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Navigating in Kubuntu

All of the applications in Kubuntu can be accessed through the Application Launcher (Figure 8-7), which is located in the bottom left corner of the Task Manager. The Application Launcher is brand new to KDE4 and allows for further customization than the KMenu.

An additional change in KDE4 to the Application Launcher is how applications are named. Instead of program names (familiar to those who have used some version of KDE before) such as Konqueror, Akregator, and Kontact, the applications are named after their purpose. For example, Akregator shows up as RSS Feed Reader, and Konqueror shows up as Web Browser.

Upon clicking on the Application Launcher, you are presented first with Favorites, which is designed for applications used regularly. You can add any application to the Favorites at any time. Kubuntu 8.04 ships with Web Browser, Systems, and File Manager already listed in the Favorites section. To remove an application from the Favorites portion of the Application Launcher, right-click on the application and select Remove From Favorites. Likewise, to add an application to the Favorites section, right-click on the application you would like to add and select Add to Favorites.

After the Favorites tab is the Applications portion of the Application Launcher. These applications are organized according to type of program. For example, Instant Messenger (Kopete) is located under the Internet section, while CD & DVD Burning (K3B) is located under the Multimedia section.

The third tab is the Computer tab. This tab provides quick access to different folders within the file system, including the home directory network folders and the CD-ROM drive. The Computer section is divided into Applications (System Settings), Places (Home, Network, Root, Trash), and Removable Storage (Floppy Drive, CD-ROM, and any USB drives).

The fourth tab is the Recently Used section, which is populated by both applications and documents that have recently been used.

One of the best features of the new Application Launcher is the Search Bar at the top of the page (Figure 8-8). The search program searches both menus in the Application Launcher and the Web for information.

Shutting Down Your Computer and Logging Out

To shut down your computer, log out, or switch users, go to the Application Launcher, and under the tab labeled Leave, select the option you would like. This section is divided into two subsections: Session and System. Since Kubuntu is a multiuser system (many users per system), you can easily switch to a parallel session as a different user under the Session subsection. Also under Session, you can Lock the Screen or Logout (ending the current session). Under the System subsection, you can either shut down (Turn off the computer) or restart (Restart the computer). Figure 8-9 shows these options. Also, you can lock the session or Logout by right-clicking on the desktop and selecting the correct option.

Using sudo instead of a Root Account

A large change for many seasoned users of other Linux distributions is the lack of a root account. Upon installation, you are not prompted to create a root password. The password created with the first user, your password, will allow you to access the administrative functions. You will need the sudo password often when configuring the system or making global changes.

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