Solaris Common Desktop Environment: User's Guide


CDE uses windows and other objects to represent applications, files, and services available to the user. When you log into CDE, the CDE desktop is displayed.

Figure 1-1 CDE Desktop


CDE Desktop

The CDE desktop comprises a Front Panel sitting over a selected workspace, or screen background. The Front Panel displays information about your workstation, and enables you to run applications, to log out, and to switch between workspaces. Applications that are running are represented by windows and icons on the workspace. You can also run commands from a Workspace menu, which is displayed when you click mouse button 3 on an unused part of the workspace backdrop.

Front Panel

The Front Panel (see Chapter 4, Using the Front Panel) is a collection of frequently used controls and desktop services available in every workspace.


Workspaces are like separate screens or desktops. You can only display one workspace at a time, but applications in all workspaces can run simultaneously.

By default, four workspaces named One through Four are available. To display another workspace, you click its button in the workspace switch in the center of the Front Panel.

Tip -

You can specify whether an application is displayed on one or all workspaces by clicking mouse button 3 on its window frame and selecting an item from the pop-up menu.

Workspace Menu

When you click mouse button 3 on an unused area of a workspace, the Workspace menu (see Figure 1-1) is displayed. It includes items on the Front Panel and Application Manager. Most applications are on the Applications menu.

Working With Files

The Files subpanel gives you access to file-related devices and applications.

Figure 1-2 Location of Files Subpanel


CDE provides full-functioned File Manager and File Finder applications. In File Manager and File Finder, files and folders are represented by icons that indicate their types.


Clicking on mouse button 3 displays options for the selected object, and double-clicking an object invokes the default action for that object. For example, double-clicking a compressed file expands it, and double-clicking an audio file plays it.

 Task or Feature Methods
 To find a file Select Find File on the Files subpanel
 To carry out an action on a file

Click mouse button 3 on the file and choose the action from the pop-up menu 

Drag and drop the file on an appropriate drop zone 

Click a control on the Files subpanel 

 To print a file Drop a file on the printer control on the Front Panel
 To access a floppy diskette or CD-ROM Select Open Floppy or Open CD-ROM on the Files subpanel

Deleting Files

CDE provides a trash can or wastebasket facility. The Trash Can is a temporary store for objects (files and folders) to be deleted. You can move selected objects to the Trash Can using drag and drop, by mapping certain menu items, or by pressing the Delete key. Once in the Trash Can, the objects no longer appear in their original folder.

To permanently remove the deleted files in CDE, you use the Empty Trash Can control on the Trash subpanel.