How to disable the Fedora 34 KDE/Plasma 5.21 application launcher?

Has anyone figured out how to use the new application launcher which comes with KDE/Plasma shell in Fedora 34? I certainly didn’t. Compare new and old:


(Not embedded due to restrictions on new users.)

For me it’s basically impossible to use the mouse to select any “bookmarked” program from the launcher. I click the icon to open the launcher, then if I move the cursor diagonally one of the section on the left side will be selected and the bookmarked programs will disappear. So I have to carefully move my cursor in such a way as to avoid the trap-region on the left, and reach my target region on the right side without unintentionally touching any of the sections I’m not looking for:

In practice, I suppose nobody ever tested this interface with a mouse. Perhaps they’re using a touch screen, or just their keyboard. Nevertheless, my solution is simple: how do I get the previous launcher back?

1 Like

For me, the behavior you describe doesn’t happen very easily. In order to trigger the activation of the submenus, you need to hover over them. Unless you move the mouse very slowly they won’t activate with default kde settings.

That being said, if you want the old one back, it is in the widget store as “Legacy Kickoff”. After you install the widget, right click on launcher button and select “Show Alternatives” and select the legacy version.

1 Like

Thanks! That’s it. relevant links and instructions (hidden due to restrictions on new users):

I had forgotten it’s called “kickoff” so I was getting a lot of irrelevant search results. The “legacy kickoff” widget is very popular! Several users are commenting there with the same experience as mine. I see the 5.21 version is designed to look like Windows 10, no wonder it’s a mess. Sob, when will we ever get rid of the corrupting influence of Microsoft which decreases usability even for everyone else. :frowning:

app launcher and package manager are CORE distro business.

users asking about these is not a good sign. It may hint to a possible pushing of antifeatures or stuff users don’t want. Reasonable distros use KMenu as default rather than the other launcher stuff, memorizing the name of which is futile.

1 Like

So…putting aside that you joined the forum to post that…here is an alternative opinion on that.

There are two approaches distros take to DE customization. Some distros choose to offer a mostly base DE experience and let the user customize themselves to their preferences. Others choose to offer a more customized experience. The reality is, no matter which choice the distro maintainers make, people will complain that it doesn’t match their personal preferences.

That being said, it seems to me that Fedora is firmly in the “minimal customizations” camp as it relates to DEs. Given that, it makes sense that they are shipping the KDE default launcher. What happened here is that with Plasma 5.21 KDE modified the Application Launcher with a new look and feel and that it made it’s way into Fedora naturally.

Even among those who do offer customized experiences, very few distros are still using kmenu in 2021. For those less familiar with KDE/plasma and since it is different than what the OP is talking about, this is what kmenu generally refers to.

Ultimately, what I love about plasma is the fact that it doesn’t really matter what the distro maintainers choose by default. There are host of different menu/launcher options offered by the KDE project and/or the community to choose from and we all get to choose what works for us best for us.

1 Like

well… your clairvoyance and mind reading is quite a treat, yet I maintain there are good and poor launchers. launchers that waste screen space and make users scroll a lot are inferior to those that don’t.

KMenu a launcher that needs no usability improvement since that is not possible.

The other launchers’ raison d’etre is just to show how to make usability worse.

KDE’s taunting of KMenu as “legacy” is a form of software-mobbing against superior warez IMHO.

1 Like

Which launcher is superior is entirely a matter of personal preference. Since we all have different workflows, different display setups and different ideas of what makes something the “best”, it is great that we get to choose the option works best for us.

kmenu(kicker) and the “legacy kickoff” are completely different launchers.

This is kmenu and this is the “legacy kickoff” the OP is referring to above.

1 Like

I doubt that many users have a preference for scrolling the mousewheel 10 times of what is necessary and get essentially zero usability benefit in return.

But perhaps there is something else about it that makes that OK. Alternatively, perhaps they don’t use the mousewheel with the launcher at all.

I think the OP’s case is a great example. I have always hated the legacy kickoff the OP prefers because it requires a series of move mouse, hover, move mouse, click which I find very inefficient. I think the new design offers much more direct access and is generally better. However, the OP finds the new version interferes with the way they move their mouse across the submenus, a problem I don’t have.

As another example, from your post above, you mention screen real estate being a concern. Many people prefer full screen launchers. Neither choice is really wrong. A lot of it depends on what kind of display setup you have and what kind of input device you are using.

Lastly, I would point out the current kickoff menu is much closer in functionality/layout to kmenu than the legacy kickoff menu so it seems like, in theory, you should prefer the update to the legacy kickoff based on your stated preferences above. Have you had an opportunity to test the new kickoff in plasma 5.21 and later?

As I implied above:

There is no need whatsoever to even consider other launchers.

KMenu is the perfect launcher PERIOD

No point in wasting time trying out those sometimes pathetic “alternative launchers”.

KMenu , sinon rien , as the French say. ( KMenu or nothing at all! )

1 Like

I agree people have different workflows. So I opened this thread mostly because it made me suspect that we have wildly different expectations on what this piece of the interface is used for, and it’s at least interesting to find out more. (Though there’s probably no obvious way to decide what’s the “best” default.)

For the record, that’s not what I do most of the time. I only use the menus that way when there’s some program of which I forgot the name; most of the time I just open one of the application launchers with a keyboard shortcut and write the name of the program, launch it with enter. My use case is more like: when i reboot, I want to open Thunderbird in two clicks (launcher, Thunderbird icon in the bookmarks): for this the “legacy kickoff” or any of the alternatives currently shown are equally fine, there is no mental gymnastic as my hand simply clicks one point and then the other without reflecting how to get there; only this new launcher forces me to think how I’m supposed to move the cursor around.

I may have to admit a little inaccuracy. KMenu is the ultimate launcher, and most definitely so while in conjunction with grun or Grun or GRun or whatever the spelling.

GRun + KRunner + KMenu // implying KDE of course !

gives you the ultimate in launching usability.

too bad though: GRun you need to build yourself because of bitrot.

appearantly , GRun was thrown together in half a day, yet the programmers of GRun (Gnome Runner) understood usability aspects in a far superior way than others. Yes, I am looking at you, Lancelot !

This topic was automatically closed 28 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.