I recently installed Kubuntu 16.04 (KDE 5 Plasma) on a new PC and have been doing a lot of customisations, and I just noticed that the F2 shortcut for renaming files is not working on the desktop. It's still working in Dolphin.

Interestingly, the context menu for a file in Dolphin shows "Rename... F2", but on the Desktop, it just says "Rename" (no shortcut). The permissions are fine (755), and in fact, if I open the Desktop folder through Dolphin, F2 renaming works.

I thought it's probably some setting I messed up and I would easily find an answer on the Web, but I can't find anything useful/relevant (including this on askubuntu).

  • Widgets and icons on the desktop are unlocked.
  • Folder View Settings (from Desktop context menu) > Location is set to "Show the Desktop folder".
  • I've searched through Global, Application and Custom shortcuts in case F2 was set to something conflicting but couldn't find anything (again, it works in Dolphin).
  • I've tried tweaking other things (such as changing Wallpaper Type from Haenau to plain colour), but nothings seems to have an effect.

I'm listing random things right now because I cannot think what could possibly be the cause of this. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.


  • KDE Plasma 5.5.5
  • Qt 5.5.1
  • Kernel 4.13.0-32-generic #35~16.04.1-Ubuntu 64-bit
  • Please consider upgrading your version of Plasma, etc using the Kubuntu backports ppa as described here in the section on Kubuntu 16.04. It's a big update but worth it because of several bug fixes and new features. Regarding using F2 to rename stuff on the desktop, I don't use that mode and don't know if F2 is even supposed to work except in Dolphin. – Justice for Monica Feb 8 '18 at 13:32
  • Thanks, but I prefer sticking to the standard repositories, especially since I'll probably make the jump to 18.04 soon. – Ratler Feb 8 '18 at 22:06

I'm using Kubuntu 16.04 but with a newer version of Plasma: KDE Plasma 5.8.8 (Qt 5.6.1). For this reason, my answer may not apply to you.

Please check via System Settings > Shortcuts that you do have F2 selected for renaming files as shown in the image below. On my system, I can rename files visible on the desktop using F2.

Rename using F2

  • Cannot upvote, but this is useful. I checked, and "Rename File" is not an available action, so maybe it was never there to begin with and I was just remembering it from 14.04. I'll boot from a live USB to confirm. – Ratler Feb 8 '18 at 22:09

I booted with a live USB (kubuntu-16.04.3-desktop-amd64.iso), and confirmed that this version of Plasma doesn't have a "Rename File" action at all in the shortcuts (Settings > Workspace > Shortcuts > Application Keyboard Shortcuts). So I was mistaken in thinking I did something to remove it.

It doesn't seem possible to define new actions from the settings (only to associate shortcut keys with existing actions), so if one really needs this functionality, the solution would be, as DK Bose mentioned, to upgrade to a newer version of Plasma.

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