From Whonix

< Dev

Development notes about KDE

For user documentation, see Other Desktop Environments instead!

Users, non-developers, should ignore this page.


Whonix ™ was previously available with KDE installed by default. Deprecated in favor of XFCE. History discussion: [archive]

Changes to the Debian/KDE defaults[edit]

Application Changed Setting Reason Status
Dolphin Always show Menu Bar Easier to find the button to show hidden files. Done.
Dolphin Double click instead single click. Usability Done.
Desktop Change Theme Prevent confusion of host desktop and Whonix-Workstation ™ desktop.; No legally required, but looking different than the Debian/KDE default theme. TODO, how?
Desktop Mouse Theme Same as above. TODO, how?
Desktop Change Wallpaper Same as above. Done.
plasma-desktop folderview instead of desktop view Displaying desktop icons for the most important applications. Done.
KGpg Disabled tip of the day. - Done.
KGpg Disabled first run wizard and configure. - Done.
Konsole Unlimited scroll back - Done.
KDE? Autologin - Done.
plasma-desktop Digital Clock, set to UTC, show date, show seconds Without showing UTC it is even more confusing why the clock "wrong".; Show seconds to demonstrate the timesync script is working. Upstream BUG [archive]
plasma-desktop KGpg unhidden in tray Usability. Otherwise it looks like it doesn't start. It would start, but only hidden in tray. Done. (Tray icon disabled by default as workaround. Now starts in foreground.)
plasma-desktop start menu favorites Usability. Highlighting most important applications. Done.

Added Desktop Icons[edit]

Application Changed Setting Reason Status
plasma-desktop Synaptic (install software) - Removed.
plasma-desktop Tor Browser Updater Icon - Done.
plasma-desktop Tor Browser - Removed.
plasma-desktop Documentation Encouraging reading documentation. Done.
plasma-desktop Tor Browser Recommended Encouraging users to read Whonix ™ Feature Blog or at least Whonix ™ Important Blog. Removed.
plasma-desktop HexChat - Done. Remove?
plasma-desktop Whonixcheck Reminding users to use whonixcheck. This is important after pause/resume of a VM or after restoring snapshots. We don't know how to automate running whonixcheck in such situations. Done.
plasma-desktop Timesync Reminding users to use timesync. This is important after pause/resume of a VM or after restoring snapshots. We don't know how to automate running timesync in such situations. Done.
plasma-desktop konsole - Done. Remove?
plasma-desktop User Help Forum Support. Building a community. Done.
plasma-desktop Developer Mailing List Attracting developers. Getting causal readers and comments. Done.
plasma-desktop Contribute Encouraging contributions. Done.
plasma-desktop Donate Encouraging donations. Done.
plasma-desktop Feature Blog - Removed.
plasma-desktop Important Blog - Done. Remove?

KDE Lowfat Settings[edit] [archive]

KDE Mailing list: How to learn about all those configuration file values? [archive]


TODO: Review and update


## What does it do: Disable KDE Bluetooth integration
## Source:
## Whonix: Not required in {{project name}} 

kcmshell4 --list | grep mount, gives me device_automounter_kcm, with a description: "Configure automatic handling of removable storage media".
kcmshell4 device_automounter_kcm give me... well you can try it.

Of course that's the Removable Device Automounter, as listed in the services configuration (kcmkded).

Without this module running the new removable device should still show up in device-notifier, but the configured automount actions won't occur.
This one will strongly depend on whether the user is willing to jump thru manual hoops to mount a newly plugged removable storage device, or would prefer that kde handled it even at the expense of a bit of kde startup speed and memory for the automounting service. Of course people like me don't like kde mounting stuff behind their back anyway, so turning it off is an easy choice here, but a lot of users want the system to handle it... if they even know anything about mounting to begin with. [archive]

autoload=true [archive]


## What does it do: This module notifies the user when /home or one of
## the other directories which you can configure it to monitor are
## running out of space. 
## Source:
## Whonix: We should probably leave it enabled.


autoload=false [archive] I /think/ this is Network Status in kcmkded. But as I don't run network-manager or the like at all, instead using initscripts for my network management, I have absolutely no experience with this.


autoload=false [archive] kcmkded says display management change monitor. Probably useful for laptop users that often plug external monitors or who frequently change resolution, not so much for folks who always run the same monitor config and resolution.

autoload=false [archive] Remote URL change notifier. For those with network folders this is probably useful. Otherwise, not so much.




## What does it do: To start the kde session fresh, it makes the applications
## that was open (with tabs and contents), to start again without any kind of data.
## It wipes the applications that were open from the desktop.
## Source: and

Desktop Icons[edit]


The arrows and italic font of the desktop icons is ugly.

They are arrows and italic font, because the desktop icons are symlinks.

Using symlinks has several advantages.

  1. prevents code duplication
  2. to prevent writing into the user's home folder [1] [2]
  3. being able to update for example /usr/share/applications/whonix/whonix-whonixcheck.desktop [3]
  4. the user is free to delete them and to prevent getting them re-added by blacklisting the responsible postinst.d script

There will be no arrows, if they are copies and chmod +x. Using copies is no real alternative due to the advantages listed above.

The real fix is an open question for research:

How to tell KDE to use no arrows and no italic font for symlinked desktop icons?


Whonix ™ 14[edit]





  1. Litian will complain when shipping files in /home/*.
  2. Debian developers are strictly against writing into /home/. It is against Debian policy. Writing into /home/ reduces chances that Whonix ™ gets some day merged into Debian (at least big parts of it). Getting big parts merged into Debian would be a major advantage.
  3. update as in: new icon, new description, translations, who knows...

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