The Kate Application Configuration

This group contains pages to configure the main Kate application


This section contains a few global options for Kate

Warn about files modified by foreign processes

When enabled, Kate will notify you about files modified from outside the application whenever the main window receives input focus. You will be able to deal with several modified files at once, you can reload, save or discard changed files in groups.

If not enabled, Kate will prompt you for action when a externally modified file receives focus within the application.

Meta Information
Keep meta-information past sessions

When enabled, Kate will store meta data such as bookmarks and session configuration even when you close your documents. The data will be used if the document is unchanged when reopened.

Delete unused meta information after

Set the maximum number of days to keep meta information for unopen files. This helps keeping the database of meta information reasonably sized.


This section contains options related to using sessions.

Elements of Sessions
Include window configuration

If enabled, Kate will save the window configuration with each session.

Behavior on Application Startup

Select how you want Kate to behave at startup. This setting can be overridden by specifying what to do on the command line.

Start new session

With this option, Kate will start a new, unnamed session when you start it.

Load last-used session

Kate will use the most recently opened session at startup. This is good if you want to use the same session always or switch rarely.

Manually choose a session

Kate will display a small dialog that lets you choose your preferred session, or load the default session if none have been saved. This is the default behavior. Nice if you use a lot of different sessions frequently.

The changes to the session data (opened files and if enabled, window configuration) will always be saved.


This page provides a list of installed plugins for the Kate application. Each plug-in is represented with its name and a short description. You can check the checkbox with an item to enable the plug-in it represents.

If a plug-in provides configuration options, a section to access those will appear as a child of this page.

For more information about the available plugins, see Chapter 4, Working with Plugins.


Background Shading

This section allows you to enable or disable the background shading visualization of your recent activity, and chose which colors to use if enabled. See the section about The Document List for more about this feature.

Sort By

Set how you want the document list sorted. This can be set from the right mouse button menu in the document list as well.

Show Full Path

When enabled, in tree mode, top level folders will show up with their full path rather than just the last folder name.

View Mode

This provides two options that effect the display of the Documents tool view. The Tree View option will display the documents in a tree underneath the folders they are in, while the List View option will display a flat list of documents.

Show Full Path

When Tree View and this option are enabled, the folder entries displayed in the Documents tool view will display the full filesystem path to the folder in addition to the name of the folder. It has no effect in List View.


This page is only displayed by the Terminal Tool View plugin, which is enabled by default.

Automatically synchronize the terminal with the current document when possible

This will cause the built-in terminal to cd into the directory of the active document when launched and when a new document gets the focus. If not enabled, you have to do all your navigation in the terminal on your own.

Set EDITOR environment variable to 'kate -b'

This sets the EDITOR environment variable so programs run in the built-in terminal that automatically open a file in an editor will open them in Kate instead of the default editor configured in your shell. You will not be able to continue using the terminal until you have closed the file in Kate, so the calling program is aware you have finished editing the file.