Solaris Common Desktop Environment: User's Guide

Tour of the Front Panel

This section introduces the contents of the Main Panel and the subpanels. Your Front Panel may be customized with different or additional controls.

Main Panel

The following table describes the controls on the Main Panel.

Table 4-1 Main Panel Controls



Click Behavior 

Drop Behavior 

Indicator Behavior 

GraphicClock (Links)  Opens the default browser


Current time 


Calendar (Cards)

Starts the Calendar application 

Dropping an appointment file adds the appointment to the calendar 

Current date 


File Manager (Files)

Opens a File Manager view of your home folder 

Dropping a folder opens a File Manager view of that folder 


GraphicText Note (Applications)

Starts the desktop Text Editor application 

Puts the dropped file or text on the workspace 


GraphicGraphicMailer (Mail)

Starts the desktop Mailer application 

Attaches dropped item to a New Message window 

Changes appearance when you have new mail 



Locks the display and keyboard. You must type your password to unlock the system. 




Workspace switch

Changes workspaces 


Indicates current workspace 

GraphicActivity Indicator Displays a Go action dialog box

Runs action (for example, a browser) registered for data type dropped 

Spins when the system is running an action 



Begins logout from the current session 





(Personal Printers)

Displays the status of the default printer 

Prints the file on the printer 


Graphic Style Manager (Tools)

Opens the desktop Style Manager application 



GraphicPerformance Meter (Hosts

Opens Performance Meter 

Opens Performance Meter for the hostname dropped 

Once activated, indicates CPU and disk activity for future sessions 

GraphicHelp Manager (Help)

Opens a Help Viewer window displaying the top level of help information 

Dropping a master volume file (*.sdl) opens a Help Viewer window with that help volume


GraphicTrash (Trash)

Opens the Trash Can window 


Different appearance when not empty 

Links Subpanel

Use the Links subpanel to open a web browser, display the Sun Microsystems web search site (, and manage your personal bookmarks.

GraphicTable 4-2 Links Subpanel Controls
 Icon Name Click Behavior Drop Behavior
Graphic Clock Opens default browser Opens default browser for URL
Graphic Web Browser Opens default browser Opens default browser for URL
Graphic Personal Bookmarks Opens File Manager view of personal bookmarks Opens default browser for URL
Graphic Find Web Page Opens default browser for the Sun Microsystems search site None

Cards Subpanel

Use the Cards subpanel to open Calendar and search for address cards, host cards, and mail alias cards.


Table 4-3 Controls on the Cards Subpanel
 Icon Name Click Behavior Drop Behavior
Graphic Calendar Opens Calendar for the current date and user Sets up the dropped appointment
Graphic Find Card Opens Address Manager with default search options Opens a dropped card, or opens Address Manager with default options and searches for dropped text

Files Subpanel

Use the Files subpanel to:


Table 4-4 Controls on the Files Subpanel
 Icon Name Click Behavior Drop Behavior
Graphic Home FolderOpens File Manager view of $HOME Opens File Manager view of dropped folder
Graphic Open Floppy Loads a diskette in drive and displays File Manager view of it. None
Graphic Open CD-ROM Loads a CD-ROM volume in drive and displays a File Manager view of it None
Graphic Properties Opens Properties dialog box with no file selected Opens Properties dialog box for file or folder dropped
Graphic Encryption Prompts for the file to be encrypted and the encryption key Encrypts and replaces an unencrypted file; decrypts and replaces an encrypted file
Graphic Compress File Prompts for file to be compressed Compresses and replaces an uncompressed file; decompresses and replaces a compressed file
Graphic Archive Prompts for file or folder to be archived Archives and replaces dropped file or folder
Graphic Find File Opens File Finder in default mode Searches for dropped text as file or folder name

Applications Subpanel

Use the Applications subpanel to post text and voice notes on the workspace, to run Text Editor, and to open Application Manager.


Table 4-5 Controls on the Applications Subpanel
 Icon Name Click Behavior Drop Behavior
Graphic Text Note Opens Text Editor in note mode Puts the dropped file on the workspace
Graphic Text Editor Opens Text Editor Opens the dropped file in Text Editor
Graphic Voice Note Opens Audio in note mode None
Graphic Applications Opens Application Manager None

Mail Subpanel

Use the Mail subpanel for to access Mailer or to connect to the Solaris suggestion box mail alias.

GraphicTable 4-6 Controls on the Mail Subpanel
 Icon Name Click Behavior Drop Behavior
Graphic Mail Opens Mailer Displays New Message dialog box and attaches dropped file
Graphic Suggestion Box Opens New Message dialog box to sent to the default suggestion box mail alias for Solaris at Sun Microsystems Displays New Message dialog box for suggestion box mail alias and appends dropped file

Personal Printers Subpanel

Use the Personal Printers subpanel to view print jobs on your printer or to work with all the printers on your system.


Table 4-7 Controls on the Personal Printers Subpanel
 Icon Name Click Behavior Drop Behavior
Graphic Printer Jobs Opens Printer Jobs for your default printer Prints the dropped file on the default printer
Graphic Print Manager Opens Print Manager for all printers available on your network Prints the dropped file on the selected printer. This is a useful method of printing to a printer other than your default printer.

Tools Subpanel

Use the Tools subpanel to setup your preferences for the desktop and workspace, to run Process Manager, and to view errors in CDE.


Table 4-8 Controls on the Tools Subpanel
 Icon Name Click Behavior Drop Behavior
Graphic Desktop Style Opens Style Manager None
Graphic CDE Error LogDisplays the file $HOME/.dt/errolog which contains CDE errors after xsession startup None
Graphic Customize Workspace Menu Warns you to update the workspace and opens a File Manager view of the Workspace menu None
Graphic Add Item To Menu Opens the Add Item to Workspace Menu dialog box None
Graphic Find Process Opens Process Manager for your workstation Opens Processs Manager in default mode

Hosts Subpanel

Use the Hosts subpanel to view system information, to monitor host performance, to open terminal and console sessions on hosts, and to find hosts.


Table 4-9 Controls on the Hosts Subpanel
 Icon Name Click Behavior Drop Behavior
Graphic Performance Opens Performance Meter for your workstation Opens Performance Meter in default mode
Graphic This Host Opens Terminal window for your workstation None
Graphic System Info Opens Workstation Information for your workstation Displays Workstation Information for dropped host name
Graphic Console Opens Console for your workstation None
Graphic Find Host Opens Address Manager to search for host cards Searches for dropped host name

Help Subpanel

The Help subpanel enables you to access AnswerBook2TM documentation, the master help volume (Help Manager), and other online help volumes such as Front Panel Help.


First-time CDE Users

If you are upgrading from a previous version of CDE and want to read about the current features of the CDE desktop, see:

If you are transitioning from OpenWindows, see:

If you are transitioning from another windowing system such as Microsoft Windows, see:

Help with Procedures

If you need to know how to carry out a procedure or task in CDE, see:

Technical Issues and Support

System administrators will find Solaris Common Desktop Environment: Advanced User's and System Administrator's Guide (available via the AnswerBook2 viewer) useful for resolving configuration and administration issues.

System administrators investigating possible bugs should register with SunSolveTM, the Sun Microsystems online information, FAQ, and patch service; click SunSolve Online for more details. For help with specific problems that may require interaction with technical support, click on Solaris Support.

The following table describes the Help subpanel controls.

Table 4-10 Help Subpanel Controls



Click Behavior 

Drop Behavior 



Help Manager (duplicate of Main Panel control)

Opens a Help Viewer window displaying the top level of help information  

Dropping a master volume file (*.sdl) opens that help volume

Graphic SunSolve Online Opens a browser for the Sun Microsystems documentation and FAQ web site None
Graphic Solaris Support Opens a browser for the Sun Microsystems download site for patches, and technical support None
Graphic Information Opens the Information folder in Application Manager None
Graphic Desktop Introduction Displays the Introducing the Desktop help volume None



Front Panel Help

Displays the Front Panel help volume 




On Item Help

Provides on-item help for the Front Panel. Click this control, then click the control on which you want help. 





Displays the AnswerBook2 viewer if you have AnswerBook2 installed. 


Trash Subpanel

Use the Trash subpanel to trash and recover files, and to remove (shred) files from the system.


Table 4-11 Controls on the Trash Subpanel
 Icon Name Click Behavior Drop Behavior
Graphic Trash Opens Trash Can window Moves dropped files to the Trash Can window
Graphic Empty Trash Can Shreds (removes) contents of Trash Can window Moves dropped files to Trash Can window