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Old 05-18-2017, 10:05 PM   #1
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New To Linux, A Small List Of Questions, Advice Appreciated

Hello, I am new to linux and am making an effort to begin learning to use it properly, I hope to eventually lessen my dependence on windows.

I have a few distros in vms at this point.

I would like to ask a few questions about some basic functionality:

1. Is there any way to create a new folder and drag it to the start menu or "application launcher" then copy shortcuts into it as I might want to, to create a sort of cascading menu of my own shortcuts?

2. Is there a way, on the taskbar, to create a sort of pop-up menu that I can drag shortcuts to and arrange as I might like? True Launch Bar on windows does this, as an example.

3. Is there any program roughly equivalent to Process Explorer on windows? Just a small icon that shows processor activity with a task manager built in.

4. Is there a small memory-gauge available? Just something that sits on the taskbar and reads 70% (example)

If I could get these things set, I would have my basic navigation in place which would help alot.

What are the more minimalistic distros that use kde? I'd rather start with less and add as needed, than vice-versa.

I have kubuntu, mint, suse, and antergos - I think antergos is the one I like for some reason.

Thanks very much for thoughts
Old 05-18-2017, 11:12 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by cosmic_penguin View Post
4. Is there a small memory-gauge available? Just something that sits on the taskbar and reads 70% (example)
Hello and welcome to the forum

I can possibly help with one of your questions. For Kubuntu (or perhaps any Ubuntu based distribution,) there is a utility here that might be what you're looking for.


Last edited by ardvark71; 05-18-2017 at 11:15 PM. Reason: Added wordage.
Old 05-19-2017, 03:53 AM   #3
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Hi, here we are.

1. Forget about Windows and try to find your way in the Distro you'll choose.
Some Windows Managers have menu but Linux is not Windows so no "Application Launcher" or the like.
Don't be afraid, I started with Ubuntu many many years ago and now I end up using Arch with quite just the Tty.

2. Again, you should just try many WM and stay with the one that more fit your habits.

3. I use commands like "ps", "top" and "kill". But there are tons of possibilities. It's really a matter of choice.
I don't even know what "Process Explorer" exactly is.

4. See answer to number 3 and also learn Shell Scripting.

RTFM and don't get afraid is the most important things to remember.

As Distro, as said, I use Arch without WM from years so I don't know.

You're welcome.
Old 05-19-2017, 04:09 AM   #4
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Hi, Welcome to LQ,

Firstly, Linux is not Windows. But, if you have enough patience, you'll certainly find many ways to satisfy all your needs as Linux is so much configurable and versatile.

Since you are familiar with KDE, you'll find that you can have most of the things you're looking for. Just check this out: Slackware Linux uses KDE as default desktop environment and you can find many many examples of possible desktop arrangements. And you can check this out for cool themes and apps:
Old 05-19-2017, 04:38 AM   #5
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1. Honestly I've found editing menu's in Linux to be a bit of a PITA but have a look at kmenuedit you might get some mileage

2 and 4 Have a look at, not sure how far you will get with 2 but you'll find plenty of options for a memory monitor there. For 2 maybe have a look at a Dock such as Docky?

3. KSysguard

I like Antergos, Manjaro is a good choice too though I think default is XFCE but KDE can be installed very simply. In fact that is true for most Linux distros.

Keep playing with the different Distros and you will eventually find 'the one' and it all just clicks from there
Old 05-19-2017, 08:15 AM   #6
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You'd have more fun and control if you go text base for editing the menu, check out Joe's Window Manager, for example and doc:

...KDE, Xfce, Window Maker and so on all rock meaning don't stop at just the plethora of distros* (and apps;) have fun!

Last edited by jamison20000e; 05-19-2017 at 08:17 AM. Reason: added: (and apps;[noparse])[/noparse]
Old 05-19-2017, 11:31 AM   #7
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Let's take this step by step.

1. The strip along one edge of the screen is called the panel. If your panel includes an area for listing current programs, that's the taskbar.

2. With most full desktops, you can right-click on the menu button and choose the option to edit the menu.

3. As ever with Linux, there are lots of quick ways to launch your favourite programs.
a. Right-click on the panel and choose the option to add an icon to launch a program.
b. Right-click on the desktop and choose the option "create new" or "create launcher".
c. Create a keyboard shortcut using the Super (aka Windows) key. I have Super-a for accounts, Super-c for calculator, etc. In KDE you run the menu editor and in the properties area there's the option to create a shortcut. In other desktops, there's a dedicated shortcut editor.

4. When you right-click on the panel, you get a long list of applets you can add. They will certainly include things like CPU load and RAM usage. You can also have all that sort of information displayed on the desktop, using an application like this

5. KDE distros. It's always a good idea to use the default GUI for a distro, as that's the one that the developers like and most of the users download, so it's least likely to have faults. The best KDE distros (in my by-no-mean-humble opinion) are PCLinuxOS and OpenSUSE.

6. Minimalistic? Don't worry about how much software you have. Linux is not Windows. There's no registry. Nothing slows down when you add programs.
Old 05-19-2017, 11:44 AM   #8
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For 1) you could create a folder in your home directory, fill it with shortcuts to programs and drag it out onto the desktop. Alternatively some desktops give you a "favorites" menu completely separate from the main menu.

Some desktops provide panels that can have "drawers" in them. When you click on a drawer, it becomes a popup list of programs. I know enlightenment can do this.


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