When common tasks feel strange
If you are new to Plasma, it's likely that some common tasks may feel strange. Some things are completely new concepts, and other things are just done differently. There are screencasts of how to perform many plasma tasks at this How-To page.
Installing additional software
Installing software on your computer can be done with a variety of tools ranging from KDE's graphical Discover app store to command-line package management tools that come directly from your distribution. Install KDE software has more details.
Installing drivers for wifi/graphics/other hardware
Installing hardware drivers for networking or video is a task that most distributions take care of. Different distributions use different tools for configuring hardware. Please consult with your distribution first for more information. A good way is by asking other users on chat channels.
Dolphin is the default file manager in most distributions. Learn how to enable previews, give yourself quick access to the directories you use most, and choose how much detail to see about your files. All this and more can be found in this File Management tutorial
Renaming Multiple Files
There are times when you need to rename a large number of files or folders at the same time. This is often referred to as "batch renaming," and can be accomplished a number of ways in KDE.
Dolphin has a ability to rename multiple files by numbering them, though the functionality is currently limited and only useful in certain situations. One useful application would be renaming a set of photos. Here's how it's done
KRename has the ability to rename large numbers of files based on many different criteria, including search and replace, file properties, mp3 & ogg metadata, and many others.
KRename can be found in the Kickoff menu in the Utilities section. It may be called "Bulk Rename". If you don't see it there, it's likely not installed, and you'll need to install it.
Using Removable Drives
Mounting the drive
Unlike some other operating systems you might be familiar with, Plasma as shipped by most distros doesn't automatically mount removable drives when they're plugged in. What does "Mounting" a drive mean? Think of it as opening a book for reading. Similarly, umounting is like closing the book.
There are two main ways of accessing a drive that was just plugged in:
- Using the Device Notifier - normally the Device Notifier will pop up a little window telling you that a new drive was connected. Click on the button that appears beside its name. This mounts the drive and opens Dolphin showing its contents.
- Mounting in Dolphin - if you already have Dolphin open you will see the new device appear in the Places panel. Click on it and it will be mounted and show its contents.
- If you prefer for drives to be automatically mounted, you can now do this by going to and check the checkboxes for and for the list item named "All known devices".
If you choose to automount, remember that you still need to umount drives before physically unplugging them. This is the equivalent of "safely remove" in Windows or "Eject" in macOS. In Device Notifier and Dolphin's Places panel, you will see a button with the icon ; click this to unmount the drive. Always wait a few seconds after doing this to make sure that any pending move or copy operations have completed! Once the device disappears from the Device Notifier or Dolphin, you can safely unplug it.
Opening an empty CD tray
Usually you use a hardware button to do this, but if that is not possible you can create a link to a script to do it for you. You will find details of this on this talk page
- Occasionally, when something is not working well, you may be told that you need to set up an Environment Variable. Here's how to do it