The KDE Panel – located at the bottom of the screen – is a powerful tool for your KDE 4 Desktop. The primary function of the KDE Panel is to provide a central object from which you can launch and manage applications. From here you can launch programs, manage windows and get access to programs that allow you to configure your KDE desktop and Linux. The KDE Panel also allows you to interact with programs that are already running. It is a focal point on your desktop that can be configured with many different application launchers and small applets.
Figure 1, above, shows the KDE Panel from a Kubuntu 9.04 installation. The Menu icon is a large K superimposed upon a gear which displays a pop-up menu of all of the applications and functions that you can have access to. The K and gear themes run through many icon sets for KDE and can also be found in many decorative KDE wallpapers.