Logging In and Using the Gnome Desktop

In this section, I walk you through logging in to the GNOME desktop and do some exploring to help you become familiar with its features. As I mention earlier, the GNOME desktop is installed as the default desktop, so to enter GNOME, you can just enter your username and password in the graphical login window without having to make any choices from the four options, as explained in the preceding section. After entering your username and password, you see the GNOME desktop, as shown in Figure 2-2.

Figure 2-2:

The GNOME desktop immediately after logging in.

Figure 2-2:

The GNOME desktop immediately after logging in.

The GNOME desktop has a similar appearance to other well-known desktop environments like MS Windows or Mac OS X. If you can use either of these desktops, you can easily master GNOME in a short time. Notice that the GNOME desktop has a rather clean, almost Spartan, appearance.

The three icons in the upper-left corner of the desktop are links to your home directory, the system trash can that holds your deleted files until you empty the trash, and the Computer icon that opens the Nautilus graphical shell. The Nautilus File Manager gives you access to your files and directories so you can do typical file management tasks like copying and moving files. In addition to regular file management tasks, the Nautilus File Manager lets you perform desktop management as well. You look more closely at Nautilus in this chapter. Take a closer look at these icons.

i Computer: This icon also opens a Nautilus window. The Computer window contains four icons that are links to

• Floppy Drive: The Floppy Drive icon is a link to the folder that contains the system mount point for the floppy drive. Double-clicking this icon displays the contents of the floppy disk that you inserted in the floppy drive.

• CD-R Drive: The CD-R Drive icon is a link to the folder that contains the system mount point for the CD-R drive. Double-clicking this icon displays the contents of the CD-ROM disk that you inserted in the CD-R drive.

• Filesystem: This icon is a link to the file system. Double-clicking this icon opens a new window displaying the root directory of the file system.

• Network: Clicking the Network icon gives you access to the network file systems. Any files or directories that are available across your network are shown here.

i Home directory: This icon is a link to the user's home directory. The name of the user shown on the desktop corresponds to the user who is logged in. For example, Figure 2-2 shows the icon labeled as root's Home because I logged in with that user name. You can double-click this icon — or right-click and choose Open from the contextual menu — to open a Nautilus window that displays the user's home directory.

i Trash: This icon is a link to the system trash can. You can drag any icon, file, or directory and drop it here. When you're ready to empty the trash, just right-click and select Empty Trash from the contextual menu.

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