How to reset desktop icons to default size

I am a new user and I am having trouble with my KDE desktop under 13.2

Everything seemed awfully small, to my tired old eyes, and I stumbled around trying to reset desktop text and icon to a larger size. I was partially successful in that I made some icons huge and changed some of the text, but it is jumbled up and looks worse.

Now, it seems like I can’t get rid of my changes. Even when I try to “reset” to “defaults” and “apply” nothing seems to happen. At this point, I will be satisfied to reset all components back to their default values.

Please make your instructions specific, as if I am an idiot, I am new here.

I am a long-time Windows user who has dabbled with Ubuntu for 5-6 years under Gnome and Unity, but I decided that OpenSUSE and KDE really made more sense for a long-term home. There is a lot here that is confusing to me, but I can perservere for a while.

My biggest problem is finding things. For example, what is the desktop? An “Application” or part of “System” or what?

Thank you very much, Harry

Hi, Harry, and welcome to OpenSuse.

I’m not using 13.2, but 13.1 so my answers may not apply completely.

BTW, I too, migrated from Windows XP to OpenSuSe 9.0 a few years ago.

You should be able to change icon size by going to System Settings, Application Appearance, Icons. Go to the Advanced Tab and you can set the icon size. It should change all the icons at once.

The desktop in this instance refers to the main screen display, and on which you may find icons that when clicked will start applications.

Hope this answers your questions.


Typically the ‘Desktop’ was based upon the old style Windows layout
In KDE this isn’t really the case.

In KDE the Desktop can reflect different locations depending how it is setup.

But lets start by having your Desktop in view and right click in the space. In the box that you see make sure widgets are unlocked. When you have done that, now right click again and in the box that you see, right at the bottom of the box you should see a ‘Settings’ option, it may be ‘Folder Settings’, but whatever it is, select it.
Now a new box will appear and you should see a section on the left for ‘Icons’ - Go to it

If you manage to change things OK
at the end remember to Apply and lastly, right click desktop > Lock Widgets

Desktop is a general name for a bunch of programs that present a graphical representation of the Desktop metaphor. So the prime Desktops are KDE and Gnome but therr are a plethora of others. So In KDE it used to be that all was in the ~/.kde4 directory But I believe that in 13.2 that some or all configuration files have been moved to ~/.config/kde4

Note that ~/ indicates your home directory and a period in front of a file name makes it hidden.

To see hidden files in your Dolphin file manager right click the tool bar and select “configure tool bars” move “show hidden files” to the active side. This will add a button to toolbar that allows you to toggle hidden show files off and on. Now you can set things back to normal by removing the config files directory. but there is a catch. You can not remove them while running KDE. (think about changing the tires while driving down the road) So what I do is log into a terminal as root and do any pruning that I need done.

So to do that at the boot press e find the line that starts with linux go to the end (note is is long and rapes best to press the end key to get to the true end of the line) enter a space and a 3 this will allow boot to run level 3 which is terminal mode. Press F10 to continue boot. You will then get a text log in log in as root. to erase all KDE plasma configs type

rm /home/***yourusernamehere***/.kde4 -R

note the period. the -R is to recursively remove all below that directory
Remember that Linux is case sensitive so a is not the same as **A **

Re boot by typing


Now you should have the default desktop setup the same as when you installed because since you removed the configs KDE will recreate the default setup

To adjust the Desktop use Configure Desktop. This will change the settings to all things on the desktop.

Almost all things can be done in one of two places Yast for system wide settings and Configure Desktop for personal desktop settings. Learn those two programs and almost all things can be done. It is extremely rare have to do what I described above.

Be careful!
~/.kde4 contains more than just configuration settings.
E.g. KTorrent downloads torrents to ~/.kde4/share/apps/ktorrent/ by default, your addressbook is in ~/.kde4/share/apps/kabc/, and so on.
Better only rename it at first to not loose any data.

mv ~/.kde4 ~/.kde4.old

Or just remove ~/.kde4/share/config/ to reset everything to defaults.

And you should do that when KDE is not running as mentioned, but you should not do that as root. Login to text mode as your normal user. Or choose a different session on the login screen (click on the “gear” icon in the lower left corner), IceWM should be installed by default.

Thanks, guys!

The answer from caf4926 was exactly what I needed. Setting the icons to a “medium” size was what I was really looking for.

The other answers were drinking from a fire hose for me, at this point. But I do appreciate the thoughful and comprehensive instructions.

I have other odd questions but for now let me ask about Gimp. I tried to install it, and “accepted” the EULA, etc, but nothing seems to have happened. When I look in the graphics applications, all that I find there is the LibreOffice drawing program.

Thanks again.

How did you “install” it??

Gimp is in the repositories so did you go to Yast - software Management search for gimp and install it?? Or did you do something else??

HMMM thought gimp was installed by default anyway. Also don’t remember a eula for it. It is open source.

Yes, I went through Yast software management.

I used the term “EULA” generically. I agreed to whatever it wanted me to agree to. I was using Windows-esque terminology.

If it was already installed, that would explain why it seemed like nothing happened.

If so, where do I find it? I would like to make it the default image editor and create a desktop icon or shortcut.

Wait, mistake mistake. I am an idiot.

It was there, in the second panel as “image editor” I just missed it.

I wish I could make the window that opens applications and such bigger so that more things would display.

Should be in the menu under graphics image editing. You can tell in Yast if an item is installed or needs upgraded or is black listed by the icon on the line. A black check indicates it is installed. No check not installed. You can see the options by right clicking the little box. I expect what you agreed to is to accept the repos’s credentials as true and correct. You check the items(s) you want to install and then press accept at bottom right it should go through a download and install process. No download install process then no install.

You mean the K-menu/application launcher?
You actually can resize that.

Just drag it at a corner when it is open and resize it like you would resize a window.

And there are other application launchers available, which you might prefer.

E.g. Lancelot:

Or Homerun, a full screen launcher:

Yes, thank you. I was looking for a more complicated procedure.

Thanks for all the help. I will open new threads for new questions when they come up.