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Ubuntu® 8.10 Linux® Bible by William von Hagen

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Chapter 5. Using the GNOME Desktop

Although many curmudgeons and long-time UNIX users reject any sort of graphical interface, let's face it — most people today want (and expect) one. The graphical environment used on Ubuntu systems, the GNOME desktop, provides a stable and usable environment for running your graphical applications and interacting with your system graphically. Most of the Linux utilities used for system administration and configuration provide graphical interfaces to simplify formerly complex tasks, and are easily accessed from one of the primary menus provided by the GNOME desktop.

This chapter begins by providing some background information on the graphical environment used on all Linux systems, such as explaining exactly what the word "desktop" means, and what graphical alternatives exist on Linux systems. This information provides a good foundation for understanding how graphical interfaces work on Linux systems, regardless of the specific graphical environment that you choose to use. The majority of the chapter focuses on the organization and use of the GNOME desktop provided on standard Ubuntu desktop systems. GNOME is a powerful graphical interface with all of the features that you'd expect in a modern graphical user interface (GUI) — once you know where to find them. The final section explains how ...

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