The KDE desktop can be customized according to your preferences and needs. The menu item Control Center in the main menu opens the configuration dialog for your KDE desktop. The following section introduces a number of modules.


This opens the configuration dialogs for the mouse, keyboard, and printer administration.


Keyboard repeat

Keeping a key pressed causes the associated character to be printed repeatedly as long as the key is pressed. The option is activated by default, as it facilitates navigation in documents with the arrow keys.

Key click volume

If you want to hear a sound when a key is clicked, activate this option and adjust the volume with the slider.

Use sticky keys, slow keys, or bounce keys

These options are the same as those listed in Section “Accessibility”, where they are described in detail.

NumLock on KDE startup

Here, determine whether the number pad of your keyboard should be active or inactive when KDE is started.


The mouse configuration comprises three tabs:General, Advanced, and Mouse Navigation.

Configuration options of the General tab:

Button Mapping

Here, specify right-handed or left-handed use of your mouse.


Determine how the system should react to clicks and double-clicks. The default setting for the KDE desktop is a single click for opening files or folders and a mouse pointer that changes its appearance when it is moved over icons. If you want icons to be selected automatically in addition to the single click, activate the respective option and set the delay for this selection. To use the Windows-typical double-click for opening files and folders, select Double-click to open files and folders (select icons on first click). Finally, set the size and color of the pointer and the visual feedback on activation.

Configuration options of the Advanced tab:

Pointer Acceleration and Pointer Threshold

The pointer acceleration defines the relation between the movement speed of the input device (mouse) and the speed of the pointer on the screen. The higher the selected factor is, the more difficult it is to control the screen pointer. The threshold (in pixels) specifies the distance the pointer must cover before the indicated pointer acceleration is activated. In this way, control the mouse pointer easily when covering small distances and cover large distances on the screen with small movements.

Double Click Interval

Here, set the maximum interval between two mouse clicks that should still be interpretted as a double-click.

Drag Start Time and Drag Start Distance

The object selected with a click is moved if you move it by the distance in pixels specified in Drag start distance within the period specified in Drag start time.

Mouse Wheel Scrolls By

If you have a wheel mouse, specify the number of lines the image should scroll per wheel “tooth”.

To be able to navigate the mouse pointer with the arrow keys of the number pad, activate this function under Mouse Navigation and customize the parameters according to your needs.


The printer administration module mainly consists of three parts. The top frame lists all printers available in the network. The center part features a configuration and information zone comprising four tabs. The lower part indicates the current print system type. The following description only covers the configuration part.


The configuration options relevant for your daily work with the system can be accessed under Jobs and Instances. Information and Properties mainly provide information or are used for system administration.

Depending on which printer is currently selected in the overview, you can view and modify status and model information and configuration options in the following four tabs at the center of the dialog window:


This tab provides general and unmodifiable information about the printer, such as the printer type, its status, location, and designation.


The functionality under this tab corresponds to the description of KJobViewer in Section “Monitoring Print Jobs”.


All settings in connection with the printer are available here: general information, drivers, interfaces, separator pages, quotas, and user accesses.


Depending on the document type, you may have diverse requirements for the printouts (page format, duplex printing, orientation, print quality, and banners). Combine the characteristic settings for each type in “instances”. To create a new profile, select New and enter a name for the profile. Click Settings... to open a configuration dialog in which to specify these settings. To save the settings and exit the dialog, clickOK. To define one of your custom profiles as the default for this printer, click Set as Default. Your default profile is used when printing from applications. You can only switch between the individual profiles in the printer administration module.


Under Appearance, you can set the standard font, font size, background colors, and underlining on the desktop. Under Window Behavior, you can configure the behavior of the windows and their activation. For example, you can set the focus to follow the mouse. In this case, you do not need to click a window in order to activate it.

The taskbar is part of the panel and assists you in finding your way around on the desktop. It displays the applications currently started on your system. In this module, determine to what extent started programs and virtual desktops should be displayed in the taskbar and which actions should be associated with mouse clicks in the taskbar.

Under Panels you can set the position and size of the panels and configure their hiding mode. You can also place additional menus in the panel. If the standard number of virtual desktops is not sufficient, you can set up additional virtual desktops under Multiple Desktops and assign them names.

Sound & Multimedia

Here you can perform all settings for the playback of audio CDs and for the sound system. Under System Bell, you can switch from system notification to a system bell and specify the volume, pitch, and duration of the bell.

By default, system notifications are used. Use this module to determine how the system should inform you in the event of a problem, when a task is performed, or if an event requiring your immediate attention occurs.

In the upper part of the dialog, use drop-down menu to select the application for which to configure the system notifications. As soon as you select a program, all events the application can send to the user are listed in the lower window. You can determine the notification type for each notification in the Actions dialog.

The standard view of the system notification dialog only offers the activation of a Play a sound check box for audible notification. Click More Options to access other action modes. You can log the notification to a file, execute a program, or show the message in a pop-up window. In the lower part of the dialog under Quick Controls, you can globally activate or deactivate the said actions for all programs.

Appearance & Themes

This item features all fine tuning options for the appearance of your desktop.

Screen saver

The module for selecting and configuring the screensaver consists of three parts. Select a suitable screensaver from the list to the left. The preview to the right shows how the selected program looks. Use Setup and Test to test the screensaver in the running system and configure it.

Start screen saver automatically

For the screensaver to be activated automatically, select this check box and specify the time (in minutes) after which the screensaver should be activated.

Require password to stop screen saver

The screensaver can block your workstation and require a password for the release.


Use the slider to set the priority of the screensaver in relation to other processes. If you use a graphically complicated screensaver that generates a high processor load, set the priority higher to achieve a smooth display quality. In this case, the priority of other processes is reduced accordingly. However, if you frequently let your machine work while you do other things, you should refrain from running a complex screensaver with a high priority.


Use this module to manage and edit color schemes for your desktop. Select one of the many existing schemes. The preview window displays all desktop elements in the defined colors. To change the color of one or several widgets, select the name of the widget from the drop-down menu under Widget Color and click the color bar below to choose a suitable color in the color editor. Finally, adjust the contrast settings and save the modified scheme under a name of your choice. To apply this scheme globally, activate the check box Apply colors to non-KDE applications.

Window Decorations

Select a decoration style for your application windows from the list under the General tab.Click Apply to test the selected style. To position or move individual elements of the title bar, activate the check box Use custom titlebar button positions and rearrange the elements under theButtons tab. If additional configuration options are available for the selected style, access these under the Configure tab.


Determine a background for your desktop. By default, your modifications are applied to all virtual desktops. To configure the backgrounds separately for the individual virtual desktops, deactivate the Common Background check box. The effect of your configuration can be seen in the preview at the top right of the dialog window.

The background colors can be selected under the Background tab. To modify the color components, click the color bar next to Color 1 or Color 2 to open a color editor. Here, you can change the color settings as desired or use the pipette to adopt a color from any desktop element or a loaded image or web page. Select special gradient effects under Mode.

To use an image as a background for one or several backgrounds, activate Single Wallpaper. Then select the scaling mode or the position of the wallpaper on your desktop and designate a suitable wallpaper with the drop-down menu or the Browse... button. Alternatively, drag and drop image files from your file manager (see Section “Konqueror as a File Manager”) or the desktop to the preview image. For wallpaper variety, activate Multiple Wallpapers and proceed with the further configuration using Setup Multiple....

The Advanced tab features some special settings that usually do not need to modified.


All fonts and font attributes used on the desktop can be configured here. Click Choose... then specify your settings in the dialog that opens. By default, antialiasing is activated for all fonts. To deactivate or customize antialiasing, select the respective check boxes.


Changes to the antialiasing settings are only applied to newly-started programs. Programs already open are not affected by the changes.


Here, select the style for all widgets (elements of the graphical interface) in KDE applications. The configuration contains three tabs. Select the style under Style, using the preview in the lower part of the window. Use Effects to configure various GUI effects and transparency types, if supported by the respective style.

Regional & Accessibility

Country/Region & Language

The settings in this module only apply to KDE applications. Other applications, such as, may need to be configured separately. All regional system settings can be configured under five tabs.


Use the drop-down menu to select the desired country from the list. Settings, such as the language, numbers, currency, time, and date are automatically set to suitable values. A preview of all current regional settings is displayed in the lower part of the dialog. For example, to use the regional settings for the US but use Spanish as the system language, click Add Language to select this language and add it to the list of available system languages. To remove a language, mark it in the list and click Remove Language.


If you want to use different number settings than the default settings associated with the country selected under Locale, you can configure the decimal symbol, thousands separator, positive sign, and negative sign in this dialog. The decimal symbol and the thousands separator for currencies is configured separately under the Money tab. The default setting on a US system is “.” for the decimal symbol, an optional “,” for the thousands separator, no entry for the positive sign, and “-” for the representation of negative numbers.


You can configure all currency-related settings in this dialog in case they should differ from the default settings for the selected system language. For example, on a US system the currency symbol is “$”, the decimal symbol is “.”, thousands are separated with a “,”, and the number of fraction digits is “2”. The position of the currency symbol and the prefix for positive and negative amounts is arranged in such a way that the currency symbol precedes the prefix and the amount.

Time & Date

Here, enter the time format, the date format, the short date format, and the first day of the week. A detailed explanation is displayed if you click the “?” symbol in the title bar then the respective menu item.


This tab features the setting for the default paper format and measurements. On a US system, the default paper format is “US Letter” and the imperial system is used for measurements.

Keyboard Shortcuts

This module comprises two tabs. Use the Shortcut Schemes tab to select an existing layout or create new keyboard layout schemes. The Modifier Keys tab provides an overview of the special keys available on your keyboard.

Your system offers a number of predefined shortcuts for specific tasks arranged in schemes. Use the Shortcut Schemes tab to manage all shortcuts on your system. By default, the following schemes are available on your system:

  • Windows Scheme (With Win Key),

  • Mac Scheme,

  • KDE Default for 3 Modifier Keys,

  • KDE Default for 4 Modifier Keys,

  • Windows Scheme (Without Win Key), and

  • Unix Scheme.

To change the scheme used on your system, select one of the listed schemes from the drop-down menu and adopt it globally (Global Shortcuts, Shortcut Sequences, and Application Shortcuts) or assign shortcuts to individual actions and save them as a custom scheme.

To create a new shortcut for an action or modify an existing shortcut, select the tab for the respective area (e.g., Global Shortcuts) and click the action to assign (e.g., Show Taskmanager). The section Shortcut for Selected Action is then activated in the lower part of the dialog. Three radio buttons offer the basic configuration options none, default, and custom.

Existing schemes are write-protected, allowing restoration of the default values at any time. Save your own modifications by clicking Save... at the top right and entering a name for your custom scheme. The new scheme is then listed in the selection menu.


Under Application Shortcuts, you can only configure standard actions available in all applications. Program-specific shortcuts must be configured in the program itself via Settings -> Configure Shortcuts.


The settings in this module facilitate the access to the system for users with hearing problems or motor disorders. This module contains the Bell and Keyboard tabs.

Audible bell

System bells can be communicated to the user in a visible or in an audible form. The default setting is the audible variant with Use System bell. To configure a specific sound, activate Use customized bell and use Browse... to select a suitable sound from the list.

Visible bell

If you want system bells to be communicated visually to the user, activate Use visible bell. If no other modifications are performed, the screen is inverted when a system bell rings (the radio button Invert screen is activated by default). The duration of the visual bell can be adjusted with the slider. Instead of the inversion, the screen can be set flash. To do this, activate Flash screen and select a suitable color in the color editor by clicking the color bar.

Sticky Keys

Some shortcuts require a key to be held down (this is the case with Alt, Ctrl, and Shift) while the second part of the shortcut is entered. If sticky keys are used, the system considers these keys to be pressed continuously even if they are only pressed once.

Slow Keys

Here, determine if and to what extent the system delays the output of characters on the screen when a key is pressed. The longer the interval adjusted with the slider is, the longer a key can be pressed without triggering a repeated output of the respective character on the screen.

Bounce Keys

If you activate this option, pressing a key twice is only interpreted as two characters if the interval selected with the slider has elapsed. If a key is pressed twice inadvertently, this will be ignored.