Getting KDE running (and running well) under Mac OS X is easy

To get KDE running under Mac OS X, the secret is simple fink install bundle-kde-ssl and follow the corresponding instructions on the fink web site. Mostly, you have to just have to type starkde assuming that you have appropriately edited your .xinitrc file. The main problem is that it takes a really long time to compile all of this code, but once it runs, it runs well! This has just made Mac OS X that much more useful to me.

Warning: do use the “export KDEWM=quartz-wm” line in your xinitrc. Using the KDE window manager is a sure way to make Apple’s X11 crash when moving windows. This is not documented anywhere, but I have verified it on 3 different machines with slightly different setups.

Here’s a picture in case you want to see for yourself (click to enlarge):

However, contrary to what I claimed earlier, it turns out that XFig does not work. It worked for a time, but now, I can’t seem to make it work again. Update. To get XFig to work, I need to go into the (non-X11) Apple shell and type open-x11 xfig. There is something odd going on with X11 though KDE applications seem unaffected. I might have to switch to KDE Karbon.

Also, OpenOffice under X11 is very sluggish. It seems like NeoOffice is a much better solution right now.

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Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

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