Tips And Tricks

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This page is meant as a container of tips and tricks collected over time, addressing topics and issues brought up by TDE users.

Also see the users' Frequently Asked Questions page.

Installing Trinity

Tips and tricks relevant to obtaining a well-functioning Trinity installation.

Upgrading from older versions or KDE3

Upgrading from KDE3 or from TDE 3.5.x to R14.0.x

If you are migrating from KDE3 or upgrading from TDE 3.5.x, you can reuse your own settings in TDE R14.0.x. When logging into R14.0.x for the first time, TDE will automatically execute a script which will migrate as many of your KDE3/TDE3.5.x settings as possible. At the end of the process, your KDE3/TDE3.5.x profile will still exist (unchanged) and a new TDE profile will have been created inside the ~/.trinity folder.

Messagebox info.png
Please refrain from renaming your .kde into .trinity before running R14.0.x. If you do so, the migration process will not take part and some applications may not run smoothly after that. See here for an example of problems that may arise if you rename your .kde folder manually.

Upgrading from an old version (pre Dec/2014)

Depending on your previous version of TDE, the file /etc/trinity/tdm/tdmrc may change from a script-generated file to a config file. It is advisable to accept the newer file if you are upgrading from an old version to TDE >= R14.0.0.

Configuring Trinity

Tips and tricks for custom fine-tuning and configurations.

Using sudo and tdesudo

If you use sudo or a sudo-based distribution (such as Ubuntu), it is highly recommended that you install the tdesudo-trinity package as well. This allows to run programs that require root priviledge from the TDE menu using your own password. If tdesudo-trinity is not installed, you will be asked for the root password instead. More details can be found here.

Un-Bogging down an older system

Your system runs pretty well until Firefox, an office application, or some other application with high CPU usage demands too many cycles and your system then ‘freezes’ for seconds or minutes until the application gets finished.

A simple, but somewhat tedious, solution is to add nice to the launcher for each. Using LibreOffice as an example, add nice -n 2 before the command:

TDE Menu >> Office >> LibreOffice >> {right click} >> Edit Item

Change the ‘Command’ entry from libreoffice %U to nice -n 2 libreoffice %U.

Then find every other entry for LibreOffice (LibreOffice Base, LibreOffice Draw, LibreOffice Math, LibreOffice Impress, etc.) and do the same.

Other ‘usual suspects’ to make nice are: browsers, BitTorrent clients, GUI Diff tools, and, occasionally, PDF viewers.

Generally anything ‘real-time’ you should leave alone (movies, games, editors).

These were used on a Core2 Duo (P7570 @ 2.26GHz, CPU Mark: 926):

Nice level Application Name
1 Kmail
2 LibreOffice
3 Firefox
4 qBittorrent

Assigning a mouse click as part of a keyboard shortcut

There are multiple ways to accomplish this. The best arguably was the first method, which has been lost to time.

In these examples we are trying to achieve:

{Windows Key} + {left mouse click} = Minimize application under mouse cursor

Change what you need to achieve what you want.

Method 1: Lost

As the name says it’s been lost. What is remembered is that:

  • No additional software had to be installed
  • The change was exceedingly minor.

Method 2: xbindkeys + xdotool

Buggy. This works, but the xdotool command used occasionally leaves an unfinished half-keystroke hanging.

Step 1. Go to:

Trinity Control Center >> Regional & Accessibility >> Keyboard Shortcuts >> Shortcuts Schemes >> Global Shortcuts >> Windows

Set "Minimize Window" to “Win+Space”.

Step 2. Issue these command(s) as root or using sudo:

# apt-get install xbindkeys
# apt-get install xdotool
# apt-get install xbindkeys-config # optional

Step 3. Edit $HOME/.xbindkeysrc.

Add the following lines:

"xdotool click --clearmodifiers 1 key super+space"
   m:0x40 + c:133 + b:1 + release</nowiki>
Messagebox info.png
xbindkeys does not like superfluous comments within its definitions. Leaving prior entries commented out within the config definition caused odd and inconsistent results.

Step 4. Issue these commands as yourself (not as root):

$ killall xbindkeys
$ xbindkeys

Step 5. To minimize any window:

Move the cursor over a window, hold down the Windows key and click the left mouse button.

Method 3: xbindkeys, dcop and/or gdbus

Basically the same as xbindkeys + xdotool but replacing xdotool with either a dcop or gdbus command. This is probably less ‘buggy’ than xdotool, but unfortunately the writer doesn’t understand enough about either to make this work.

Enabling image thumbnails in Konqueror for external devices opened via popup after plugging in

When an external device (e.g. USB flash drive) is plugged in, choosing "Open in New Window" in the TDE popup window will open the device under the system:/ path prefix. Image thumbnail display is not enabled per default for this location type in Konqueror. To enable image thumbnails for system:/ paths, adhere to the following:

  1. In Konqueror from the menubar select Settings >> Configure Konqueror....
  2. Select Previews & Metadata on the left.
  3. Under Local Protocols tick the checkbox for system.
  4. Press Apply.

Look and feel

Tips and tricks concerning the appearance of Trinity desktop and applications.

Adding a separator between windows button in the title bar

Open TDE Control Center >> Appearance & Themes >> Window Decorations and then select the Buttons tab.

In the middle of the screen there is a list of available buttons. Drag a separator (--- spacer ---) on the title bar of the sample window, between the buttons where you want to space to appear.

Check the preview in the bottom part of the window and modify again as required.

Confirm when done.

Enlarging Kicker taskbar buttons to only occupy a single row

When the configured Kicker panel size surpasses a certain pixel count, the taskbar will start getting segmented into multiple rows, leading to taskbar buttons being placed in a grid. To prevent this, the minimum height of taskbar buttons can be increased to enforce a single row of taskbar buttons.

To achieve this, you have to add the following line into section [General] in your $TDEHOME/share/config/ktaskbarrc:


Select a MinimumButtonHeight that matches the pixel size of the Kicker panel as configured in Trinity Control Center >> Desktop >> Panels >> Arrangement (when the size is set to "Custom"). Restart the Kicker panel after changing the configuration line.

As an example, for a panel height of 38 pixels this adjustment can be done via Konsole (or another terminal emulator) in the following manner:

$ kwriteconfig --file $TDEHOME/share/config/ktaskbarrc --group General --key MinimumButtonHeight 38
$ dcop kicker kicker restart

Hint: you may also additionally set MinimumButtonWidth in the same group to control how much minimum horizontal space (in pixels) a single taskbar button should occupy on its own.

Removing captions from K-Menu

You have to add the following line into section [menus] in your $TDEHOME/share/config/kickerrc:


You also have to restart Kicker for the change to take effect.

The quickest way to do all of this is via Konsole (or another terminal emulator):

$ kwriteconfig --file $TDEHOME/share/config/kickerrc --group menus --key ShowMenuTitles false
$ dcop kicker kicker restart

Increasing icon size in K-Menu

You have to add the following line into section [menus] in your $TDEHOME/share/config/kickerrc:


You can adjust the number to any icon size you see fit. You have to restart Kicker for the change to take effect.

The quickest way to do all of this is via Konsole (or another terminal emulator):

$ kwriteconfig --file $TDEHOME/share/config/kickerrc --group menus --key MenuEntryHeight 22
$ dcop kicker kicker restart

Using a custom side image for classic K-Menu

The following only applies to the classic K-Menu enabled by setting "TDE menu style" to "Trinity Classic" in the "Menus" section of Trinity Control Center >> Desktop >> Panels.

  1. Create $TDEHOME/share/apps/kicker/pics/ if it doesn't exist.
  2. Place custom kside.png and kside_tile.png files into $TDEHOME/share/apps/kicker/pics/.
  3. In Trinity Control Center >> Desktop >> Panels under "Menus" enable "Show side image".

Hint: you may find the default kside.png and kside_tile.png files within $TDEDIR/share/apps/kicker/pics/.

Changes to the image files will only apply when the Kicker gets restarted. To trigger this, you can use dcop kicker kicker restart.

Using a custom image for the logout prompt

  1. Create $TDEHOME/share/apps/ksmserver/pics/ if it doesn't exist.
  2. Place a custom shutdownkonq.png into $TDEHOME/share/apps/ksmserver/pics/.

Hint: you may find the default image within $TDEDIR/share/apps/ksmserver/pics/.

Use another window manager with TDE

It is possible to use TDE with a different window manager than the one which comes by default. There are a lot of window managers out there, though, so TDE might not recognize their presence and thus not offer them as a choice in the Control Center. This is the case when you can use the advanced methods mentioned here to use TDE with another WM.

Trinity Desktop with E16 as window manager

Method 1: the easy way

The easy way is, of course, to go to TDE Control Center >> Desktop >> Window decorations, switch to the Window Manager tab and then select your preferred window manager from the drop-down menu.

Method 2: autostart TDE components from WM

You can autostart Trinity and the components you need if your window manager supports autostart. In this case the window manager is started first. An .xinitrc file can also do the trick.

Make sure your window manager executes the first command (and any of the other ones for other desktop components you might want to use). For a more-or-less complete TDE session use all of them:

Command Description
starttde (required) Initializes required Trinity components.*
kicker & The Kicker panel.
kdesktop --waitforkded & The Desktop.
khotkeys & Keyboard shortcuts handler.

(* Trinity apps would do this anyway, but it's nice to have it ready for them.)

As for starting the WM itself, you can choose to use your window manager's session via your display manager.

Note that this is not considered a full TDE session and that your mileage may vary. For a better way of handling this see Method 2 below.

Method 3: using WM as part of a TDE session

You can make TDE use your window manager instead of TWin by passing an environment variable to the starttde script. This variable is named $TDEWM and accepts the executable name (or full path) of your window manager. For example, to start TDE with Fluxbox as a window manager:

$ TDEWM=fluxbox startx /opt/trinity/starttde # adjust to your system
Messagebox info.png
Due to a mistake, Trinity releases before R14.0.11 use the $TWIN variable instead.

To make this permanent:

  • If you use a .xinitrc file, then the only thing to do is to put the line there.
  • If you use a display manager, you'll need to create a script and an X session file.

Create a script like this one:

export TDEWM=your_window_manager # for R14.0.11 and higher
export TWIN=your_window_manager  # for pre-R14.0.11 TDE versions
exec starttde

Replace your_window_manager with the correct value. Save it and make it executable.

Then, create a .desktop file in /usr/share/xsessions, like this one:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=(Session name)
Comment=(An optional session comment)

Insert the values as needed. Save it and logout. From the sessions menu choose the session you just created. Login normally. TDE should start with the window manager of your choice.

Changing alternating row colors

Alternating row colors in Konqueror, KMail, and probably a lot more, can be set in the Colors section of Trinity Control Center: TCC >> Appearance & Themes >> Colors >> Widget Color >> [Dropdown] Alternate Background in Lists

Application tricks

Tips and tricks concerning Trinity applications (such as KMail, Kopete, Amarok etc.)

Kmail: Sanitize and Decrypt E-Mails

Kmail Sanitize and Decrypt Mails shows an example on how to create a filter in kmail that removes unwanted headers and automaticly decrypts incomming mails.

Useful scripts

A collection of snippets and useful scripts which can help in automating some tasks in TDE.

Lock session and turn off screen

This shell script locks the session and after 3 seconds turns the screen off:

dcop kdesktop KScreensaverIface lock
sleep 3
xset dpms force standby

For a ‘GUI’ you can add an Applet to your Panel that calls the shell script.

Log out of current TDE session

You can log out of the current TDE session and possibly shut down the system automatically (depending on your TDE configuration) using this command:

$ dcop kdesktop default logout <confirm> <type> <mode>

You can append three parameters ("confirm", "type", "mode") to determine the logout behaviour according to the following values:

First parameter: "confirm"

Value Explanation
-1 Obey the user's confirmation setting
0 Don't confirm, shutdown without asking
1 Always confirm, ask even if the user turned it off

Second parameter: "type"

Value Explanation
-1 Select previous action or the default if it's the first time
0 Only log out
1 Log out and reboot the machine
2 Log out and halt the machine

Third parameter: "mode"

Value Explanation
-1 Select previous mode (or the default one, if it's the first time)
0 Schedule a shutdown (halt or reboot) for the time all active sessions have exited
1 Shut down, if no sessions are active. Otherwise do nothing
2 Force shutdown. Kill any possibly active sessions
3 Pop up a dialog asking the user what to do if sessions are still active

Full stop example

This command will log out and halt the machine, killing any sessions and will never prompt the user:

$ dcop ksmserver default logout 0 2 2

Hide suspension related buttons from the shutdown dialog

There is currently no GUI option for this, but it can be achieved by a simple configuration script.
Create the file '~/.trinity/share/config/power-managerrc' and put the following two lines inside:


The next time the shutdown dialog is displayed, only the Logout, Shutdown and Restart buttons will be shown.
Freeze, Suspend, Hybrid suspend, Hibernate buttons will not be displayed.


Error: TDE mediamanager is not running

You might encounter this error if you try to run KDesktop, Konqueror or any other TDE application that tries to access storage media outside of a standard TDE session (e.g. from a window manager session).

To solve this, add the following lines to your window manager's autostart script:

dcop kded kded loadModule mediamanager

Unable to change display brightness with NVidia cards

If you are unable to change the display brightness, the problem could be the nvidia driver in use. The following tip works for some users and it is worth a try.

In /etc/default/grub add acpi_backlight=vendor and/or nvidia.NVreg_EnableBacklightHandler=1 to the variable GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT and reboot. Then controlling the display brightness using TDE and multimedia (or Fn combination) keys should/may work.


GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet nvidia.NVreg_EnableBacklightHandler=1 acpi_backlight=vendor"

See also