Sunday, May 31, 2009


The KDE 4 release is a major reworking of the KDE desktop. Though not officially supported in the 8.04 LTR release, a version of 8.04 with KDE 4 is available, called Kubuntu4. You can download it from or from Check the KDE site for detailed information on KDE 4, including the visual guide:

Every aspect of KDE has been reworked with KDE 4, including a new files manager, desktop, theme, panel, and configuration interface. The KDE window manager supports advanced compositing effects, and Oxygen artwork for user interface theme, icons, and windows.

Device interfaces are managed by Phonon for multimedia devices, and Solid for power, network, and Bluetooth devices. Phonon multimedia framework provides can support different back ends for media playback. Currently it uses the xine back end. With Phonon you can direct media files to specific devices. Solid hardware integration framework integrates ixed and removable devices, as well as network and Bluetooth connections. Solid also connects to your hardware’s power management features. ThreadWeaver makes efficient use of multicore processors.

New applications include the Okular document viewer for numerous document formats with various display features such as zoom, page thumbnails, search, and bookmarks. It allows you to add notes to documents. Gwenview is the KDE image viewer with browsing, display, and slideshow features for your images. Terminal window supports tabbed panels, split views for large output, background transparency, and search dialogs for commands. Large output can be scrolled.

KDE 4 Desktop and File Manager
When you log in to KDE 4, the desktop displays the KickOff application launcher in the bottom panel along with the taskbar manager, desktop pager, and the clock. The icon that appears in the upper-right corner is a mouse-activated area that displays a menu for adding widgets to the panel as well as zooming in and out the desktop area, in effect minimizing it.

The KickOff application launcher replaces the K menu. It organizes menu entries’ tabbed panels that are accessed by icons at the bottom of the KickOff menu: Favorites, Applications, Computer, Recently Used, and Leave. You can add and remove applications on the Favorites panel by right-clicking and selecting Add or Remove To Favorites. The Applications panel shows application categories. Click the Computer icon to open a window with all your fixed and removable storage. The Recently Used panel shows both documents and applications. Click Leave to log out or shut down. KickOff also provides a Search box where you can search for a particular application, instead of working through menus.

The KDE 4 desktop features the Plasma desktop shell with new panel, menu, and widgets, and with a new dashboard function. The dashboard replaces the Show Desktop function. Use the ctrl-f12 key to start the desktop shell. It hides all windows and brings all applets to the front, expanding them to widgets on the desktop area. Click the top-right corner menu to hide the dashboard when you are finished. Krunner is a quick startup window for applications, where you can type in the application name in a pattern and Krunner will provide possible matches (it even works as a calculator). You can also use the alt-f2 key to one the Krunner window.

KWin window manager desktop effects can be enabled on the Desktop tab (System Settings Desktop Desktop Effects). The Advanced Effects tab lists available effects. Desktop Grid shows a grid of all your virtual desktops , letting you see all your virtual desktops at once. Use the ctrl-f8 key to toggle the display for your virtual desktops on or off. You can then move windows and open applications between desktops. You can also drag the virtual desktop applet to the desktop to view an enlarged version of it. The Taskbar Thumbnails effect will display a live thumbnail of window on the taskbar as your mous passes over it, showing information on the widget in an expanded window. Some applications and windows can support transparency, letting you see the open windows behind it. The terminal window supports transparency, allowing you to see the terminal text while showing open windows it overlays. You can enable many other effects as well. Dolphin is KDE 4’s dedicated file manager (Konqueror is used as a Web browser). It is also used in Kubuntu, as discussed previously. On Kubuntu4, Dolphin will display two sidebars, a places sidebar for accessing directories and file systems, and an information sidebar. You can close one or both . With the split view you can open directories in the same window, letting you copy and move items between them. The Places sidebar shows icons for often used folders such as Home, Network, and Trash, as well as removable devices. To add a folder to the sidebar, just drag it there. The information pane displays detailed information about a selected file or folder, and the Folders pane displays a directory tree for the file system. You can display panels by choosing View Panels. The panels are detachable from the file manager window. Dolphin file manager also features integrated desktop search and metadata extraction.

With the KDE configuration panels, you can configure your desktop and system, changing the way it is displayed and the features it supports. The configuration are accessed from the System Settings entry in the Favorites panel of the KDE menu, and appear similar to those used for KDE 3, the Kubuntu edition.

Kubuntu4 uses the same System Settings configuration window as Kubuntu. The System Settings window shows two tabs for General and Advanced. The General tab has sections for Personal, Look & Feel, Computer Administration, and Network & Connectivity.

The Advanced panel has tools for System Administration and Advanced User Settings. Click the icons to display a window with sidebar icons listing configuration panels, with the selected panel shown on the right. The selected panel may have tabs.

Source of Information : McGraw Hill Ubuntu The Complete Reference

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