Linux Library

Linux Library

Bringing You the Latest Linux News, Reviews, and Tutorials

KDE Kickoff Application Launcher

The Kickoff application launcher is your main source for action when using the KDE desktop environment. Kickoff is designed to give quick access to everything your system has to offer. All of your applications and important locations on your system are stored in the Kickoff menu.

System Settings

You can also find the majority of your system settings inside the Kickoff menu. As of the release of version 4.7 of the Plasma desktop a breadcrumbs feature has also been added. This allows you to track your movement in the menu, and quickly move to previous menus.

KDE Kubuntu 11.10 Screenshot

Classic Menu

On some versions of the KDE desktop you will be able to revert to a classical menu style. This can be done by right clicking on the Kickoff icon in your panel. You can then select switch to classic menu style.

KDE Kickoff Application Launcher Contents

The following items can be found inside the Kickoff menu.


The Kickoff menu for KDE provides advanced search functions which can be used to find almost anything on your system. The search bar sits at the top of the KDE Kickoff menu, above the list of icons and applications. As you type in items to search for the menu will be updated automatically with your results.


Directly under the search bar you can find a list of previously visited menus used to get to the current menu. You can use the breadcrumbs to quickly navigate to previous directories.


Inside the favorites menu you can find launchers for some of the most popular applications on your system. By default you can find the following launchers in the KDE Kockoff menu. Rekonq web browser, Kontact information manager, Dolphin file manager, Kopete instant messenger, and Amarok audio player.


All of your installed applications can be found in the applications tab of the KDE Kickoff start menu. Your available applications are all arranged into categories based on function,, the following categories are available. Games, graphics, internet, multimedia, office, settings, system, utilities, and help.


From the computer tab you can find shortcuts for your system settings, the Muon software center, and a shortcut for the run command dialog.

Recently Used

For convenience all the applications and documents that you have recently opened will be displayed here.


The leave button will allow you to logout of your system, shutdown, or reboot.

KDE Kickoff Application Launcher Favorites Menu Customization

The following actions can be used to customize your favorites menu.

Adding Favorite Menu Items

Any item inside your applications tab can be added to your favorites. Just right-click on the desired item inside the KDE applications menu and select add to favorites.

Removing Favorite Menu Items

All items inside your KDE favorites menu can also be removed. To do this simply right-click on the item inside your favorites menu and then select the remove from favorites option.

Sorting Your Favorites Menu

You can even sort your favorites menu by right-clicking on any item inside the favorites menu, after that select sort alphabetically. Items can be sorted from A – Z or Z – A. You can also drag and drop icons inside your favorites menu to rearrange them.

KDE Menu Editor KMenuEdit

Users can also use the KMenuEdit tool to configure the Kickoff application launcher, or other menus used by KDE. To launch KMenuEdit you can simply right-click on the KDE Kickoff icon inside the main panel, then select the edit applications button. This tool will let you easily customize the contents of your menus, you can add new launchers, or add sub-menus for different categories.

KDE Kickoff Application Launcher Tips

From the KDE Kickoff application launcher you can also choose items to be placed inside your panel or on your desktop. Simply right-click on any of your applications or files inside the menu, you can then select add to desktop or add to panel.

Alternative Menus

If you are not satisfied with the Kickoff application launcher you can always use an alternative menu. Menus are provided by the panel application or widget set being used. Installing an alternative panel or dock will generally provide its own applications menu of some kind. Docklets, GDesklets, or Screenlets may also provide menu functionality.

KDE Plasma Desktop Introduction