IN THIS CHAPTER
Working with the shell
Getting help for commands
Working with files and directories
Performing common administrative tasks
Working with software packages
Connecting over the network
Backing up, restoring, and archiving files
The Linux Gazette (
http://linuxgazette.net) used to have a regular feature called "Clueless at the Prompt." That title will almost certainly ring a bell with anyone who remembers his or her first interactions with Linux or any other form of Unix.
Someone who wants to use Linux only as a desktop system may not need to know too much about using the command line. You can log in to the graphical login screen (typically
kdm) and you see a user interface (typically KDE—K Desktop Environment) that is remarkably similar to the Windows interface. There is a Start button with cascading menus. Some icons are on the desktop, and you can start programs either from the Start menu or by clicking the icons. A file manager (typically Konqueror) allows drag-and-drop support for moving files. For many end users (and future users of Linux desktop systems), this may be all they need to know. In our experience, a desktop user new to Linux can start working—doing normal office work and saving and managing files—without any real need for training.
We assume that you want and need to do much more than this. A number of books are available that serve as guides to using the KDE interface. These rarely do much more than describe how to interact with ...