Chapter 3. The KDE Desktop Environment

This chapter provides an overview of KDE fundamentals. Details, such as configuring your desktop, working with the file manager, and using specific KDE tools, will be covered in later chapters.

For the latest documentation on KDE, visit the project's website:

The KDE desktop shows application launchers, document windows, file folders, and so on. You access the main menu from this screen and you can configure the desktop to suit your needs.

The long bar across the bottom of the desktop is the panel. The panel contains application launchers, status indicators, and the desktop manager. You can have up to 16 desktops running at the same time in KDE (for more information on this, see the section called Multiple Desktops). The taskbar appears at the top of the desktop and shows your currently running applications.

Using Your Mouse

TipClick Once on the Mouse in KDE

You start applications and open folders by clicking just once on the associated icon.

TipMaking a Two-Button Mouse Emulate a Three-Button Mouse

A three-button mouse offers the greatest ease of access to menus and navigation in KDE. If you have a two-button mouse and you selected three-button emulation during the installation of Red Hat Linux, simply hold down both the left and right mouse buttons at the same time to emulate the middle button of a mouse.

You can switch desktops with the mouse by placing the cursor in the desktop and pressing the middle button of your mouse. Select the desktop you want from the pop-up menu that appears.

Use the right mouse button to reveal a brief menu of desktop related actions.

Right-clicking on a folder or application reveals a menu related to actions you can take with your selection, such as moving the item to the Trash, revising the item's properties, and more.