Common Desktop Features

Although every desktop has its own special features, most desktops have many things in common. This is especially true in the Linux world as KDE and GNOME converge more and more. In this section we will cover the features that are common to most desktops and are more important to the user's experience. For specific examples of these features, see Chapter 3, "KDE," and Chapter 4, "GNOME."


The most noticeable difference between a desktop environment and a window manager is the active nature of the desktop background. Whereas most window managers treat their background as simply area that does not include a window, desktop environments allow you to use the background as if it were a globally available directory (in ...

Get Special Edition Using Linux®, Sixth Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.