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This chapter introduces the KDE desktop in Fedora 8. It is easier to explain how to use the desktop throughout this guide after explaining some of the common terminology used with the KDE desktop.

The KDE Desktop

If Fedora 8 was installed from the KDE Live CD, KDE is the default installed desktop. If you installed Fedora 8 from the Fedora DVD image, GNOME is the default and KDE is available as an option. If you wish, you can skip this section and go directly to the Tour of the GNOME Desktop or the Tour of the Xfce Desktop .

File:Docs Drafts DesktopUserGuide KdeDesktop F8KDEDesktop.png

The KDE desktop has two distinct areas. From top to bottom, the areas are:

  • The desktop area
  • The KDE panel

The layout and location of these items can be customized, but the term used for each of them remains the same.

The desktop area is the large space where windows are displayed. The Trash icon is located in the top left corner of this area; users more familiar with Microsoft Windows may equate this to the Recycle Bin.

The KDE Panel is located at the bottom, and spans the entire width of the screen. It features the K menu and application launchers, displays the running applications as buttons, and gives access to the workplace switcher and the clock.

The following sections discuss the KDE desktop area and the KDE panel in further detail.

The KDE Desktop Area

Before any additional icons are added to it, the desktop area is fairly empty and contains only the Trash icon.

Adding icons to the desktop
You can add icons to the desktop for applications or places by finding them under KMenu, right-clicking them and clicking Add Item to Desktop.

Trash - Deleted files move here. Empty the Trash folder by right-clicking the icon and clicking Empty Trash.

Permanently deleting files
To permanently delete a file, and bypass the file's move to Trash, hold down the [Shift] key when deleting the file.

Right-clicking on the desktop presents a menu of actions related to the desktop area. For example, selecting Configure Desktop lets you change the desktop background, configure the desktop behavior, or set a screen saver.

The KDE Panel (Kicker)

File:Docs Drafts DesktopUserGuide KdeDesktop kmenu.png K Menu - This menu contains a variety of entries that start the installed applications, which are ordered by category. It is similar to the Microsoft Windows Start menu. K Menu is divided in to three Groups:

Actions:: This group contains common actions a user might use (such as Logout, Lock Session, Run Command). All Applications:: Here you will find a categorized list of all installed applications. Most Used Applications:: This is a list of the applications you use most. They're placed at the top of the menu for easy access.

Application Start Icons - Next to K Menu are the application start icons for some commonly used software. You can add applications by right-clicking the panel and clicking on "Add Applet to Panel".

There is another way to add launchers to the panel if the application is already listed in the Applications menu: navigate to the application in the Applications menu, right-click on it, and select Add item to main panel.

by Pager Applet - The Pager Applet shows a list of the virtual desktops. You can activate one of these by clicking on it or by using the [Alt] +[Function] key combination. (For example, pressing [Alt] +[F4] will bring you to Virtual Desktop number 4.)

By default, only four Virtual Desktops are shown in Pager Applet. You can change this by right-clicking anywhere on the applet and clicking "Configure Desktops". In the window that appears, move the slider at the top left or right to decrease or increase (respectively) the number of desktops.

Taskbar - Next we come to the Taskbar. The taskbar displays all the running applications. You can bring an application into focus by clicking it's button. If the application already has focus, clicking it will cause it to minimize.

Use the key combination [Alt] +[Tab] to switch between open windows.
Holding down the [Alt] key while you tap the [Tab] key allows you to cycle through all open applications.

Clock - Clicking the clock on the right hand side of this panel provides access to a calender which, when a date is double clicked, opens the Evolution personal information manager. Clicking the current username, which is located next to the clock, presents a list of available users to which you can quickly switch by clicking on them with the left mouse button.

The appearance of the panel can also be customized: right-click on the panel and select Configure Panel.

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