A.3. Using The Desktop

Once you start KDE, your default desktop looks similar to Figure A-2.

Figure A-2. A Typical KDE Desktop

The KDE desktop displays application launchers, document windows, file folders, and so on. You can also access the main menu and 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. The panel taskbar shows your currently running applications.

Icons located on the desktop can be files, folders, device links, or application launchers. Click on an icon to open the associated resource.

The KDE desktop works similarly to other graphical desktop environments. You can drag and drop files and application icons to any location on the desktop. You can also add new icons for all types of applications and resources to the desktop, panel, or file manager. The desktop itself is also highly customizable. You can change the appearance of buttons, window and frame decorations, and backgrounds. Configuration tools are also available which allow you to customize the way the desktop behaves at events such as single- and double-clicking mouse buttons and chording keystrokes to create time-saving shortcuts.

The default KDE desktop displays icons for the trash can, your home directory, the Start Here icon for applications and configuration tools, and a diskette icon. You can access any one of these resources by double-clicking on the associated icon.

When you right-click on these icons, you see several options for working with these resources, such as Delete, Rename, Move to Trash, and Copy.

You can drag and drop unwanted items such as files you no longer need to the Trash icon. Right-click on the trash can and select Empty Trash Bin to delete the items from your system permanently.