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Without being root, is it possible to download a newer version of KDE and use that as your window manager for a RealVNC server?

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do you have the ability to sudo? – DaveParillo Oct 20 '09 at 22:36
I don't have root access. – Ross Rogers Oct 21 '09 at 20:47
up vote 4 down vote accepted

It's absolutely possible. If you can sudo, you can install the newer KDE via your favorite package manager (assuming it's available in the repositories).

If the version you want isn't in your distribution's repositories, you can build KDE yourself (Getting Started link).

If you can't sudo, you won't be able to install anything under /usr/local. You'll need to install to your home directory instead. Anytime the instructions list an "install prefix" variable, change it from /usr/local/... to /home/username or /home/username/.... If configure scripts are in use, this is easy:

./configure --prefix=/home/username

That change will allow you to install your build to your home directory, under $HOME/bin, $HOME/lib, $HOME/share, etc. You'll need to update your login scripts to include your home directory in the PATH and LDPATH in order to access it.

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not clean, but works indeed. +1 :) – Lorenzo Von Matterhorn Sep 25 '13 at 9:14

Without root access (be it directly or via sudo(1)), installing something as invasive as a full desktop environment (including matching applets, plugins and whatnot) is probably impossible, and at best very ill advised.

What exactly is the objective of this? If it is just access to a newer KDE, updating the distribution is probably simpler and much less risky.

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I know that it is hard to do. I work inside of the Linux environment for a large corporation and getting new versions is like pulling teeth. I can and do install Ubuntu on my own virtual machines and home machines all the time, but I can't do my job on these machines. – Ross Rogers Jan 29 '13 at 18:58
@RossRogers, better start your training as a dental surgeon then... – vonbrand Jan 29 '13 at 19:08
Indeed. I recently tried installing gnome from jhbuild in order to get all the prerequisites for a recent monodevelop and that was quite the rabbit hole. jhbuild is meant for installing and testing new releases of gnome in parallel to your normal desktop, yet it was endless dependency fetching. Meanwhile, I can install monodevelop in a few clicks on Windows. 'tis a shame. – Ross Rogers Jan 29 '13 at 19:19

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