Chapter 4. The Desktop


  • Customizing GNOME

  • Desktop sharing

  • Web browsing and e-mail

  • Viewing videos and listening to music

  • Ripping CDs

  • System administration tools

  • Desktop troubleshooting

The crash course in Chapter 3 provided a brief introduction to the OpenSolaris desktop environment, which is based on the GNOME desktop project. If you're not already familiar with GNOME, at least skim through the desktop section of Chapter 3 before reading this chapter, which explores the desktop further. This chapter describes the applications included in the desktop on the OpenSolaris distribution's Live CD. Additional applications are provided in the package repository, so if you are interested in an application that isn't already on your desktop, check the repository to see if it's available.


While the OpenSolaris distribution includes GNOME, other desktop environments can be used with OpenSolaris. The most prominent alternative to GNOME is the KDE desktop. If you're interested in KDE, you may want to try the BeleniX distribution covered in Chapter 2, which is similar to the OpenSolaris distribution but replaces GNOME with KDE.

Desktop Customization

Chapters 2 and 3 introduced the basics of the GNOME desktop, including how to log in, log out, shut down the system, switch between workspaces, and navigate the menus. To make your desktop really work for you, though, you'll want to customize it.

Desktop session

The set of desktop programs that you have running at any given ...

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