Chapter 2. The Linux Desktop

Hacks 15-27

On its own, the X Window System (X11) isn’t much of a friendly face. If you’ve ever run X11 without a window manager, you’ve no doubt seen it at its barest: a screen filled with a repeating crosshatch pattern, with an X for a mouse cursor. This simplicity does nothing to hint at X11’s power, but once you’ve fired up GNOME, KDE, or any of the many window managers available for Ubuntu, you start to see what it’s all about.

This chapter takes you a little deeper into the GNOME and KDE environments, which are so much more than window managers. You’ll also learn how to check out some more lightweight window managers in case you’re after something simpler and less CPU-intensive.

Once you’re settled into your desktop environment, you’re going to want to get some work done. This chapter shows you how to install Java, which is needed by many applications, including some of the peer-to-peer (P2P) applications discussed herein. You’ll also learn how to connect your handheld Palm or Pocket PC device to Ubuntu, work with remote file servers, and more.

Get Under the Hood of the GNOME Desktop

GNOME, the default Ubuntu desktop, is a powerful environment with a lot of features. Here is the information you need to quickly get up to speed on how to customize it.

Recently, the GNOME desktop seems to have lost some features. Looking around on mailing lists and reading people’s blogs, you’ll often find gripes about how some feature that was someone’s personal favorite ...

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