Tour of the Ubuntu Linux Desktop

This section presents new words (for some readers) in a context that explains the terms well enough to get you started with the Ubuntu desktop. If you would like exact definitions as you read this section, refer to "GNOME Desktop Terminology" on page 105 and to the Glossary. The Glossary also describes the data entry widgets (page 1068), such as the combo box (page 1029), drop-down list (page 1035), list box (page 1045), and text box (page 1064).

GNOME GNOME (www.gnome.org), a product of the GNU project (page 4), is the user-friendly default desktop manager under Ubuntu Linux. KDE, the K Desktop Environment, is a powerful desktop manager and complete set of tools you can use in place of GNOME. The version of Ubuntu that runs KDE is named Kubuntu. See page 60 for instructions on installing KDE.

This tour describes GNOME, a full-featured, mature desktop environment that boasts a rich assortment of configurable tools. After discussing logging in, this section covers desktop features—including panels, objects, and workspaces—and explains how to move easily from one workspace to another. It describes several ways to launch objects (run programs) from the desktop, how to set up the desktop to meet your needs and please your senses, and how to manipulate windows. As the tour continues, it explains how to work with files and folders using the Nautilus File Browser window, one of the most important GNOME tools. The tour concludes with a discussion of the Update Notifier, the object that allows you to keep a system up-to-date with the click of a button; getting help; and logging out.

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