The Desktop

When you first start KDE, your desktop will look something like Figure 3-1.

Figure 3-1. A Typical KDE Desktop

NoteCustomize Your Desktop

You can customize the look of your desktop with preferred colors or pictures, or using themes. To learn more about themes in KDE, visit the KDE website (

Desktop Icons

Your desktop shows icons for the trash can, the control panel, and more. These icons provide shortcuts to their respective devices. You can access any one of these devices by left-clicking once on the applicable icon.

You can drag items to the Autostart folder if you want them to launch automatically when you log in.

TipDiskette Formatting

If you place a floppy diskette in the drive, then select the floppy drive on your desktop, you may receive an error message such as wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/fd0 or other.

Most likely, the diskette you have placed in the drive is not formatted with the ext2 filesystem, the Linux filesystem format. For more information about how to access a diskette that is not formatted for Linux, as well as about the ext2 filesystem, see the section called Using a Diskette in Chapter 13.

When you right-click on the drive icons, you will see several options for working with these drives, such as Delete; Rename; Move to Trash, which will remove the icon from your desktop (you probably will not want to do this); Copy, which allows you to copy the icon to another location; and Open with, which you should probably avoid for now.

NoteMounting a Device

Ordinarily, you can use your drives just by clicking on them. Most devices are now mounted automatically. But occasionally you may get an error message, telling you a device needs to be mounted. When you mount a floppy or CD-ROM, you are making that device's contents available to you. For example, to mount a CD-ROM, type:

mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom

This command tells the system which device (/dev/cdrom) to mount and where to mount it (the /mnt/cdrom directory).

You can drag and drop your unwanted items to the Trash icon. Right-click on the trashcan and select Empty Trash Bin to delete the items from your system.