Easy Favorites in KDE!


Having recently switched to KDE, I found one major annoyance.  That is not to say that KDE is perfect save for this one thing, but it was pretty glaring to me none the less.  Favorites.

I started “pinning” applications to my “favorites” section in the KDE launcher and it didn’t take long to fill it up.  In Windows 7, this is not a big deal because the launcher will just get longer to accommodate the content.  Not the case with KDE.  I set out to find a way to make the KDE launcher longer, to fit my most commonly used applications, but came up short and instead devised this clever way to launch apps without the aid of any 3rd party widgets.

The result is something similar to the Unity launcher or Mission Control on Mac OS X, only more granular as it contains only the software that you need.  Thusly, it is much easier to use, because the things you care about are not hidden about in a sea of icons.

Ok!  Lets begin.

Go ahead and launch Dolphin and browse to your home directory.


Now, right click in an empty area to create and empty directory, like this…

I have chosen to call my folder .fav.  Short and simple and I will always no what it is there for when I go to clean house.

I have a “.” here before the directory name so that it can be hidden.  I don’t like to see anything in my homedir other than those things that are relevant to me as a user, so in other words I like to sleep on clean sheets.  You may get a message here warning you that the directory you are creating will be hidden.  Since this is the way we want it, click “create directory” and let’s move on.  :)

Now you have made the folder but you can’t see it because it is hidden!  In Dolphin, hit “Ctrl & +” and Voila’, there is your hidden folder!

Let’s open it up.  The next-step is quite easy.  Open your KPanel, or what-have-you and simply drag applications from your menu to this location.  After attempting to make this move, you may get the following error;

You will want to make sure to press “Link Here”.  This will make a shortcut inside of your Favorites folder.

Now, let’s go add some Plasma!  Use the “Add Widget” control to the find “Quick Access” widget.  Drag this to your panel.

Once you have that in a place where you like it, right-click on the “Quick Access” widget to configure.

Here is a screenshot with how I have configured mine.  These settings seem to give great results.

The most important thing here is to point the Quick Access widget at you .fav directory that we created earlier, otherwise we have wasted our time.  The appearance settings are completely up to you.

Here is what I ended up with…

And lastly, here is a screenshot of it in action, when I am in action on my laptop.


About Dean Howell

Aside from being a huge Sega fan, Dean is an LPIC certified Linux professional with over a decade experience. In addition to spending his free time burning through the classics from Sega and evangelizing open source, he's also the editor-in-cheif of The Powerbase.