5 Useful Plasmoids for KDE

In the past, we’ve written about several cool KDE apps. I’m now going to show you some desktop applets – called plasmoids – that have caught my attention. They are all included in KDE 4.9. KDE and productivity junkies, read on!

If you need help installing Plasmoids, here’s the instructions.

1. Character Selector

I frequently have to use foreign characters when I type. Whether I’m typing out the word “résumé” or the name of my (now deceased) cat, “Nüns Núñez,” I often find myself struggling to remember the particular unicode sequence for each diacritical mark. The Character Selector plasmoid removes the need to memorize unicode.


Character Selector lets you display special characters from a number of different alphabets. You can click on a character to copy it to the clipboard or hover over it to see the unicode and decimal values:


While it’s not obvious, the decimal values can be used in HTML coding. For example, the screenshot above shows that the decimal value of “é” is “233.” To insert this into an HTML document, you would type:


Pro-tip: If you already know your special character’s unicode identifier, you can enter it by holding down “Ctrl + Shift + u” and then typing the number.

2. RSSNow

RSSNow is a neat little widget that shows the headlines from the RSS feeds you tell it to watch.


You can configure your RSS feeds in the settings dialog for this plasmoid. When you click on one of the headlines in the plasmoid, the article will open up in your default browser. While it’s not a full-featured RSS reader by any means, RSSNow is useful for people who want to see what an article is about before reading the whole thing.

3. Pastebin

Pastebin lets you paste text and images to have them automatically uploaded to a pastebin or image sharing site of your choice.


The Pastebin plasmoid supports the following pastebin servers out of the box:

  • kde.org
  • paste.ubuntu.com
  • pastebin.com
  • paste.opensuse.org
  • privatepaste.com
  • wklej.org

And it supports the following image sharing sites:

  • wstaw.org
  • Simplest Image Hosting
  • Imgur.com
  • img.susepaste.org

If you want more options, just click “Get New Providers,” and you’ll be taken to the Plasma Desktop Shell Add-On Installer with a list of other providers, such as:

  • pastebin.ru
  • paste.chakra-project.org
  • Pastebin Calculate Linux
  • paste.pardus-linux.org
  • And more!

4. Hardware Info

Do you get tired of typing lspci | grep [whatever] every time you need the name of some piece of hardware you’re running? Hardware Info brings that information straight to your Plasma desktop.


Hardware Info has no settings except for the standard keyboard shortcut and network sharing settings, which are available for all plasmoids. It’s just a very simple plasmoid with one purpose: to show your hardware specs.

5. Comic Strip

In the case of the final plasmoid on this list, “useful” is debatable. If you’re a hardcore comics geek, though, you might find this one not just useful, but essential.


Comic Strip lets you display as many comics series as you want on your desktop. Just go into the settings menu and click “Get New Comics…” to specify the comics you want displayed. If there’s a description or tag line for the comic you’re viewing, it will show when you hover over the plasmoid with your cursor.

Now it’s your turn. Tell us about your own favorite KDE plasmoids!

Rebecca "Ruji" Chapnik

Ruji Chapnik is a freelance creator of miscellanea, including but not limited to text and images. She studied art at the University of California, Santa Cruz and writing at Portland State University. She went on to study Linux in her bedroom and also in various other people's bedrooms, crouched anti-ergonomically before abandoned Windows computers. Ruji currently lives in Portland, Oregon. You can find her experiments at rujic.net and her comics at dondepresso.rujic.net.

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