Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Friday, November 30, 2018 at 20:48

Continuing second part, in this part I discuss about applications on Debian KDE including how to run them from start menu, knowing application file format (.deb), finding more applications and install them, changing file type associations, and changing startup applications. You are also able to put applications (shortcut icons) on desktop area and also on panel. I hope this part will help you a lot to manage applications. Enjoy!

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1. Where's Your Applications?

This is your start menu. Click the logo to open the start menu. Your applications are here. You can type the name to search or click through the categories of applications.

(Hover your cursor to start menu then it will say "Application Launcher" with KDE gear logo)

 (Start menu opened with categories starting from Education to Utilities)

2. What Applications are Installed?

On Debian KDE, of course you will find this set of applications:
  • Firefox ESR and Konqueror (web browsers)
  • LibreOffice (a package of word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation programs)
  • Dolphin (file manager)
  • Gwenview (picture viewer)
  • Dragon Player (video player) and juK (audio player)
  • K3B (CD and DVD burner)
  • Kopete (chatting & instant messaging program)
  • KMail (email client)
  • KOrganizer (desktop calendar & scheduling)
  • Akregator (RSS feed reader)
  • Ark (compressed files manager)
  • Kate (text editor)
  • KDE System Settings ("control panel")
  • Discover (software installation center)
  • KNotes (desktop sticky notes)
  • GoldenDict (multi-language handy dictionary)

(Start menu showing some applications under Office category)

3. What is the Format?

Debian gives you applications both in source code and binary code forms. All applications distributed by Debian are stored in a place called repository. Installable (executable) application is in .deb file format. Normally, all Debian users will install software in this executable form. In contrast with Gentoo, for example, Gentoo only gives you applications in source code form, not in binary code form. This means in Debian all software are "precompiled" (already processed) by Debian Maintainers (we owe them); while in Gentoo the users themselves should "compile" every software. Anyway, .deb file format in Debian is similar to .exe in Windows or .dmg in macOS (although they are different in how they work).

(Example: two Debian packages in .deb format; notice the software name "geany" and "midori" and architecture name "amd64")

4. What Applications are Available?

So many. There are currently more than 10,000 packages in Debian prepared for you to install. All available gratis.

( site even says 50,000 number of packages)

5. Editing Your Start Menu

Right-click start menu > Edit > KDE Menu Editor showing.

(KDE Menu Editor: here you can add new item, rename, edit, change icon, etc. of all applications on Debian KDE)

Debian KDE has a list-style menu too if you turn the start menu into "Application Menu". Select that from right-click start menu > Alternatives. See below.

(Start menu ala Windows XP: a list-style menu rather than category-style launcher)

6. Putting Applications on Desktop

Debian KDE permits you to place icons on desktop area and panel. Fortunately, it's as easy as drag and drop; and you can also right-click and choose either Add To Desktop or Add To Panel from start menu. What you need to do first is changing desktop layout from "Desktop" into "Folder View" as this layout resembles Windows' and macOS' experiences.

 (Applications [the icons] on desktop and on panel)

To change the layout, simply right-click on desktop area > Configure Desktop > Desktop Settings dialog showing > select Layout: Folder View > OK. Now try to add some applications to desktop area.

7. Using Application Store

Discover is the thing for you finding more applications and install them. You can find many, many kinds of them such as video and image editors, video games, download managers, useful utilities, even software development tools. When you start Discover for the first time ever, it will need internet access to download some MBs data. After that download session, you will eventually see Discover showing all applications.

To install some:
  • Find an application. For example, keyword image manipulation will give you GIMP.
  • Click "Install" button after the program name.
  • Discover will proceed the download and display you a progress bar.
  • Finished installation will turn the Install button to Remove button.
  • Find the installed program from the start menu.

7. Using Konsole

Read more about APT command lines here.

Software installation on Debian KDE is around three actions: finding, installing, and removing. It's the same as using Discover above, using Konsole would teach you three commands respectively:

  • $ apt-cache search [keyword]
  • $ sudo apt-get install [package_name]
  • $ sudo apt-get remove [package_name]

Configure Default Applications (Or, File Association)

By default, pictures open in Gwenview and mp3s open in juK. Every other file opens in their respective application. Do you know that these associations could be changed? Yes, you can, by right-click a certain file > Properties > File Type Options > Application Preference Order: move up your preferred one to the top > OK.

(Editing file type association)

Configure Startup Applications

Do you know if system boots up with certain applications you can disable? Where to do it? Go to start menu and find Autostart.

  (The Autostart shows three programs enabled at startup: desktop notes, RSS feed reader, and email client)

End Words

That's all. I hope you really can manage your own applications now. Next time I will discuss about controlling your system with generally needed things: editing the panel appearance, managing running processes, changing the language, and some others. Enjoy Debian KDE and happy working!

to be continued...

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.