used in Slackware 14.
Rolling release? No problem.
The actual rolling versions, such as Arch Linux, and those derived from Arch (Manjaro, Chakra) do not need additional instructions. Simply, if KDE is not installed by default, it is installed with a simple command.
pacman -Sy kde
Pay attention to the wiki of the distribution: it may be that there are problems caused by the lack of recompilations, but the instructions will always be there. Remember: to use Arch you need to constantly read the page, follow the instructions, and constantly update. Arch can easily break if you leave it without updating for even a couple of months and then update it suddenly.
The same applies to Gentoo, although a real packet debunking orgy is necessary there.
Fedora, RHEL, CentOS
It's never a good idea to use plain and simple Fedora with KDE. It is always necessary to go to http://kde-redhat.sourceforge.com and activate the Yum repository that appears there. Rex Dieter, the head of the Fedora KDE team, does a good job of patching KDE, but you don't see much of it because it often takes time for its packages to reach the main repository.
The really remarkable thing is that from here you can order KDE 4.10.2 packages for RHEL, a distribution known for its foolproof stability and for the age of its packages. We're talking here about the only distro that can really cope with Debian Stable, so if we use KDE, the choice is RHEL, or some clone like Scientific Linux, anyway. You need to first activate EPEL (Extended Packages for Enterprise Linux, the semi-official repository with Fedora packages compiled for RHEL) and then run these commands.
Let's edit the file in question and change all the lines that say "enabled = 0" to "enabled = 1". Yes, KDE 4.10.2 is marked as "unstable", but we are adding KDE 4.10.2 to a distribution with packages more obsolete than Debian Wheezy, so we must be careful. After that, the classic Fedora / RHEL combo.
We will see how KDE 4.3 (it is very old) is replaced by the truly stable KDE 4.10. Now it is a pleasure to run those exclusive nuclear physics simulation programs from Scientific Linux.
For Fedora the procedure is extremely similar, but what varies are the versions available.
This time let's not change all the lines "enabled = 0" to "enabled = 1", but let's look carefully. [kde-unstable] here will give us KDE 4.11 beta 1, a really unstable version. [kde-testing] will give us the latest stablepoint version of KDE long before the official Fedora repositories. And [kde] most of the time it will be empty. Let's leave the kde.repo file as is, or if we really want instability, let's turn on [kde-unstable].
Distros are missing, so there will be a second part of this guide. See you.