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Chapter�2.�The Basics

The “desktop is just the name for the layout of the screen when you start KDE. It looks something like this (on your own system, it might look slightly different, but the main features should be the same):

A default desktop layout

Let us look at the most important parts:

  • Most of the screen is taken up by the background . At the moment, there is a picture making up the background. This picture is usually referred to as the “wallpaper, and you can change it to make KDE suit your taste.

  • In the top left-hand corner are two icons: Trash and Home. Clicking on these will open your Trash folder and Home folder, respectively. You can add more icons to the desktop so that you can open your favorite programs, or access removable media, with just one click.

  • At the bottom is the KDE Panel , also known as “ Kicker ”. The Panel contains several useful ways of interacting with KDE. It houses the K menu, from where you can open any KDE application installed on your computer, it shows all the programs that are currently running, as well as the time, and more. Take a look at Chapter�3, The Panel and the Desktop for more information about the KDE Panel.

Logging In and Logging Out

Philip Rodrigues

Basic KDM & startkde stuff.

There are two ways to log into KDE: graphically and via the command line. We'll look at them both briefly:

Logging in Graphically

If you see a screen a little bit like the one below when you start up your computer, then you are all set for logging in graphically. Just enter your username in the Login text box and your password in the Password text box. Your password will not be shown as you type it; it will probably be shown as asterisks. When you have entered that information, click on the Login button, and KDE will start up. The KDE splash screen will appear, and keep you informed about the progress of KDE startup, and when it is done, KDE will be ready to use.

Logging in via the Command Line

If you prefer using the command line, you can log in to KDE with the startx command. Add the line exec startkde to the .xinitrc file in your home folder (create it if it does not exist), save the file, and then run startx . KDE should start in the same way as if you had logged in graphically.

Logging Out

Once you have finished using KDE for the moment, you will want to log out until next time. The easiest way to do this is to click on the K menu at the bottom left of your screen, and then select the Log Out... item. A dialog with the text End session for username will appear. To confirm that you want to log out, click on the End Current Session button. If you change your mind, and decide to carry on using KDE for now, hit Cancel .

Related Information

  • The kdm Handbook has information about using and setting up the KDE graphical login manager. You can read it in KHelpCenter or by entering help:/kdm in Konqueror's Location bar.

  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire