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01 July 2010

PC-BSD --- The KDE4 Desktop Apps and Use (for Dummies)

The true strength of this environment(KDE) lies in the large suite of applications and interoperability of its components


PC-BSD version 8.0 uses the KDE4 (KDE version 4) desktop environment by default.
In Windows, the desktop is part of the operating system. This means that you can customize your desktop, but you can’t install a different desktop. In open source, the desktop is separate from the operating system, meaning you can choose which desktop environment to install and use. PC-BSD pre-installs the KDE desktop for you—finally we’ll show you how to change desktop environments if you decide that you would like to try another desktop.
Like PC-BSD, KDE is a free software project with its own large user community. The goal of KDE is to provide a desktop that includes commonly used applications that can be run on computers running Linux, BSD, Windows, or Mac OSX.
    This project wishes to make its software available to anyone, including the disabled and those who speak a language other than English.

Default Desktop Components
When you first log into your PC-BSD system, and before you start any of your own customizations, your desktop will look similar to the Figure. The KDE desktop has several components:
  • the plasma panel
  • the plasma workspace, and the 
  • plasma dashboard

Plasma Panel (Taskbar)
Along the length of the bottom of your desktop is a gray taskbar, which is known as the KDE4 plasma panel, but which is commonly referred to as the taskbar.
    The default plasma panel on a PC-BSD system contains several icons.  If you hover your mouse over any icon in the taskbar, you will see some information about the application that icon represents. You can click on any icon to open its associated application, or right-click the icon to receive a menu of options.
    Working from left to right, the default taskbar contains the following icons:

Kickoff: In most versions of KDE, this is a white letter K on a blue background. On PC-BSD systems, the PC-BSD logo (which looks like a flame) is used instead. Kickoff is the KDE application launcher. 

Show the Desktop: If you have several windows open, you can click this button to quickly minimize all windows. Click the icon again to return the windows to the desktop.

Show the Plasma Dashboard: Enabling the dashboard hides all windows and puts the widgets in front of them on desktop. I cover it later. 

Device Notifier: This icon will notify you when a new device or media, such as a USB thumb drive or DVD, is inserted. 

Pager: This icon looks like four squares, where each square represents a virtual desktop. Think of a virtual desktop as an area where you can group the applications you have opened in a way that makes sense to you. For example, you could use one virtual desktop for gaming and another virtual desktop as your productivity area for doing work. Simply click on the squares to switch between virtual desktops. 

Digital Clock: Click on the clock to access the multi-year calendar and click again to close the calendar. If you right-click the clock and select Digital Clock Settings, you can configure its appearance or change the time zone.

System Tray: This area of the panel is to the left of the digital clock and appears
to be in its own rectangle. It is preceded by an arrow, which lets you expand the
system tray to see all of its icons. By default, the system tray contains the
following icons:
  • KMixer: If you click on the speaker icon, you’ll see a slider, which you can use to adjust sound volume. You can also hover over the icon and adjust the
    volume with the scroll wheel of your mouse. If you click on the Mixer button
    below the slider, you’ll be presented with more sliders to fine-tune your sound settings. If you have problems with sound in an application, open Mixer ➤ Settings ➤ Configure Channels and check all the Show/Hide boxes. Uncheck the Mute boxes and adjust the sliders to see if that fixes the lack of sound.
  • Klipper: This clipboard tool keeps a history of your copy operations so you
    can paste into other applications.
  • PC-BSD Update Manager: This utility is found only on PC-BSD systems and is used to keep your operating system and installed applications up-to-date.
  • KOrganizer: This is KDE’s calendar and reminder utility. KOrganizer supports many other features, including integration with KDE’s personal information management or PIM program (Kontact), journaling, and blogging. To learn more about KOrganizer, click on its icon, then press F1 to access the   KOrganizer Handbook(To access any application’s Help or Handbook, press F1 from within that application’s window).
  • Notifications: Click this icon to receive a list of currently running or recently completed jobs, such as file downloads. Two icons appear after the system tray: 
  • Trash: Click this icon to see which deleted files have been saved to the trash
  • Plasma: This icon looks like a color palette. It is used to configure widgets, and to add additional panels.

Plasma Workspace
The area above the plasma panel is known as the plasma workspace. This is the area that users typically associate with their desktop wallpaper. By default, the PC-BSD workspace contains four useful icons:
  • PC-BSD Official Website: This icon is a handy way to access the PC-BSD forums, online documentation, and other resources available from the PC-BSD website.
  • Ports Console: This icon allows you to install FreeBSD ports and packages.
  • Software Manager: This utility allows you to easily install software and is unique to PC-BSD. Individual applications that can be installed using the PC- BSD’s Software Manager are known as PBIs.
  • Users Handbook: Click this link to read the online PC-BSD Users Handbook. As you read through Part 2 of this book, you’ll find that the plasma workspace is very customizable.

Plasma Dashboard
This component is invisible until you either click the Show the Plasma Dashboard icon in the taskbar or press Ctrl+F12. If you have any applications, they, along with the taskbar, will disappear from view and your screen will look empty. Don’t panic. You can either click anywhere within the plasma workspace or press Ctrl+F12 again to return to your previous view.
If you don’t see the menu in the upper right-hand corner, click on the plasma icon (the one that looks like a color palette).
The Dashboard can be used to add widgets or change folder view settings. While these settings can be configured elsewhere, using the Dashboard provides an uncluttered workspace for making your changes.

Customizing the Plasma Panel
Now that we know what the default desktop looks like, it is time to customize!

Removing Icons
To remove an icon, simply right-click it and select Remove this Icon from the pop-up menu. It will instantly be removed from the panel.
To remove an icon from the system tray, right-click it and select Quit. A pop-up message will ask if you want to start the application the next time you login. If you select Start, it will disappear now and reappear the next time you login. If you click Do Not Start, it will stay out of the system tray. If you click Cancel, it will cancel the quit operation and remain in the system tray.

Adding Icons
Kickoff can be used to add application icons to the plasma panel. Doing so allows you to quickly access your favorite applications. Simply click on the icon in the taskbar to start the application. If you know the name of the application you would like to add, type its name into Kickoff. In this example, we’ll add the
Yahtzee game.
  1. Click on Kickoff and begin to type the word yahtzee into the Search box. Once Yahtzee appears in the menu, 
  2. right-click its entry in the menu and select Add to Panel. An icon will be added to your taskbar; click on the icon to start playing Yahtzee.
Note that the pop-up menu provides two other options to quickly access the selected application.
    If you select Add to Favorites, Yahtzee will be added to a Favorites menu in Kickoff
    If you select Add to Desktop, an icon will be added to your plasma workspace. This is similar to creating a desktop shortcut in Windows.
    If you wish, you can add an application in all three places since you are not limited to just one choice.
    If you don’t know the name of the application you would like to add but know what type of application you want to use, try using Kickoff’s search feature. Hovering over find items shows their description.
Your search results may vary, depending upon which software you installed during or after the installation of PC-BSD.
If you still can’t find a suitable application, click on Applications within Kickoff and browse through the various categories to see if any of the applications look interesting.

Changing Icon Graphic
To change an icon’s graphic, right-click the icon and select either Icon Settings or Properties from the pop-up menu.
    On the General tab, you’ll see a picture of the icon in the upper left-hand corner. Click on the picture to access the Icon Source screen ---The default is to show the icons for Applications---.
    Click on Applications to access the menu to select a different type of icon. If you have a set of icons that you have downloaded from elsewhere, click the Other icons button to browse to the location where you saved your icons.

Adding Widgets
A KDE widget, also known as a plasmoid, is a small program that has only one purpose. There are widgets that show the time, monitor a laptop’s battery status, or show the current temperature. There are several ways to add widgets in KDE:
  •  Press Ctrl+F12 to access the Dashboard. This will add the widget to the plasma workspace.
  •  Right-click the plasma workspace and select +Add Widgets from the pop-up menu. This will add the widget to the plasma workspace.
  •  Click or right-click the plasma icon in the upper right corner of your screen and select +Add Widgets from the pop-up menu. This will add the widget to the plasma workspace.
  • Click the plasma icon in the plasma panel and select +Add Widgets from the menu. This will add the widget to the taskbar.
Widgets can be unlocked (the default) or locked. If widgets are locked, you will see Unlock Widgets instead of Add Widgets.
    Once you click on Unlock Widgets, you can then add a widget using any of the above methods.
    In this example, we’ll add a widget to the taskbar. Figure shows the Add Widgets screen with All Widgets selected to show additional choices. Note that you can browse through all widgets or select a category of widgets to browse. You can also see which widgets are currently running.
    If you highlight a widget and click Add Widget, its icon will be added to the plasma panel. You can then click on the icon in the panel to access the associated application.
    Most widgets have their own configuration settings. Right-click a widget’s icon to access its pop-up menu. If you decide that you no longer want the widget in your panel, select the Remove option in its right-click menu.

Installing New Widgets
Is possible to Install New Widgets. If you click on Install New widgets button, you can choose to Download New Plasma Widgets or Install Widget from Local File. If you click on the Download option, you’ll see an installer menu. This menu allows you to sort widgets by Latest, Most Downloads, or Highest Rated. You can also enter a search phrase.
    If you prefer, you can use your web browser to search through the hundreds of widgets (plasmoids) available from If you find a plasmoid you like, download it and use the Install Widget from Local File menu option to browse to the location where you saved the widget.
Browsing through can become addictive and time consuming! It contains thousands of free plasmoids, themes, wallpapers and other eye-candy for your KDE desktop.

More Panel Settings
You may have noticed when you clicked on the plasma icon to add a widget that there were several other settings. Moving from left to right then bottom to top, these settings allow you to do the following:
  • Screen Edge: Move the position and size of the taskbar. Click on Screen Edge and continue to hold down as you drag your mouse to a corner of your screen. If you don’t like the new position of the taskbar, drag it to a different corner until you find a position you like. You can also use the three slider arrows in the bar between the taskbar and the settings to adjust the length of the taskbar.
  • Height: Adjust the height of the task bar. Click on Height and continue to hold down with your mouse as you increase or decrease the height of the taskbar. Increasing the height will also increase the size of any icons, making the taskbar easier to read. Adjust until you find a height that works for you.
  • +Add Widgets: Add single-use applications as described in the previous section.
  • Add Spacer: Separate areas of the taskbar. For example, you could separate your graphics utilities from your web browsers. Click on Add Spacer and a box with two gray lines will appear next to the plasma icon. Click on the box and four arrows will appear. Drag the box to the area of the task bar where you’d like the space to appear, then click elsewhere to let go of the box. The box will bereplaced by a space on the taskbar. If you don’t like its position, you can right-click the space to Remove it and try again.

  • Lock Widgets: Prevent taskbar icons from being added or removed. The plasma icon will also disappear, meaning panel settings cannot be modified.
    Simply right-click any icon and select Unlock Widgets when you need to make changes to the taskbar.
If you click on More Settings, you’ll find the following:
  • Remove this Panel: If you select this option, you will be asked if you really want to remove this panel. If you do, you can add another panel by right-clicking the plasma icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen and selecting +Add Panel. However, the new panel will be empty and you’ll have to re-add all of your icons and widgets. 
  • Maximize Panel: If after adjusting your task bar it no longer extends to the edge of your screen, clicking this option will extend it for you. 
  • Visibility: Select one of four choices: Windows go below, Windows can cover, Auto-hide, or Always visible. The currently selected option will be highlighted with a gray bar. If you select Auto-hide, the taskbar will disappear until you hover the mouse near its location. If you select Always visible, the section of an open window that is dragged near the panel will disappear.
  • Panel Alignment: Select one of three choices: Right, Center, or Left. Changing a setting change
If you accidently remove the original panel, you’ll find several of the original icons in the +Add Widgets screen. Kickoff is listed as Application Launcher and the virtual desktop pager is listed as Pager.
You can configure a window to override the panel’s Always visible setting by right-clicking the window’s title bar ➤ Advanced ➤ Keep Above Others. This setting will also keep that window above other open windows.

Folder Views
In KDE, a folder view provides convenient access to the contents of the  directories that you use most often. A folder view can appear as a movable area that sits on top of your workspace; it is transparent, meaning you can still see your wallpaper and other icons underneath the folder view.

Adding a Folder View
In KDE, folder views are widgets. To add a new folder view to your desktop, right-click the plasma workspace ➤ +Add Widgets ➤ Folder View ➤ Add Widget ➤ Close. By default, a folder view of your home directory will be created. If you wish the folder to display the contents of a different directory, follow the instructions in the section on "Configuring Folder Views".

Adding a Folder View to the Panel
You can also add a folder view to the plasma panel by clicking on the taskbar’s plasma icon ➤ +Add Widgets ➤ Folder View ➤ Add Widget ➤ Close. Again, the default folder view location will be your home directory. An icon of a blue folder will be added to your taskbar. To see the contents of the folder view, click on the icon. Figure shows the contents of the Home folder view from both the plasma workspace and the plasma panel.

Configuring Folder Views
If you hover your mouse anywhere in a plasma workspace folder view, a toolbar appears on the folder view’s right edge.
If the toolbar does not appear, widgets are locked. Unlock widgets to access the toolbar.
This toolbar contains four icons. Moving from the top down, these icons allow you to do the following:

  • Resize: This icon is a square with arrows. Move your mouse while holding down on this square until the folder view is the desired size. 
  • Rotate: This icon looks like a circular arrow. Move your mouse while holding down on this icon and the folder view will rotate in either direction. 
  • Configure: This icon looks like a wrench. Click on the icon to open the Folder View Settings. You can change the directory the folder view represents by selecting another directory in the Show a place drop-down menu or you can Specify a folder by using the browse for directory icon. 
  • Remove: The letter X will immediately remove the folder view without asking you first. Don’t worry—it is easy to create another folder view if you do this by mistake!

    Adding Contents to a Folder View
    To add an application to a folder view, highlight the application in Kickoff and use your mouse to drag it to the folder view. A pop-up menu will ask if you want to copy the application, link a shortcut, or cancel the operation.
        If you have created multiple folder views, you can drag and drop any type of icon between folder views. Highlight the icon and drag it with your mouse to the other folder view. A pop-up menu will ask if you want to move, copy, link, or cancel the operation.

    More Folder View Settings
    Regardless of whether the folder view is on your workspace or panel, if you right-click the folder view you will access a menu of further options. These allow you to do the following:

    Create New:
    • Folder: Note that this is a subdirectory of the folder view, not another folder view.
    • Text file: After giving the file a name, double-click on the new file’s icon to add text to the file. 
    • HTML file: After giving the file a name, right-click the new file’s icon to Open with Kwrite, if you want to edit HTML tags manually. Alternately, if you have an html editor, select Open With from the right-click menu and select the editor from your installed applications. If you double-click the icon, it will open the HTML file in your web browser.
    • Link to Location (URL): type in the URL and give the link a useful name. Whenever you wish to go to that website, simply double-click the link icon.
    • Link to Application: In the General tab, select an icon and give the link a useful name. Then click on the Application tab and use the browse button to find the application you wish to create a shortcut to. Once the link is created, you can start that application from your folder by double-clicking on its icon. This is similar to making a shortcut in Windows.
    • Link to Device: This allows you to create a shortcut to the following devices: CD-ROM, CDWRITER, camera, DVD-ROM, floppy, hard drive, another file system (listed as MO Device in the right-click menu), a remote directory on another open source operating system (NFS), and ZIP device.
    Undo: This option allows you to undo your last operation. Note that Ctrl+z appears next to this menu item. In KDE, keyboard shortcuts are listed next to their function in a menu. In other words, you can also press Ctrl+z to undo your last copy operation.

    Paste: Ctrl+v will also paste your last copy/cut operation from the clipboard into the currently selected file. If you press Ctrl+v multiple times, it will re-paste the text each time.

    Icons: This option does not appear in the menu if the folder view is in the taskbar. If the folder view is on the plasma workspace, it allows you to:
    • Sort Icons: By name, size, type, or date. If you uncheck Folders First, subdirectories will be sorted with the other files; otherwise, they will be listed before files.
    • Align to Grid: If this option is unchecked, you can drag your icons anywhere and they may become cluttered over time. Checking this box will keep the icons neatly aligned. 
    • Lock in Place: If this option is checked, the icon will always bounce back to its original position, even if you try to move it.
    Refresh View: This option can be used to refresh the folder view if you make a
    change that doesn’t immediately show in the view (e.g., add files to a subdirectory or edit a file).

    Open with Dolphin: Dolphin is KDE’s explorer utility, similar to Windows
    Explorer or Gnome Nautilus.

    Folder View Settings: This is another way of accessing the settings available
    from the wrench icon of the folder toolbar.

    Remove this Folder View: This option immediately removes the folder view.

    Folder View or Panel Options: These allow you to do the following.
    •  +Add Widgets: Another way to add a widget.
    •  +Add Panel: Another way to add a panel.
    •  Run Command: Only available if the folder view is on the plasma    workspace. It starts KRunner(the "Run command…" dialog).
    •  Lock Widgets: Prevents changes to widgets and panels until Unlock Widgets is selected in Desktop Options.
    •  Lock Screen: Only available if the folder view is on the plasma workspace. It prevents access to the desktop unless you unlock the screen using your   password. This is handy if you need to leave your desktop when other users  are around.
    •  Leave: Only available if the folder view is on the plasma workspace. Logout of your desktop session.
    •  Folder View Settings: Only available if the folder view is on the plasma workspace. It allows you to set the desktop’s appearance.
    •  Panel Settings: Only available if the folder view is on the plasma panel.
    •  Remove this Panel: Only available if the folder view is on the plasma panel.

    Configuring Windows
    Every application you start in KDE opens in its own window. The top of the window is known as the title bar and will contain the name of the application. If you grab the title bar with your mouse, you can drag the window to any location in your workspace.
    You can also use a folder view’s title bar to move the folder view.
    If you double-click the title bar, the window will maximize, or take up your entire screen. If you double-click the title bar again, it will return to its original size.
        If you hover near a corner of the window, a double arrow will appear. You can then use your mouse to resize the window to the desired size.
        By default, a window’s title bar lists the name of the application as its title. To the left of the title is the On all desktops button; to the right of the title are the minimize, maximize/restore, and close buttons. Those buttons represent the following functions:
    • On all desktops: Allows you to access the window from any virtual desktop. The default is to only show the window on the current virtual desktop.
    • Minimize: Minimizes the window to the taskbar. Click on the minimized
      window to return it to your workspace.
    • Maximize/Restore: Makes the window fullscreen or restores a maximized
      window to its original size.
    • Close: Terminates the application. If the application has any unsaved changes, such as an editor, it should prompt you to save your changes

    Advanced Window Options
    You can access many window settings by right-clicking a window’s title bar. The settings found by right-clicking a window’s title bar allow you to do the following:
    • To Desktop: Check which virtual desktops you would like the window to appear in. 
    • Move: Allows you to easily move the window with the mouse. Click the window when you are finished to stop the move.
    • Resize: Allows you to change the size of the window with the mouse. Click when you are finished to stop the resizing. 
    • Minimize/Maximize: Provides the same function as the minimize/maximize icons in the title bar.
    • Shade: Hides the window and just shows the title bar. Right-click the title bar and uncheck shade to see the window again.
    Advanced: This option includes the following settings.
    •  Keep Above Others: The window will stay above other windows. This can be handy when you are working in one window and need to view information from another window. You may have to resize or move your windows since the other windows will stay below this window. If you set two windows to this setting, click on the window you want to see and it will become the top window; click on the other window for it to jump to the top.
    •  Keep Below Others: This window will always stay below other windows, meaning you may have to move or resize it to see its contents.
    •  Fullscreen: In fullscreen mode, the window’s title bar, all other windows, and the panel disappear. A dialog message will remind you to press Alt+F3 to access the menu settings so you can toggle off fullscreen mode.
    •  No Border: This mode removes the title bar. Use Alt+F3 to access the title bar again.
    • Window Shortcut: This allows you to create a shortcut for launching the window. If there is currently no shortcut, the shortcut dialog will say None. Click on the word None and it will change to the word Input. Type in your shortcut (e.g., Alt+d) and the word Input will change to your shortcut. If you don’t like that shortcut, click it again and the word will change back to Input so you can try again. Be aware that window shortcuts are only for the lifetime of the window. When you close the window, the shortcut disappears. 
    • Special Window/Application Settings: These settings are discussed in the next section.
    The remaining settings after Advanced include:
    Configure Window Behavior: These settings are detailed in a following section.

    Close: Provides the same function as the X in the title bar.

    Special Window Settings
    Figure shows the menu and informational message you receive when you select a window’s Advanced ➤ Special Window Settings or Special Application Settings after right-clicking the window’s title bar.
         You’ll find that there are dozens of settings you can apply that affect only the window or application that you are configuring. If a setting looks interesting, check its box. This will activate its Do Not Affect drop-down menu of options.
    Most options deal with when to apply the change and if the change should be temporary or permanent. Some settings, such as Position and Desktop, will activate a third column where you can either type in a value or select from a list of options.
    If you change a setting, press OK to see if you like the change. If not, simply go back into Special Window Settings and try again. There are many reasons, besides curiosity, for wanting to change a window’s special settings. As an example, have you ever opened a window and wished that it had opened in a different location in your workspace or opened at a different size? Special Window Settings allow you to specify exactly where and at what size that window will open, either now or permanently.

    Configuring Window Behavior
    I discuss the configurations available for each option listed in the left frame of this menu.

    Desktop Effects
    KDE supports many effects that can transform your computer from merely useful to cool. Effects include animating a window when it is opened, minimized, maximized, or closed.  
    Unlike Special Window Settings, effects apply to all windows, not just the window that  opened the Configure Window Behavior menu.  
    This video contains a tour of some of the most popular desktop effects. By default, effects are turned on, and if your video card supports it, compositing will be enabled. If so, spend some time in the All Effects tab to see which effects appeal to you. To try out an effect, check its box. Each effect includes:
    • a wrench icon, which lets you change its configuration or return it to its default configuration
    • an informational icon, which provides a brief description of the effect and contact information for the person who created the effect.
    Note Some video cards do not support desktop effects. If compositing is disabled and Resume Compositing fails, or if you receive an error message when you press Apply to try out an effect, you’ll need to do some homework to see if your video card can be configured to work with desktop effects.

    If you know the name of the effect you would like to enable, type its name into the search bar on the All Effects tab to quickly find that effect. Some popular desktop effects include
    • Present Windows: Provides an overview of your open windows. Once you haveenabled this effect, you can arrange all of your open windows side-by-side bypressing the top-left corner of the workspace with your mouse or by pressingCtrl+F9. Ctrl+F10 will show the windows from all virtual desktops. 
    • Desktop Cube Animation: Each virtual desktop is a side of a cube that can be rotated to select and switch to a virtual desktop. 
    • Desktop Grid: Displays all of your virtual desktops or workspaces in a grid so you can easily drag windows between virtual desktops or select a virtual
      desktop. Once this effect is activated, Ctrl+F8 shows the grid. The desktop grid also supports animations.
    • Taskbar Thumbnails: Enables live previews of minimized windows when you move the mouse over an entry in the taskbar.
    • Translucency: Allows you to see the contents of a window even if another window is covering it. This effect supports several configuration settings, such as making drop-down menus translucent.
    There are many ways to add animation to window events such as minimizing, closing, or moving. Try Explosion, Wobbly Windows, Fall Apart, and Magic Lamp.

    This section allows you to configure the look and feel of window titles. It contains two tabs:
    Window Decoration: The appearance of a window’s title bar is controlled by a theme. The default theme is Nitrogen. If you click on this word, you’ll see a list of other themes. If you select a theme, the bottom of the screen will show you a preview of what the title bar will look like. If you then click Apply, you’ll notice that all of the title bars in any open windows will change to the new theme. Depending upon the theme, there will be several settings that you can change. These include the window title border size, where in the title the window’s name appears, and whether you want stripes on either side of the window title.

    Buttons: This tab allows you to customize the positions of the window title buttons. You can drag and drop to change the order of the buttons and press Apply to try out the new button positions.

    This section contains two tabs:
    Titlebar Actions: This tab allows you to configure what happens when you
    double-click the title bar (the default is to maximize the window) or roll the
    mouse wheel over the title. You can also configure your mouse buttons to raise
    or lower active and inactive windows.

    Window Actions: This tab allows you to configure how you bring an inactive
    window into focus with your mouse buttons. You can also configure a modifier
    key, such as Alt or Ctrl, to work with your mouse buttons to configure an action
    such as raise or resize the window.
    While you can have many windows open on your workspace, only one window is considered active or “in focus,” meaning it will accept input. When you click on an inactive window, it comes into focus and becomes the active window. Watch the title bar of your windows—depending upon your theme, the title bar of the active window will look slightly different from the inactive windows.

    This section allows you to configure a delay when you activate a window and provides some controls for window switching on multiple virtual desktops.

    This section provides the following options for when you move a window:
    •  Display content in moving windows.
    •  Display content in resizing windows.
    •  Display window geometry when moving or resizing.
    •  Allow moving and resizing of maximized windows.
    It also allows you to set the size of the snap zone.

    This section allows you to do the following:
    Enable hover: When you shade a window (by choosing that option after right-
    clicking the title bar) the window disappears and you only see the title bar until
    you un-shade it. If you enable hover before shading a window, the window will
    reappear if you hover your mouse near the title bar.

    Placement: Indicates where a window will be placed when it is started. The
    default Smart option will try to start the window in a section of the workspace
    not occupied by another window.

    This section allows you to access the configurations set in the Special Windows Settings, which were discussed earlier. You can modify or delete the current configurations or add a new configuration.

    Configuring Themes and Wallpapers
    If you right-click your workspace and select Folder View Settings, you will see a menu similar to Figure. The Appearance portion of this menu allows you to set the following:
    Desktop Type: The default type is Folder View, meaning that your desktop will look like a traditional desktop, with the contents of your Desktop directory showing as icons on your workspace. If you change to Desktop view, the icons will disappear. This setting will affect all of your virtual desktops.

    Theme: Several themes are already installed for you. You can select a different
    theme from the drop-down menu.
        Desktop themes affect the look of panels and olders and provide a preview of their look. If you click on the New Theme button, it will open a window where you can browse and search through plasma themes at

    Wallpaper Type: KDE4 supports different types of wallpapers. Each option will
    show you a preview of the current selection. The configuration options that appear depend upon the type of wallpaper you select:
    •  Color: When selected, click on the Color bar that appears to select the color. To create a custom color, click on a colored area in the left-hand square and it will show up in the little square next to its HTML value. If you like that color, click on Add to Custom Colors. You can also click on the eyedropper icon, then click on a color from another window, and save that selection as a custom color.
    • Virus: When selected, it will let you browse for an image and set an update interval and maximum number of viruses. Once you Apply, the wallpaper  will change to your picture and the viruses will slowly eat it over time. 
    • Mandelbrot: Allows you to select three colors and the mandelbrot quality. 
    • Weather: This type of wallpaper gives you a view of the local weather anywhere in the US, UK, and Canada. Select the provider, type in a city, and click Search to receive a list of matching cities. Once you apply, your desktop should change to a picture representing the current weather conditions. If it doesn’t, try another city. 
    • Pattern: Allows you to select from several patterns and to customize the foreground and background colors. 
    • Image: Allows you to browse for an image, and choose its position and a border color. Note that the border only shows in certain positions.
    • Slideshow: Lets you select a directory of images and configure how often the images change. 
    • Globe: Lets you choose from several map themes, the type and quality of map, and the type of rotation.
    Several of the wallpaper types provide a Get New Wallpapers button to allow you to browse through’s wallpapers. If you install a wallpaper, it will be added to the drop-down selection menu for that type of wallpaper.

    Switching Desktop Environments
    As you have seen throughout this chapter, KDE is a highly customizable desktop environment with many features. While KDE is the default PC-BSD desktop, it is not the only desktop that was installed for you. There are several reasons for switching desktop environments:
    •  KDE is resource-intensive and may run too slowly on older computer hardware.
    •  Some users don’t like all of the bells and whistles provided by KDE and prefer a simpler desktop.
    •  Some users are curious or want to switch desktops “just because they can.”
    You will need to logout in order to switch your desktop. Click Kickoff ➤ Leave ➤ Logout. Once your session has ended you’ll see a Welcome to pcbsd login box in the center of your screen. Before typing in your username and password, click on the button with three horizontal lines in the lower-left corner of the login box. A session type pop-up menu will show you which desktop environments are available to log into. I discuss what happens when you select Fluxbox and TWM from this menu.

    Fluxbox is a light-weight desktop that is well suited to older hardware or users who prefer a desktop with less eye-candy than KDE.
    1. Select Fluxbox from the session type menu, 
    2. then input your username and password to login. 
    3. Right-clicking the workspace produced the application launcher menu.
    The fluxbox taskbar contains fewer icons than the KDE taskbar, but it still provides access to Kmixer, Klipper, and the PC-BSD system updater tool. Most of the applications available from a KDE session should also work in fluxbox, though you will have to manually start them from the command line if they are not listed in the application menu.
    If you need to switch your keyboard layout in fluxbox to support your alphabet, see here

    If you’d like to try a desktop with absolutely no bells and whistles, select TWM from the session type menu.
    Unless you select another option in the session type menu when you login, PC-BSD will automatically start your last desktop environment.
    When you first start TWM, all you will see is your wallpaper.
    1. Click on the desktop and hold down your mouse to see the green rectangular application launcher menu.
    2. If you drag your mouse down to Xterm, it will start a command prompt for you, but it expects you to drag the new window to the desired location. In other words, you’ll see what looks like a grid, which will only turn into the white command window after you drag it to a location.
    As you can see from the limited choices in the application launcher menu, TWM is designed for the person who likes to type commands.

    Switching to GNOME
    Open source is known for providing many choices. Some users prefer the GNOME (pronounced gi-nome) desktop environment. GNOME provides many of the same features as KDE, but uses a different layout. Like KDE, GNOME is an open source project with a large community of users. Many Linux desktops use GNOME instead of KDE.
        While PC-BSD doesn’t install GNOME for you, it is easy to install and try out GNOME on your PC-BSD computer.
        To install GNOME, make sure you are connected to the Internet. Click on the Software Manager icon on the Desktop or open Software Manager from Kickoff ➤ Applications ➤ System. Once you input the administrative password, a Software Browser tab will show the software that is available for install. Type the word gnome into the Search bar, and you should receive search results.
    Note that the size of this PBI is large; like KDE, GNOME is a very feature-rich desktop.
    Click the download icon, then OK to the pop-up message that asks if you want to install GNOME.
        The status of your download will show in the Installed Software tab. When the download is complete, the installation of the GNOME PBI will start. Click Next through each of the installation screens to complete the install. Due to its size, it will take several minutes for the installation to complete.
        Then the informational message you receive after GNOME is finished installing, indicating that you need to logout of your KDE session to start using GNOME.
        To logout of your session, click Kickoff ➤ Leave ➤ Logout. When the login menu appears, click the button in the lower-left corner (it has three lines running through it), then select Gnome from the drop-down menu. Once GNOME is selected, input your username and password to login to a GNOME desktop. Your desktop may vary if you have customized your KDE desktop since GNOME will show any desktop icons that you created in KDE.
        GNOME provides two taskbar panels, one at the bottom and one at the top of the screen. The application launcher is located next to the GNOME foot in the upper left-hand corner. Like KDE, GNOME provides its own set of applications, meaning the Application menu will differ significantly from Kickoff’s application menu.
    To customize the GNOME desktop. We recommend that interested readers refer to the GNOME User Guide.

    Other Desktop Managers
    There are literally hundreds of open source desktop managers. provides a list of the more popular desktops, including their descriptions and screenshots.
    As of this writing, PC-BSD provides PBIs for the
    The x11-wm category of the FreeBSD ports collection provides nearly 150 desktops.
    While you can install and run other desktop environments on your PC-BSD system, PC-BSD is optimized for KDE4. Most other desktops will not provide icons for PC-BSD specific graphical utilities, meaning you will have to access these utilities from the command line. Installing an alternate desktop from the FreeBSD ports collection is an exercise best left to power users or users who are experimenting on a test computer or within a virtual environment.

    Dolphin File Manager
    How do you get an overview of all of the files and directories on your system? KDE4 provides a comprehensive file manager, known as Dolphin. To access Dolphin, click the Kickoff icon and select File Manager from the Favorites menu.
    Remember, you can also add Dolphin to your desktop or taskbar by right-clicking the word Dolphin in Kickoff and selecting Add to Desktop or Add to Panel from the pop-up menu.
    Note the red - next to the sometext.some_extension file, indicating that it is the currently selected file whose contents are displayed in the Information panel.
        Directories in Dolphin are represented by the folder icon. If you use your mouse to hover over an icon, the Information panel will display its contents and give you some information about the selected file or folder. If you double-click an icon, you will either see its contents (if it is a folder) or launch an application capable of opening the file. Use the back and forward buttons to navigate  between a selected folder and its contents.
       Right-clicking an icon will open a pop-up menu with several options. The available options vary depending upon whether the icon represents a directory or file, and by type of file. Many of the options are intuitive so we will discuss only the ones you may not be familiar with. Here are options for directories:
    • Open in New Tab: Tabs provide a useful view to focus on a folder’s contents and allow you to view several files or folders at once. You can open as many tabs as you wish. To close a tab, click on its orange X.
    • Add to Places: This will add the directory to the Places panel on the left,allowing easy access to that directory. For example, you may find it useful to add your Downloads or Music folder if you access these directories often.

    • Open with: Allows you to view the contents of a directory or open a file with the specified application. If the application you would like to use is not in the list, select Other and browse for the application.
    The following actions are also available:
    • Subversion: Subversion allows you to keep up-to-date with a “repository” of files on another system.
    • Archive/Sign/Encrypt/Decrypt: Later i show you how to setup encryption keys so you can protect the contents of a folder. You can also perform these actions on individual files.
    • Open Terminal Here: Will open Konsole so you can type into a command prompt.
    • Start a Slideshow: Allows you to view the contents of a folder as a slideshow. Press Esc to end the slideshow and return to your original screen.
    You should experiment with the Icons, Details, Columns, Preview, and Split buttons to see which view you prefer. For example, split view makes it easy to drag and drop contents between folders.
    The second column will be empty in Column view until you double-click an icon in the first column. You can use your mouse in Details view to change the width of the Name, Size, and Date columns. Right-click that area to select from a menu of possible details you can view.

    Dolphin Menu Options
    Dolphin provides additional options through the menus below the title bar. Most of these options are intuitive so we will highlight some useful features:

    • File ➤ Properties ➤ General will show you how much free space is left on your hard drive.
    • Tools ➤ Find File allows you to search using a variety of factors, such as a file’s name, contents, date, size, or owner.
    •  Tools ➤ Show Filter Bar allows you to type in text so you can just view the icons matching that text.
    •  Tools ➤ Compare Files allows you to see if there are differences between two files or the contents of two folders. Use Split view to highlight the icons to compare or hold down the Ctrl key to select two icons.
    •  Help ➤ Dolphin Handbook (or F1 while in Dolphin) will show you how to get the most out of Dolphin.
    • View ➤ Navigation Bar ➤ Editable Location opens a location bar where you can type in the name of the folder/file you would like to view(or double click ).

    Dolphin Places
    Places allow you to quickly access the data locations you use most frequently(like bookmarks). You can right-click any folder and select Add to Places. Once a folder is added to Places, it is also added to the Kickoff ➤Computer menu, allowing you to quickly access its contents.
        The default Places include Home, Network, Root, and Trash. These are discussed below.

    By default, Dolphin will present you with the contents of your home folder. When you create your own files or folders, you should save them somewhere within your home folder. This makes it easier to find and backup your own data. It also prevents you from inadvertently modifying or deleting important files needed by the operating system. To create a new file or folder, simply right-click any empty area within the Home view and select Create New from the pop-up menu.

    If there are other computers in your home or work network, this portion of Places allows you to browse the resources being shared by those computers. Figure shows a screenshot of Network Places.
        If you double-click the Network icon, you will see the computers in your network.
        If you double-click the Samba Shares icon, you’ll see the network’s workgroup; you can browse the workgroup to see which network shares are available.
        If you hover over each icon in Network Places and read the text at the bottom of your screen, you’ll see that each shortcut is actually a link to one of these three KIO slave protocols:
    In KDE, a KIO slave controls one of nearly 50 supported protocols, with each protocol providing access to a type of resource. For example, the network KIO slaves seen in Network Places provide quick access to resources on different types of networks(i.e WebDAV)
    Another way to take advantage of KIO slaves in Dolphin is to check View ➤ Navigation Bar ➤ Editable Location. You can then type in a protocol name to access the associated resource.
        Commonly used KIO slave protocols are listed in Table 4-1. It is worth spending some time typing each into Dolphin’s navigation bar to see which protocols are useful to you. Don’t forget to include the :/ after the name; for example, with an audio CD in your drive, type audiocd:/ to view the contents of the CD (don’t just type audiocd).
        All of the protocols listed in Table 4-1 also work if you type them into KDE’s web browser, Konqueror.
    Once you have accessed a resource using a KIO slave protocol in Dolphin, if you find it handy, right-click on an empty space in its view and select Add to Places to create a shortcut to the resource.

    Adding a Network Folder
    The Add Network Folder in Network Places allows you to create your own network folders. If you double-click this icon, you will launch the Network Folder Wizard.
        Select the type of network folder you would like to create and click Next. You will then be prompted for further information (such as the address of the server you would like to connect to).
    This is similar to mapping a network drive in Windows, but you are able to connect to a wider variety of network services.

    In Dolphin, Root Places refers to the root filesystem(or beginning, of the operating system’s file system), not to the administrative user’s home directory (the administrative user is also known as root). In other words, it allows you to see all of your system’s parent folders.
         Most of the folders are system folders, meaning their contents are needed by the operating system. You should leave these folders as-is unless you are an administrator and understand the changes you are making.
        If you have used Linux before, you probably recognize some of the folder names. However, the contents of the folders may be different from what you are used to on your Linux system.  
    man:/hier will explain the contents of all of the folders except PCBSD and Programs, which are unique to the PC-BSD operating system. 

    You probably recognize the concept of a trash or recycle bin. By default, any files you delete using Dolphin will be placed in Trash and stay there until you empty it.
        If you click on Trash, you can view your recently deleted files. Right-click a file to either Restore it or permanently Delete it.
        Any file you delete from the command line does NOT go into Trash, meaning it is instantly deleted.
        You can also access Trash Places by double-clicking the Trashcan icon in your taskbar. If you right-click the Trashcan icon in the taskbar, you can quickly and permanently delete all of the files in Trash.
        See the configuration menu you receive when you select Trashcan Settings from the Trashcan icon’s right-click menu.

    Konqueror is KDE’s built-in web browser; it can be accessed from Kickoff ➤ Web Browser. Konqueror is much more than just a web browser and has features that allow you to quickly access and manipulate files.
    The first time you open Konqueror, you will see a screen similar to Figure.
    • The top portion of Konqueror looks like a web browser as it provides a toolbar of icons, a location bar where you can type in an Internet URL, and a search bar. 
    • The middle section provides links to quickly access your Home folder, trashcan, network folders, and your web bookmarks. In other words, anything you can do in Dolphin, you can also do in Konqueror. If this is your first time using Konqueror (or if you only have used Konqueror for web browsing), take a few minutes and click on the link entitled Next: An Introduction to Konqueror.
    • You can also access your files using Konqueror’s location bar. Try typing file:/ . If you pause slightly after the slash, all of the folders on your system will appear in the scroll-down menu. You can either select one, or keep typing. The more you type, the more Konqueror narrows down the folder and file names that match the path you have typed. 
    • Once you have selected or typed the path to the desired file, Konqueror will display it for you using a plugin for an application that understands the file format. For example, if you select a text file, Konqueror will display the text and allow you to modify the text. Konqueror will add a Save and Save As icon to the toolbar so you can save your changes to the file. If you select a graphic, Konqueror will add Zoom icons to the toolbar to assist you in viewing the image. Konqueror has been designed to display many types of files and to modify the icons in the toolbar so that they make sense for the type of file being displayed. 
    • For some file formats, such as Office documents or PDF files, Konqueror will open the file in an external program.
    If you explore Konqueror’s menus, you’ll find all kinds of intriguing options that deal with files and web browsing. Here are a few examples to get you started:
    •  If a website gives an error stating that your browser is unsupported, try setting Tools ➤ Change Browser Identification to a different value.
    •  If you have a bunch of tabs open that you aren’t finished with, but you need to shutdown your system, click File ➤ Sessions ➤ Save As and give your session a name. You can reopen that session later as it will be added to your File ➤ Sessions menu.
    •  To translate a webpage, select the to and from languages from Tools ➤ Translate Web Page.
    •  To see your file system while you browse the Internet, select Settings ➤ Show Navigation Panel. You can then drag a download link from the web browser panel to a location in the Navigation Panel. Selecting Copy
    • You can also view two websites simultaneously using the Split View options from the Window menu. Click on one of the panes to use the location bar.
    We have barely scratched the surface of all of the cool things you can do in Konqueror. Spend some time poking about—you may find that you can access anything you want on your PC-BSD system from this one utility!

    KRunner is a handy way to start applications(Press Alt-F2 to launch KRunner). Figure shows the KRunner interface. While it looks quite simple, KRunner has some pretty nifty built-in features.
        If you know the name of the application you would like to start, type its name into the dialog box. If you’re not sure of the name of the application, start typing a search term and KRunner will present you with a list of applications that match.
        The down arrow to the right of the type-in box can be used to scroll through recently launched programs.
        KRunner isn’t limited to just finding and launching applications. You can also use it as:
    • a Calculator: Type in your equation using * for multiplication, / for division, + for addition, and – for subtraction. Put the = sign before the equation and don’t use any spaces.
    • Unit converter: Need to convert miles to kilometers? Try typing “100 miles in km.” Typing “100 euros in ca” will convert euros to Canadian dollars. KRunner supports several types of unit conversions. Try typing the unit that you know and KRunner will respond with a list of what it is able to convert to.
    • Web shortcut: If you type gg:bsd, KRunner will open a tab in your default browser and display Google’s (gg:) results for the search term “bsd.” If you prefer to instead see the Wikipedia entry for the term bsd, type wp:bsd. You can view other existing web shortcuts and create your own in Konqueror ➤ Settings ➤ Configure Konqueror ➤ Web Shortcuts. To create a new web shortcut, click on New. Figure 4-13 shows the values you would input to map
      “fp:” to Freshport’s search utility. Note that the Search URI always ends in \{@} as this tells Konqueror to add the search phrase you type after the
      shortcut. After pressing OK, the new shortcut will show up in the Web Shortcuts menu. Don’t forget to check its box and press Apply in order to start using the shortcut in KRunner.
          If you check the Enable Web shortcuts box, web shortcuts will also work within Konqueror. Otherwise, they will only work with KRunner.
    KRunner supports other operations using a plugins system. You can configure which plugins are available by clicking on the wrench button on the far left of KRunner. Figure shows some of the available plugins. If one sounds interesting, click its informational button (to the right of the plugin name) to receive a short description of the plugin.
        Click on the User Interface tab if you would like to preview an alternate KRunner interface.
        The button next to KRunner’s configure button that looks like a square with a squiggly line in the middle is the Show System Activity button. Clicking this button will show a screen shown in figure —your screen will differ depending upon which applications you have running on your system.
        If your system is running slowly, you can use this utility to determine if an application is slowing things down. Check out the CPU% column. Things are normal if the number is quite low. If the number is very high, that application is slowing your system down.
    You can also type ksysguard into KRunner. This will open up a similar window, but will add a System Load column(similar to Gnome's System Monitor ), as seen in Figure.

    Launching Applications with Kickoff
    Kickoff, the right flame icon in the far left corner of your taskbar, provides another way to view and launch your applications.
    In addition to the Kickoff application that was pre-installed in the taskbar panel, there are two Application Launcher widgets (Kickoff style and traditional style) and a QuickLaunch widget. Any of these can be added to a panel or your plasma workspace. The Quicklaunch widget allows you to quickly launch the applications contained in your Favorites.
    If you type in a search phrase, Kickoff will display any applications that match by name or description. The bottom of Kickoff contains five icons:

    • If you right-click an item in Kickoff, you have the option of adding itto your Favorites menu. 
    • If you right-click an item in Favorites, you can add it to your Desktop or Panel or remove it from Favorites.
    Applications: This utility sorts your installed applications into categories. If you click on a category, the menu will slide in the direction of the arrow; use the arrows to browse back and forth between a category and its list of applications.

    Computer: Provides quick access to System Settings, KRunner, and Dolphin’s

    Recently Used: Provides quick access to recently used applications and documents.

    Leave: Provides quick access to logout, lock, switch user, restart, and shutdown

    If you right-click the Kickoff icon, you will access a menu of the following choices:

    Menu Editor: Allows you to customize Kickoff’s categories and which applications appear in which categories.

    Switch to Classic Menu Style: Allows you to view and launch applications
    using the previous KDE style(the Classic Menu). The top five applications (without arrows) represent the past five applications used on this system.

    Application Launcher Settings: These allow you to change the Kickoff icon, switch tabs on hover, show applications by name, and set a keyboard shortcut to launch Kickoff.

    Remove this Application Launcher: If you do so, you can re-add the Application Launcher widget at a later time.
        If you ever lose the PC-BSD flame icon and want to reapply it to Kickoff, use Application Launcher Settings ➤Select Icon ➤ Other icons ➤ Browse ➤ /usr/share/skel/.fluxbox/icons/pcbsd.png.

    Menu Editor
    KDE provides the ability to modify the categories and applications that appear in Kickoff. Menu Editor, the utility provided for this purpose. Right-click the Kickoff icon to open the Menu Editor.
        Each of the categories found in Kickoff’s Application panel will appear in Menu Editor’s left frame.
        Click on the arrow next to a category to see its list of applications. If you highlight an application, the right frame will activate, allowing you to modify its settings.

    The General tab allows you to configure the following items:

    Name & Description: These are searched whenever you type a search phrase in Kickoff, so it can be useful to use descriptions that make sense to you. For example, if you have difficulty remembering the name of the software used to burn CDs, make sure its description contains “burn” so you can search for that term.

    Icon Source: Click on the graphic to change the application’s icon.

    Comment: Only shows in Menu Editor. This can be useful if you have multiple
    versions of an application.

    Command: Power users can add switches to modify a program’s behavior.

    Enable launch feedback: If checked, you’ll see a little bouncy icon while the
    application is starting.

    Place in system tray:
    This will place an icon for the application in the system
    tray when you open the application.

    Only show in KDE: If checked, the application will show in KDE application
    launchers but not in other desktop environments, such as GNOME.

    The Advanced tab allows power users to configure these items:
    Work path: The location where the application starts.

    Run in terminal: Check this box if you are adding a command line application.

    Run as a different user: Check this box and type in “root” if the application needs to start as the super user.

    Current shortcut key: Allows you to set or change the shortcut key to launch
    the application.

    While in Menu Editor, you can cut, copy, paste, or delete any category or application.
        You can also add a new item, submenu, or separator through the menus, icons, or by right-clicking. This allows you to customize Kickoff to meet your needs.

    Performing Common Tasks

    Now i show you how to perform various computing tasks such as encrypting or compressing files, importing your data from another system, accessing data on removable drives, configuring a printer, and sharing your desktop.

    Which Built-In Application Do I Use?
    If you’ve used only Windows operating systems, it can take some time to get used to the idea of having literally thousands of applications at your fingertips, all at no cost to you.
        For any given task, a choice of applications is usually available to suit the needs of any type of user. Some applications are barebones with command-line programs that get the job done, whereas others are feature-rich with a snazzy
    looking interface. Several other choices range between barebones and feature-rich.
        You might find that the applications you are used to using and paying for are missing on PC-BSD. This doesn’t mean that you can’t use those applications on PC-BSD because you might still be able to use them. There is also a good possibility that an equivalent program is already installed or available for PC-BSD. In fact, there are probably several equivalent programs available, some of which might even contain features not provided by your original program. This is part of the open source experience —discovering the world of software choices and possibilities available to you.
        PC-BSD installs many useful applications for you. Many start with the letter K, meaning that they come with the KDE desktop. These applications can be launched from Kickoff or KRunner.
    If you use KDE on another operating system, it might include the applications mentioned here, depending upon which KDE components are installed with that operating system.
    Many of these applications are intuitive to use. If one sounds interesting, start it and poke about its menus. Don’t forget that each application should have its own handbook that is accessible if you click F1 in the application or go to its Help menu. The application’s handbook is a good reference for learning more about how to use the features provided by the program.

    Importing Data
    How to get your existing data into the new application. Many applications have made it easy for Windows users to migrate their existing data. Table 5-1 lists some common data sources and websites that contain instructions about how to import that data into the listed application. Note that the data sources listed in this table are in formats that need to be imported into the new application, meaning that you can’t just copy the files over to your PC-BSD system.
        For data that doesn’t need to be imported, several utilities make it easy to drag and drop existing files and directories from your old system to your PC-BSD system. If the existing data is on a network share, you can use Split View in Konqueror(The user can now i.e. click on the Network Folders link in the left frame, and then click the Samba Shares ---i assume that the network share is already configured for you--- icon to browse for the files to copy over the network. The user simply drags the file to copy from one pane to the other).
        If the existing data is on a system running SSH, use sftp:// in one of Konqueror’s panes to connect to the other system. You can then drag and drop between panes(Before the connection is completed, a pop-up message prompts for the password of the user).
    SSH is a secure method for transferring files. It is often seen on open-source systems and is what system administrators use most often to transfer files.
    If you have backed up your existing data to an external USB drive, simply plug it into your PC-BSD system. It automatically displays in Dolphin’s places. I.e the user can open Dolphin and click View ➤ Split. She highlighted the left pane and clicked Home, and then she highlighted the right pane and clicked Volume (ufs). She can now drag and drop files between her computer and the USB hard drive.
        When finished using the USB drive, don’t forget to right-click the USB media and select Unmount Volume (ufs) from the menu before physically unplugging the device. This is the safe way to eject the device and to let your PC-BSD system know that you are finished using the USB drive.

    Web Browser
    Flash and Java are some of the features users expect to see in their web browsers.

    Flash and Java
    Your PC-BSD system comes with Java and the latest version of Flash (as of February 2010, version 10) pre-installed and preconfigured for you. Multimedia websites such as Youtube,,, and should work in Konqueror and the Firefox PBI.

    MS TrueType Fonts
    Your PC-BSD system comes with many pre-installed fonts. If you wish, you can also use Software Manager to install the PBI for MS TrueType Fonts, which adds the following fonts to your system:
    •  Andale Mono
    •  Arial Black
    •  Arial (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
    •  Comic Sans MS (Bold
    •  Courier New (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
    •  Georgia (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
    •  Impact
    •  Times New Roman (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
    •  Trebuchet (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
    •  Verdana (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
    •  Webdings

    This section shows you how to encrypt/decrypt and compress/uncompress your files, and how to access the contents of the clipboard.

    File Encryption
    When you encrypt and decrypt files, you use something known as a public/private key pair. As the name suggests, the public key is made available to others, the private key must be kept secret and available only to yourself, and the two keys are related as a pair.
        Before you can encrypt or decrypt files, you have to generate a public/private key pair. The next section shows you how to do this using KDE’s Gpg Assistant. If you already have a key pair, you can skip ahead to the “Encrypting/Decrypting” section.

    Creating a Key Pair for Encryption
    KGpg Assistant can be used to generate your key pair. You can access this application using Kickoff ➤ Applications ➤ Utilities ➤ Encryption Tool.
        The Assistant starts with some informational messages as it goes through the process of creating a key pair for you. You can accept the default locations for the GnuPG binary and configuration file and leave the boxes checked to generate the new key and start KGpg automatically at KDE startup.
        The assistant then opens a tip message and the Key Generation - KGpg menu seen. You can complete this configuration screen as follows.
    • Name: Input your first and last name so others know to whom the key belongs.
    • Email: Input the email address you would like to associate with the key.
    • Comment (optional): This field is optional and can help remind you why you use the key.
    • Expiration: By default, your key never expires. You can select days, weeks, months, or years from the drop-down menu, and then type in the desired value.
    • Key size: The larger the key size, the harder it is to bypass the encryption provided by the key. You should select the largest key size available.
    • Algorithm: Unless you have a reason to change this to RSA, you can use the default.
    • Expert Mode: Power users can use this button to generate keys at the command line.
    The KGpg Handbook contains information about each of the menus contained in the KGpg program. You can access it by pressing F1 in the program or by selecting Help ➤ KGpg Handbook.
    • After you enter the values and click OK, a screen displays where you should type in your passphrase. It is important that you choose a passphrase that you can easily remember, but that is difficult for others to guess. The passphrase is needed to decrypt your files; if you lose it, you can’t access the contents of your encrypted data. If someone else guesses it, he can access your encrypted data.You input your passphrase two times,.
    The fingerprint is unique to the key and can be used to determine that you are using the correct key.
        If you send your public key to others, they can use the fingerprint to verify that the key is correct. You should either save or print the revocation certificate. If you forget your passphrase or if your private key is compromised or lost, the revocation certificate is used to notify others that they should no longer use
    that public key.
        A revoked public key can still be used to verify signatures made by you in the past, but it cannot be used to encrypt future messages to you. It does not affect your ability to decrypt existing messages, assuming you remember your passphrase.
        After you click OK, the new key pair displays in the Key Management screen. You’re now ready to encrypt and decrypt your files.

    Now that you have a key pair, let’s go back to Dolphin. Right-click the file you would like to encrypt and select Actions. There are two Encrypt File actions;
    1. the first uses the KGpg utility, and 
    2. the second uses the Kleopatra application. We demonstrate both utilities.
    To encrypt with KGpg, select the first Encrypt File option. KGpg presents the menu. Click the Options button to see the possible encryption options.

    Before highlighting your key and clicking OK, review the options.
    • ASCII armored encryption: This does not encrypt the file; instead, it adds an encrypted “envelope” that protects the file from getting mangled by email programs. If you choose this option, the file will end with an .asc extension.
    • Allow encryption with untrusted keys: This option is not needed for encrypting your own files in Dolphin. If you are using KGpg to encrypt an email message, you need to use the recipient’s public key to encrypt the message so he can use his private key to decrypt it. This means that you have to first import the recipient’s public key into KGpg; at that time, you will have the option to indicate whether or not you trust the key.
    • Hide user id: This option is useful only when using KGpg to encrypt email. It removes the recipient information; if the wrong recipient receives the email, he won’t know the name of the key to use to decrypt the message.
    • Symmetrical encryption: This is the option that actually encrypts the message. It prompts you to enter your passphrase twice.
    Because your intent is to encrypt the file, select the Symmetrical encryption option. It is up to you to keep the ASCII armored encryption option selected or deselect it. If you’re planning on emailing the file, it is good to keep this option. If you uncheck this option, the encrypted file will end with a .gpg extension instead of an .asc extension. The resulting file will be placed in the same directory and have the same name as the original file with the new extension added.

    If you select the second Encrypt File action, the file is encrypted with Kleopatra (Certificate Manager and Unified Crypto GUI) instead. When Kleopatra first starts, it displays a self-test screen; if you don’t want to see this screen, uncheck the Run these tests at startup box. Click the Continue button.

    Kleopatra offers the following options.
    • Sign and encrypt: This option encrypts the file and proves that it came from you (was signed by you). This is useful when emailing a file.
    • Encrypt only: This option is similar to the Symmetrical encryption option in KGpg.
    • Sign only: This option does not encrypt the file, but proves it came from you; again, this is useful when emailing a file.
    • ASCII armor: This option is similar to the ASCII armored encryption option in KGpg.
    • Remove unencrypted original: Because this option removes the original file, don’t forget your passphrase because you will need it to access the contents of the decrypted file.
    After you select your option(s), click Next. The next menu prompts you to highlight the file you plan to encrypt. After you do this, you click Next.
        The Recipients menu might seem strange if you are not sending the file to anyone (for example, you are only encrypting a file on your hard disk). Think of it this way: you want to be able to access the contents of the encrypted file, so you are its recipient. Click the Add Recipient button and highlight the recipient’s key (that is, your key) in the Certificate Selection menu. Click OK, and then click Next.
        You can click OK after Kleopatra indicates that your encryption was successful. You should now have a file with the same name as the original and a .gpg or .asc extension. If you highlight the encrypted file, Dolphin indicates that it is PGP/MIME-encrypted and won’t allow you to preview it in the Information panel.
        If you right-click the encrypted file and click the Actions menu, you can choose one of the following options.
    • Decrypt/Verify File: This action prompts you for a folder to save the decrypted file. After choosing the location, click the Decrypt/Verify button. You are prompted to enter your passphrase because you can’t decrypt without it.
    • View file decrypted: This option is for text files only. Choose this option if you want to view the file without saving a decrypted copy. It again prompts you for your passphrase. After you enter it, the file opens in an application capable of viewing its contents. If you make changes to the file, you have the option of saving your changes and re-encrypting the file.
    Kleopatra puts a red and white icon in your system tray. Double-click this icon to see the main Kleopatra window.

    Exporting Your Public Key
    If you sign files or send encrypted emails, you need to export your public key so it is available to the recipients of the signed files and emails. You can export your public key using KGpg. Highlight your key in the Key Management screen and click the Export Key icon.
        if you “lose” KGpg, click the arrow to expand your system tray. It is the icon that looks like a yellow lock.
        If you select the Email option and click OK, your default email program (KMail, unless you change the default) opens, and the public key is pasted into the body of the email. Simply type in the recipient’s address and a subject before sending the email.
        If you want your public key to be available to many recipients, select a Key server from the dropdown menu and let everyone know which server you use. If recipients go to the URL of the server and search for the name associated with the key, they can download your key.
    Remind recipients to contact you to verify the fingerprint so you both know that they have the correct key.
    You can also save your public key to a file and give that file to recipients as they need a copy of your public key.
    After your friend has a copy of your public key, she will need to import it into her key management software before using your key to verify/decrypt the files and emails you send.

    Compressing Files
    You have probably downloaded or created .zip files. These are examples of compressed files—files that have been reduced in size (compressed) either to conserve disk space or to reduce download time.
        Compression utilities are built in to your PC-BSD system, making it easy to work with compressed files.

    Using Ark
    Ark is KDE’s archiving application. You can launch Ark from Kickoff ➤ Applications ➤ Utilities ➤ Archiving Tool.
    Think of an archive as a container holding one or more compressed files. When you compress a file, directory, or a number of files, you create an archive.
    This menu prompts you to indicate where you want to store the archive, the name of the archive you are creating, and the type of compression to use for the files to be stored in the archive.
        If you share or send the compressed files to a user on a Windows system, you can create zip archives.
        If you and the person you share the archive with are familiar with the other file formats, you can select another compression method.
        You add files to compress and store inside the archive with the Add File or Add Folder icons.
        As you add a file or directory, Ark automatically compresses it in the archive. Ark displays the contents of the archive in a tree view (any directories between the selected folder and the root of the filesystem are unnamed—you can click through these to expand to the view you want to use). If you highlight a file and click Preview, you can view the uncompressed version of the file or list the compressed directory’s contents.
        Use the Extract button to browse to the location where you would like to save an uncompressed version of the highlighted file or directory.
        If you download or someone sends you a compressed archive, use the Open button to browse to its path. You can then preview and extract the contents of the archive. Table 5-2 summarizes the compression formats that Ark supports.

    Using Dolphin
    If you right-click a file or directory in Dolphin, the following options for Compress are available.
    • As ZIP Archive: This option creates a compressed .zip file with the same name as the highlighted selection in the same directory.
    • As RAR Archive: This option creates a compressed .rar file with the same name as the highlighted selection in the same directory.
    • As ZIP/TAR Archive: This option creates a compressed tar.gz with the same name as the highlighted selection in the same directory.
    • Compress To: This option opens an Ark menu where you can browse to thelocation to save the archive and select which compression method to use in the Filter drop-down menu.
    If you right-click an existing archive in Dolphin, the following options are available.
    • Open with Ark: Allows you to preview the contents of and extract the archive.
    • Extract Archive To: This option takes you directly to the Extract screen in Ark where you can select the directory to which you want to uncompress the contents of the archive.
    • Extract Archive Here: This option extracts the archive contained in the underlying directory structure. For example, an archive named would be extracted to a folder called Home. That folder would contain dru ➤ Documents ➤ mystuff.doc.

    Using the Clipboard
    By default, KDE’s clipboard tool Klipper is placed in your system tray and looks like a small black box on a larger box. If you ever remove it from the tray, you can start it from Kickoff ➤ Applications ➤ Utilities ➤Clipboard Tool.
        Klipper keeps a history of your copy and cut operations. If you click or right-click Klipper, you can see your last seven clipboard items and the following actions:
    • Enable Clipboard Actions: This option enables actions that allow you to associate an expression with an action.
    • Clear Clipboard History: Occasionally, Klipper becomes confused if you have performed several recent copy operations; clearing the history should get you pasting again.
    • Configure Klipper:
    • Help: This option launches the Klipper Handbook.
    • Quit: Klipper remains in your system tray until you select this option. If you do, it asks you if you want Klipper to start the next time you log in.
    The General configuration screen enables you to configure many settings, including how many copy operations are saved to the clipboard. If you need to copy and paste images, uncheck the Ignore images box.
        The Actions menu enables you to associate actions with regular expressions.
    (expression and action that will allow you to click a URL in the Clipboard History to open it in Konqueror). Note that this action does not work unless the Enable Clipboard Actions box is checked in Klipper.
    Regular expressions are in the realm of power users. If you’ve created an Action that is useful to you, share it on the PC-BSD forums so less advanced users can benefit from your expertise.

    Desktop Sharing with Krfb
    Desktop Sharing enables you to share your current desktop with a virtual networking computer (VNC) user on another machine. Typically, you do this when another user shows you how to perform a task or helps you troubleshoot a problem with your system.
    1. Click Kickoff ➤ Applications ➤ Internet ➤ Desktop Sharing to launch Krfb (KDE Remote Frame Buffer), KDE’s desktop-sharing application. 
    2. After your invitee connects to your IP address and port number, a message displays on your desktop.
    3. After confirming (by telephone, for example) the identity of the person trying to connect, decide whether or not you want the user to control your keyboard and mouse, and then click the Accept Connection button. 
    4. After you do this, the other person is prompted to input the invitation password.
    5. After the password is accepted, the user can see your desktop and you can watch as she moves your mouse and interacts with your desktop. 
    6. After she is finished assisting you, she can close the VNC session.
    After a session is closed, the user cannot connect again unless you send another invitation. Don’t forget to remove the firewall rule for the VNC port and restart your firewall when you are finished!

    USB Devices
    To access data on a digital camera or on a USB thumb or hard drive, insert the USB device and wait a second or two until Device Notifier pops up with the label.
        You can then access the data in both Dolphin and Konqueror. When you’re finished, right-click the label name in Dolphin to safely Eject the media before removing it.

    PC-BSD provides a Printer Configuration module that makes it easy to set up printing on your PC-BSD system. It does assume that you know how to physically connect your computer to a printing device or to a network and that you have already done so. Depending upon how you choose to connect to the printing device, you might have to perform some tasks before you configure your PC-BSD system to print. Consider how your computer connects to the printer device.

    • If your computer is physically cabled to the printer using a USB or printer cable, make sure the cable is plugged in and that the printer is turned on.
    • If another computer in your network is physically cabled to the printer, check that it has been configured to share its printer.
    • If you use a network printing device that is not physically cabled to any computer, you must first configure the network printing device using the manual that came with the device.
    • After you have verified your connection setup, you can use the PC-BSD Printer Configuration module to configure printing for any of these connection scenarios.

    Configuring a Printer
    After you have ensured that you are connected to the printer device either through a cable or a network connection, launch the Kickoff ➤ System Settings ➤ Printer Configuration module to install the printer on your PC-BSD system. After inputting the administrative password, you will see the initial Printer Configuration screen.
        Before adding your printer, click Server Settings to see if the defaults are appropriate for your situation. The settings are:
    • Show printers shared by other systems: Check this box if the printer device is not physically cabled to your computer.
    • Share published printers connected to this system: Check this box if you plan to share the printer that is physically cabled to your computer with other computers on your network. If there are other computers on your network, don’t forget to check the Shared published printers box so other users on the network can print from the computer cabled to your PC-BSD system.
    • Allow remote administration: By default, you can administer the printer (for example, view the print queue or stop and start the printer) only from this computer. This box should be selected only by advanced users who know how to secure remote administration connections.
    For security reasons, it is not a good idea to check the box Allow printing from the Internet. Check this box only if you really know what you’re doing and have a good reason to do so.
    • Allow users to cancel any job (not just their own): By default, users can cancel only their own print jobs. Check this box with caution, unless the users in your network play nicely together. Note that the administrative user always has permission to cancel anyone’s print job.
    • Save debugging information for troubleshooting: Check this box if you have problems configuring your printer.
    After you check the boxes you want to use, click Apply to save your changes.
        If the printer is attached to another PC-BSD or Linux system that has already shared its printer using CUPS (Common Unix Printing System), the connection is automatically created for you after you check the Show printers shared by other systems checkbox and click Apply.
    If the remote CUPS printer is not automatically found for you, double-check that a firewall is not blocking port 631.
    After the remote printer is found, you can highlight the remote printer and skip ahead to click the Print Test Page button
    • If the printer is physically cabled to your computer or is shared by a Windows system, click the New Printer ➤ New Network Printer icon to create your printer. Despite the name of the button, it can be used to create printers of any connection type, even those cabled to your computer. It will pause for a few seconds while it looks for printers attached to your system, and if you configured it to do so, any printers available on the network. When it is finished, a screen "select connection" displays. In this example i.e. the PC-BSD computer is physically cabled to an HP 6310 printer, and the printer configuration module has found the printer.
    • If your computer is physically attached but the model is not showing in this screen, check that the cable is plugged in and the printer is turned on. If that’s not the problem, search at linuxprinting  to determine whether an open-source printer driver exists.
    • If the printer is physically cabled to a Windows computer on your network, click the Windows Printer entry in the left frame.
    • Input the name of the Windows workgroup, the name of the computer the printer is cabled to, and the name of the printer share. If the share requires a username and password, input those as well.
    • After you have highlighted the printer cabled to your system or configured the Windows share, click Forward, where you will see the screen with printer brands.
    • The printer’s manufacturer should be highlighted for you; if it is not, highlight the manufacturer for the printer and click Forward to the printer's model screen.
    • The recommended print driver should already be selected for you. Otherwise, highlight the model of the printer; the number might not be exact, but it should be close. Click Forward to continue .
    • You can change the printer name and description to values that make sense to you, but do not change the Location(pcbsd-xyzt). When you are finished, click OK, and the printer is created for you.
    Make sure there is some paper in the printer, and then click the Print Test Page button to confirm that your setup works properly.

    If You Share Your Printer
    If you checked the box to share your printer, your printer connection will be published to the other computers in your network. You need to double check that each computer is capable of printing a test page.
    If the other computer runs PC-BSD, Mac OS X, or Linux, open its web browser and type in the URL “localhost:631/printers”.
        That URL connects to the CUPS server that runs on the computer to display which printers are published (shared) on the network.
    This assumes that the CUPS has been installed and is running on the Linux system; if it is not, refer to the documentation for your Linux system. CUPS starts automatically on PC-BSD systems.
    In this example, the printer running on computer i.e. has been found. Click the Print Test Page button to verify that printing works over the network.
        If the computer runs Windows, you need to use the Add Printer Wizard on the Windows system. The easiest configuration uses IPP (for example, using the IPP Device URI). How to configure an IPP printer varies by the version of Windows(Google “IPP Windows” to find a how-to for your version of Windows).


    • The Definitive Guide to PC-BSD(2010 Apress) by Dru Lavigne ISBN: 978-1-4302-2642-0

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