Why you can trust ZDNET
:ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.Our process
'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?
ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.
When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.
ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.
Of course, KDE Plasma has a few more tricks up its sleeve than Windows. One such trick is called KRunner.
KRunner is a handy tool for running commands (without having to open a terminal) and much more. In fact, KRunner can do quite a bit more than you might think. It can:
Start and stop applications.
Open web pages and bookmarks.
Search for (and open) files and folders.
Switch sessions, windows, desktops, and activities.
Access contacts (for easy sending of emails and more).
Play music from the default music player.
Calculate short equations.
Display the time and date.
Check the spelling of words.
Manage your computer settings.
KRunner is the tool you didn't know you needed but once you start using it, you'll wonder how you got on without it. This handy application is installed by default but, depending on the version of KDE you're using, might need a bit of tweaking to get it working as expected.
I'm going to demonstrate this on the testing version of KDE Neon, which ships with KDE Plasma version 5.27.6. If you're using a version other than that, you might have to enable the file/directory search feature (which I'll show you how to do).
How to use KDE Plasma's KRunner
What you'll need: The only thing you'll need is a running instance of Linux that uses the KDE Plasma desktop.
1. Open KRunner
The first thing to do is log into KDE Plasma. Once you've logged in, you can open KRunner with the [Alt]+[Space] keyboard shortcut. This should open a drop-down application from the top center of your display.
2. Open a file
Let's say you want to open a previously opened file without having to either open the file manager or the application used to create or edit the file. There are two ways to do that. You could either type the explicit path to the file, such as file:/home/jack/Documents/test.txt or (if the file has previously been opened) just type the name of the file.
If you type the name of the file, you'll probably see more than one entry, such as Recent Files, Windows (which indicates the file has been opened before and with what application), and Locations (websites). Click either the Recent Files or Windows entry to open the file with the default application.
3. Open a website
Let's say you want to visit ZDNET.com. Open KRunner, type zdnet.com, and Locations should appear. Click the entry and your default web browser will open the ZDNET site.
4. Check the spelling of a word
We all have that "one" word that trips us up every time. KRunner can help you with that. Open the tool and type spell WORD (where WORD is the word you want to check). KRunner will give you the correct spelling for the word in question.
KRunner can also act as a calculator. This one is simple. For example, you could have KRunner multiple 3.14 by 3.14.
Open KRunner and type 3.14*3.14 to find the answer.
How to enable File Search
Depending on the version of KDE Plasma you are using (and the distribution it's running on), you might have to enable indexing, so the KRunner file search feature works. Here's how to do that.
1. Open System Settings
You should see a launcher for System Settings in the default panel. If not, you'll find it in the desktop menu. Open that app. In the search field, type file search and click the entry in the left pane.
2. Enable File Search
In the resulting window, make sure Enable File Search and Also index file content are both checked. You can also add specific directories to index in the bottom pane.