Can the Wastebin widget be made to "take up space like an icon"?

One problem I’ve found with the trashcan “widget” is that it does not “take up space”. I mean, it does, visually, but not “really”. If new objects are put on the desktop, such as by my video clip downloader scripts, they get put in the top-left corner because while my trashcan widget is located there, it does not take up “space” like an icon does.

Yes, I know about the trick where you can drag and drop the Wastebin from Dolphin onto the desktop to make it an actual icon, but then there is a context menu item for “Move to Wastebin” which I keep accidentally picking instead of “Empty Wastebin”, which is the reason I went looking for a “proper” trashcan in the first place.

I looked in the settings for the trashcan widget but there is no checkbox to “make it take up space like an icon would” or similar. Is there a way to accomplish this?

I’ve been forced to put the Wastebin widget in the bottom-right corner just to avoid having objects put “underneath” it all the time.

I’m guessing you are talking about the desktop when using the layout “Folder View” (RMB => Configure Desktop And Wallpaper => Wallpaper => Layout), and the Trash Can built-in widget.

The issue is that the “Folder View” layout just shows a folder view (Dolphin widget) splatted all across the root window (X11-era technical term meaning “the box that covers your entire screen and is behind everything, where the wallpaper is drawn”), but you can also put widgets on the “Folder View” desktop layout, but the icons shown by the “Folder View” do not interact with the widgets (kind of like dark matter and standard matter) - the file icons show behind the widgets and neither take the other into consideration when performing layout.

For example - if you have two widgets they aren’t allowed to cover each other: you can’t resize one widget on top of another or move them on top of each other. But “Folder View” file icons are on a completely different layer.

And basically, that’s it - the Trash Can widget can’t relate to “Folder View” icons because it literally can’t see them. Ideally “Folder View” would see the widgets and layout its file icons around the widgets on the desktop - but there are serious technological difficulties with doing this and I don’t think there are Plasma developers that want to do that hard work - basically “Folder View” is a bаstаrd child of the widget-based Plasma desktop that is only there to make MS-Window migratees feel more at home, and native Plasmatees that want to see the ~/Desktop files on their Plasma wallpaper (or actually, any other folder) use the “Desktop” layout and add a Folder View widget to show the file icons. If you don’t like the plasma widget background/border behind your file files, there’s a Transparent Folder View widget that you can get from “Get New Widgets”.

Good explanation, but also confusing. I just tried that “Desktop” mode for the… desktop, but while there is a trashcan in the top-left (which cannot be moved), none of the other items on my desktop show at all. Adding the “Folder View” widget puts an ugly rectangle with blurry background on top of the desktop. Why would anyone want to do this? Why isn’t the desktop behaving like any “digital desktop” since the metaphor first appeared, when in the oddly named “desktop” mode?

As I’ve mentioned before - if you don’t want the box around your folder icons, add the Transparent Folder View widget from the widget store and use that.

Why where decisions made the way their made? Because other people thought differently :person_shrugging: Regarding the name: naming things is hard. “Desktop” is the default desktop mode for plasma - it doesn’t have any icons, just widgets, but one of the widgets (or more than one) can be a folder view. The “Folder View layout” is a compromise for MS-Windows appeal, and as you’ve noticed - it does not play well with a widget desktop.

Plasma is all about customization and choice - and sometimes we pay for that in complexity and weird interactions. All other desktop interfaces in existence gave up on widgets on the desktop (or gave up on file icons on the desktop, or both) - and maybe for a good reason: its complicated. I like the fact that in Plasma you can still choose to have both widgets and icons on the same desktop and live with the schism :sunglasses:

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yes. please don’t get rid of the folders view option in plasma.

the desktop metaphor has been wildly successful for good reason…the GUI a natural way to interact with your digital life that feels tangible and i would hate for KDE fall victim to a “new improved” mindset that is neither.

i too wish for specialized folder icon (ala windows), but i’ll take the widget if that’s all i can get. i’m glad KDE exists.


Still doesn’t explain why certain service menus still don’t work on the Desktop ( whereas they do work in dolphin), regardless if it is set to desktop, home or whatever. You can try this with the copy/move servicemenu.

The “Folder View layout” isn’t really Dolphin. It uses some of its code, but it isn’t actually Dolphin.

Yes, I know. I’ve posted about this before and long ago a bug was filed for this. And although it’s better nowadays, there was a time an entire bunch of servicemenus didn’t work on the desktop. Regardless what setting. On debian this was a nightmare at some point cause that mixed up desktop and desktop in my language to begin with. I made most of my servicemenus but I know for a fact that copy/move doesn’t work ( since 5.22-ish something). Not on the desktop or folder widget on the panel. Like I said, no biggie for me since I made a more elaborate thing for it. Just sayin’.


It’s difficult to add something which doesn’t exist. There is no such widget. Only “Folder View”. Nothing with “Transparent” in it at all.

You need to install it from the “Get New Widgets” store (I’ve mentioned that previously).

To do that, right click on the desktop and choose “Add Widgets…”. In the panel that opens there’s a button at the top right labelled “Get New Widgets” - click it and in the menu that opens choose “Download New Plasma Widgets”. This will open the “Download New Plasma Widgets” store - search for a d install “Transparent Folder View”.

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Well, if it’s not even one of the “base widgets”, that’s even more bizarre!

Why? The KDE distributed widgets all have consistent styling, as you’d expect. The “Transparent Foler View” widget was created by a 3rd party and is offered on the 3rd party widget store, because it does not fit Plasma styling: it is specifically exactly the Plasma standard Folder View widget stripped of its Plasma styling.

Even if Plasma style doesn’t fit everyone’s taste, it is what it is (though, you can choose a different consistent styling using the Plasma Style setting) - everyone keeps hammering on how much GNOME designers have “taste” and “vision” when they select consistent styling (even when it is terrible) - so I don’t think Plasma designers have anything to apologize for.

you will need to download it first from the on-line sources


i’ve noticed the “hide background” option on certain default widgets (e.g. system monitors)

is that not something that could be easily added to the standard folders view widget?

There is that thing - it’s kind of a standard thing, first published here and documented in the KDE developer website, Widget Properties.

It generally requires little work from Plasmoid developers, and most of that is to create the “Show/Hide Background” button - and that work is already in Folder View (!!). What is missing is to enable the “background is configurable” flag and set the “Hide Background” action to use NoBorder instead of ShadowBorder (*) and I’ve created an MR to do that: Allow to configure the Folder View plasmoid background to have no background (!1743) · Merge requests · Plasma / Plasma Desktop · GitLab

*) I personally would like to see all three background options (standard, shadow, and none) made available to the user, but I don’t have the time/expertise to get into that.

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