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openSUSE 11.1 Reference Guide
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3.1 The Personal Settings

The Personal Settings are the central place for users to change the overall appearance and behavior of many components of the KDE desktop. Start the Personal Settings from the main menu by selecting Favorites > Configure Desktop.

Figure 3-1 Personal Settings

HINT: Starting Individual Modules

You can also start individual modules of the Personal Settings from the shell or by adding a special applet to your panel.

To start modules from a shell, enter kcmshell4 --list to get a list of all modules available. Then enter kcmshell4 module name to start the desired module.

Alternatively, add the Settings applet to your panel according to the description in Section 3.4, Configuring the Panel.

The General and Advanced tabs provide different categories of settings. To get an impression of the numerous possibilities, just click a category icon and explore the possibilities provided there. Performing tasks in some areas of the personal settings requires system administrator (root) permissions.

Change the settings as desired. No changes take effect until you click Apply. To discard changes in the recent view that you have not yet applied, click Reset. To reset all items in the recent view to the default values, click Defaults.

To get back to the start-up view showing all categories again, click Overview. You can also enter a search string at the top of the window (for example, Screen Saver) to find the category which holds options related to the search string. Each character you enter in the Search field narrows down the search.

The following list introduces the major categories and highlights the most important settings you can change there. Detailed information about the settings of each category is provided by the Help button on each page of the settings or in the help center.

The General tab holds the following categories:

Look & Feel

Holds settings for the appearance of your KDE 4 desktop, such as themes, window decorations, and styles of desktop elements. Allows you to configure 3D desktops effects, increase or decrease the number of virtual (multiple) desktops, or to configure screen saver options. Cursor behavior, window behavior and the splash screen that appears on KDE start-up can also be influenced here.


Holds settings for changing the default paths to some important directories for your data: Desktop, Autostart, and Documents. Allows you to change the default applications like e-mail client, text editor, messenger, and Web browser that are called whenever a KDE application needs to start an application of these types. Define country and language-specific options here, such as default spell checking options, currency, number and date format, and keyboard layouts for different languages between which you can switch. This category also offers accessibility options for handicapped users, such as sound and keyboard options and mouse gestures.

Network & Connectivity

Allows you to set options for local network browsing and proxy servers.

Computer Administration

Allows you to configure date and time settings for your KDE desktop, to change size and orientation of your display, and to specify power management options for saving energy. Also holds settings for joysticks, keyboard and mouse. For example, you can view and modify the predefined KDE shortcuts (for example, Alt+Ctrl+L to lock the screen). You can also install personal or systemwide fonts here and configure your sound system.

On the Advanced tab, find the following categories:

Advanced User Settings

Use this category to configure options like encoding or which database to connect for track listings of audio CDs, to configure your digital camera, or to change the settings for KWallet (the KDE password management tool). If needed, change the default file associations to identify a file type and start an appropriate application. Define how KDE handles sessions on login or shutdown and define which applications should be started automatically.


Hold option for the login manager, power management and Samba.

In the following sections, find examples of how to configure some aspects of your KDE desktop that you might want to customize.

openSUSE 11.1 Reference Guide
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