Gone are the days of press to start pop-up or pop-down menu launchers for operating systems and desktop environments. Ubuntu have its very own Unity launcher with various lenses, Gnome 3 have Activities hot corner, Apple introduced Launchpad in OSX Lion to go with the trend and even Microsoft is planning to ditch the legendary "Start" menu in Windows 8. But in KDE we still have the same boring Press to start pop-up menu launcher.

Mandriva Linux might be a sinking ship for now but with their latest release in 2011, they have introduced an innovative and eye candy Menu Launcher called ROSA Launcher from Rosa Labs in Russia.

Rosa Launcher have 3 tabs just like the unity lenses, first one is a simple Welcome tab which shows recent applications, places and documents, the second tab has the Applications listed in categories, such as Internet, Office, Multimedia etc., and the third tab is more like the Zeitgeist Journal extension in Gnome 3 which shows the time line for documents and applications, you need to keep the Nepomuk file indexing enabled to use this feature.


Now we will learn how to install the eye candy menu launcher from Rosa Labs in your Kubuntu installation.
You first need to download the deb file for the rosa-launcher, you can download the deb file from here.

Open the terminal, change to the download location and install the deb file as given in the commands below.

  • $ cd Downloads
  • $ sudo dpkg -i rosa-launcher_0.30.12-2_i386.deb

For me Rosa Launcher installed without any dependency problem in Kubuntu 11.10, if you face any dependency problem, then install the required packages from Ubuntu/Kubuntu apt repositories.

After the installation of Rosa Launcher, you need to install the plasmoid widget for the launcher to use it as an alternate to classic KDE launcher.

Download the zipped plasmoid widget file from here.

Installing the plasmoid widget:

Change to the Download directory, and install the plasmoid widget using the following command.

  • $ plasmapkg -i  rosastarter.zip

After the successful installation of the Rosa Launcher plasmoid, the Rosa Launcher is ready to use from the add widget menu. Drag the widget to your desktop or taskbar and enjoy the eye candy launcher for KDE.


Error: Installation of rosastarter.zip failed.
Solution: enable more verbose output from plasmapkg. Run kdebugdialog:
  • kdebugdialog --fullmode
and enable the outputs for 1209 libplasma.

Error: Could not create a python scriptengine for "Rosa Launcher"
Solution: Install "plasma-scriptengine-python"
  • $ sudo apt-get install plasma-scriptengine-python
You may additionally need to install "python-dev" package in case the error persist.
  •  $ sudo apt-get install python-dev

Note: If the download links for the Rosa Launcher deb file and Rosa plasmoid widget do not work, you can download the files from the launchpad website as given below.