How do I remove the "new activity" item from the desktop?

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at
Mon May 30 08:53:12 BST 2011

J posted on Sun, 29 May 2011 17:58:01 -0400 as excerpted:

> How do I remove the "new Activity" widget from the top right of the
> desktop? I'm willing to "hide" it, but I would rather REMOVE it.
> My desktop is in folder view, but it still shows in "plain desktop"
> as well. I'm trying to get a very clean desktop set up, and that is one
> of the last hurtles I have left.

In general, it's always a very good idea to mention which version of 
whatever you're asking about, that you're using.  For most kde apps, the 
version of kde is sufficient, tho if the app has its own (different) 
version, including that too can be useful, especially for kde apps shipped 
separately or if you're in doubt as to whether it's shipped with kde 
itself or shipped separately, as may be the case on distributions that 
don't make that distinction obvious.  (plasma, however, the app in 
question here, is part of kde itself, so just the kde version will do.)

This is particularly true in this case, since kde/plasma's development of 
activities is still very active and features and configuration changes 
sometimes rather drastically between versions.

Further, mentioning what distribution (and version) you use is useful as 
well, since sometimes they've changed the defaults as kde ships them.

In this case the above would be very helpful as I've run every released 
minor and nearly every micro version of kde since 4.2.4 thru the current 
4.6.3, and don't recognize the "new Activity" widget by that name.  But 
I'm not running the current 4.7 first beta (4.6.80), and if you per chance 
are, there very well might be such a widget.  But if you report your kde 
version and I see you're not running the beta, unless your distribution 
changed the name of something, I can assume that you're simply using a 
different name for something I'm already familiar with, and start guessing 
what that might be. (Not knowing what to call a particular widget isn't 
unusual at all, so having to play guessing games isn't unusual, either.  
Most times everybody gets on the same page after 2-3 rounds of replies...)

What I /suspect/ you're referring to is alternately called either "the 
cashew" (due to the shape) or "the toolbox" (based on its function).  In 
4.6.3, if you hover over it, the tooltip says "Tool Box", with a short 
description of its functionality.  But an almost sure identifier since 4.3-
ish is that it's black and white until you hover over it, in which case 
the icon turns to color, with the major feature being a yellow
cashew/tear-drop/half-yin-yang.  (Previous to that it was always color, 
but IDR the specific version in which the desaturated default was 

If the toolbox/cashew is indeed what you're referring to, then with 
widgets unlocked, you can drag it along the edge, with "indents" in the 
dragging behavior at the corners and the center of each edge.  With the 
normal desktop activity, at least, you can also place a plasmoid (plasma 
widget) on top of it, of course first dragging the cashew along the edge 
to where you'd like to position the plasmoid, if necessary.

Do be aware, however, that the cashew/toolbox is designed and assumed to 
always be accessible.  Most/all present functionality available thru the 
toolbox/cashew is available elsewhere as well, but that isn't guaranteed 
to always be the case, so in hiding, disabling or otherwise making 
inaccessible the cashew, you are risking losing access to perhaps vital 
functionality as you upgrade to new versions.  Still, the irritation of 
the cashew is sufficient for some people that they're willing to take that 

For the reasons stated above, there's no built-in way to hide the activity 
cashews (tho panel cashews are only visible when widgets are unlocked) and 
doing so DOES risk losing access to various functionality as activities 
and plasma itself come into their own, but if you prefer that risk to 
seeing it, as some do, there's a hide-the-cashew plasmoid available for 
installation from  Whether it even works with current kde I 
don't know as it was developed early in kde4's cycle, probably 4.1 or so, 
when the cashew was always color and was I believe larger than it is 
today, so MUCH more irritating.  YMMV, you assume all risks for 
installing, etc, but that's what you're after if you are willing to take 
that risk.

If the toolbox/cashew is NOT what you're referring to... then my next 
guess would be the activity bar plasmoid.  If /this/ is the case, then 
removing it is far easier, as it's simply a plasmoid like any other, and 
thus can be added/removed like any other.  Unlock widgets, context-click 
(generally, right-click, with traditional pointing devices and 
configuration), select remove as appropriate.

If you're referring to something new in the 4.7 beta (4.6.80) or in master/
HEAD, well, as I said, I've not installed that, so don't know anything 
about it.

> Also, if anyone knows how... how do I turn off the transparency on the
> "folder view" icons on the desktop?

This question is far easier to answer as I (think I) know what you're 
talking about. =:^)  Transparency for such items is a property of the 
plasma theme you choose.  So change that.

Kcontrol (um... systemsettings that mostly aren't systemsettings, but 
instead user-specific kde settings, so the kde4 name systemsettings is 
entirely inappropriate, while even when it is global system settings as 
with setting the time, it's the kde way of doing so, so the kcontrol name 
used in kde3 remains far more accurate than the kde4 term, and I choose to 
continue using the accurate term even if it forces an explanation like 
this every time!), workspace appearance and behavior, workspace 
appearance, desktop theme.  At least that's the kcontrol location in kde 
4.5 and 4.6.  4.5 reorganized the kcontrol layout, so if you're running an 
earlier version, you'll need to search a bit, but it is in kcontrol that 
you'll find it.

Again, if the shipped themes aren't sufficient, there's more available at 
kde-look, which is where the get-new-themes button gets them from, but it 
may be easier to browse kde-look directly.  It's also possible to mix-and-
match the themes used for individual components, using the details tab 
(found elsewhere in pre-4.5 kcontrol), so if you prefer an Oxygen theme 
kickoff and an Air theme widget background, that's doable. =:^)  Of course 
you can also modify the theme files themselves using an ordinary text 
editor and/or replacing the images, as like most of kde's config, they're 
simple text files (pointing at separate image files where appropriate).

FWIW, I use the professional theme from kde-look, text-edited slightly 
since I originally downloaded it back in the kde 4.2.4 or 4.3.0 timeframe 
to correct a minor tooltip visibility issue I was having.  It's far more 
transparent than most themes, one of the reasons I prefer it.   I suppose 
one of these days I should check to see if it has been updated on kdelook 
since my original download...

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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