How To Add Items To KDEs System Menu Applet

In KDE’s Kicker (panel), you have the option of adding a System Menu Applet, which looks like this (although yours may be slightly different).

If you don’t yet have it on your kicker, but you want to add it, simply right-click the kicker, and choose Add Applet to Panel and then scroll down to System Menu and choose it. While I like having it handy, I kept wishing I could add a few items to it, but there didn’t seem to be any way to do so. In fact there is, but it’s definitely not straight-forward. I wanted to be able to essentially add shortcuts to my most frequently used folders such as Pictures, Music, and Downloads, and as you can see from the screenshot below, I was able to successfully add them.

Here are detailed instructions to help you add shortcuts (or bookmarks) to your favorite folders into the System Menu Applet.

  1. Open Dolphin File Manager (Home)
  2. Choose View / Show Hidden Files
  3. Open .kde
  4. Open share
  5. Open apps
  6. Unless you see a folder named systemview, you’ll need to create it. To do so, right-click in any empty space and choose Create New > Folder
  7. Name it systemview
  8. Open systemview
  9. Right-click in empty space and choose Create New > Text File.
  10. Name it Something.desktop (where Something is whatever descriptive word you want to use to describe your new System Menu item). If you have a folder called Pictures, for example, and you want to add that folder to the System Menu, it would make sense to name this text file Pictures.desktop
  11. Edit this text file using Kate or whatever text editor you wish. Just right-click the Something.desktop icon and choose Open With > Editors > Kate for example.
  12. Type the following into the editor.

    [Desktop Entry]
    Encoding=UTF-8
    Icon=camera
    Name=Pictures
    OnlyShowIn=KDE;
    Type=Directory
    URL=/home/yourusername/Pictures

    Note: You’ll want to change 3 things in this file to match whichever folder you are adding.

    >> change the icon name so it uses something that makes sense. Not sure which icon to use or what its name would be? Here’s one way to find an icon and determine the name of it… Open Dolphin File Manager, right-click any folder icon, and choose Properties. Now left click on the actual icon on the General tab that is located just to the left of the name of the folder (and just above the word Type:). Here is where you can choose from lots of icons in various categories (Actions, Applications, File Systems, and Devices are the ones I use the most). Once you find one you like, just make a note of what its name is, which is listed just below the icon, and type that name in the Desktop Entry you’ve just created on the Icon= line.

    >> change the Name= from Pictures to whatever descriptive word or phrase you want to appear on the System Menu

    >> change the URL= to the correct path to the folder you want added to the System Menu. This is the part that had me confused for a bit, because I kept getting the path wrong. The structure I used above should work for you in most cases.

  13. Last step. Open a terminal window. Type the following to reset the System Menu and show your newly added item:

    dcop kicker kicker restart

That’s it! You’ve successfully added an item to the KDE System Menu. If you want to add more items, repeat steps 9 – 13 for each.

Props to both this post and this thread – Although neither gave me the instructions in the clearest or most detailed manner for me to understand and follow, together they got me started on the right path to making this happen.

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3 Comments »

  1. Michael Says:

    Excellent explanation. thanks alot.

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  2. baracuda68 Says:

    Cool! I’ve been wondering how to add to it!
    Worked great! Thumbs^

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  3. Henry Says:

    Still using KDE 3x for the time being and found this tip useful. Well explained too. Thanks!

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