This chapter describes how you can use Linux to perform word processing and other common desktop computing tasks. The chapter introduces you to some of the most popular Linux desktop suites and applications, describing their capabilities and telling you where and how to obtain them. The chapter also introduces VMware, a program that lets you run Microsoft Windows and Linux simultaneously, and WINE, a program that lets you run some Microsoft Windows applications under Linux.
Not long ago, running Linux meant abandoning your easy-to-use WYSIWYG word processor or configuring your system for dual boot, so that you could boot Microsoft Windows or IBM OS/2 to access friendly and familiar desktop applications. At that time, Linux supported no robust, full-featured graphical desktop suites.
Today, Linux supports several desktop suites; several more are under development. Apparently, if rumors are to be believed, even Microsoft is considering adapting their Office desktop suite to run under Linux. Whether or not Linux users can expect to soon run Microsoft Office for Linux (or whatever name Microsoft might give this potential product), Linux users who prefer to avoid other operating systems can now do so without compromising their ability to produce first-rate documents, spreadsheets, and graphics.
This section describes the three most popular desktop applications for Linux:
Corel WordPerfect for ...