Icon Tasks Widget For KDE

As I mentioned previously in my Unity in KDE post, the Icon Tasks widget for KDE is helluva useful. For those who don’t know, it’s a simple task manager widget, a modified version of the default task manager widget that only shows icons instead of the whole application name / title in the panel.

It’s much like Unity’s launcher and it even uses it’s API afaik. Icon Tasks is pretty darn configurable and heck it even shows a small progress-bar as an overlay on the application icon (I’ve only tested with Dolphin) if a file transfer is going on. It also shows unread  mail count in Thunderbird and supports window previews. What else do you want?

Here’s a complete feature list as given by the author:

Modified version of KDE 4.7 taskbar applet and taskmanager library.


  1. Show only icons (no text) in taskbar.
  2. When a launcher is activated, place the task’s taskbar entry at the same location as the launcher.
  3. Tasks with no associated launcher, are placed after launcher tasks (unless alphabetically sorted).
  4. Always group tasks.
  5. Only allow launchers for items with .desktop files
  6. Add a dialog to manually set the association from a window to a .desktop file – so that launcher can be created.
  7. Add option to activate/iconify whole group when left button is pressed (taken from SmoothTasks). If disabled, then present windows is used for the group.
  8. Use oxygen ‘+’ icon to indicate a collpased group.
  9. Use middle button to launch new instance of a task.
  10. Attempt to place start-up spinner over launcher/task.
  11. Add option to always use the launcher icon for taskbar entry – even when app is active. This works-around the issue where some applications (e.g. LibreOffice) have a different launcher/menu icon than the actual app uses.
  12. Workaround an issue with a tasks attention state.
  13. More tasks shown in tooltips.
  14. Close tasks via tooltips.
  15. Show right-click menu for task in tooltips.
  16. Option to show job progress over task icon.
  17. DockManager API support
  18. Media player buttons in tooltips
  19. Unity API

*Install: *To install Icon Tasks, add my ppa with this command:

[plain]sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bkandiyal/bhaskar-main[/plain]

And then install plasma-widget-icontasks after doing an apt-get update

Or if you want you can compile and install from source. To get the source visit this link and don’t forget to thank the author CraigD!

*Note: *I’d be posting a few short (hopefully) posts on KDE / Kubuntu. This is one of them, and the previous one Unity in KDE. So, if you have anything that I should talk about then feel free to email me or use the Contact form.

Unity in KDE ;)

Yes, you read it right, Unity in KDE. And no I’m not talking about the unity among people of KDE or the developers or anything like that. I’m talking about the Unity interface in KDE.

Whether you hate Unity or you like it, if you’re reading this I will tell you how to get the Unity interface in KDE. I really love the customizability of KDE, for those people who don’t like KDE for it’s customizability….well, no comments :P

I’m not going to show you how to run the ‘real’ Unity in KDE, heck if I did I’d be labeled stupid and my blog would be removed from the depths of the internet but what I’ll show here is how to achieve a Unity-like interface in KDE.

Why would you want it? Well, if you like Unity’s interface but want to stick to KDE, then boom, you’re at the right place, on the other hand if you hate Unity and other DE’s and love KDE, then, well, just read the post and laugh at the other DE’s because they can’t do it :P

Okay, I’m being pro-KDE here, but I’m really not….heck I love LXDE too :D

So, let’s get started shall we? But first, here’s a screenshot of ‘Unity’ in KDE ;)

Before you get started, you will need just one teensy little thing. It’s a plasma widget called Icon Tasks, grab it from here. If you have trouble grabbing it…eh, I mean compiling it, then use my PPA, don’t blame me if it breaks your system though, neah j/k.

[plain]sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bkandiyal/bhaskar-main[/plain]

Then just install plasma-widget-icontasks *after doing an apt-get update*. Do you want a one-liner? Here you go:

[plain]sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bkandiyal/bhaskar-main && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install plasma-widget-icontasks[/plain]

Step 1:

Now, first things first, delete everything on your desktop. Yes, everything….well just the panels really, you can keep your favorite bouncy ball widget if you like, but delete the panels!

Step 2:

Add an empty panel and place it at the top of your desktop. Now add the widgets that you want. First add the ‘Window Menubar’ widget and then add the system tray, clock and other widgets that you would want on your default panel.

The ‘Window Menubar’ widget is just like the global menu in Unity.

Step 3:

Now, add another panel and move it to the left of the screen, increase it’s width a little and set it to Windows can cover in the panel settings. Also, increase the length of the panel to the full height of the screen, but don’t overlap the top panel.

Step 4:

Add the Application Launcher *widget to the left panel and also the *Icon Tasks widget. Change the *Icon Tasks *widget settings to something like this:


Step 5:

There’s no step 5….

Yes, you’re done here. If you followed everything correctly (or if I didn’t miss a step) then you would be staring at the Unity-ish interface in KDE. Go ahead and enjoy :)

You can also install the Ambian Plasma Theme from here to get Ubuntu colors on your desktop.

I would like to point out a few things that I would love in KDE:

  1. Separate panels for activities

  2. Show panel after a delay when hovering the mouse over a hidden panel

These could have been a great help when making a custom panel arrangement. I would love to help out with developing these two things, I’m also starting with KDE development and I’m looking for something easy to hack on to :D (Dunno how easy/hard these two things would be though :P)

Do you have any such custom arrangement of panels? Share it in the comments, with pics!