Header Bar for Plasma?

We need more Header Bar goodness. It’s such a great place to expose OS level features. Much more of what is shoved into the Header Bar menu should get their own dedicated buttons, e.g. meta+f fullscreen.

Document proxy, shading, tab-conglomeration, menu-bars … the ideas already sparked in the past beyond the currently implemented and important functionality - a stable place for window manipulation and document title exposure - are manifold.

The demand to remove the titlebar is an unfortunate trend driven by design over functionality and a lack of ambition and/or imagination by other big vendors.

PS: Just to spread some titlebar love. :wink:


Since when is the need for more screen real estate a trend? An “unfortunate” one for that matter?
And um…what’s the point of a fullscreen on the titlebar if you need either a button, mouseclick, mousemove or shortcut to get it back to normal screen anyway? Unless you mean fullscreen, titlebar included? If any functionality should be added, surely, it’s on the toolbar, regardless. That way both titlebar lovers/users and non-users ( small screen, tilers…) would be served.
Besides, if you start adding a bunch of functionalities to the titlebar you end up with the same issue, space.

I guess the majority of KDE users don’t know this, two years after its introduction, except those following KDE news closely. How to better advertise these “hidden” features?

It’s a good question. Nobody wants a hint-popup when you launch KDE, so I dont know what else. Whenever there’s loading screens there could be a random tip, like in games?

Nobody - at least not me - claimed that this is the unfortunate trend.

There is no free real estate (except when you buy a bigger display). So usually there is a tradeoff between functionality vs. screen real estate. How big is the pressure on either side of this equation?

One can make the argument that on 3.5" screen there is big pressure for screen real estate - esp. if you have a imprecise input method like a finger. So you’re maybe willing to give up on a menu-bar, or a title-bar, or panels/docks, or even showing more than one window at the same time.

Is the pressure weighted the same on e.g. a two display 27" 4k setup with a precise input device? Are we making the same tradeoff? That’s the question.

A “what’s new” popup on the next launch after upgrade, that’s actually quite popular, e.g. vscode, firefox… The user can dismiss it with a single click (and later bring it back from Help-What’s New), so it can’t be that annoying, especially since KDE Plasma/Apps only upgrades every 3-6 months.

Or a notification/tray icon? Then the user can just hide it if uninterested.

Or a “Hints and Tricks” app, like in Windows? The problem is most user won’t open that app, anyway.

I wouldn’t say nobody. There are certainly people that learn like that. Imo older people or not so tech savvy people read those popups.

That being said I think this is a issue that cannot be solved solely by code.
Maybe feature such cool features (I hope I am not the only one who think this is really amazing) more prominently in blogs and news etc…
Give those youtubers a few hints what to talk about when promoting KDE/Plasma. There are so many cool features in KDE, most of them do not or cannot do enough research. Give them a few tips what to show off!

It’s a very good idea to have “What’s new” pop-up, including especially a concise list of any new features.
I can be considered a relatively experienced user with some beginner level scripting skills, but I learned about Ctrl+Alt+I here, and when I tried it for the first time in Gwenview, I also learned about its “Annotate” feature. :smiley:


Just bring back Kandalf /s


Why the /s? I didn’t use KDE when Kandalf was a thing. Was it that bad? :smiley:

I was just being silly, Kandalf is before my time too.

But I’m guessing a hyper-realistic old man with a fish spine in his pocket might not be super presentable as a mascot. :stuck_out_tongue:

I like the idea of an app made just for presenting tips every login that could be added to autostart (or not) from plasma-welcome. In principle it’s an easy app to make, it would take more time writing the tips themselves.

Hmm I have an idea to fund KDE e. V. :smiley: ! For just 4,99 you can upgrade your kandalf to konqi. Or gamble with our Loot box - Wikipedia you have a chance to get a super rare dr. konqi or katie! /s

Maybe a good way for non techie contributors to help out? Not sure how feasible this is, but there are plenty of people who want to help out but lack the technical skills.

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the header bar seems better suited for a smart phone / tablet with a touch screen where real estate is tight and where you have dedicated “title bar” like functions built into the device’s soft buttons.

on a desktop with a mouse screen real estate is less scarce, and you have finer control so big clunky header buttons just look out of place and cartoonish…

i DO need some way to grab/close the window with my pointing device unless i want to resort to often hidden and obscure hot keys which can vary from OS to OS and even from app to app.


I’m on a laptop with small 15.6" screen, and I don’t mind the titlebar in my apps.

When you open multiple instances of the same application, that centered title in the titlebar helps to differentiate each instance.

What I’m afraid is that if you start to implement that GNOOMY header bar you will slaughter most KDE apps by removing most of their toolbar buttons, and you will get the same ugly result you find in all GNOME apps.


This feature was indeed highlighted in various Linux news sites, blogs and youtubers, back in 2021. And it will continue be in various “10 cool things you don’t know in KDE” videos.

But I guess most KDE users don’t read of watch any of these. Unless KDE promotes these contents on the desktop itself. That would probably annoy many users…


As I wrote in my previous post, a small drawing to present more clearly my idea to replace the tab bar with a drop-down menu. Sorry, I’ve always sucked at drawing.

  • In red: the search field for easy sorting.
  • The line highlighted in yellow shows the current directory. It can be located anywhere in the stack.
  • The alternating white and gray lines distinguish the different directories open in Dolphin.
  • A blue brace shows two directories in a left/right split view.

Without being as revolutionary as Gnome Shell’s headerbar, it seems to me that such a menu would provide better accessibility than juxtaposed tabs.

Thanks and have a nice weekend

how would one access such a menu? i assume at least one action is required just to be able to see these choices.

that’s one more action than i need to take if all the tabs are shown across the top of the screen.

and since these are presumably files i’m currently working it, this menu would place an additional barrier between me and what i’m working on.

Just by clicking on the title in the titlebar. In just two clicks, you can access the directory/file you want.

If you only have two or three directories/files open, this is not necessarily faster.

I think this menu is more interesting if there are a lot of folders/files open, or if the path/name are confusing.

As I wrote earlier when considering kate’s case: the more files there are open, the more tabs there are side by side, the less space there is to display the directory/file title.

Having a drop-down menu becomes a time-saver, allowing you to access the right file with just two clicks. This also avoids modifying the wrong file by selecting the wrong tab.

Ubuntu stopped doing this since 20.04

Oh wow: I was literally coming here to talk about this, was lucky to see this thread before opening another one. I use only KDE Plasma since switching to Linux a decade ago: Occasionally I check Gnome for comparison and to see what it does differently. Every time I see just two things I consider an advantage over KDE: The simplified system tray giving you quick toggles and sliders for various system functions, and most important the mixing of the titlebar with the header bar.

As a Windows user I’m definitely fond of the old days when everything had a fixed titlebar, which technically would still be the case with the merged model. Problem is that by default, all KDE and most Qt apps rely on KWin to offer a fixed titlebar with predefined buttons for everything: Screen space is wasted just to show the window title and close / restore / minimize / maximize buttons, when right below you have a mostly empty header defined by the application which can just as easily make use of that space by including the title and those buttons.

So far a few GTK applications explicitly disable KWin decoration to use their own customized titlebar, notably Firefox and Thunderbird which do this to put tabs in the titlebar with good looking and consistent results. I feel the experience would be better if everything such as Kate, Dolphin, System Monitor, so on did the same thing. The KWin decoration could of course remain an option, as well as a fallback for generic windowed applications that don’t offer a header bar so you aren’t left without a close button or application menu in those.