It would be lovely to have the "Application Menu, a launcher based on cascading popup menus" as an icon in my i3bar to have a general overview of the packages I have installed in my system, within each categories (Internet, Games etc.) I could not figure out how to start the applet in the i3 environment. Is there a command that could call the applet itself (may also start some KDE process that runs ONLY in the background)? Obviously, I do not want to start the whole KDE5.

I found that running plasmashell -ws or plasmashell --windowed --shut-up starts the whole KDE desktop as a window which can also manage windows started from within i3wm. However, that is such an overkill to just start one component/plasmoid. I found that kcmshell{4,5} can be used to call a collection of modules that are available via kcmshell{4,5} --list, but they are seemingly not plasmoids.

1 Answer 1


After a thorough study on KDE5 API, I found the answer to my own question. To start kicker (Application Menu) form within a command line WITHOUT starting the whole KDE desktop, simply run:

plasmawindowed org.kde.plasma.kicker

We can also run a lot of other plasmoids. To see a list of all plasmoids installed, run both of the following:

kpackagetool5 --list --type Plasma/Applet -g  # system wide
kpackagetool5 --list --type Plasma/Applet     # current user

Here is the API page: https://techbase.kde.org/Development/Tutorials/Plasma5/QML2/GettingStarted

Here is a more complete API page: https://techbase.kde.org/KDE_System_Administration/PlasmaDesktopScripting

  • 2
    Now I am trying to find out a way to put this windowed applet/plasmoid into my i3bar as a icon.
    – hyiltiz
    Dec 16, 2015 at 4:53
  • Any newer developments in this front? Sep 1, 2016 at 6:19
  • I am content with the solution above (you can use i3 to move and rescale the widget as you like), so no more news on my side. KDE or i3 might have something interesting though.
    – hyiltiz
    Sep 27, 2016 at 23:29
  • Do you use Klipper under i3? Sep 28, 2016 at 14:22
  • Nope, I haven't tried using it. If it is an plasma app, you can list it using one of the above commands, and once you find its command line name (org.kde.plasma.*), then you should be able to also only activate it within i3. As I am a heavy vim user, I mainly rely on my editor to do the pastebin job.
    – hyiltiz
    Sep 28, 2016 at 16:40

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