Moksha Basics

Moksha Basics

Wikis > Moksha Basics

Moksha Basics

Organize your Tasks with Virtual Desktops

Virtual Desktops allow you to group applications of a certain type on one desktop and those of a different type on another. You have initially four virtual desktops, but you can change this number.


The pager gadget on the shelf shows small graphics of the available desktops with the applications running in each.

There are several ways to switch among them:

  • With the Pager Gadget, simply click on the graphic of the Desktop you wish to be in.
  • Use the keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+Alt + <ArrowKey> in the direction you wish to move.
  • Choose your desired desktop via Main Menu>Desktop>Virtual.

The Entire Desktop is the Menu

A left-click on any empty space of the desktop will bring up the Main Menu, where you can launch applications, adjust settings, shut down the system, and so on. This is the standard on a fresh Bodhi installation. Most consider it very convenient. For the few that do not, the mouse-binding “Show Main Menu”, can be easily removed/configured in MainMenu>Settings>All>Input>Mouse Bindings, along with any other mouse-bindings.


Right-clicking an empty space on the desktop will bring up the Favorites Menu. Since there are no favorited applications on a fresh Bodhi installation, the Favorites Menu will not show on right-click. It is waiting in anticipation for you to add applications! To do this, go to Main Menu > Settings > All > Apps > Favorite Applications

Many Gadgets Show System Info

Gadgets perform a wide variety of functions. Many display system information, such as battery level, time, or CPU frequency. Others allow you to interact with the system in some way, such as adjusting the volume or the screen brightness. Most allow multiple instances in different locations, for instance on a shelf as well as on the desktop.

They can be found and added to the Desktop via Main Menu>Settings>Gadgets

Modules Control Gadget Availability

A gadget will be available only if its module is loaded. Put simply, a gadget is an instance of a module. To load/unload modules, go to Main Menu > Settings > Modules. Bodhi comes with a wide selection of modules installed by default, and more can be installed at your discretion through the Bodhi AppCenter and Synaptic Package Manager

Shelves – The Taskbar/Systray/Dock’s Home, Sweet Home

Moksha provides shelves to house your gadgets and launchers – a convenient alternative to having them on the desktop. (Most gadgets can be added to shelves.) Shelves can be located anywhere on a border of your desktop, and you can have more than one shelf on a desktop as well as different shelves on different virtual desktops. Managing the number of shelves as well as their location, size, and other attributes are done under Main Menu > Settings > Shelves. To manage the content of a shelf (i.e. its gadgets), right-click on the shelf, and choose Shelf > Contents. Contents. (A standard Shelf with many Gadgets)

Shading – Alternative for Minimizing

Want to get a window out of your way but don’t want to minimize it to the taskbar? Then Shade it! Just double click the title bar of any window to “roll it up”, and double click the title bar to “roll it down” again.
The screenshot here shows two instances of Terminology, one that is Shaded and one that is not. Terminology is currently the default terminal in Bodhi.

Desktop Icons

By default (out of the box) Bodhi doesn’t support desktop icons, keeping with a clean/minimalist look and feel. If your preference is to have desktop icons, you can enable this feature via customization in Module Settings.


There a number of methods to open/access Module Settings: 

  • Quick launcher: Press WinKey + <Space>, to open the Quick Launcher. From within the Launcher the type Modules and hit <return>. 
  • Main Menu. Left-click on any empty space of the desktop to bring up the Main Menu. From the menu click: Settings>Modules this will open the Module Settings window.

With the Module Settings window open, if it’s not maximized, maximize it now. Using the icons at the top of the window to navigate through the features, locate, and click Files. From the list of options under Files, ensure Desktop Icons is enabled, by highlight the option and click the Load button (bottom left).


To disable desktop icons, open Module Settings (see above), highlight select Desktop Icons, click Unload.

Create Desktop Icon – For an Installed App

To run an application from a desktop icon, you must copy its launcher into your Desktop folder (~/Desktop). Most installed apps come packaged with a launcher, (ie a “.desktop” file). These files will be found in one of two places:

  • ~/.local/share/applications in the case of a personal application launcher
  • /usr/share/applications in the case of a standard application launcher.

Copy your chosen launcher (for example: /usr/share/applications/leafpad.desktop) into your Desktop folder (~/Desktop), if you have enabled Desktop Icons (see above) you will now have an icon (launcher) for the Leafpad app on your desktop.

Create Desktop Icon – For a Folder

A launcher (.desktop) file needs to be created and unsurprisingly there is a Personal Application Launcher & Desktop Entry Editor to help facilitate this.

With Desktop Icons enabled (see above), we first need to establish the path of the folder you want on display on the desktop. If you know the path already skip to the next paragraph. Using PCManFM / File manager select your chosen folder or file. From the file manager toolbar, you’ll now see the full path. In this example, we’ll be creating a shortcut to the Downloads folder (the path is: /home/<username>/Downloads), where <username> is replaced with your Bodhi Linux username ie: jane). Make note of the path (highlight and copy it <ctl> + c)

The Desktop Entry Editor (DEE) is accessed via the Personal Application Launcher (PAL)Using Quick Launch (<WinKey> + <Space>) open the PAL by typing “personal” and hit <return>. In the PAL window click Add, to open the DEE. The desktop entry editor needs the following minimum information:

  • Name: The icon name to display on the desktop. In this example, we’ll use “Downloads”
  • Application: As we’re opening a folder, we’ll use PCManFM passing in the “path” obtained earlier as a parameter. In this example this becomes:
    pcmanfm '/home/jane/Downloads'

    NOTE: Quotes are only mandatory if the path includes spaces

Now click the Icon link in the top navigation of the DEE window to select a suitable icon. Simply type folder into the Icon text box (located above the <ok>, <apply> & <close> buttons) you will see a preview of the icon appear. You can also navigate to icons under /usr/share/icons/<theme name>/status/scalable/ but this is beyond the scope of this how-to. See Personal Application Launcher for more info.

Now click the Options link in the top navigation bar of the DEE window and uncheck the “Show in Menus” option (as we do not want this action).

Now press Apply to save the newly created “.desktop” file (the file will be saved in ~/.local/share/applications) and named using the name you specified in an early step above. Now click Close to exit the DEE.

Finally, copy your newly created “.desktop” file, in this example: ~/.local/share/applications/Downloads.desktop, into the folder: ~/Desktop

Changing Themes (Desktop, GTK, or Icon)

For more information on this topic see: Changing Themes

ARandR (aka display management)

ARandR is the graphical configuration utility (RandR: Resize and Rotate). It can be used to set the display size/resolution, orientation, or reflection of the outputs for a screen. For configuring one or more monitors.

There a number of methods to access ARandR: 

  • Quick launcher: Press WinKey + <Space>, to open the Quick Launcher. From within the Launcher the type ARandR and hit <return>. 
  • Main Menu. Left-click on any empty space of the desktop to bring up the Main Menu. From the menu click: Applications>Preferences>ARandR this will open the Screen Layout Editor window.

With the Screen Layout Editor window open, if it’s not maximized, maximize it now.

Screen Layout Editor

Change Display Resolution

Select your chosen display output from the main panel of the or from the settings menu: outputs. If you have multiple displays you will see multiple display outputs. Using the output from the panel as our example, a right-click will pop up a context menu. Click Resolution and select one of the available resolutions, then click Apply from the toolbar. If you want the change of resolution to persist after a reboot click the Moksha icon from the toolbar.

Handy Shortcuts/Bindings:

Shortcuts are referred to as Bindings in Moksha and can be actioned by e.g. clicking the mouse at an edge of the screen, pressing a key combination, or pressing a key + mouse-click. They are categorized as follows:

  • Edge Bindings (edges of the screen)
  • Key Bindings (keyboard, ie keyboard shortcut)
  • Mouse Bindings (mouse+key)
  • ACPI Bindings (events)

You can set up your own bindings, but many have already been set up by default. Some of these are shown below. For more details on bindings see the wiki page: Key & Edge Bindings

Alt+<left-click> (mouse)
allows you to click anywhere in the window to grab it and reposition

<left-click> (mouse)
on an open portion of the desktop, opens the Main Menu

<right-click> (mouse)
on an open portion of the desktop, opens the favorites menu

Ctrl+Alt+X (key)
closes a window

Ctrl+Alt+<ArrowKey> (key)
switches to the Virtual Desktop in the direction selected

Ctrl+Alt+M (key)
brings up the Main Menu

Shift+F10 (key)
maximizes a window vertically

Alt+Shift+F10 (key)
maximizes a window horizontally

Alt+Tab (key)
switches between windows on the same desktop

All bindings can be located and configured at:
Main Menu>Settings>All>Input