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The KDE[1] desktop environment provides many features and applications. However, it is hardware intensive and may run slowly on a computer with an older processor or a small amount of RAM. Figure 6.2a shows a screenshot of KDE4 running on PC-BSD® 9.1 with the "Applications" menu open.

Figure 6.2a: KDE4 Desktop on a PC-BSD® System

Each category in the "Applications" menu contains many applications and the "Settings" and "System" categories contain many utilities for configuring your system. If you are new to KDE4, take some time to discover which applications best suit your needs. Some of the applications which are provided by KDE4 include:

  • Gwenview[2]: image viewer found in GraphicsImage Viewer.
  • Digikam[3]: photo-management program found in GraphicsPhoto Management Program.
  • Konqueror[4]: file manager, web browser, and SSH client found in InternetWeb Browser.
  • KMPlayer[5]: media player found in MultimediaMedia Player. Plays most MPEG/VOB, AVI, Ogg/OGM, VIVO, ASF/WMA/WMV, QT/MOV/MP4, RealMedia, Matroska, NUT, NuppelVideo, FLI, YUV4MPEG, FILM, RoQ, PVA files, supported by many native, XAnim, and Win32 DLL codecs. You can watch VideoCD, SVCD, DVD, 3ivx, DivX 3/4/5, WMV and even H.264 movies.
  • Okular[6]: document viewer and annotator found in Office - Document Viewer. Supports PDF, OpenOffice, and Postscript files.
  • KOrganizer[7]: organizer utility and reminder daemon found in OfficePersonal Organizer.
  • Dolphin[8]: file manager found in SystemFile Manager. Dolphin provides many features for manipulating files such as comments, tags, search, encryption, and archival (zip/unzip) functions.

By default, desktop effects are disabled, as not all video cards support them. If your video card supports 3D effects and you would like to enable them in KDE, go to System SettingsDesktop EffectsGeneral and check the box "Enable desktop effects at startup".

Some of KDE's games require 3D support. If your video card does not support 3D, these games will fail to start.

You may or may not have installed all of KDE's components during installation. You can view the installed components and check (to add) or uncheck (to delete) various components using Control PanelPackage ManagerDesktopsKDE.

If you have KDE installed and are currently logged into a different window manager, you can still run any KDE application by specifying its name. For example, type konqueror to run the Konqueror web browser or dolphin to access the Dolphin File Manager.

KDE Applications[9] includes descriptions and screenshots of all of KDE's applications as well as links to their handbooks.

kde-look.org[10] contains additional themes and wallpapers.


  1. http://kde.org/
  2. http://docs.kde.org/stable/en/kdegraphics/gwenview/index.html
  3. http://docs.kde.org/development/en/extragear-graphics/digikam/index.html
  4. http://docs.kde.org/stable/en/kde-baseapps/konqueror/index.html/index.html
  5. http://docs.kde.org/development/en/extragear-multimedia/kmplayer/index.html
  6. http://docs.kde.org/stable/en/kdegraphics/okular/index.html
  7. http://docs.kde.org/development/en/kdepim/korganizer/index.html
  8. http://docs.kde.org/stable/en/kde-baseapps/dolphin/index.html
  9. http://www.kde.org/applications/
  10. http://www.kde-look.org/
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