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:KDE's reliable and flexible window manager, now with effects!
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<languages />
{{Template:I18n/Language Navigation Bar|KWin}}
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{|class="vertical-centered"
----
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|[[Image:KWin-desktop1fa.png|thumb|center|256px|<translate><!--T:43-->
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An empty desktop in KDE 4.5</translate>]]||<translate><!--T:1-->
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'''The reliable and flexible window manager for KDE Plasma Desktops, now with effects!'''</translate>
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|}
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<translate>
  
== Overview ==
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</translate><span id="Feature Overview"></span><translate>
  
{|style="width: 100%" cellpadding="5"
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== Feature Overview == <!--T:2-->
|- valign="center"
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| width="50%" |
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'''Features'''
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<!--T:3-->
* Stable and reliable
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:* Stable and reliable
* Compositing, 3D effects
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:* Compositing, 3D effects
* Easy configuration
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:* Easy configuration
* Improved efficiency
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:* Improved efficiency
  
| <div style="border: 1px solid darkgray; bakground-color: lightgray; padding: 10px; text-align: left;">
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<!--T:4-->
 +
'''KWin''' (pronounced "kwin" in one word) is the window manager for the '''KDE Plasma Desktop'''. It gives you complete control over your windows, making sure they're not in the way but aid you in your task. It paints the window decoration, the bar on top of every window with (configurable) buttons like close, maximize and minimize. It also handles placing of windows and switching between them.
  
[[Image:Kwin-wobbly.png|thumb|center|256px]]
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<!--T:5-->
 +
'''KWin''' supports ''compositing'', which means using 3D effects for handling your windows. This can make window management smoother, easier, more efficient and more natural. It’s hardware requirements are very modest and pretty much every reasonably modern system since 2002 supports it. There are still some issues with certain hardware, more info about that can be found on [http://techbase.kde.org/Projects/KWin techbase]
  
* '''Name:''' KWin [[Image:Kwin.png|right|48px]]
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== Practical Features == <!--T:6-->
* '''Description:''' KDE Window Manager
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* '''Categories:''' [[Applications/Desktop]]
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* '''Version:''' 4.2.1
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* '''Available for:''' 4.2.1
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* '''KWin Website'''
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* '''Kwin Handbook'''
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</div>
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|}
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<!--T:7-->
 +
Click with your right mouse button on a window decoration or use [[Special:myLanguage/System Settings|System Settings]] to access the new and easier configuration of '''KWin'''. Here you can enable effects to more efficiently manage your windows. You can for example use the '''Present Windows''' as the effect for window switching. Instead of showing you icons or very small previews of your applications, it arranges them in a grid so you can quickly choose the right one. Just use the <keycap>Alt-Tab</keycap> keysequence and keep the <keycap>Alt</keycap> key pressed. You can now use tab to switch through the windows or just activate the right one using the mouse. Hitting <keycap>Alt-Tab</keycap> keys quickly will show you the next window in the queue, just like it used to.
  
__TOC__
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<!--T:8-->
 +
If your X server already supports compositing, switching it on is as easy as opening System Settings, opening the <menuchoice>Worskpace Appearance and Behaviour</menuchoice> module, choosing <menuchoice>Desktop Effects</menuchoice> and enabling the checkbox <menuchoice>Enable desktop effects at startup</menuchoice>. More advanced compositing settings (such as ''Use VSync'', ''Scale method'', ''Compositing type'') are available through the <menuchoice>Advanced</menuchoice> dialog. Customising the behaviour of the KWin effects means opening the <menuchoice>All effects</menuchoice> tab, and choosing the plugins you want to use. Please note that only a subset of the plugins works with ''XRender''-based compositing. For the full experience, you need to use OpenGL mode.
  
== Description ==
+
<!--T:9-->
KWin (pronounce "kwin") is the window manager for the KDE desktop workspace. It gives you complete control over your windows, making sure they're not in the way but aid you in your task. It paints the windowdecoration, the bar on top of every window with (configurable) buttons like close, maximize and minimize. It also handles placing of windows and switching between them.
+
Employing motion physics, '''KWin''' provides your windows with a more natural feel. New desktop effects like the '''Cube''' desktop switcher and '''Magic Lamp''' minimize animation have been added. Improvements in the existing effects make window management smoother than ever. KWin has seen many performance improvements to enable these effects even on low-end hardware. Elaborate checks have been build in to ensure users with low-end hardware are not presented with an unusable setup. KWin detects the capabilities of the hardware and if needed gracefully scales its effects down. You can take control and disable these checks or change settings like the global animation speed to fine-tune your experience. When your computer is under heavy load, '''KWin''' will automatically disable the compositing temporarily to keep things running smoothly. It will notify you if it does so, and you can re-enable compositing by pressing <keycap>Shift+Alt+F12</keycap>. Finally, support for multiple screen handling has been improved in '''KWin''' using the new '''Kephal''' library. You can move maximized windows between '''Xinerama''' screens and the addition of external screens is handled correctly.
  
KWin supports '''compositing''', which means using 3D effects for handling your windows. This can make windowmanagement smoother, easier, more efficient and more natural. It’s hardware requirements are very modest and pretty much every reasonably modern system since 2002 supports it. There are still some issues with certain hardware, more info about that can be found on [http://techbase.kde.org/Projects/KWin techbase]
+
<!--T:10-->
 +
More information about what was introduced in KDE SC 4.9 can be found at the following link:
  
 +
<!--T:11-->
 +
* [http://blog.martin-graesslin.com/blog/2012/09/performance-improvements-in-kwin-4-9-2-and-4-10 kwin improvements]
  
== New in KDE 4.2 ==
+
== Tutorials == <!--T:12-->
  
Click with your right mouse button on a window decoration or use SystemSettings to access the new and easier configuration of KWin. Here you can enable effects to more efficiently manage your windows. You can for example use the "Present Windows" as the effect for "window switching". Instead of showing you icons or very small previews of your applications, it arranges them in a grid so you can quickly choose the right one. Just use the "ALT-TAB" keysequence and keep the ALT key pressed. You can now use tab to switch through the windows or just activate the right one using the mouse. Hitting "ALT-TAB" keys quickly will show you the next window in the que, just like it used to.
+
===You want an application to launch in a specific size and position every time=== <!--T:13-->
  
Employing motion physics, KWin provides your windows with a more natural feel. New desktop effects like the "Cube" desktop switcher and "Magic Lamp" minimize animation have been added. Improvements in the existing effects make window management smoother than ever. KWin has seen many performance improvements to enable these effects even on low-end hardware. Elaborate checks have been build in to ensure users with low-end hardware are not presented with an unusable setup. KWin detects the capabilities of the hardware and if needed gracefully scales its effects down. You can take control and disable these checks or change settings like the global animation speed to finetune your experience. When your computer is under heavy load, KWin will automatically disable the compositing temporarily to keep things running smoothly. It will notify you if it does so, and you can re-enable compositing by pressing "SHIFT+ALT+F12". Finally, support for multiple screen handling has been improved in KWin using the new Kephal library. You can move maximized windows between Xinerama screens and the addition of external screens is handled correctly.
+
<!--T:46-->
 +
[[Image:KWin_Settings_Geometry.png|thumb|400px|center|Size and Position]]
  
More information about what's new in KDE 4.2 can be found at the following links:
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<!--T:14-->
 +
Sometimes the screen position of an application is vital to your comfort, so use the flexibility of '''KWin''' to make sure it's always where you want it.
  
* [http://www.undefinedfire.com/kde/41-42-kwin/ developer blog]
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<!--T:15-->
* [http://nowwhatthe.blogspot.com/2008/12/kwin-screencast.html kwin movie]
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Position the window where you want it to open, then right-click on the title-bar, choosing <menuchoice>Advanced -> Special Window Settings</menuchoice>. This will open a settings window, with appropriate entries already made. All you need to do now is select the <menuchoice>Size & Position</menuchoice> tab and check <menuchoice>Position</menuchoice> and <menuchoice>Size</menuchoice>. OK - you are finished!
  
 +
===Script the window manager from the command line=== <!--T:16-->
  
== Tutorials ==
+
<!--T:17-->
 +
Use the [http://www.kde-apps.org/content/show.php/WMIface?content=40425 '''WMIface'''] utility.
  
===You want an application to launch in the same screen position every time===
+
===Customise the position of titlebar buttons=== <!--T:18-->
  
Sometimes the screen position of an application is vital to your comfort, so use the flexibility of kwin to make sure it's always where you want it.
+
<!--T:47-->
 +
[[Image:KWin_Configure_Buttons.png|thumb|400px|center|Configure Buttons]]
  
Position the window where you want it to open, then right-click on the title-bar, choosing Advanced > Special Window Settings. This will open a settings window, with appropriate entries already made.  All you need to do now is select the Geometry tab and check Position and Size.  OK - you're finished!
+
<!--T:19-->
 +
Take a look at <menuchoice>System Settings -> Application Style -> Window Decorations -> Buttons</menuchoice> tab. The options open to you may depend on your distribution or theme, and it's clear that there is more to come.
  
===Script the window manager from the command line===
 
  
Use the [http://www.kde-apps.org/content/show.php/WMIface?content=40425 WMIface] utility.
+
<!--T:21-->
 +
To simply move things around you work with the specimen titlebar - that is the dark blue bar with a large KDE on it. Drag icons there and you will see them move in the preview window at the bottom of the screen.
  
===Customise the position of titlebar buttons===
+
<!--T:22-->
 +
You may find that you have other icons available to you.  A circle indicates that the button will set that window on all desktops.  Another icon that you may find useful is Shade - a toggle between rolled up (titlebar only visible) and normal view.  These icons are added by dragging from the text description window onto the speciman title bar - just position them as you want to use them.
  
Take a look at systemsettings > Appearance > Windows > Buttons tab - and enable "Use custom titlebar button positions".  The options open to you may depend on your distribution or theme, and it's clear that there is more to come.
+
===If you prefer a Classic, KDE3-style Desktop=== <!--T:23-->
  
Perhaps you would like more space between the Close button and the Minimise/Maximise pair?  So you will want to add a spacer - two if you wish. The way to do it was not intuitive to me. The description on the customise page seems clear enough once you understand it, but it wasn't immediately to me.
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<!--T:48-->
 +
{|
 +
|[[File:Plasma_howto-thumbnail-45.png|link=http://userbase.kde.org/images.userbase/e/ea/Plasma_howto-desktop-traditional-45.gif]]
 +
|-
 +
|align="center"|Change to traditional desktop
 +
|}
  
To simply move things around you work with the speciman titlebar - that is the dark blue bar with a large KDE on itDrag icons there and you will see them move in the preview window at the bottom of the screen.
+
<!--T:24-->
 +
Right-click on your desktop - select <menuchoice>Desktop Settings</menuchoice> (or <menuchoice>Appearance Settings</menuchoice>, in some distros)Change the <menuchoice>Layout:</menuchoice> from <menuchoice>Desktop</menuchoice> to <menuchoice>Folder View</menuchoice>.  The whole desktop is now a folderview, and another right-click on the desktop will allow you to select <menuchoice>FolderView Settings</menuchoice>.  Set the folderview to the directory you want to use as your desktop.
  
You may find that you have other icons available to you.  A circle indicates that the button will set that window on all desktops.  Another icon that you may find useful is Shade - a toggle between rolled up (titlebar only visible) and normal view.  These icons are added by dragging from the text description window onto the speciman title bar - just position them as you want to use them.
+
===Open applications directly into a different desktop=== <!--T:27-->
  
===If you prefer a Classic, KDE3-style Desktop===
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<!--T:28-->
 +
Use commands like
  
Right-click on your desktop - select Desktop Settings (or Appearance Settings, in some distros).  Change the Type: from Desktop to Folder View.  The whole desktop is now a folderview, and another right-click on the desktop will allow you to select FolderView Settings.  Set the folderview to the directory you want to use as your desktop.
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<!--T:29-->
 +
{{Input|1=kstart --desktop 4 kate}}
  
===A video of KWin features===
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</translate><span id="Using with small screens (eg Netbooks)"></span><translate>
  
A demonstration of features is '''[http://blip.tv/file/1649485 here]'''
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==Using with small screens (eg Netbooks)== <!--T:30-->
  
===Open applications directly into a different desktop===
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===Make the window decorations smaller=== <!--T:31-->
Use commands like
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kstart --desktop 4 kate
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<!--T:49-->
 +
[[Image:KWin_Small_Decorations.png|thumb|400px|center|Breeze, Plastik, and Oxygen Styles]]
  
 +
<!--T:32-->
 +
<menuchoice>System Settings -> Application Style -> Window Decorations</menuchoice> tab. Two good options there:
  
==Using with small screens (eg Netbooks)==
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<!--T:50-->
 +
[[Image:KWin_Breeze_Small.png|thumb|300px|center|Configure Breeze Style]]
  
===Make the window decorations smaller===
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<!--T:44-->
 +
* Using the default style (Breeze), select <menuchoice>Configure Decoration</menuchoice> and set <menuchoice>Button size</menuchoice> to <menuchoice>Tiny</menuchoice> or <menuchoice>Small</menuchoice>.
 +
* Using an other style, with smaller windows decorations.
  
systemsettings > Appearance > Windows > Window Decoration tab - select Laptop.
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<!--T:45-->
 +
Both routes will give you slim and functional window titles and borders.
  
===Change the base fonts===
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===Change the base fonts=== <!--T:33-->
  
On many netbooks the screen is very clear, so that reading fonts much smaller than you expect is feasible.  On my Acer Aspire One I find that 8 point is a good base settings.
+
<!--T:34-->
 +
On many netbooks the screen is very clear, so that reading fonts much smaller than you expect is feasible.  On Acer Aspire One I find that 8 point is a good base settings.
  
===Make Firefox use smaller fonts===
+
===Make '''Firefox''' use smaller fonts=== <!--T:35-->
  
Experimentation with about:config did not bring satisfactory results.  Do this instead.  Download and install gtk-chtheme from http://plasmasturm.org/code/gtk-chtheme/.  Using that tool you can either set a specific font size, or better still, tell it to use your KDE settings.  This will work with Firefox as well as any gnome applications that you use.
+
<!--T:36-->
 +
Experimentation with <menuchoice>about:config</menuchoice> did not bring satisfactory results.  Do this instead.  Download and install '''gtk-chtheme''' from [http://plasmasturm.org/code/gtk-chtheme/ this website].  Using that tool you can either set a specific font size, or better still, tell it to use your KDE desktop settings.  This will work with '''Firefox''' as well as any gtk applications that you use.
  
===KMail's Aggregation options take up too much space===
+
===KMail's Aggregation options take up too much space=== <!--T:37-->
  
See '''[http://userbase.kde.org/KMail/FAQs_Hints_and_Tips#Problem:_You_are_using_KMail_under_KDE_4.2_on_a_netbook.2C_and_find_that_the_new_Aggregation_display_leaves_you_little_screen_space this FAQ]''' to change it.
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<!--T:38-->
 +
See [[Special:myLanguage/KMail/FAQs_Hints_and_Tips#Get_more_screen_space_in_KMail|this FAQ]] to change it.
  
===KMail's Folder-List Tooltips hide too many folder names===
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===KMail's Folder-List Tooltips hide too many folder names=== <!--T:39-->
  
See '''[http://userbase.kde.org/KMail/FAQs_Hints_and_Tips#Problem:_You_are_using_KMail_under_KDE_4.2_on_a_netbook.2C_and_find_that_the_tooltips_over_folders_hide_too_many_folder_names this FAQ]''' to change their behaviour
+
<!--T:40-->
 +
See [[Special:myLanguage/KMail/FAQs_Hints_and_Tips#Un-configure_KMail_folder_tool_tips|this FAQ]] to change their behaviour
  
{|
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===Gallery=== <!--T:41-->
|'''Back to [[Applications/Desktop]]'''
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[[Special:myLanguage/KWin/Gallery|The Gallery]] holds many screenshots of past and present desktops and effects.
|}
+
 
 +
=== Troubleshoot Graphics Problems === <!--T:51-->
 +
 
 +
<!--T:52-->
 +
Curing graphics problems depends on knowing the correct drivers for your graphics card.  Learn more about this on the [[Special:myLanguage/Desktop_Effects_Performance|Desktop Effects Performance]] page.
 +
 
 +
=== Defining Window Rules === <!--T:53-->
 +
 
 +
<!--T:42-->
 +
There is a tutorial on defining your own rules for the behaviour of specific windows on the [[Special:myLanguage/KWin Rules|KWin Rules]] pages.
 +
 
 +
<!--T:54-->
 +
[[Category:Desktop]]
 +
</translate>

Latest revision as of 13:08, 2 October 2018

Other languages:
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An empty desktop in KDE 4.5
The reliable and flexible window manager for KDE Plasma Desktops, now with effects!

Feature Overview

  • Stable and reliable
  • Compositing, 3D effects
  • Easy configuration
  • Improved efficiency

KWin (pronounced "kwin" in one word) is the window manager for the KDE Plasma Desktop. It gives you complete control over your windows, making sure they're not in the way but aid you in your task. It paints the window decoration, the bar on top of every window with (configurable) buttons like close, maximize and minimize. It also handles placing of windows and switching between them.

KWin supports compositing, which means using 3D effects for handling your windows. This can make window management smoother, easier, more efficient and more natural. It’s hardware requirements are very modest and pretty much every reasonably modern system since 2002 supports it. There are still some issues with certain hardware, more info about that can be found on techbase

Practical Features

Click with your right mouse button on a window decoration or use System Settings to access the new and easier configuration of KWin. Here you can enable effects to more efficiently manage your windows. You can for example use the Present Windows as the effect for window switching. Instead of showing you icons or very small previews of your applications, it arranges them in a grid so you can quickly choose the right one. Just use the Alt-Tab keysequence and keep the Alt key pressed. You can now use tab to switch through the windows or just activate the right one using the mouse. Hitting Alt-Tab keys quickly will show you the next window in the queue, just like it used to.

If your X server already supports compositing, switching it on is as easy as opening System Settings, opening the Worskpace Appearance and Behaviour module, choosing Desktop Effects and enabling the checkbox Enable desktop effects at startup. More advanced compositing settings (such as Use VSync, Scale method, Compositing type) are available through the Advanced dialog. Customising the behaviour of the KWin effects means opening the All effects tab, and choosing the plugins you want to use. Please note that only a subset of the plugins works with XRender-based compositing. For the full experience, you need to use OpenGL mode.

Employing motion physics, KWin provides your windows with a more natural feel. New desktop effects like the Cube desktop switcher and Magic Lamp minimize animation have been added. Improvements in the existing effects make window management smoother than ever. KWin has seen many performance improvements to enable these effects even on low-end hardware. Elaborate checks have been build in to ensure users with low-end hardware are not presented with an unusable setup. KWin detects the capabilities of the hardware and if needed gracefully scales its effects down. You can take control and disable these checks or change settings like the global animation speed to fine-tune your experience. When your computer is under heavy load, KWin will automatically disable the compositing temporarily to keep things running smoothly. It will notify you if it does so, and you can re-enable compositing by pressing Shift+Alt+F12. Finally, support for multiple screen handling has been improved in KWin using the new Kephal library. You can move maximized windows between Xinerama screens and the addition of external screens is handled correctly.

More information about what was introduced in KDE SC 4.9 can be found at the following link:

Tutorials

You want an application to launch in a specific size and position every time

Size and Position

Sometimes the screen position of an application is vital to your comfort, so use the flexibility of KWin to make sure it's always where you want it.

Position the window where you want it to open, then right-click on the title-bar, choosing Advanced -> Special Window Settings. This will open a settings window, with appropriate entries already made. All you need to do now is select the Size & Position tab and check Position and Size. OK - you are finished!

Script the window manager from the command line

Use the WMIface utility.

Customise the position of titlebar buttons

Configure Buttons

Take a look at System Settings -> Application Style -> Window Decorations -> Buttons tab. The options open to you may depend on your distribution or theme, and it's clear that there is more to come.


To simply move things around you work with the specimen titlebar - that is the dark blue bar with a large KDE on it. Drag icons there and you will see them move in the preview window at the bottom of the screen.

You may find that you have other icons available to you. A circle indicates that the button will set that window on all desktops. Another icon that you may find useful is Shade - a toggle between rolled up (titlebar only visible) and normal view. These icons are added by dragging from the text description window onto the speciman title bar - just position them as you want to use them.

If you prefer a Classic, KDE3-style Desktop

Plasma howto-thumbnail-45.png
Change to traditional desktop

Right-click on your desktop - select Desktop Settings (or Appearance Settings, in some distros). Change the Layout: from Desktop to Folder View. The whole desktop is now a folderview, and another right-click on the desktop will allow you to select FolderView Settings. Set the folderview to the directory you want to use as your desktop.

Open applications directly into a different desktop

Use commands like

kstart --desktop 4 kate

Using with small screens (eg Netbooks)

Make the window decorations smaller

Breeze, Plastik, and Oxygen Styles

System Settings -> Application Style -> Window Decorations tab. Two good options there:

Configure Breeze Style
  • Using the default style (Breeze), select Configure Decoration and set Button size to Tiny or Small.
  • Using an other style, with smaller windows decorations.

Both routes will give you slim and functional window titles and borders.

Change the base fonts

On many netbooks the screen is very clear, so that reading fonts much smaller than you expect is feasible. On Acer Aspire One I find that 8 point is a good base settings.

Make Firefox use smaller fonts

Experimentation with about:config did not bring satisfactory results. Do this instead. Download and install gtk-chtheme from this website. Using that tool you can either set a specific font size, or better still, tell it to use your KDE desktop settings. This will work with Firefox as well as any gtk applications that you use.

KMail's Aggregation options take up too much space

See this FAQ to change it.

KMail's Folder-List Tooltips hide too many folder names

See this FAQ to change their behaviour

Gallery

The Gallery holds many screenshots of past and present desktops and effects.

Troubleshoot Graphics Problems

Curing graphics problems depends on knowing the correct drivers for your graphics card. Learn more about this on the Desktop Effects Performance page.

Defining Window Rules

There is a tutorial on defining your own rules for the behaviour of specific windows on the KWin Rules pages.


This page was last modified on 2 October 2018, at 13:08. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.