In This Chapter
Finding your way around the GNOME desktop
Getting to know the panels and menus
Changing the look and feel of your desktop
What do gnomes have to do with Ubuntu? Do they come by late at night and help you maintain your computer? Maybe someplace in the world, but not here. In this case, I'm not talking about little system administrators or even lawn gnomes, I'm talking about GNOME, the Linux desktop.
GNOME stands for GNU Network Object Model Environment, and GNU (some people pronounce it guh‐NEW) stands for GNU's not UNIX. Ubuntu uses numerous GNU applications, libraries, and utilities. You don't need to know about all of that to be able to use Ubuntu. For now, I'll let you get on with checking out your new operating system. But if you'd like to look into how the concept of free software came to be, www.gnu.org is a great place to start. Confusing acronyms aside, it's an interesting story.
Forget the long acronym and just think of GNOME as a great desktop and desktop environment. Desktop environments pull together all the various elements that make it possible to use your computer in a convenient and productive manner.
This chapter describes GNOME and how to use it.
Microsoft Windows doesn't have a catchy name for its desktop, but as you might have noticed, things are a little different in the Linux world. GNOME (as well as other elements of Linux) is an
open source project. Open source projects produce software ...