Chapter 2. Using Plasma

Plasma Components

Plasma Widgets and Containments

The essence of Plasma revolves around two basic concepts:

Plasma Widgets

Applets, or small applications that live on the desktop.


Applets that act as the container for the Plasma widgets

On a default desktop, there are two main elements: the Panel and the Desktop itself. Both are containments in the Plasma sense.

Default Plasma Desktop


The Plasma Desktop can be configured in countless ways. The screenshot seen below shows a fairly standard desktop. Some distributions apply extensive customizations, so your desktop may look different.

Similarly, the graphical appearance of the interface elements can be styled. These screenshots uses the KDE default style, Oxygen.

  1. The program starter. Usually this will be Kickoff.

  2. A couple of icons giving easy access to often used applications

  3. The Pager widget

  4. The Task Manager, which shows the titles of windows belonging to the applications currently running. No application had opened a window, when the screenshot was taken

  5. The System Tray

  6. The Digital Clock widget

  7. The Panel Toolbox

  8. The Desktop Toolbox (previously known as a Cashew)

  9. A Folder View widget, showing the content of the Desktop folder