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Ubuntu® Linux® Bible by William von Hagen

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Chapter 5. Using the GNOME Desktop

IN THIS CHAPTER

  • Using the mouse

  • GNOME basics

  • Using the desktop

  • Personalizing the desktop

  • Using a window manager

Though many curmudgeons and long-time Unix users eschew 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. The remainder of the chapter focuses on discussing the organization and use of the GNOME desktop provided on Ubuntu 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.

What's a Desktop? Graphical Environments for Linux

Almost all of the high-resolution support for interacting with any Linux system is handled by a graphics package called the X Window system, known to its friends as X11 or simply X. The X Window system is one of the most attractive aspects ...

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