How to use Plasmoid shortcuts

Dotan Cohen dotancohen at
Thu Mar 3 20:28:19 GMT 2011

On Thu, Feb 24, 2011 at 06:37, Duncan <1i5t5.duncan at> wrote:
>> Like you, I prefer to launch with a keyboard launcher. I usually use
>> Krunner (Alt-F2). However, because of a bug I cannot launch some apps
>> with it:
> I believe part of the issue may be that krunner checks more than just the
> shell-path.  In particular, it knows of and ranks higher in the priority
> sequence anything found in the the apps menu (kickoff/kmenu/lancelot).  If
> it sees more than one choice, it should have a list (you may have to
> expand the krunner window vertically, or look for the arrow, to cycle thru
> items not fitting in the list).  If the nepomuk runner plugin is enabled
> and it's looking in mail, etc, as well, you can get a whole SLEW of
> generally false-positives, so turning that and a few others off if you
> never use their supplied choices can be useful.  (Plus, at least in kde
> 4.5 and previous, the nepomuk plugin tended to crash krunner once in
> awhile, so turning it off increased krunner stability.  IDK if that still
> applies with 4.6.)

Thanks. The Firefox in the Lancelot menu is in fact ~/.bin/firefox.
Disabling the "command line" in Krunner fixed it, it is now running
~/.bin/firefox. However, there are other wrappers in ~/.bin that are
not in the menu and naturally stopped working. I'll just add them all
to the menu.

Other than that, I learned a long time ago to disable Nepomuk in
Krunner and the Nepomuk service.

> You can use the icons presented with the run-choices to determine the type
> of item.  A nice app icon indicates that it's using the menu entry, with
> its associated icon.  A generic "gear" icon indicates that it's pointing
> directly at a binary.

Yes, but it does not distinguish between binaries in /usr/bin and in
~/.bin. The menu item does in fact point to ~/.bin/firefox.

> What I suspect is happening is that you have a firefox menu entry which
> points to the system firefox (bypassing your ~/.bin/firefox entry).  That
> has the nice fancy firefox icon since it's associated with the menu entry
> which includes it, so you can tell it's the menu entry.  Lower down the
> rankings, you should find probably two "gear" icon choices, one for your
> ~/.bin/firefox entry, and another for the system firefox binary.
> Presumably, they'll be in path order.

No, just one with the gear icon. It points to /usr/bin/firefox. But
you are right, I can simply tab over to the firefox with the
kitty-titty icon and launch from that.

> You have a couple choices to modify this (beyond turning off unnecessary
> krunner plugins as mentioned above).  First, you can edit your firefox
> menu entry (context-click on the menu plasmoid and choose edit
> applications, that's the 4.6 wording, AFAIK it was slightly different in
> earlier versions, or simply run kmenuedit) to point to the ~/.bin/firefox
> instead of the system firefox.
> Second, you can either rename your ~/.bin/firefox entry to something
> unique (firefx, fx, ffox, whatever), or create a uniquely named symlink in
> the same dir to the existing firefox entry.  Suppose you choose ffox.
> Hopefully, that won't conflict with anything else, or if it does, the
> other entries will be ranked lower in krunner, so typing ffox in krunner
> will get you the desired ~/.bin/ override.

Editing ~/.bin/firefox to something else would quite defeat the
purpose of a wrapper, but I could wrap the wrapper with a unique name.

> Meanwhile, kde/krunner path...
> Try this (in krunner) to see what settings kde/krunner are actually
> getting:
> env > ~/krunner.env
> Then open the file in a text editor to see the results.

Nice thinking there! It does appear that the path is correctly set:

✈ganymede:~$ cat krunner.env | grep PATH

> Since env is a separate app, that doesn't invoke the shell init files as
> konsole does, so you get the environment directly as krunner sees it.
> FWIW, kde, including krunner, gets my custom environment, including path,
> here, and with ~/bin coming before pretty much anything else in the path,
> as expected, it allows me to override (or more often, setup additional
> custom environment before launching) system binaries.

That was quite my goal, alas, it is not working as expected (krunner
opens binaries in /usr/bin instead of ~/.bin even though the latter
precedes the former in the PATH).

> I know there was a thread on that, but I suspect it might well be working
> as it does here, because I login at the CLI, then run "k" (actually,
> generally ". k", so it logs out the existing CLI login after starting), a
> custom script which:

What does that dot do? I don't see how I could google that!

> # Set/export some kde and xdg specific vars as so (see KDE User Guide
> # (from the khelpcenter package), Part VI, KDE for Administrators, Chapter
> # 25, KDE Internals, Environment variables subheading), because I don't
> # like the defaults:
> export KDE_NO_IPV6=1
> export KDEHOME="$HOME/kde"
> export KDETMP="/tmp/tmp-$USER/kde"
> export KDEVARTMP="$HOME/config/cache"
> export XDG_DATA_HOME="$HOME/config/local/share"
> export XDG_CONFIG_HOME="$HOME/config"
> # Then:
> [[ $KDEVARTMP ]] && mkdir -p $KDEVARTMP # in case it doesn't exist
> kbuildsycoca4                           # regen the config-db
> # XSESSION should point to a system session script file in
> # /etc/X11/Sessions, the KDE-4 file is provided on Gentoo by
> # the kdebase-startkde package.  If it's not set, a generic
> # default is used (on Gentoo, a minimal xsm and xterm), but that
> # wouldn't be kde and I don't have the packages for it installed
> # (I overrode the dependencies since I only use kde), so KDE-4 it is.
> export XSESSION=KDE-4
> startx &
> # Note the & putting startx into the background...
> # That allows this to work, thus exiting the CLI login
> # as KDE starts, if I use the ". k" launch form.
> disown -a
> exit 0
> #### end of script ###
> That starts a kde session from my CLI login.  Since the CLI login is
> running a shell, the exported environment, INCLUDING the PATH and the
> various specific vars set above, gets inherited by the KDE session, and
> krunner gets the working path one would expect.
> I suspect there's a similar way to do it using a *DM, but I haven't used
> those things ever since the one I was using broke on me, along about
> Mandrake 8.2 or so (so nearing a decade ago now).  Fortunately, startx
> still worked, and I've considered it more reliable ever since.  I don't
> need a fancy graphical login to enter username and password, and given
> that I only have kde setup as an X environment, it's not like a point-n-
> click session chooser is of much benefit either.
> Plus, it's actually straightforward to have my environment setup as I
> want, since if it's kde specific I can put it in the "k" script, and if
> not, it's simply inherited from the existing CLI login environment.

I'm not sure that I want to start messing with all that, especially as
this clearly looks like a bug. And there is an easy workaround: wrap
the wrapper. But it is good to know. Thanks.

> As an aside, I've been sick a couple days.  I'm getting better now, but am
> rather bored as I already caught up (well, as of a few hours ago, there's
> a few more now I imagine) on system updates, all my news feeds, my
> newsgroups/mailinglists, etc.  And now I'm scheduled an additional two
> days off... so I have more time to reply in depth than I usually do.
> That's why all the detail...

Well, it did take me a week to get back to you, but I hope that you
feel better. The wife was also sick last week. Hey...

> Since you mentioned a preference for keyboard launching...
> Have you tried kde's launch shortcuts?  There's a couple ways to configure
> them.
> First, for stuff in the menu, you can attach shortcuts using the
> previously mentioned menu editor.  Of course, that means it has to have a
> menu entry, and altho you can create one if necessary, over the longer
> term this results in a seriously customized menu that becomes difficult to
> maintain as your app mix changes.  Still, for only a few already-in-menu
> entries, this is the easiest way.
> Second, in kcontrol (system-settings that umm... aren't for the most part
> system-settings), there's the Custom Shortcuts applet under Shortcuts and
> Gestures (under Common Appearance and Behavior).  This is **FAR** more
> flexible, allowing not only keyboard shortcuts, but mouse gesture
> triggered shortcuts, etc. as well.  Further, the range of available
> actions is far larger, everything from global app launchers (as we're
> talking here) to dbus-commands to keyboard input either to the active
> window or a specific app.
> Using custom shortcuts, it's quite possible to setup say Meta-F (Win-F) to
> launch firefox.

I did have this at one point (Tux-1 through Tux-0 for launching my top
ten apps). But I happen to like launching by name. I plan on doing
something else with those controls, such as macros or some such.

> Meanwhile, my needs, based on kde3 khotkeys' ability to take multi-key
> input (not available in kde4, I've referenced the bug many times here) and
> the fact that I have an inet/media keyboard with a number of extra keys,
> one of which I was using in kde3 as a sort of launch-key, for two-key
> launching, aren't quite served by the above, thus the script I mentioned
> earlier in the thread.
> What I eventually realized when trying to figure out how to get kde4 to
> function like kde3 did in regard to multi-key hotkeys, was that what I was
> in effect doing was using the first key as a sort of hot-app launcher menu
> trigger, with the second key selecting the app from that menu.  Thus, what
> I actually needed was a launcher app that would take a single key and then
> execute the command configured for that key, since I could then map that
> app to a single-key custom shortcut as above.
> So that's what I did.  The implementation is actually in six parts.  The
> first part is a kde custom shortcut setup to launch a hotkey-launcher stub-
> script.  This stub-script, part two of the implementation, consists of a
> single line, and is never directly visible:
> exec konsole --profile hotkey-menu -e hotkey-menu
> That line launches konsole with a special profile, executing the real core
> of solution, part three of the implementation.  The special konsole
> profile then becomes part four, as I then have a kwin window-rules setting
> keyed to it, setting it always-on-top, centered, etc, rather different
> than my normal konsole kwin-rules settings, which are also customized.
> As I mentioned, part three is the real core of the solution.  It's a bash
> script executed in the special konsole profile window, that takes exactly
> one key (optionally modified by shift or control, it's limited to those
> modifiers for technical reasons), looks that key (plus modifier) up in a
> conversion table text file (part 5), and in turn looks the result up in
> the user's hotkey.lst text file (part 6).
> The conversion table (part 5) simply maps control characters to their text-
> represented counter-parts, thus giving me control as well as shift
> modifiers.
> The user's hotkey.lst file consists of a three-column mapping, space-
> delimited, #-commented:
> #key            short-description       actual-command
> ####            #################       ################################
> ####            ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^       ^ First two lines used as header
> a               bAnk                    konqueror <url-to-my-bank>
> #A
> #^A
> # snip... note that I've tried to keep generic where possible,
> # so I can change banks, calc applets, text editors, etc,
> # without having to retraining myself to different shortcuts
> c               Calc                    kcalc
> #C
> #^C
> # snip...
> e               textEdit                kwrite
> #E
> #^E
> # snip... "k" has all three possibilities used
> k               mouseset                xset m 13/5 0
> K               keyrep-norm             xset r rate 200 12
> ^K              keyrep-slow             xset r rate 333 3
> # snip... ^M is reserved...
> m               Mail                    kmail
> #M
> #^M             (impl.rsvd)             (unavailable)
> # snip... set-display is a a script of mine that invokes
> # xrandr to set various resolutions.  The number roughly
> # corresponds to horizontal resolution, so 19-6 indicates
> # 1920 (full 1920x1080) on the top monitor, 640 on the lower,
> # 9 indicates 960x540 on both, 10x indicates a non-square-pixel
> # but standard resolution of 1024x768, etc.
> # Note that this is a whole row of keys in order...
> `               setdisplay-full         set-display
> 1               setdisplay-19-6         set-display 19-6
> 2               setdisplay-19-9         set-display 19-9
> 3               setdisplay-6x           set-display 6x
> 4               setdisplay-8x           set-display 8x
> 5               setdisplay-10x          set-display 10x
> 6               setdisplay-9            set-display 9
> 7               setdisplay-11           set-display 11
> 8               setdisplay-12           set-display 12
> 9               setdisplay-14           set-display 14
> 0               setdisplay-16           set-display 16
> # snip...
> <               player-prev             mpc prev
> ,               player-play             mpc play
>>               player-next             mpc next
> .               player-stop             mpc stop
> # snip... end sample
> Key can be something like g or G or ^G, with obvious holes for ^M, ^J,
> etc, which are reserved due to implementation limitations.  Short-
> description is a human-readable description, with the limit that it's bash-
> parsed as a single "word", so no spaces, etc (as is common, _ and - can be
> used as substitutes).
> That leaves the third field and beyond to be treated as a single command,
> which can then have spaces, etc, as necessary.
> I have part one, the custom shortcut, setup to use Home_Page aka
> XF86_Home_page, one of the "extra" keys on my inet/media keyboard.  That
> launches part two, the stub-script launcher for part 3, the core script.
> The core script (part 3) gets a bit complex so I won't post it inline or
> attach, but if you or anyone else is actually interested, I can post it as
> a followup.  Meanwhile, as I've mentioned that I use my own custom
> keyboard shortcut launcher script a number of times in the past, I thought
> it might be interesting to post the above, so people could have at least
> some idea of what I was talking about in rather more detail than I've
> posted in the past.

This is quite the scroll you have compiled! I will have to reread
that, but I see that there are some goodies in there that I want to
learn from. Thanks, Duncan, your posts are always very informative.
Informative enough to take me a full week to digest!

Dotan Cohen
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