FAQ for Plasma Active / Contour Novice Users

Setting up Activities

How do I create a new activity?

  1. Pull the activity wheel out from the right
  2. Tap on the + Icon above the wheel to open the "Create Activity" dialog
  3. Enter a name for the activity
  4. Choose a wallpaper
  5. Tap "Create activity"

How do I delete an activity?

  1. Pull out the activity wheel
  2. Scroll to the activity you want to delete (you cannot delete the currently active activity)
  3. Tap the trash can icon on the activity's thumbnail

How do I edit an activity (name and background)?

Tap the wrench icon on the top-left corner of the home screen.

How do I add resources to an activity?

There are two different methods for connecting a resource to an activity.

  1. Via #Share/Like/Connect
  2. Via the "Add Items" dialog

To add a resource to the current activity via the "Add Items" dialog, do the following:

  1. Tap the + Icon to the upper-left of the home screen
  2. Choose a resource category or start typing the name of the resource
  3. Select the desired resource(s) and tap "Add Items"

I've just copied/downloaded a new file to my home folder, but it doesn't show up in the Add Items dialog. Where is it?

The Add Items dialog is based on Nepomuk, so it only shows resources that are already present in Nepomuk's database. If your file does not show up in the dialog, wait a few minutes until it has been indexed.

How do I remove a resource from an activity?

  1. Tap and hold the resource icon on the home screen until a context menu pops up
  2. Tap "Activies"
  3. Tap "Current activity".

Remember: This does not delete the file but only disconnect it from the activity.


What are those three buttons on the right of the panel for?

These are "Share / Like / Connect" (SLC). They provide a unified interface for any Active application allowing you to do things with the currently selected resource (web page, picture, etc.).

For example, "Share" allows you to send an image to a friend or in the future to upload it to flickr etc., "Like" does things like bookmark a website or rate an image, "Connect" allows you to connect a resource to an activity but could connect it to other things as well. What exactly the three buttons do depends on the application and resource type.

The SLC buttons are all greyed out. Why?

This means that SLC is not available in your current context. This happens either on the home screen if nothing is selected or if you are in an application that does not support SLC (yet). As more and more applications receive an Active version, they will implement SLC as well.

How do I add a currently opened resource (Web page, Picture etc.) to an activity?

Just tap the "connect" button (it's the second one from the right, with the checkmark on it), tap "Activities" and then choose an activity to connect to.

Starting and using applications

How do I start an application?

There are two ways to start an application:

  1. From an activity
  2. From the launch area

To start an application from an activity, you have to first Add it to the activity. After that, you can start it by tapping it on the home screen

To start an application from the launch area

  1. Pull the peak all the way down
  2. Tap the application (you can also use the filter box to filter the available apps)

How do I use Kontact Touch?

You can find a manual on KDE UserBase

Where are the Browser's settings?

Since Plasma Active 2, there is a Settings application. Start it from the applicaton launcher and tap Web and Browser on the left hand navigaton. On this screen you will find settings for the browser. Do not look for an apply button, changes apply automatically.

Virtual Keyboard

The virtual keyboard covers something I want to refer to while typing. How do I get it out of the way?

The virtual keyboad can be placed on top or at the bottom. You can archive this by swiping up or down while it's active. Swipe towards the edge it is currently placed or tap outside of it to make it hide until you tap on a text field the next time.


How do I tag a file?

To tag a file, you first have to select it by either tapping and holding on a single file until it gets highlighted or using two fingers to draw a rectangle around a group of files. Then drag the selected file(s) to an existing tag or to "New Tag".

How do I remove a tag from a file?

Just drag the file to the tag again.

Can I delete or rename tags?

Currently you can only create tags and assign them to files. Tag modification will come in the next version of Files.

Can I rename files in Files?

Renaming files is currently not yet supported in Files. Use Konsole to rename files or install Dolphin via zypper for that.

How do I move a file to/from an external storage device (e.g. an USB drive)?

When you connect a new storage device, an icon appears in the upper-left corner of Files. To copy a file to it, just select and drag it to the icon. To copy a file from the external to your device's internal storage, first tap its icon to browse it, select the file(s) and drag them to the hard disk icon,

Using Netbooks or Virtual Machine

How do I get a Mouse Cursor?

The mouse cursor is still there but invisible or disabled.

For older images, you can enable the cursor from a terminal. With newer images, you may be able to enable it in Plasma Active Settings.

Enabling the Cursor from a Terminal

First you need to start a terminal program.

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+F1 on a netbook or Alt+F1 on a virtual machine. Use Meta+F1 in VirtualBox instead, Meta is the right Ctrl button.
    If you are able to catch it, you can also launch the Konsole application.
  2. By entering the following commands the invisible mouse cursor theme will be removed.
    You have to become super user, please see the release notes for the default passwords.
  [email protected]# su

Remove the invisible mouse theme

  [email protected]# rpm -e plasma-mobile-mouse

Remove the -nocursor option from /etc/sysconfig/uxlaunch using a text editor (vim is included in the image).

The mouse cursor will appear after reboot

  [email protected]# reboot

If you are using an Netbook and you like to try out without installation (live mode),
please instead of using the reboot command above use the following commands to restart only the graphics system

  [email protected]# init 3 && init 5

Enabling the Cursor in Plasma Active Settings

  1. Pull down the top bar (Peek & Launch) and click Settings to launch Plasma Active Settings.
  2. Select the Development tab and enable Visible pointer.
  3. Pull down the top bar again and close Settings. The cursor should now be visible.

If you have difficulties to click tiny elements in the settings area, try to capture/release the cursor with the Host key (right Ctrl) or even temporary disable mouse integration and capture the pointer manually using the Host key.

Configure XRender as the Compositor as a Workaround for Various Display Issues

If you encounter issues with the OpenGL compositor such as black background in the application selection area, a black screen when the virtual keyboard is displayed and so on, you can try to change the compositor to XRender.

  1. As the virtual keyboard tends to block Konsole if you accidentally click anywhere in Konsole, it is recommended to switch to a text console. In VirtualBox, this is done with Meta+F2 (usually Right Ctrl+F2).
    If the Vi editor is missing, install it:
    zypper in vi
  2. Open the file /usr/share/kde4/config/kwinactiverc and change the line
  3. Restart the GUI:
    init 3 && init 5
    And switch back to the GUI with Meta+F1.

This page was last edited on 5 September 2013, at 14:52. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.