January 8, 2015

Enrich your Kubuntu 14.10 desktop with plasma widgets

Introduction

Kubuntu operating system uses KDE desktop environment for it's default desktop shell. There are many things you can do with your KDE desktop environment. One of the cool feature of KDE is it's Plasma widgets. Moreover, KDE desktop shell is just a combination of different Plasma widgets and panels. For example, your main application launcher Kickoff is one plasma widget, System tray is another plasma widget containing icons for Wi-Fi, battery, volume etc, Task manager is another plasma widget shows the list of currently running applications. You can easily elaborate your KDE desktop shell by adding additional Plasma widgets to your desktops and panels.


To see and add a widget, right click on the desktop and select Add Widgets. This will bring up widget collection interface where can search for a particular widget as well as see widgets that are currently running on the desktop.




To add a widget to the desktop just drag the particular widget and drop it in the desktop. If you double click on any widget it will be added to the current panel.


KDE widget collection interface

Widgets are adjustable to your needs. If you place your mouse pointer over the widgets then it will bring up a control bar from where you can resize, rotate and change settings of the widgets.


Here is a selection of exciting Plasma widgets for your desktop to try out:


Folder [Installed by default]




As the name suggests, this widget will show the contents of a particular folder right on your desktop. One cool feature of this widget is, it will let you dig into different sub-folders easily just by hovering over them.




Notes [Installed by default]


This is the desktop sticky notes you have been waiting for long time!. It has all the bells and whistles you expect from a general purpose text editor including spell checking. If you constantly take notes while you are working then you will find this widget very helpful.




Analog Clock [Installed by default]


This one handy full featured clock will let you chose different Calender systems from around the world as well as different Time Zones of your interest. Once setup, you can easily see the time from different Time Zones just by scrolling your mouse over the widget.




yaWP


You will not be disappointed by this weather widget. This widget is fancy and interactive. It has all the features from an ideal weather widget including option for showing forecast in different units and changing widget theme.




install yaWP by putting the following command in the terminal:


sudo apt-get install plasma-widget-yawp


Unit Converter [Installed by default]


If you are a person who needs to convert between units regularly then this widget is for you!




SearchMoid


SearchMoid is for searching web right from your desktop. Basically, you type the web address such as www.google.com in SearchMoid and it will open the address in a web browser




install SearchMoid by putting the following command in the terminal:


sudo apt-get install plasma-widget-searchmoid


Shelf [Installed by default]

This widget will let you open different things such as applications, system devices, system tools, etc of your desktop all from one place. This widget is definitely a must have if you want to increase your desktop productivity.




There are many more useful widgets for your comfort installed by default and easily install-able by putting the following command in the terminal:


sudo apt-get install plasma-widget-*