Chapter 4. Examining the GNOME Desktop

In This Chapter

  • Getting into GNOME basics

  • Customizing GNOME


If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, what is the significance of a clean desk?

 --Laurence J. Peter (1919–1988)

A lot of people like to characterize Linux as a DOS-like environment, where all you can do is operate from the command line in this antique-feeling world where you have to type a lot of cryptic stuff without any pretty pictures. However, the Linux desktop offers quite a nice working environment, as you find out throughout this chapter. The cool thing is that most of it is configurable. Those who like to customize their systems can have way too much fun changing things around.

The Linux world has two popular graphical desktop environments: GNOME and KDE. This chapter walks you through the GNOME desktop, which Fedora, Ubuntu, and gOS all use by default. (Chapter 5 walks through the KDE graphical desktop environment.)

Breaking Down the GNOME Desktop

GNOME stands for the GNU Network Object Model Environment — not that this expansion tells you much. Suffice it to say that GNOME is a full point-and-click environment — colors, little pictures, the works.

The GNOME desktop became popular in Red Hat Linux, the granddad of Fedora, so it's no surprise that it's the default desktop in Fedora. Many other Linux distributions also use the GNOME desktop as the default; Ubuntu is a typical example.

Figure 4-1 shows you what the GNOME desktop looks like after you log in to your Ubuntu ...

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