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Running Programs

Probably the first thing you want to do after you've started KDE is run some applications. KDE's philosophy is that you can directly manipulate all the objects in the system, whether they are files containing documents to work on, programs that you run, or devices that you control.

Launching an Application

To launch a program, you can do any of the following:

  • Single-click a button on the Panel—Several useful programs are provided by default on the Panel. For example, the default Panel includes icons for a virtual terminal emulator, the Control Center, the Help Center, and a text editor.

  • Single-click an item on the Desktop—By default, only two items are on the Desktop (the Trashcan and a link to your home directory), but after you've used KDE for a while, you will probably have placed your favorite programs here, ready to use. Your distribution might also have placed many other links on the desktop, such as links to useful programs or to their Web site.

  • Select a program from the Application Starter menu—Click the large K and follow the menus to the program you want to run.

  • Click an item in the File Manager—Inside a file manager window, click an item to launch it.

You can also run a program the old way, by opening a terminal window and typing its name at the shell prompt, or by using the Run Command window by pressing Alt+F2 and entering the program's name there.

Essential Programs

A few oft-used programs are described here to get you started.

First, the terminal program, konsole, enables you to open a window and access a regular command-line shell environment. A button for konsole is provided on the Panel, with a small monitor and a shell in the icon.

Online help is available by clicking the icon of a book and lightbulb on the Panel. The online help includes a getting started guide, as well as an index for accessing help for all the KDE applications on your system.

You can browse the filesystem or access the World Wide Web using a file manager window. To start a file manager window showing the contents of your home directory, click the folder with the little house on it on the Panel.

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