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KDE is a desktop environment; the K Desktop Environment to be specific. The K can mean anything you want it to mean, Killer, Kruddy, Krazy, etc. As was explained in WM/DE-01 (add link when moved) desktop environments provide much more functionality than simple window managers.

Rather than convince you why KDE is the DE for you we'll attempt to help you decide for yourself by aiding you in the installation and configuration. What you use it for, and whether you even use it or not, is totally up to you :D




Installing kde via Mandrake's rpms is a simple task.

  • Just open up rpmdrake as root and type in kde in the Search bar and hit the Search button.
    You can then chose which apps you'd like to install individually.
  • To instead install everything at once do the following command as root
    urpmi kdeutils kdeaddons kdemultimedia kdeadmin kdeartwork kdegraphics kdebase kdenetwork kdepim

    urpmi will do its thing and take care of the necessary dependencies

  • If you'd rather take build kde from source (which I recommend) check out this page: http://uhaweb.hartford.edu/obennett/html/d...build-kde3.html


KDE is known for its configurability (and awesome eye candy but we'll get to that later) because they realize that not all users are the same and will probably want to change the default to suit themselves. KControl is the main method of configuring your KDE setup

First thing I usually change are the Icons and Fonts. Crystal's cool and everything but I'm in Nuvola mode for the forseeable future ;-) And as for helvetica... no comment, it might come out wrong.

There is an automated app in the form of the Desktop Settings Wizard which allows you to quickly personalize a new installation of KDE.

To run it press [Alt]+[F2] to get a Run... box, then enter kpersonalizer.


Using the Desktop Settings Wizard is a good way to attempt to get back to normalcy if your settings happen to go haywire while "tweaking" the desktop to your liking.


It's possible to modify your mouse theme from the KDE Control Center.

All you have to do is untar themes into your ~/.icons. I've no idea why this isn't ~/.cursors but I've long since given up trying to make sense of what developers do.

You can also install the cursor_themes package if you have a contrib repository among your urpmi sources. These mouse themes will be available globally (to all users) instead of locally.

To change the cursor theme open up the KDE Control Center and go to Peripherals > Mouse. Choose the Cursor Theme tab and select from a theme.


If you then put your cursor over the section where the cursor previews you will get a live preview of how each cursor behaves, animations included.


You can also configure the current resolution of the desktop or the resolution you want KDE to start up with. These options are present under Peripherals > Display.


Some people may want to change the default browser from konqueror o_0

You can do this by going to Components/KDE Components > File Associations > text > html and adding the browser or moving it to the top of the list. Whichever browser is at the top of the list becomes the default.


Newer versions of KDE have a Component Chooser which makes it easier to change the default browser. It's in KDE Components > Component Chooser



In KDE 3.3.0 the KDE control center has a module for scpecific window settings in Desktop -> Window-Specifc Settings. It's not to look at by default but becomes useful after you've saved window settings there. I'll use KSensors as an example of how to set this up.

My current desktop setup looks like this



If you look to the right you see that the Kasbar (pager thing in top right of the screen) doesn't take up the whole of the screen. I decided to use ksensors to fill up that space but it didn't turn out quite right at first.

pretend image is here...


So then I removed the window border/decorations by doing [Alt]+[F3] -> Advanced -> No Border and resized using [Alt]+[F3] -> Resize. Kasbar doesn't like it's space being invaded so to move the ksensors window in the space under it I used the [Alt]+drag technique to move the window. The end result was this.

pretend image is here...


Now that I have it how I want it's time to save the settings. [Alt]+[F3] -> Advanced -> Special Window Settings.... I chose the Use window class (whole application) option at first.

In the window that pops up I went the Geometry tab and selected the Position and Size options. I selected Apply Initially in the dropdown boxes. Then I hit OK and thought I was finished. I quit KSensors and restarted to check that everything was ok and got this:

pretend image is here...

As you can see it's not quite what I'd expected. I had forgotten about the border settings and the position was a bit off (told you Kasbar didn't like to share). And worse, even though you can't see it the all ksensors windows were in the same position at the same size. Definitely not optimal.


I went back to the Desktop -> Window-Specific Settings in the control center and started modifying things. I went to the Window Extra tab and under Window title: chose Exact Match in the dropdown box. Then I moved on the the Geometry tab. Apply Initially didn't seem to be what I wanted so I chose Remember. Moving right along I went to the Preferences tab and clicked on the No border option and chose Force. Everything seemed in order so I click on OK, Applied the settings in the control center, and restarted ksensors.


It still looked like it did in the previous shot, but now the setting only applied to the sensors window specifically. The Window title: setting in the Window Extra tab was the only one that worked as expected :-(

I went back to the control center and started modifying the window settings again. This time I chose Force for the Position and Size entries in the Geometry Tab. When I went to the Preferences tab I saw that I had forgotten to select the radio button beside the Force option and did so. Hit OK, Apply, restart ksensors again and...

Pretend there's a picture here...


Voila! Exactly what I'd wanted. Awesomeness. It takes a bit of playing around (took me more than 3 times to get this) but it does work.


There endeth the configuration section but stick around a while, there's more yet to come.




Theming in KDE is pretty simple. Want to install an Icon Theme? Download the zip or tarball (tar.bz2 or tar.gz) file that it's provided in and blaaaaaaaaaahhhh...

Styles, themes and KDE specific (and not so specific) backgrounds for KDE can be found at KDE-Look.org. How's that for redundancy?

SuperKaramba/Karamba themes can also be found at at kdelook. It's good stuffs (sic).




This section will be filled in by you, the user :D

Just like the K in KDE, it can be anything you want it to be. Ciao.

Edited by LiquidZoo
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  • 1 month later...

Installing a new Splash screen for KDE


Ok so do you want to change the splash screen for KDE? Well keep on reading on in the next few steps you will be able to install a new theme that fits your need.


1.First up all open up Konqueror,

a.You can open Konquereor my clicking on " Home " on your desktop or on your toolbar ( if you have not removed it )


2.Next you will need to browse into .kde/share/apps. ( Incase you cannot see .kde then you will have to change Konqueror to show hidden files, if so read on. If not then skip the next step )


a.To make Konqueror show hidden files is very simple, on the Konqueror window go to View > and click on ' Show Hidden Files '


b.Now browse to .kde/share/apps


3.Once you are in .kde/share/apps you need to create a folder labeled ksplash


a.To do this right-click > Create New > Folder...


-When it asks you to put in the name for the folder type in ksplash


b.Now click on ksplash to change directory into that folder.


4.Once you are in ksplash, you will need to create 2 more folders one labeled Themes and the other labeled pics


NOTE: when you type in Themes make sure it is a capital T


Follow step 3.a. to create both folders Themes and pics


Now here is the part that might get a little confusing for some of you,


Next you have to download a splash screen from the following websites,




Download them somewhere on your hard drive ( /home/usr, /home/Documents etc... ) remember where you are saving it to!


5.Once you have downloaded the splash screen of your choice and open up Konsole and type in the following,


cd .kde/share/apps/ksplash/Themes/


Once you are in there do the following,


* If it's a tar.gz,


tar -xvzf /path/of/file/where/you/saved/the/splash/screen/to.tar.gz


*If it's a bz2,


tar -xvjf /path/of/file/where/you/saved/the/splash/screen/to.tar.bz2  


The splash screens you have downloaded should be in their own folder inside of .kde/share/apss/ksplash/Themes


Now to apply the splash screen you will need to click on Application Starter > System > Configuration > KDE > LookNFeel > Splash Screen


Once that comes up you should see on the list the name of the splash screen you have installed. Click on the splash screen you want, then click ' Apply ' then click ' OK ' to exit,


If you would like to see what the splash screen looks like in action, click on ' Test ' on the bottom left hand conner.


And that's it! You have now learned how to install a splash screen. When ever you need to install another splash screen, just follow steps from 5. on down.





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