Performing Basic Desktop Actions

When you first start KDE, you see the kfm, or K file manager window, and a root dis­play, or desktop, as shown in Figure 8.1.

The KDE desktop consists of several elements: a taskbar across the top of display, the root background (or root display), and the desktop panel along the bottom of your screen. In the panel, starting from the left, is the Application Starter button (the large 'K'), followed by several icons representing different applications, folders, and directo­ries. There are four buttons representing the default four virtual desktops, or displays, followed by more application icons. (You may see ones for the CriSPlite editor, Netscape, BRU-2000, KDE help, and the Kcalc calculator.)Figure 8.1

The KDE desktop is your introduction to point-and-click conve­nience during X ses­sions, and features a taskbar, root display area, panel with pop­up menus and client buttons, and a home directory.

Home Directory

Application Starter button


* 3.1 Oa -tunregis.. | 0 controls

Looking Glass configuration files



Window Home list button directory


Virtual desktop buttons

Root display

Desktop panel

using Desktop panel

The panel is used as a convenient tool for holding the Application Starter menu (accessed when you click the Application Starter menu), other application icons, the screen lock or logout button, virtual desktop buttons, and other program icons. To change the panel's size or orientation, click the Application Starter button, select Panel then click Configure.

A dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 8.2, from which you can select different set­tings. When you're finished, click Apply, then the Cancel button.

If you want to change how icons are placed or arranged on the panel, right-click a desired icon, and then select Remove (to delete the item) or Move from the small pop-up menu. If you click Move, you can drag the icon across the panel to a different place. If the panel is getting in the way during your KDE session, click the small button to the far left of the panel to temporarily hide the panel from your screen. To restore the panel, click the small button again, and the panel reappears.Figure 8.2

The Panel

Configuration dialog box enables you to change how the panel and taskbar look and where they are placed on your desktop.