Start and stop applications

You can launch programs by simply typing the name of the application you want to launch – or even simpler: press the down-arrow key for list of most recently used programs you typed in beforehand.

You may type a single character and KRunner will start finding matches. Matches will be found to applications from your easily customizable applications menu (for that, right-click in menu).

gwe starts Gwenview

You can use KRunner to kill applications, too. Type in the keyword kill followed by a process name and KRunner will provide options to close the application (SIGTERM) or forcibly quit it (SIGKILL). KRunner will match partial process names to running processes.

Note that the keyword kill can be changed in the “Terminate Applications” runner to avoid confusion with the shell command kill which accepts process IDs.

Direct installation

In case that you look for an application that has not been installed yet, KRunner will suggest a set of applications that match your search. In specific, since KRunner has been integrated with Plasma Software Center, Discover, will present you a list of applications, enabling you to proceed to direct installation.

Issue (shell) commands

In addition to applications listed in the applications menu, KRunner can also be used to run shell commands, including launching binaries. Note that when entering shell commands, KRunner will not accept partial commands or offer command auto completion.

Running a command like this brings up a wrench icon which offers additional options. You can choose to spawn a terminal and run the command there (this can be useful if your command produces text output that you want to read), or choose to run the program as a different user (by providing the username and password of that user).


ls ~/Documents
lists contents of ~/Documents (preferably in a terminal)

cp ~/Documents/myFile ~/myFile
copies myFile from ~/Documents to ~/

mplayer myMovie.mkv
plays myMovie.mkv in mplayer

Incidentally, if the command line is your thing, you may appreciate the built in integration to man pages. Simply type a command name preceded by a # or man:/ to open the man page formatted for easy readability in your browser.


opens the manual for ls in a browser

opens the manual for grep in a browser

Browse websites

You can simply start typing the URL of a website to open it in your default browser. You may even type in the name of a browser bookmark and KRunner will open it for you. If you have visited the website in the past, KRunner can fetch you results from your browser’s history, too.


opens the bookmark in a browser
opens the KDE homepage in a browser
opens Userbase in a browser

KRunner already knows your Web Shortcuts, found in Plasma System Settings, so you can directly start using them.


searches Google for KDE

searches Wikipedia for krunner

KRunner also provides options to download files from the web using KGet by providing their URL.

Additional runners exist for fast searching on Wikipedia, Wikitravel and KDE Techbase.