Chapter 5.1 LXQt Panel

LXQt Panel is the bar situated at the bottom of your screen by default. The panel contains an application menu, a desktop switcher, a quicklaunch bar, a taskbar, a system tray containing applets, and a clock. The panel is highly configurable with a number of settings and plugins which is detailed in the Customizing section and also contains how to add or remove applets.

Usage

The application menu allows you to browse and search through available programs; a keyboard shortcut is conveniently available for this and is set to Super(Windows) by default. The menu has many subcategories to launch each application. The Leave menu has options to Hibernate, Leave, Logout, Reboot, Shutdown, or Suspend. If you want to lock your screen use Lock Screen. If you want to lock your screen select Lock Screen. If you mouseover a program you can see a description of that program in the menu. To go back one level or close the root level of the menu press the Escape key. The desktop switcher allows you to switch to another virtual desktop, allowing you to keep your workspace organized by left clicking on the desktop number or using the mousewheel to change desktops. To see your desktop names simply mouseover the desktop number to see the desktop name.

../../_images/menu_search.png

The quick launch bar allows you to conveniently launch your file manager (PCManFM) and web browser (Firefox) by left clicking on the program. If you right click on the icons in quick launch on something like Firefox will have items for each program. To add a program to quick launch open the menu and find it there and drag it down onto the panel. To move an item on your quick launch to the left right click the icon and select Move left or press Control and drag the icon to the left. To move an item to the left right click the icon and select Move right or press Control and drag the icon to the right. Another way to reorder items on quicklaunch is to hold Control and drag and drop to the desired position. To remove an item from quick launch right click on the icon and select Remove from quicklaunch. To show your desktop press the blue show desktop button between quick launch and the taskbar. To see all your windows again press the blue show desktop button again.

The taskbar lists the windows you currently have open. To bring one of these windows to focus simply left click the button with icon and name on the task bar. If you have multiple of the same window left clicking will open the group, allowing you to select between the different windows by left clicking. If you want to close a group of multiple windows you can right click the group and click Close group. To see a list of all the windows in a group mouseover the group of windows on the taskbar.

../../_images/multiple_tasks.png

On a single window on the taskbar to move it to a different desktop right click To Desktop to move the window to the desired desktop. To move a window to your current virtual desktop right click on the window on your taskbar and select To Current Desktop. Right clicking and selecting Move lets you drag the application around to the desired point on the desktop. The resize option from the same window lets you resize the window you right clicked on. Right click and select Maximize on a window to maximize it. Right clicking on window Restore will return a window back to its original size. To minimize a different window from the task bar you can minimize by right clicking on the window on the taskbar and selecting Minimize. Right clicking Roll up on a window will make the window only your titlebar.

Right clicking Layer will allow you to have move a window Always on top, Normal, or Always on bottom. Finally to close a window with right click on the taskbar and select Close will close the window. If you middle click on an item in the taskbar you will close the window. If you try to close a program that is not responding you will be asked if you want to end the task. To move items around on the taskbar into a particular order left click on them and drag them to the desired position.

../../_images/menu-right-click.png

The removable media applet will allow you to manage your remove flash drives and external hard drives and to unmount them without data loss on your system. To unmount such devices left click on the panel that looks like a disk and then click the eject button that is an upward pointing arrow. To open your removable media click on the removable media applet left click on the removable media to open the external media in your file manager. To view your docked notifications away from keyboard press the button that looks like an exclamation on a chat bubble. To clear these notifications left click the docked notifications and select Clear All.

../../_images/system_tray.png

In the system tray there there are multiple widgets. With the volume applet you can change the volume by using the mouse-wheel with the mouse over the speaker icon or left click the speaker icon and drag the volume up and down or press Up arrow or Down arrow. To mute the volume with the button at the bottom of the volume meter or middle click on the volume applet. To close the volume applet press the Escape key.

../../_images/volume-widget.png

To the far right is a clock, you can left click the clock to bring up a pop up calendar window. To go to the next month on the calendar press the rightward pointing arrow. To go the previous month on the calendar press the leftward pointing arrow. Another way to change months on the calendar is to use the mousewheel. To change the month on a calendar to list all months in the year left click on the month and then select the month you want from your menu. To change the year on your calendar left click on the year in the calendar and then use up arrow or down arrow or the mouse wheel to select the year.

../../_images/calendar-widget.png

If you are on a laptop the panel will also show the battery meter to show how much power you have remaining. To view your current charge level mouseover the battery meter and it will show if your battery is charging by mousing over. To view information about your battery left click the battery icon. The field Energy Full Design shows how much power your battery held when it was brand new. The field Energy Full shows the current full charge of your battery in your current health.The Energy Now shows how much power is in your battery. The Technology field shows what kind of battery you have.

../../_images/panel-battery.png

As mentioned below, the panel is highly configurable and you can customize it by right clicking at various places. If you do not want to mess up your panel right click on the panel and select Lock This Panel checkbox and do the same again to unlock your panel.

Customizing

To change many panel settings right click not on the main taskbar and select Configure Panel. To close each of these windows you open by right clicking press the Escape key.

The Panel tab has settings for the color and position of the panel. To move the panel there is a drop down menu of position that can move it to the side of the screen you want. The Alignment drop down menu lets you set the alignment of the panel on your screen. Keep in mind changing the alignment will not change anything if your panel takes the entire screen. To change the position of your panel use the Position field to move the panel on your screen around. If you have multiple monitors the Position field will have different options for moving the panel onto different monitors. The Size menu lets you increase or decrease the width of the panel. Length has two fields the one is either px or % is to change the length of the panel in pixels while percent is a percent of the entire screen size that changes if you change resolution. The first is the number of pixels or percent of the screen you want the panel to cover. The Icon size makes the size of the icons bigger or smaller on the panel. If you want multiple rows in your system tray and taskbar make the Rows field.

If you want to autohide the panel check the Auto-hide checkbox in panel settings. To change how long the animation takes to show or hide the panel change the Animation duration field. To show how long your panel will appear when it comes back after hiding in milliseconds change the Show with delay field. To show a little of the panel visible when the panel is autohidden check the Visible thin margin for hidden panel checkbox. To have the space for the panel not be used for anything else check the Reserve space on display checkbox.

To change to a custom font color press the Font color checkbox. Press the dropper button to bring up a widget to choose the custom color. The checkbox for Background color sets a background color custom for the background of LXQt-panel and the dropper brings up how to select which color. To add an image to your panel background press the checkbox and select your image for the file in the dialog.

../../_images/lxqt-panel-config.png

The checkbox for Override icon theme lets you choose a non system default icon theme for LXQt-panel. The dropdown Icon theme for panels lets you see what that icon theme from the dropdown list. If you do not like your changes to the system you can press the Reset button to reset changing to before trying to customize the panel.

The Widgets lets you change the widgets or individual items on the panel and their configuration. You can also get to this directly by right clicking on the panel and select Manage Widgets. To move an applet down on the order of presentation press the down arrow button while the up arrow button moves the applet up on the order of presentation. To add a new widget click on the widget on the panel configuration screen and press the + button and select the widget you want to add some of which are not on the panel by default. To remove an applet you do not want you can press the - button. The dark circle with three blue dots button has the settings for certain but not all of the applets in the panel for example the Application menu and Task manager are customizable but Quick launch and Show desktop do not.

../../_images/widget-add.png
Shipped applets not enabled by default:
  • CPU Monitor
  • Color Picker
  • Panel DOM Tree
  • Sensors
  • System Statistics
  • Spacer
  • Backlight
../../_images/panel-config-widgets.png

To configure options for your application menu right click on the menu configure application menu or from the panel configuration dialog with the widget selected for application menu click on the gear button. The checkbox for Icon lets you choose a custom icon to use in your menu if you want one and then use the folder button to browse for the path of the custom file you want for your menu. The checkbox for Button text lets you add text that can be anything you want to your menu. To change your own font size check the Custom font size checkbox and change your font size on the field to the right. To change the shortcut to open the menu from the default Left Super (Windows) you can press the button for keyboard shortcut and a countdown will begin a countdown and press the button. To choose another file to use as a menu press use the Menu file field to choose a different menu. To set a custom keyboard shortcut to open the menu left click on Click the button to record shortcut button then press the keyboard shortcut you want.

To turn off searching in the menu uncheck the Filter menu entries and Show matching entries checkbox. Leave both of these checked to allow searching. To set the most number of search results in the menu change the Maximum visible items field. To change how wide each search result can be change the Max. item width field. To not hide what section of the menu everyone has Hide menu entries while searching checkbox. To not clear your search upon opening the menu again uncheck the Clear search upon showing menu checkbox.

../../_images/menu-pref.png

To customize the desktop switcher right click on the desktop switcher Configure Desktop Switcher or press the Gear button. To change the number of rows on your desktop change the Number of rows field. To change how desktops are labeled change the Desktop Labels field. To only show the current desktop check the Show only active desktop checkbox. To change the name of each desktop enter a name under Desktop Names.

../../_images/desktop-switch.png

To move an item in quick launch to the right right click on the icon and select Move right on the menu. To move an item in quick launch to the left right click on the icon and select Move left. To remove an item from quicklaunch right click on the icon Remove from quicklaunch. To add an item to quick launch click and drag it down from the main menu.

To change options for your task manager or taskbar open the panel configuration dialog select Task manager (taskbar) and click the gear button. The checkbox for Show only windows from desktop will only show windows from a certain desktop and will have a drop down that will default to the current desktop but can also be shown. To hide windows on a different screen check the Show only windows from panel’s screen checkbox. To have the taskbar only show minimized windows check the Show only minimized windows. To raise minimized windows on your current desktop check the Raise minimized windows on current desktop checkbox. To close windows on a middle click check the checkbox Close on middle-click. To cycle windows by scrolling with the mousewheel check the Cycle windows on wheel scrolling checkbox. The Window grouping checkbox will group multiple windows of the same program into a group of windows. The checkbox for Show popup on mouse hover will allow you to hover the mouse over the window group to show them off. If you want all windows of the same program next to each other check the Put buttons of the same class next to each other checkbox.

../../_images/taskmanager-config.png

To change the look of your taskbar in the same window as above the appearance section the Button style menu will change whether to show only the icon or the icon only for only the icons. To show window and the text label of the program Icon and text. Icons only will work best with a panel aligned to the left or right side of your screen. To have only the text on your taskbar and no icons select Only text. To change the maximum width of a button change the Maximum button width which is measured in pixels to how wide on maximum a button could be. To change how high a button will be when a panel is vertical change the Maximum button height field. To reset your changes to this window press the Reset button.

The settings for removable media is able to be opened up is right click the applet Configure “Removable media” from When a device is connected you can select and Show info, Popup menu, or Do nothing. If you want to reset the setting for this press the Reset button.

../../_images/removalble-media-settings.png

To configure the volume applet right click on the volume applet and select Configure “Volume Control”. To change which audio output to have the applet control change the dropdown at the bottom of the Device to control box. To switch to changing sound settings for only ALSA press the ALSA button. To switch back to changing pulse audio settings press the PulseAudio button. To toggle muting on middle clicking check the Mute on middle click checkbox. To toggle having to click to bring up the volume applet check the Show on mouse click checkbox. To allow your volume in software to be over 100 percent check the Allow volume beyond 100% checkbox however this will cause distortion. To always show notification on volume changes check the Always notify about volume changes checkbox. To notify about volume changes via keyboard check the Notify about volume changes with keyboard checkbox. To change how what percentage your volume meter changes use the Volume adjust step field. To change what you use as your mixer type the command in the External Mixer field.

../../_images/volume-app-pref.png

To change the settings on your clock right click on the clock and then Configure World clock. The Format drop down menu allows you to change how the clock shows. To select a short format allows you to have a preselected short format which shows a 12 hour format and am just telling you what time it is. Selecting long from the menu will show you the time with seconds and the time zone. To have a customizable clock message select custom and then checkboxes to show seconds, pad the hours with zeros or to use a 12 hour format. The Time zone checkbox will show your your time zone. The Position drop down says where to put the time zone on the clock. The Format field changes how the time zone is displayed on your clock. To change how the date appears change the Format field.

../../_images/clock-custom.png

To show the date on the clock check the Date checkbox. To change where the date appears change the Position drop down menu.To further customize your panel select Custom from the Format drop down. To show the year press the Show year checkbox. To show what day of the week it is check the Show day of week checkbox. To make the day two digits check the Pad day with zero checkbox. To not abbreviate the months and days of week check the Long month and day of week names checkbox. To reset your changes to the clock press the Reset button.

To add a second panel right click on the panel and Add New Panel and a new panel will be created with the dialog to customize your second panel. To remove a panel right click on the panel and select Remove Panel and you will be asked if you really want to do this as it can’t be undone. To then make your new panel useful you will need to add widgets which you will need to see the above section.

Non-Default widgets

To have a bar that shows CPU Load shows a bar graph with your CPU usage. To bring up settings for your CPU usage is right click on the CPU bar Configure CPU Monitor. The Show text checkbox shows a number for CPU usage. The field for Update interval is how often to update your CPU usage. The Bar orientation says what side to start the bar graph. The Bar width is how many pixels wide to make the bar graph. If you want to reset your changes press the Reset button.

../../_images/CPU-load-settings.png

The Color picker is shows what color something is on your screen usually useful for web developers. To get a color off the screen press the color dropper button and your mouse will turn into crosshair and then left click on what you want to take the color. Then a numeric field to the right of the dropper will appear with the color in a numeric field to the right.

../../_images/spacer-color-picker.png

To use your sensors widgets which you would have to add manually as shown above. A sensor bar will appear with as many sensors as on your panel. To view the temp as a number mouse over the sensor bar to see what your temperature is in a number.

To customize the sensors right click on the sensors applet Configure “Sensors”. The Update interval(seconds) field lets you choose how often in seconds to update the sensors. The Temperature bar width field shows how wide to make the bar for your sensors. The Temperature scale field lets you select Celsius or Fahrenheit for your sensors. The checkbox Warning about high temperature puts a warning if your temperature gets too high. The Crit field shows the temperature your CPU should not reach. If you want to reset your settings press the Reset button.

../../_images/sensors-config.png

The Sensors tab provides settings for each individual sensor on your processor. To enable/disable each sensor press to the Enabled checkbox for each sensor. The Label shows a label for each sensor. The Color column shows the color for the bar to appear in the panel and you can bring up a dialog to change color by left clicking on the button. To switch to a different chip to set the sensors for change the Detected chips menu.

../../_images/sensors-applet.png

To add a spacer to your panel add the spacer widget. It creates a blank space on your panel which can separate different items. To change how wide your spacer is change the Space Width field to the number of pixels you want the spacer to be wide. The setting for Space type selects lined, dotted, or invisible for changing the spacers appearance.

../../_images/panel-spacer.png

To add an easy way to change brightness to your panel add the Backlight widget. To bring the applet to change backlight level left click on the icon. To make the backlight more faint drag the slider to the bottom and to make it brighter drag the slider towards the top.

Version

Lubuntu ships with version 0.16.1 of LXQt-panel.

How to Launch

LXQt-panel should auto launch by default. If you need to manually start it, run

lxqt-panel

from the command line.