disable krunner auto-launch

Recently I’ve moved from a gnome + xmonad setup to using KDE as a base. This is somewhat wrapped up in a preparation for an update to Debian Buster and the realization that it was less and less possible to use the standard gnome tooling without gnome-shell. Things like displays, bluetooth, and wifi were just no longer conveniently configurable.

Overall this switch has worked well, and I’ve recovered the ability to do simple configuration changes while still using the tilling that I am used to. However, one thing recently bugged me. Whenever I was on a blank desktop, any key press would bring up a search bar.

After a bit of research I found out this was actually krunner. Though not documented, this blog post from 2011 describes an update that:

launches KRunner automatically whenever the user starts typing and no plasmoid is focused

This is exactly the behavior I was seeing. After an number of unsuccessful attempts to disable krunner with a ~/.config/autostart/krunner.desktop file, I temporarily settled with the hulk smash method of just removing the execute bit from the program itself, per this thread:

sudo chmod -x /usr/bin/krunner

Though that was working, it felt a bit overkill and with the potential to unexpectedly regress in the future. Fortunately I should have just continued reading the comments on the original post where lunapar95 describes a technique that restricts what keys/applications are available in a “kisok” mode.

Adding the following to ~/.config/kdeglobals:

[KDE Action Restrictions][$i]

does the trick and should hopefully be sufficiently future proof. In the end, it was a bit more of a search than I anticipated but works.